The Best-Fitting Jobs & Extra Income Opportunities For Single Moms
Written by Alyson Aiello on June 20, 2017
Taxi kids to practice and music lessons.
Stop by the grocery store to pick up essentials.
Think about saving for college funds.
Clean the bathrooms.
Figure out if you can find a babysitter for next weekend’s get-together.
Get the car’s oil changed.
Schedule a doctor’s appointment.
Being a mom is rarely a simple task. From big-picture, long-term issues to the routine day-to-day stresses all parents face, it’s even more difficult to manage your family’s life as a single mom.
But, you’re still a mom first.
In order to prioritize your family but still get outside the home and prove you can achieve great things, you may be on the hunt for a job that can provide but still give you the flexibility you need for your family.
We’ve compiled a list of seven types of jobs for single moms as well as full-time careers for single moms. Whether you have a college degree or not, take a look and see if any of these pique your interest.
The 6 Best Jobs for Single Moms
One great job for single moms with or without a degree is working retail for three important reasons:
- No degree necessary. Retail jobs are some of best jobs for single moms with no degree, as they can provide a comfortable lifestyle for moms who didn’t go the college route (or who may be working on earning their degree currently).
- Flexible hours. With a retail job, you aren’t confined to a strict 8-5 schedule (if you’re working full time). You have the ability to work nights and weekends, and you can change your schedule with your colleagues if you need to. For moms interested in working part time, you can still benefit from working hours that fit your family.
- Discounts. Most retailers offer considerable discounts for their employees. For example, big box retailers can offer 5%-10% discounts—if you’re a single mom budgeting every penny, saving this amount can be helpful for everything from weekly groceries to special gifts at birthdays and holidays.
2. Substitute Teaching & Childcare
A popular job for single moms is working as a substitute teacher or providing daycare and childcare or nannying for young children. The major benefit of these two single mom incomes? With substitute teaching, you’re working the same hours your kids are in school—and you’re also working during the school year, so you’ll enjoy the same times off for holidays and summer break. Like substitute teaching, childcare typically runs on the school calendar, so you won’t have to work odd hours when your children will be home alone, and you won’t have to arrange childcare while you’re working. Similarly, if you have children who aren’t school age yet, you can be with them as you care for other children.
Along with the reasonable schedule, this option doesn’t require extensive schooling or a higher education degree—just a love for kids and a willingness to provide a safe environment for them. Some states have regulations about in-home daycares, so check up on your local laws to make sure you’re doing your due diligence as a childcare provider.
3. Dental Hygiene
Dental hygiene is one of the best careers for single moms, as it provides a long-term, flexible, and financially sound future for moms and their families.
In the RDHmag article The Single Approach, registered dental hygienist Kim says this about being a single parent and a dental hygienist:
When I chose a career, I knew I wanted to be able to find a job easily, I wanted to be able to support my family if necessary, and I wanted to live in a manner I’m accustomed to. Now that I’m in this situation, I know I made the right career decision.
In my area the median family income is $47,000, and as hygienists we’re slightly above that, even with a two-year degree. I was able to find a job with insurance, bonuses, paid vacations and holidays, paid CE, a uniform allowance, and a 401(k). I work four days a week from 7:30 to 4:30.”
According to the American Dental Association, becoming a dental hygienist requires a minimum of a two-year degree, which allows hygienists to take licensure examinations (national and state or regional) and become licensed to work in a dental office.
4. Speech Pathologist
Single moms looking for a flexible schedule and means for financial independence who are interested in helping patients with speech or swallowing disorders could pursue a career as a speech pathologist.
According to Chron, “Speech pathologists can work full or part time and many control their own schedules. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that their median annual salary was $69,870, as of May 2012, and almost half of all speech pathologists worked in schools.”
Speech pathology does require at least an undergraduate degree, and in order to apply for a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), candidates must earn a graduate degree, successfully complete the required clinical experiences, and pass a national examination. In some areas, such as college teaching, research, and private practice, a PhD is desirable. If you have an interest in speech pathology and a willingness to dedicate considerable time to your undergraduate degree (and furthering your education once you’ve finished your degree), speech pathology may be something to consider.
5. Customer Service
If you’re looking for a single-mom income with the ability to work from home, look into your options as a customer service representative. Many reputable companies allow their agents and representatives to work remotely; others offer full-time, part-time, and seasonal scheduling. This makes being a CSR one of the best jobs for single moms with no degree or who are working toward a degree.
6. Direct Sales
Finally, one of the best careers for single moms as well as an avenue for extra income for single moms is through direct sales. Traveling Vineyard Wine Guides fall into this category, and it’s one of the best opportunities for single moms for many reasons:
- Flexibility. Wine Guides set their own schedules, determine their own work hours, and can make the opportunity part time, full time, or just enough income for the “extras” all parents want to provide for their families. This makes it a great option for single moms who do not use daycare services. And you’re not stuck to just one path—many Wine Guides start out working just a few hours a month and then, after realizing how much they love the experience, decide to add more.
- Friendship. Here’s the truth for single moms: If you’re having a bad day, it’s not always easy to find someone nearby to connect with and vent to. This job offers the unique ability to provide not only income, but community as well. One of our Wine Guides spoke to this situation exactly—she was having a tough time one evening but was able to go to her team of Wine Guide friends. They acted as a support system and community to hear her “vent,” help her through the frustrations she was facing, and encourage her. And for a single mom, that’s an intangible benefit worth its weight in gold.
- Financial reward. A “single-mom income” doesn’t usually lend itself to a lot of luxury—after the bills are paid, the immediate needs are met, and the extras for the kids are purchased, there isn’t a lot of paycheck left to treat yourself. And even if there is, single moms face some guilt with choosing between a well-deserved treat and putting that money back into the family budget. We see that, and that’s why we offer our Wine Guides incentive trips and Thrive Rewards—neither of these perks come out of your paycheck, but they are instead an add-on for our Wine Guides who work hard throughout the year. That way, Wine Guides can treat themselves without the guilt, knowing the rewards they receive were meant only for them. For single moms on a limited budget, being able to give “extras” to your family and yourself feels good, and being a Wine Guide means you have the ability to give yourself that pay raise depending on how much you want to work.
- Fulfillment. Being a Wine Guide gives provides a sense of personal achievement and recognition that’s needed to stay motivated and build confidence. Wine Guides are recognized for their achievements through badges and in monthly calls, as well as at our annual Harvest conference.
- Entrepreneurship. When you become an entrepreneur, which is what all of our Wine Guides are, you’re in control of the skills you develop. You’ve got the potential to develop your marketing skills, project management strengths, and more—and working with the Traveling Vineyard team also provides a foot-in-the-door of learning many new skills from your colleagues.
- No degree needed. You can do this on your own drive—you don’t need a degree to create your own destiny, just willpower and focus to succeed.
One of our all-star Wine Guides, Shannon Romero, sums it up well:
“As a single mom, it was important to find something was flexible with my kids’ schedules. It was also extremely important that I find a company where I did not have to spend a lot of money to keep my business running. I needed to be able to keep my money to use for my household expenses. Traveling Vineyard makes it affordable for wine guides to run a successful business!
I also love the fact that Traveling Vineyard offers additional rewards for wine guides because they realize that most people use their commissions for household expenses. This way, wine guides are able to treat themselves with something special through the rewards program!
With Traveling Vineyard, I have wine tastings booked already on my calendar for the next three to four months, I am able bring in a steady income and still have the flexibility to spend time with my boys.”
You can check out more individual stories from our real-life Wine Guides here. See how they make the Wine Guide Life fit their schedules and families’ priorities, and learn how you can get started.
We think these jobs for single moms, whether they’re looking for extra income or a career path, offer some of the best opportunities. Not only can they provide a paycheck, but they also show that single moms can get out there, prove they can achieve, fend for themselves, and build confidence. And that’s the legacy all moms want for their children.