Finding the right job as a working parent is no easy task. It can be hard to juggle a family and a career, but some jobs make it easier for parents to balance life and work—without a parenthood penalty.
Along with a good salary, parents often need jobs that offer flexible hours and even work-from-home opportunities. Here are jobs that offer parents the flexible schedules they need to balance a career and parenthood. Many of these jobs are also currently in high demand.
Check out some of the best jobs for parents below.
Call Center / Customer Service Representative
A call center representative deals with customers, either answering their questions and helping solve problems or trying to sell them a company's products. Representatives typically speak with customers over the phone, although they may use email or an online messaging system as well.
This job allows for a flexible schedule; customer service representatives can often either make their own hours or choose the shifts they would like to work. Many representatives can work from home, giving parents even greater flexibility. It is an ideal job for parents who are people-friendly and enjoy helping others problem-solve.
Median Pay: Customer service representatives earned a median annual salary of $36,920 ($17.75 per hour) in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10% of earners made less than $12.67 per hour, and the highest 10% earned more than $28.19 per hour.
How to Land the Job: This job is likely to require at least a high school diploma, but some positions may also require an associate or bachelor's degree. There is often on-the-job training for the position as well.
Customer service representatives and call center employees need strong communication skills and must be able to interact positively with people over the phone, including disgruntled customers.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, the employment of customer service representatives is projected to decline by 1% from 2020 to 2030.
A content writer is someone who writes online content for an organization. This job can take a variety of forms; you may write articles for an online journal or provide content for a company's website. Some content writers even create blogs discussing topics they are passionate about, although it is typically difficult to begin generating revenue with a blog.
Content writing jobs can offer flexible schedules, and parents can often do this job from home.
Median Pay: The BLS reports a median annual pay of $69,510 (for writers in general). The lowest 10% of earners made less than $38,500, and the highest 10% earned more than $133,580.
How to Land the Job: Content writing jobs typically require a bachelor's degree and some writing experience. A degree in English, communications, journalism, or a similar field can help you stand out. To find a content writing or research job that fits your skills and interests, research industries with which you have experience. Contact companies (particularly those with which you have personal connections) to see if they need someone to help create web content for them.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of writers is projected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
A dietitian advises clients on what to eat or what to serve to others in order to achieve a specific health goal or to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As obesity rates rise, dietitians are seeing an increase in job growth.
A dietitian may work in a healthcare facility, a school, or other organization. Dietitians can also be self-employed—this is a great option for parents who want to create their own, flexible schedules.
Median Pay: According to the BLS, the median pay for dieticians is $60,370 (2018), the lowest 10% earned less than $38,640 and the highest 10% earned more than $84,610.
How to Land the Job: Most dietitians first earn a bachelor's degree in a related field (food and nutrition, dietetics, etc.). Along with a degree, many dietitians gain experience in the form of internships. Most states also require dietitians to earn state licensure or certification before practicing.
Job Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dieticians is projected to grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
A physician assistant conducts physical exams, diagnoses and treats illnesses, assists in surgery, and performs a number of other duties under the supervision of a physician.
This job is ideal for parents who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine but don't have the time or money to invest in four years of medical school and years of residency. Work schedules at hospitals are often compressed, allowing employees to work several long days followed by three or four days off per week, which may enable parents to spend full days with their children.
Median Pay: According to the BLS, the median annual salary for physician assistants was $121,530 in 2021. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $77,940 per year, and the highest 10% earned more than $164,620.
How to Land the Job: Physician assistants must complete a two-to-three-year PA master's program. Many PAs also have some previous healthcare experience, so you may want to look for entry-level jobs or even volunteer positions at your local hospital or healthcare facility to gain experience before applying for a PA program. Also, all states require physician assistants to be licensed by the state in which they work.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow by 31% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Public Relations Specialist
A public relations specialist promotes their clients to the public via a number of marketing and media strategies. PR specialists work with many kinds of organizations, including healthcare institutions, educational services, and government agencies. Because many PR specialists work on a contract basis, parents can create their own schedules and choose to take on as many or as few clients as they want.
Median Pay: According to the BLS, the median pay for a public relations specialist was $62,800 in 2021. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $37,020 per year, and the highest 10% earned more than $124,620.
How to Land the Job: There are no specific educational requirements for a PR specialist; however, most candidates have bachelor’s degrees (often in public relations, journalism, advertising, marketing, etc.). Many people also complete internships at PR firms. Look for a PR job in an industry with which you are familiar and in which you have some contacts.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of PR specialists is projected to grow by 11% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.
Ridesharing or Delivery Driver
Services such as Uber, Lyft, Roadie, Amazon Flex, and Sidecar have created opportunities for flexible employment for drivers. Parents can sign on to provide rides or deliveries around the schedule of their children and parenting partners. Evenings and weekends are often times of peak demand for drivers.
Median Pay: The BLS reports a median pay of $37,540 for passenger vehicle drivers in 2021. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $30,290 per year, and the highest 10% earned more than $77,640.
How to Land the Job: Drivers can apply online and upload their license, registration, and insurance documents. Drivers must have access to a vehicle in reasonably good condition.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of rideshare drivers is projected to grow by 25% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
School Bus Driver
School bus drivers transport students to and from school. A parent with this job may be free to attend children's after-school activities. School bus drivers are also likely to get school vacations and the summer off. Bus drivers typically have time off in the middle of the day to run errands or even work another part-time job.
Median Pay: The BLS reports that the median pay for school bus drivers was $37,910 in 2021. The lowest 10% of earners made $19,860 or less per year, while the highest 10% earned $54,190 or more.
How to Land the Job: Most bus driver positions require a high school diploma. You will also need a valid commercial driver's license (CDL) and will likely have to undergo some training and a background check.
Job Outlook: According to O*NET, employment of bus drivers is projected to grow by 15% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.
A speech-language pathologist diagnoses and treats communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech pathologists can work in healthcare facilities, schools, or patients' homes.
Many speech pathologists have flexible work hours and can arrange appointments around their own schedules. Those working in schools typically get school vacations off, allowing parents to follow their children's schedules.
Median Pay: The BLS reports a median annual pay of $79,060 in 2021 for speech-language pathologists. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $51,310 per year, and the highest 10% earned more than $125,560.
How to Land the Job: Speech-language pathologists must complete a two-year master's program, and most states require pathologists to be licensed.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow by 29% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Tax accountants prepare clients' tax returns and reports. They must also stay up-to-date with tax issues and regulations. While tax accountants can work for companies, they can also work independently from home, allowing them the flexibility to choose clients and create their own schedules. They can also choose to work more hours during tax season, giving them free time during other parts of the year.
Median Pay: The BLS reports a median annual pay of $77,250 for accountants in general, as of 2021. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $47,970 per year, and the highest 10% earned more than $128,970.
How to Land the Job: While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for tax accountants, many accountants pursue master's degrees in accounting with a focus on taxes. Most states require accountants to be licensed as certified public accountants to begin work. This license varies by state but typically requires some post-BA coursework.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of accountants is projected to grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Note, however, that the increased use of automated tax software and tax simplification policies may reduce the demand for tax accountants who cater to non-commercial clients.
A teacher's assistant (or teacher’s aide) assists a lead teacher in a variety of classroom assignments and activities. Teacher's aides typically work in elementary and middle schools or in special education programs. Parents who serve as teacher's aides can enjoy the same holidays as their children and may even have the opportunity to keep an eye on their kids at school.
While teacher's assistant jobs do not typically pay much, assistants generally don’t have to do all of the after-hours lesson planning that lead teachers handle.
Median Pay: The BLS reports a median annual pay of $29,360 in 2021. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $21,890 per year, and the highest 10% earned more than $46,530.
How to Land the Job: Most teacher's aide positions require a high school degree, while many also require at least two years of college or an associate degree. Some positions, particularly those in special education programs, require further education and/or certification.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of teacher’s aides is projected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Web developers are programmers who specialize in creating web-based applications. This job is in particularly high demand due to the number of applications on smartphones and other electronic devices. While web developers can work for large corporations, government agencies, or startups, many work from home. As a freelance web developer, a parent would be able to select their projects and create their own schedule.
Median Pay: The BLS reports a median annual pay of $77,200 in 2021 for web developers. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $40,750, and the highest 10% earned more than $146,430.
For parents who don't have the time or money to take courses, there are a number of tutorials and courses offered for free online.
Job Outlook: According to the BLS, employment of web developers is projected to grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
- Parents often need jobs with flexibility in order to balance work and caregiving responsibilities.
- Flexible jobs for parents may allow workers to make their own schedules, work from home, or work fewer days per week.
- Look for parent-friendly jobs in customer service, healthcare, tech, and transportation.