Becoming a parent is a major life change that can make working for a living a serious challenge. New parents might want jobs that are more flexible or require fewer hours. Some may stop working when their child is born but want to return to a job in some capacity once their kids are old enough to spend most of their day at school. (Unfortunately, the United States is one of the few rich countries in the world without mandated parental leave. These are the countries that have the best paid leave for new parents.)
New parents may find that their current jobs are not very compatible with their parental responsibilities. There are a variety of careers that are well suited for the schedules and skills of parents, however. Some require extensive training and/or on-the-job experience, but others are reasonably easy to take on. (These are the highest paying jobs you can get without a college degree.)
To compile a list of 10 of the best child-friendly careers, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report from the job search engine Lensa, concentrating on jobs that offer flexibility when it comes to hours, vacations, and other needed time off. Median pay was taken from Payscale.com.
Freelance and gig economy work can be ideal because workers decide how much work they would like to take on and when they want to do it. Driving for companies like Uber or Lyft means no commitments and potential work at any hour of the day. A study by the education company KinderCare found that 69% of parents reported being more involved in their children’s lives because of more flexible work schedules.
Work-from-home jobs are ideal because they allow parents. Freelancers often can work from wherever they want and have the ability to handle unexpected parenting emergencies like visits to the doctor. Further, they can increase or decrease workloads at different points in the year.
Jobs in education can work well for parents because their schedules often match up with school schedules. These positions often get summers and other school vacations off, letting them spend more time with their kids. In addition, parents gain skills and experience from raising children that can be extremely valuable in the professional world. Many of the careers here involve working with children and parents can apply lessons they’ve learned at home to excel in these fields.
10. Teacher’s aide
> Median annual salary: $21,239
Teacher’s aides typically have the same time off for holidays and summer break that teachers do, and can spend it with their children. They can sometimes even work in the schools that their children attend, saving time on commuting and carpooling.
9. Online teacher/tutor
> Median annual salary: $36,650
Many parents already have experience helping their own children with schoolwork – especially the experience gained during pandemic shutdowns – and may be able to apply their learned skills to a paid position (especially considering the current teacher shortage).
> Median annual salary: $38,442
The flexibility of writing for websites and print publications or blogging can be great for the hectic and unpredictable schedule of a parent. Bloggers in particular tend to be self-employed, and can work only when they want to (though less work will mean less income, of course).
7. Customer service representative
> Median annual salary: $40,406
Customer service reps can also work from home. Many customer service lines operate over a wide range of hours that may work well with the schedule of a parent. The patience it takes to raise children can also be applied when dealing with irate customers.
6. Ridesharing or delivery driver
> Median annual salary: $49,469
The rise of the gig economy and the ability to flexibly work for companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash has given many workers more options. These services allow parents to work whenever they want, which is great for those who may have more free time some weeks than others.
5. Public relations specialist
> Median annual salary: $51,000
PR specialists often can operate from home. Many are contract workers, which allows them to take on as many clients as they want and build a flexible schedule.
4. Tax accountant
> Median annual salary: $57,950
Tax accountants often can work from home and have fairly flexible schedules. Normally, they are very busy during the months leading up to the mid-April tax due date. However, the rest of the year they often have more time to spend with children, especially during summer when kids are out of school.
3. Web developer
> Median annual salary: $60,668
Web developing is another job that is easy to do from home. A variety of businesses hire and work with web developers, and they may have the option of working either in salaried positions or as freelancers. In addition, internet knowledge might help parents in raising their kids in this digital age.
2. Speech-language pathologist
> Median annual salary: $63,201
Speech-language pathologists often have flexible hours, and many of them work with children. Some may be employed by schools, which gives them similar schedules to their children’s. In addition, raising kids of their own helps them understand kids and how to help them work through problems.
1. Physician’s assistant
> Median annual salary: $100,031
Physician’s assistants are well compensated but don’t have to spend as much time in higher education as doctors. They may have some days with long hours followed by full days off. This can work well for taking care of children. Also, they may be working with children during difficult periods of their lives and knowing how to help them can be invaluable.