10 Flexible Jobs for Stay-at-Home Parents
Computers and the Internet increasingly allow stay-at-home parents to keep their careers and earn a good living with remote employment. That said, even less technologically centered jobs offer good pay and flexible hours for remote workers.
Caring for children is an especially convenient source of income for parents already caring for their own children. Babysitters often find work through family and friends, although services such as Care.com also match providers with families needing child care. Babysitters are usually paid hourly for basic child supervision, and the range varies; caregivers with CPR certification and other credentials attract more clients and better pay. A rate calculator on Care.com offers guidance about expected pay in a given area.
While dog walkers are required to leave home at least for a few hours, they decide exactly when. Pay varies, depending largely on the location and the walker's experience level. Dog walkers are expected to be knowledgeable about dogs, and sometimes specific breeds, but usually are not required to provide services beyond walking, basic safety, and keeping the dogs in their care from fighting. Pay can be collected per outing or per hour.
Large and small companies are transitioning traditional office-based customer service and technical support jobs to remote positions. The jobs require a quiet environment, making at-home customer service positions ideal for stay-at-home parents whose children are away for part of the day. People interested in the work might try a customer service outsourcer such as Sykes Home, which pays an average of $9 an hour and offers benefits for part-time workers.
Unlike many remote jobs, freelance writing can be accomplished in short spurts. Freelance writers don't have to make a regular commute, largely because research and interviews can often be conducted from home online and by phone. But as with many freelance jobs, pay varies widely based on experience, the client, and also the subject matter. Writer's Market provides a quick guide to determine pay rates for writers in various fields.
Personal chefs often don't need to spend long hours away from home because they can cook and prepare meals for clients in their own kitchens in advance. Some travel may be required for grocery shopping and meal delivery. A personal chef can also cook in a client's home in the evening, after a spouse or partner who works during the day arrives home to take care of the kids. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that private cooks earn a little over $13 an hour on average, although other sources suggest that wealthy clients might pay as much as $50 to $75 an hour.
Depending on the subject, online tutors earn $15 to $30 an hour at companies such as Kaplan Test Prep and Golden Voice English, which hire tutors to provide test preparation and homework help in various subjects. Chegg, an online textbook and educational services company, advertises pay for virtual tutors at a standard $20 an hour. Tutors may use cafés and libraries as their offices but can also work entirely from home. They typically set their own hours.
Schools and large organizations hire teachers to prepare and provide virtual lectures that are recorded or streamed live online. Postings on education and job sites suggest that annual pay peaks at around $40,000, although there's wide variation in employment styles. For-profit Strayer University, for example, hires online faculty and offers regular benefits. Berlitz, a language learning and cultural training company, hires online instructors at a base rate of $13.33 an hour and lets instructors set their own schedules.
With corporations such as financial and tax software developer Intuit seeking seasonal help, tax professionals can find mostly part-time employment without having to meet with clients face to face. Tax advisers are generally expected to be certified public accountants or enrolled agents, but some tax support positions don't require an active credential. Applicants must be able to navigate tax software and have a thorough grasp of tax laws and concepts. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that tax preparers earn an average of $21 an hour, but less qualified workers are likely to make less than that. Surveys by PayScale and Glassdoor report an average rate of $12 an hour.
Online resellers use marketing and ecommerce savvy to resell clients' used or new items on online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. Resellers collect a portion of the final sale price, sometimes up to 60 percent. One full-time eBay reseller hosting an "Ask Me Anything" Q-and-A on Reddit says he made $170,000 in sales in one year reselling mostly used items. Online resellers set their own schedules and may leave home only occasionally to collect or mail clients' merchandise.
Medical coding is one of the most popular remote jobs. Hospitals and clinics regularly employ medical coders and billing specialists, offering full-time and part-time positions, benefits, and the option to work entirely from a home office. Employers require a functioning office space with the room and tools necessary to store confidential documents securely. Unlike other computer-based jobs, medical coding doesn't require high-level computer skills. Medical coders earn about $16 an hour on average, according to a PayScale survey.