11 Great Jobs for Working Parents

Making the Move From the Parental Trenches to the Salt Mines? Check These Jobs Out!

Maybe your kids are back in school and you’re itching to take on a part-time job. Or perhaps the dismal economy has forced your hand and you need something full- or part-time to make ends meet. Whatever the case, figuring out which job to take is often the first and most daunting hurdle.

Education, skills and background obviously play a part in what job you can get. Although everyone wants to be paid well, parents also place an added importance on things like flexible work hours, the ability to work from home and jobs that allow for a sustainable work-life balance.

Here are 11 jobs we’ve researched that may fit the bill.

School Bus Driver

Average Annual Salary: $31,413
Education: Requires high school diploma, valid driver’s license

Maybe you’ve already been driving your kids to school or organizing the carpool for years. Why not get paid for it?

This job allows parents to work in the morning, get a break in the middle of the day, and go back to work in the afternoon. You still get to be around kids (maybe even your own if you’re lucky) and collect a paycheck. While you likely don’t need a college degree, you will have to have a clean driving record, receive some training and get your Commercial Driver’s License.

Web Writer

Average Annual Salary: $47,847
Education: May require bachelor’s degree

If you’re looking for a job that harnesses your creativity, revolves around interesting topics and allows maximum freedom and flexibility, consider becoming a web writer.

This job can take on many forms. Find an industry in which you have an interest and experience, and then see if any companies need someone to provide content. You’ll have to adhere to industry standards and strive to always meet company guidelines regarding your content..

Or you could do what many parents have done in the last few years and become a blogger. Find a subject about which you’re passionate and market it to the point you can sell advertising. Not everyone can be a Dooce or Bloggess, but the opportunity is there.

Marketing Assistant

Average Annual Salary: $37,945
Education: Likely requires bachelor’s degree

Most active parents have volunteered to spearhead an event or fund raiser for their kids’ sports team, theater group or school. If you’re shaking your head yes, then you already have some marketing experience.

This job requires superior project management skills, the ability to communicate effectively and exemplary attention to detail. Whether you’re coordinating an event for a customer or helping advertising with a direct mailing, this job can be a perfect fit for parents who have been driving results for years without getting paid for it.

After you’ve successfully run the concession stand at athletic events, led the cookie drive to its most profitable year ever and made sure the science fair went off without a hitch, life in the corporate world will be a breeze.

Call Center Representative

Average Annual Salary: $28,686
Education: May require associate’s/bachelor’s degree

Granted, becoming a call center representative isn’t the most glamorous career in the world.

You’ll be dealing with a variety of customers and either troubleshooting their problems or trying to sell them one or more of your company’s products. Handling complaints and processing forms can get tedious and no one likes to be screamed at by angry customers for hours on end.

But there’s a good chance you’ll be able to work from home which, for a parent, can be worth its weight in gold. Also, depending on your specific duties, there are plenty of opportunities for a “people person” to help customers and resolve major problems.

Translator/Interpreter

Average Annual Salary: $43,814
Education: Likely requires bachelor’s degree

Most jobs require above average communication skills, but if you’re fluent in multiple languages you can get paid simply for making the communication possible.

Most translators are self-employed and work on a variety of different projects. Some institutions need literary works or documents translated from one language to another. Other businesses such as police departments and courts require an interpreter who can make sure people have vital information conveyed to them correctly in real time.

Regardless of which direction you head in this field, you will likely make your own hours and retain optimal flexibility that is so important when you have children.

Personal Trainer

Average Annual Salary: $52,997
Education: May require bachelor’s degree

Many parents leave the workforce for a time, but some never stop hitting the gym. Maybe it’s time to turn all of that extra effort into a living.

Despite having kids and a hectic schedule, you’ve managed to keep yourself in great shape. Now you can customize one-on-one or group programs to help other people accomplish the same thing. Develop weight training, cardio and nutrition programs either on your own as a self-employed trainer or as an employee of a fitness center.

Whether working for a gym or yourself, there are countless courses and certifications you can take as a trainer that will increase your chances of making more money.

Hairdresser/Hairstylist

Average Annual Salary: $23,668
Education: Requires high school diploma

Many parents are de facto hairdressers for the first few years of their kids’ lives. But if your child’s hair is the envy of the neighborhood and other parents start coming to your house for impromptu haircuts, maybe it’s time to go pro.

Although you likely have to take a few courses and you’re on your feet all day, popular stylists are usually able to set their own schedules. And if you enjoy talking to people, hair salons are often the hub of the gossip universe.

So if you have the desire and you’re a “people person,” becoming a hairdresser—even part-time—could mean good money and vital networking.

Teacher Aide

Average Annual Salary: $20,026
Education: May require bachelor’s degree

If parents are truly interested in ensuring a good education for their kids, then becoming a teacher aide is the perfect way to make that happen.

Chances are you’ve already spent some time volunteering in the classroom. But as a teacher aide, you can assist the classroom teacher with implementing the curriculum on a daily basis. You’ll get to work with students one-on-one and in groups and help the teacher plan lessons and prepare the classroom.

The best part is you work while your kids are in school, meaning you can be there when they get home.

Web Designer

Average Annual Salary: $62,839
Education: Likely requires bachelor’s degree

Almost everyone is on the Internet these days, and parents often volunteer to create and run websites for their kids’ various activities. If you’re good enough at it, why not make it a career?

If you’ve got the skills, this job allows you meet with clients and create a website that meets their needs. You craft the look and feel of the site and ensure the graphic design dovetails with what the site is trying to accomplish, as well as provide the level of functionality specified by the client.

Although skills such as Dreamweaver and HTML are certainly required, you can teach yourself many of the necessary programs. Self-employed web designers often set their own hours and work from home as well.

Dietitian

Average Annual Salary: $53,128
Education: Requires a bachelor’s degree, may require a master’s degree

You’ve been preaching the importance of vegetables and eagle-eying what your kids eat since they were born. Now you can do the same for clients and collect a paycheck.

Whether working in a clinical, educational or institutional environment, dietitians are generally responsible for creating specialized diets for patients based on their specific needs. Prisons, schools and hospitals rely on dietitians to create menus that adhere to proper dietary restrictions, but many dietitians also work as consultants for various groups and organizations.

It takes some training and you have to have the right education credentials. But with obesity rates on the rise, this is a profession that will need qualified candidates for years to come.

Event Planner

Average Annual Salary: $55,299
Education: Likely requires a bachelor’s degree

Ever hosted a childrens’ birthday party? Booking the restaurant, planning the menu, putting together the gift bags and making sure the entertainment shows up is no easy task. But if you’re the type of person who excels in a fast-paced, detail-oriented atmosphere, then event planning could be the career for you.

Just as it is with parenting, you’ll have to coordinate everything seamlessly and be able to think on your feet to make sure any problems that do arise are taken care of quickly. If you’re a born networker who can maintain multiple relationships with vendors and routinely pull off gatherings without a hitch, this is a great job for you.

Recommended Reading (try an ebook)

What Happy Working Mothers Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Lead to a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Balance is a Crock, Sleep is for the Weak: An Indispensable Guide to Surviving Working Motherhood

Happy at Work, Happy at Home: The Girls’ Guide to Being a Working Mom

How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms

Marathon Dad: Setting a Pace That Works for Working Fathers 

42 Rules for Working Moms: Practical, Funny Advice for Achieving Work/Life Balance

Moms on the Job: 7 Secrets for Success at Home and Work