Best Careers for Single Moms

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Single moms usually need jobs that offer some degree of flexibility along with being able to earn enough income to support their families. While some industries suit the needs of a single parent better than others, the tradeoff for more flexible working hours is often accepting a lower salary. Fortunately, there are professions such as working in real estate, sales, public relations, education or health care, which allow a mom going it alone to be available for her children and earn a decent living besides.

Sales

Real estate and most sales jobs usually allow you the freedom to set your own schedule. Because salary is typically based on the commissions that you earn, you have a better opportunity for increasing your earning potential. Given that performance determines the amount of your paycheck, you always have the option of working harder to earn more money. At the same time, you have the independence to work at your own pace, as long as you meet your sales quotas. Among the advantages of working in sales, a woman is often able to manage her life more easily around her career, yet still be motivated by the thrill of the competition that can keep the job exciting. Sales commissions vary by industry, but the average sales commission for selling real estate is 6 percent.

Education

Tutoring online or teaching online college courses affords single mothers the convenience of working from home. Teaching online not only offers flexible working hours Monday through Sunday but it also saves on job expenses like work clothing and the cost of gas for the car. Working from home involves no commute time, and allows you to adjust your work hours so that you can be on hand to give your children the attention they need. In many cases, you work after you put the kids to bed. This is a primary benefit of the job, as most online students need instructors to be available during unconventional hours. The market for online teaching jobs is growing, as many colleges and universities now have online teaching positions that need to be filled. According to an article published in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, online education has changed the role of university instructors to include that of being a facilitator rather than a traditional classroom lecturer, allowing more educators to participate in a rewarding career from home.

Health Care

Medical transcription is often a work from home job. For women who have small children at home, this type of work can pay the bills yet still be rewarding. Home health is another growing industry that offers career opportunities to single moms who are nurses, and who may benefit from the various shift options or part-time opportunities available. The fields of physical and occupational therapy offer workers flexible scheduling options as well. With the demand for therapy services rapidly growing in today’s health care market, professionals in these fields are able to choose the environments in which they want to work, in addition to choosing the hours that work best for them. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the number of jobs in the health care industry will increase 30 percent by the year 2014. Annual salaries for RN’s currently average between $38,000 and $45,000. The average annual salary for a full-time physical or occupational therapist ranges between $55,000 and $65,000 and higher.

Freelance/Home-Based Jobs

Working from home offers professional single moms the ability to modify their work hours so that they can care for their children. As technology improves, more people are finding themselves working from a home office. However, you need to be disciplined and able to manage both your time and workload in order to succeed. Whether you are a copy editor, writer, programmer, graphic designer, marketing consultant, accountant or work some other computer-based job, working from home allows single moms the advantage of being there at home when their children need them. Today more companies are hiring bookkeepers, escrow officers, loan processors, and professional tax preparers who work from home offices. Although there may be some weeks when you have to put in more than 40 hours, you have the flexibility of being able to complete work after normal business hours so that you can take your kids to school and pick them up each afternoon. In addition, you may qualify for certain tax advantages for having a home office. While the average annual salary for freelancers varies according to the industry or career field, as an example, the median salary for a marketing consultant with 5 to 9 years of experience is $62,000.

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