The Best Careers for Moms

The Bureau of Labor Statics reports that over 75 percent of the mothers in the United States work outside the home. Where 40 years ago, being a working mom was unusual, today, most mothers go back into the workforce after giving birth. This means many women today are working two jobs--one as a parent and the other as salaried workers or business owners.

Finding positions, careers and the flexibility to be a parent has become a challenging endeavor for many mothers. However, some career fields offer job characteristics that can help fulfill the needs of working mothers in both flexibility and salary.

Medical Fields
Fast growth in all medical field careers is expected to continue through 2016. As the baby boomer generation grows older, positions in a variety of health care fields will be opened because of retirements and an increased need for quality health care.

Registered nursing will be one of the nation's most rapid employment growth areas. The Bureau of Labor Statics reports that this will be the fastest growing area for new jobs until 2016. A college degree and additional and training is required to become a registered nurse. Women dominate these positions, and in order to attract workers, medical institutions often offer flexible employment packages and hours, which cater to women. The average registered nurse can make between $40,000 and $83,000 dollars per year depending on her medical specialty and experience.

The demand for dental hygienists is another area in which women dominate the field, and as a result, the dental profession has adopted a mom-friendly work environment. Dental hygienists work with a dentist and focus on the patient's preventative oral health care by cleaning teeth and providing education on dental care.

The position of dental hygienists requires specialized training but no college degree is required. A dental hygienist must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program, pass the written and clinical exams and be licensed. Depending on location and work experience, dental hygienists can expect to make in the range of $19.00 to $40.00 per hour.

A position that requires some formal training and certification but no college degree in the medical field is that of medical assistants. As the demand for health care grows, the need for medical assistants that can do both administrative and clinical duties will increase. The current salary average for medical assistants is in the range of $18,000 to $35,000 a year.

Quick Re-entry into the Workforce
A secretarial or administrative assistant position is an ideal workforce re-entry opportunity for women who have been out of the workforce for some time. To become a secretary or administrative assistant requires only a minimum of training, but a college degree is preferred. According the Bureau of Labor Statics, jobs in this sector are expected to grow about 9 percent by 2016.

Secretarial and administrative positions play a key role in business. Responsibilities may include meeting planning, customer service, and other business support responsibilities that require strong communication skills. Salaries range from $19,000 to $58,000 based upon experience and geographic location.

Home Business
A home business is an option many mothers are now considering for its amazing work-hour flexibility and independence. Business grants and loans to women for business start-ups have never been easier to obtain and many government agencies offer support for women entrepreneurs.

A pet sitting business is one of the easiest and least expensive start-up companies available. With the increase of people working long hours, the need for someone to visit, take care of and walk their pets has never been in more demand. The position is also flexible enough so mothers can take their children to work with them and, thereby, eliminate the need for childcare. According to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, the average cost per visit is around $16.00.

Another low cost start-up business is home day care. Mothers in this field control how much money they make by the hours they set and the cost they charge. All child care businesses need to be licensed and insured according to state regulations, but normally the start-up costs are minimal. Home day care prices vary depending on location and availability; however, the average mother can expect to make in the range of $2,400 to $3,600 per child per year.

Resources
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Bureau of Labor Statics
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National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
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National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Childcare and Early Development