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Jennifer Wolf

Best Jobs for Single Parents

By February 21, 2008

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ABC News recently published an online article titled "Finding the Best Jobs for Single Moms."

(By the way, according to the article, you're likely to select "flexibility" or "salary" on today's poll!)

Writer Tara Wiess, of Forbes.com, suggests that there are particular industries that are more suitable to the needs of single working mothers. Among them, she lists:
  • sales
  • public relations
  • health care, and
  • real estate
Understandably, no job is absolutely perfect. And while jobs in these fields may offer some built-in flexibility, that's a perk that can also come with intense pressure to be available to your clients at all hours, which is not always ideal for single moms and dads needing to schedule set, consistent child care hours.

So I was wondering, what factors are most important to you? And are there any particular fields that you feel are more conducive to the needs of working single parents? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments area below.
February 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm
(1) Denise says:

Hi Jen, I would think teaching would have been higher on the list. While the pay isn’t great, the days off would help a single parent.

February 22, 2008 at 4:47 pm
(2) Jennifer Wolf says:

Hey Denise,
I totally agree! Especially when/if you’re able to secure a position in your child’s school district and are guaranteed to have the same vacation schedule, etc. It’s very ideal!

February 26, 2008 at 5:38 am
(3) Patricia says:

I did health care for 13 years before having to retire due to arthritis. I was a CNA. You may want to mention working for nursing agencies pays WAY more than nursing homes and hospitals. Just an observation here….

February 26, 2008 at 8:48 am
(4) Tricia says:

As a single mom teaching left me with a craving for more adult communication and interaction. I went to work and talked with children all day and came home and did the same….Yeh
The flexibility of my present job (office manager), gives me adult company and mature (most of the time)conversation through out the day and I’m ready to spend quality time with my pee wee after work.
Nothing will be perfect for us (single moms) but we each have to find our personal niche.

February 26, 2008 at 11:05 am
(5) Nancy says:

Like Tricia, I am an office manager in a great working environment. It’s less about finding the right industry and more about finding the right boss. My boss has young children and is supportive of my needs as a single parent. It takes loads of stress off and lets me be there when my kids need me.

February 26, 2008 at 12:04 pm
(6) Eva says:

I am a teacher/vice principal, this job allows me to have the same breaks as my children. I also have a very understnading boss who totally supports me and my family. I believe the best job for a single parent is the job where the employer is supportive and compassionate to the needs of a single parent.

February 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm
(7) Anna says:

I finally started a home-based business I am not getting rich but it does allow for flexibility. It does take some discipline to make sure the work gets done. I am not a person who needs a lot of interaction with others so being alone at home is a good thing.

February 27, 2008 at 6:20 pm
(8) Erin says:

I have spent the past 5 years working for a small non-profit. I struggle financially, but always the benefits far out-weighed the struggles. I agree about the environment being KEY. I had an understanding and accommodating boss, and my work was generally manageable, so that i did not feel stressed at home in the evenings. now that my son is nearly school-aged. i’m ready to move on, but for the first 5 years of single parenting, i couldn’t have had it better.

March 2, 2008 at 1:56 am
(9) tasha says:

I am a highly trained stage and film performer and I figure since I want to be with my new daughter as much as possible, better to teach what I know and do best, then perform it. I feel teaching would be best because my daughter and I will have the same hours and days off, not to mention benefits as well. A dream would be to open my own dance studio but who has the money and time for that when you’re a single mom?!? I just feel so overwhelmed with figuring out what career to choose when they are so different compared to what i used to do. I need a job that is flexible, family friendly, with benefits and pays well, while still being something that I’ll enjoy everyday that’s related to what I used to do.

March 19, 2008 at 10:15 pm
(10) Bob says:

I am a soon to be single father that has to find a family friendly job. I have read some of the suggestions, but any and all input would be greatly appreciated.

May 13, 2008 at 5:57 pm
(11) Donna says:

I am a school bus driver. Despite the reputation that bus drivers have, most of the people I work with are either retired or single Moms that are also students. I personally love my job because of the flexibility it provides and also the health benefits. Although I will not get rich on this particular job, I supplement my income by working in between my routes as a personal assistant some days and also I am about to return to school for Sonography. The schedule allows plenty of time to study while also getting dinner started. If you can find ways to suplement the income it is excellent in terms of the schedule.

June 3, 2008 at 8:42 pm
(12) singleparents says:

I would recommend that you tap into your unique skills when you start looking into different job opportunities. What do you love to do that you’re already good at that could translate into a family-friendly job? Follow your passion, and see where it leads you.

June 3, 2008 at 8:44 pm
(13) singleparents says:

That’s awesome! I give you a lot of credit – that’s no easy job!

June 23, 2008 at 11:09 am
(14) matt says:

i’ve been a single father of 2 young boys for about four years now and I left the Air Force because clearly that was not going to work and I recently left a great position in upper managment at a newspaper i worked for for about 3 years…Im really at a loss for answers but greatful to find some help within this site/comments–any ideas anyone???…

November 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm
(15) Theresa says:

I am a single mother of three-two school aged and one toddler. I work as a teacher assistant in my local school system. It is the best thing that could have happened for me and my family! The hours are perfect. I have the same vacations as my children, summers off…I also used to work as a home health aide. The hours as a HHA are flexible although if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Another option is obtaining your childcare license and taking care of children in your home. That way you’ll always be home for your children plus weekends off!

December 30, 2008 at 12:01 pm
(16) Rash says:

I’d really like to blog with the 3% of single parents who selected “Potential Growth.” While we all crave for “Flex” work, we must understand and accept the “Trade off.” we can not have both! Unfortunately, we have a family structure culturally and individualistically that does not support “Flex” professional work at all times, because we choose ” apparently or unintentionally” a nuclear family structure!! Step out of U.S. and see how others raised their kids and how they are happy. I appreciate all what I have and make the best out of it and I am sure many of us here do too! Here is a tip” instead of looking for a flex type of Job e.g. sales or teaching, I’d look for a company that offers and promotes flex work! and change career if that is what it will take, not to make time for your kids, but to make time for yourself too!

February 20, 2009 at 11:33 am
(17) drema says:

i am a single mother and actually cleaning houses has really worked for me. it gets hard sometimes but the pay is really good. you sure cant beat the schedule.

March 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm
(18) jann says:

I’ve been a single Mom for years. I’ve always had descent employment that includes benefits. I have 22 years of State benefits under my belt, yet I cannot retire till I am 50 to draw on them. The insurance benfits entitled to retiree’s would all but force me to “Mc” work. I’m burnt out and just taking it day by day. I would love to start another career but financially I can’t. I run with my child and the evening activities. Any advise to all the where to go, how to better help myself. Jann

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