April 2, 2024

What Are the Best Jobs for Moms Returning to Work?

Most of the articles online give terrible advice to moms returning to work. 

Some tell you to run a business from your kitchen table while your kids are home, totally ignoring the unpredictability of both freelancing and young children. Others say that nursing is an excellent field for moms to go into, but conveniently leave out the 2–6 years of training and the lack of control over placements while you qualify. 

This post is different. 

Whether you’ve been at home for a few weeks with a newborn or fifteen years to see kids through school, these jobs can suit your professional goals, your interests, and the way you want to be there for your family. We’ll focus on jobs with:  

  • A good salary and room to grow—because no working parent wants to drop their entire paycheck on childcare. 
  • Flexibility, including the option to pivot if your child is home sick, has a long school vacation, or if you want to be there for an event.
  • A sense of fulfillment, making meaningful connections, solving problems, and doing something that excites you during your working day. 
  • A realistic path to getting qualified that’s compatible with family life and doesn’t send you back to school for four years before you can even get started.  

At Climb Hire, we offer learning tracks to careers in tech and digital marketing, and we know our programs have helped moms kickstart their new careers. 

In this post, we’ll explain why we think these jobs are particularly suited to working parents, and show how we can help you qualify. But if the idea of working in tech doesn’t light you up, we’ll also cover four more areas where you can find a job that does.

Climb Hire is a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing low-income and overlooked adults between the ages of 24 and 40 for a tech career. Discover our courses and apply here.

Note: Our programs are the perfect springboard for moms returning to work after a career break. And if you enroll in 2024, it’s completely free. 

Two Great Jobs for Moms After a Career Break

Tech/IT and marketing are two of the most in-demand, well-paid, and flexible career paths for moms. You can learn them from scratch or refresh the skills you used pre-kids, and the creative approach to problem-solving can make the work really rewarding. 

Remember, we’re starting with jobs in these fields because they’re what we know best. If a career in education, administration, design, or a service-based business sounds more like your style, feel free to skip ahead. 

IT and Tech Support

The tech field is on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, computer and mathematical occupations could grow by over 15% by 2032, with cybersecurity and data analysis set to be skills that are particularly in demand. 

This means there are plenty of entry-level positions and scope to advance your career as you gain work experience—and as your kids get older and more independent. 

One of the most attractive aspects for working parents is that IT can give you a lot of flexibility in terms of where you work. Some IT professionals have full-time jobs at an on-site help desk, others are on-call to solve technical problems at different locations, and others work remotely to support customers and clients from home. 

Every year, the list of potential job titles in information technology changes, but they generally include: 

  • Administrators, who maintain an organization’s network, servers, and IT security systems. If they work in a wider IT department, they’re often responsible for prioritizing and managing support tickets (which represent a customer or employee reaching out with a question or a technical issue).

    Average starting salary: $54,729 (*Salary source throughout this post: Glassdoor)
  • Analysts, who look at an organization’s IT systems from multiple angles to ensure they run as reliably and securely as possible. They can also be responsible for researching new tools and overseeing system upgrades. 

    Average starting salary: $65,544
  • Cyber security specialists, who know an organization’s infrastructure inside out and use this expertise to anticipate and prevent cyber attacks. They have additional training in malware and specialist knowledge of hacking.

    Average starting salary: $68,051
  • Engineers, who are responsible for designing, developing, and testing the computer systems and networks an organization uses. 

    Average starting salary: $57,574
  • Technicians, who set up the computers and networks at an organization and keep them running. There’s a lot of troubleshooting involved, and you’d be fixing glitches with software and hardware on a daily basis. Tech or IT support technician roles help employees and customers when they encounter problems.

    Average starting salary: $44,830

If we’ve piqued your interest and you want to find out how to get into tech, Climb Hire’s IT Support Learning Track is a hands-on, interactive way to pick up the essential skills you need. 

Climb Hire’s IT Support Program

During our IT Support program, you’ll learn:

  • Operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux 
  • Troubleshooting for software, hardware, and networking equipment 
  • IT security principles
  • Programming 
  • Soft skills like networking and communication (which are also essential for a career in IT)

This program prepares you for the 1101 and 1102 exams that earn your CompTIA A+ Certification. This is the industry standard, trusted by employers across the country, and it’s a really solid foundation for all of the roles we mentioned above. 

Most importantly, our learning tracks are perfect for working parents. You’ll mix virtual cohort times over Zoom with guided self-study, learning for 15–20 hours a week. You can fit your program around family life, and still get qualified and restart your career in six months. 

And thanks to partnerships with organizations like Breaking Barriers and MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving, we’re providing scholarships to every Climb Hire applicant who enrolls in 2024. If you’re accepted, it’s 100% free. 

You can start your career in tech with no experience, and you don’t need a college degree to apply. Just send us your application, meet for a 30-minute interview online, and begin your program. 

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is another field with dozens of potential roles and lots of opportunity to specialize, grow, or move into management and strategy. Once you get started, you can niche down into the role you find most interesting, or choose the clients that excite you most. 

A career in digital marketing can also be a great option for working moms because it tends to come with a flexible schedule, and marketing teams are often open to remote or hybrid work as long as you keep in touch with clients and complete your assignments on time. 

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some job postings you might regularly see online:  

  • Content marketing is a broad field, but it boils down to creating, publishing, and sharing content to attract a business’ target audience and show them the benefits of the product or service. Many content marketers specialize in copywriting, but podcasts, social media, newsletters, and videos also fall under the umbrella of content marketing.

    Average starting salary: $51,732
  • Digital analytics, where you collect and interpret data from a company’s website, social media channels, and surveys and use it to track the success of their campaigns. Once an analyst has measured the results, they recommend ways for a company to run even more successful campaigns in the future.

    Average starting salary: $61,383
  • Email marketing, where you plan and create email campaigns for a company’s subscriber list. Email marketers can work closely with a company’s sales team and focus on the lead funnel, as they use email to convert new leads and deepen relationships with the company’s existing customer base. 

    Average starting salary: $49,195
  • Paid search marketing, where you create online pay-per-click advertising campaigns (where advertisers focus on the keywords that could display their ads in the search engine results page). Most people in paid search are Google Ads specialists, but they can also focus on other platforms like Meta or Bing.

    Average starting salary: $51,383
  • SEO, where the goal is to optimize a website so it ranks more highly online and more people see what a company can do. CRO (conversion rate optimization) is a related field focused on making website visitors take the action you’d like them to take (like signing up for a newsletter).

    Average starting salary: $64,909
  • Social media management, which focuses on building and promoting a brand, often across different social media platforms. Social media marketers need to have their fingers on the pulse to interpret the company’s message in a way that works on social media.

    Average starting salary: $55,165

Climb Hire’s Paid Search Marketing Program

Our Paid Search Marketing learning track is a four-month program that teaches you: 

  • How to set up and manage Google and Meta Ads campaigns 
  • How to choose keyword strategies that put a business in front of its target audience
  • How to track and analyze the success of digital campaigns

You’ll get hands-on experience with the tools employers look for on a resume, including Google Ads, the Meta Business Suite, Constant Contact, Google Sheets, and Shopify. 

You’ll also graduate with the Google Ads Certification and the Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate exam under your belt. These are internationally recognized qualifications that will help you compete in the job market.  

Just as with the IT Support program, you’ll learn in a virtual small group setting where you can make authentic connections and build relationships with other Climbers. 

You’ll also have dedicated support from a Climb Hire Career Development Advisor who can prepare you for your job search by helping to build your resume, write cover letters, and prepare for interviews. This can be a big plus for moms who want to build their confidence or get advice on how to address the gap in their resume. 

Why Learn Through Climb Hire? 

Climb Hire’s learning tracks are totally legit—just ask our alumni. 

Porchea “Roxy” Fields is a Climber and a mom. 

She completed her learning track as a stay-at-home mom of two, juggling breastfeeding and virtual school. She felt like she was constantly overlooked for positions by employers who didn’t recognize her skills, and she was living paycheck to paycheck. 

She’s now a Patient Support Associate at Galileo Health, and told us: 

“I really appreciate the community behind Climb Hire because if it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have made it through.” 

Here’s a rundown of the benefits you could experience, too: 

  • A supportive community. You’ll learn with your cohort and keep in touch with the alumni network once you complete your course. Being a stay-at-home parent can be an isolating experience, and self-study doubly so. We’re here to build a community you can count on. 
  • Well-recognized certifications. Whether you need to refresh your skills after a career break or you want to switch gears completely, the qualifications you’ll get through your Climb Hire program are globally recognized and can take you straight to your first paid position. 
  • One-on-one time with a dedicated Career Development Advisor who knows the industry, can take the time to understand the challenges you face as a working parent, and can give you personalized advice and resume coaching to help you land your first job offers. 
  • Soft skills and interview prep to help you make connections and ace your interviews. This is a feature you won’t find on other online learning platforms, or even more traditional routes like community college. 
  • A built-in network, which includes lasting connections with other alumni and introductions to partner employers who collaborate with Climb Hire to recruit the best new talent. 
  • Full tuition scholarships for every student who enrolls in 2024. 
  • An 80% chance of landing a high-paying job within six months of completing your program, with an average yearly salary of $40–80k. 

To break into a new career, you’ll need knowledge, support, and a network that drives you forward. We’re on a mission to give you new skills and an upper hand, whatever your background. 

More Career Paths for Moms Returning to Work

We have a lot to say about the advantages of a career in IT or Paid Search Marketing, but this isn’t necessarily a dream job for everyone. So, let’s look at some other options to find a sustainable, rewarding role that makes the most of your skill set. 

Admin and Office Roles

Here, we’ve brought together some administrative roles that can keep a company ticking. These are often a good fit for working parents because the hours are predictable, they can be done hybrid or as a work-from-home job, and there are multiple pathways to entry. Consider starting your job hunt by searching: 

  • Virtual assistant, which is guaranteed remote work. You could be assigned work through an agency or build your own business for as many clients as you have capacity for. Virtual assistants tend to make around $25 per hour (Source: Indeed), but can easily charge upwards of $50 for specialized tasks. 
  • Human resources. You can study for a master’s degree in HR, but it’s not always essential. HR teams are often made up of people with very different working backgrounds, so it’s an attractive option for people changing careers. 
  • Recruitment, likewise, many people with a background in HR, business, or comms move into recruitment later. You would get to meet new people every day and work closely with a wide team. 

Design

Design is almost as broad as marketing, and you might well be able to find a job that combines the two. 

You’ll need to learn the software used in your ideal niche before you can land an entry-level job. Look for self-guided training programs you can complete online (you can become an Adobe-certified professional online in 6–12 months) or adult learning programs. 

The most valuable programs are those where you also build a portfolio of work that you can then show in an interview. 

Job seekers often come across these careers when they’re searching for design-based careers: 

  • Graphic design, where you could create the layout and visual concepts for anything from a billboard to a company’s business cards. 
  • Web design, where you focus on the way a website looks and feels to the user, while the developer takes care of the code that makes it work. 
  • Interior design, where you focus on making spaces safe, functional, and beautiful within your client’s budget and taste. 
  • Videography and video editing, where you take the raw footage shot by a film crew and create the final product.  

Graphic designers can have a starting salary of $40–64k.

Education

Education appears on every list of jobs for moms—usually without acknowledging how challenging teaching can be. Countless teachers work more than full-time hours, and it’s not as simple as getting summers off with your kids.  

That said, teaching is hands-on, relationship-driven, and every day is different. There are physical, organizational, relational, and mental challenges, but it’s a field where you know you’re needed, and some people find it incredibly rewarding. 

Teaching early years, elementary, or high school might be the first roles you think of here, but alongside “classic” teaching, consider training for a new job in:

  • Special education, where you gain specialist knowledge of learning differences to adapt lessons and teach students with disabilities. 
  • Home and hospital teaching, where you work as the bridge between a pediatrics department in a healthcare facility and the local school district so children who can’t attend school for health reasons don’t miss out on their education. 
  • Assisting teachers, where you support the teacher in the classroom. This can be a good place to start if you’re not yet sure if teaching is right for you.
  • Private tutoring, where you give additional teaching to students one-on-one or in small groups. The only potential downside for parents is that tutoring tends to be after school, when your kids are home, so you’d have to juggle your schedule to accommodate this. 
  • Online tutoring. These flexible job opportunities can include teaching a school subject or English as a foreign language. Most EFL tutoring agencies require a TESOL certificate or CELTA, which you can gain in as little as one month of full-time, in-person study.
  • Music tuition, if you play an instrument and you have good people skills, this can be a lucrative place to start a small business. 

The fastest track to becoming a classroom teacher is an accelerated teacher certification program, which is a year’s study on top of your bachelor’s degree, but you can start a tutoring or tuition business without an official qualification. 

The starting salary for classroom teachers varies according to school district, but it’s currently around $42k, on average (Source: National Education Association).

Service-Based Courses and Practices

If you have a passion you want to share, qualifying as an instructor or practitioner can be a way to monetize it. 

You’ll need to consider insurance, you’ll need to be able to market yourself, and you’ll need a watertight emergency childcare network so you don’t have to cancel on clients at the last minute. But running a course- or practice-based business can be perfect for working moms, especially if you want to prioritize work-life balance and only see clients a few days per week.

Consider researching the skills you’d need to become a: 

  • Personal trainer, working at a gym or even meeting clients in your local park to coach and motivate them through a personal fitness plan. 
  • Yoga/Pilates/Dance/insert-your-hobby-here instructor, where you lead lessons in a discipline you know well. Your business could grow to provide a wide range of courses (like dancing for kids, seniors, or pre-wedding dance classes). The licensing process varies by discipline. For example, the Yoga Alliance requires 200 hours of training and an assessment before you can call yourself a qualified instructor. 
  • Massage therapist. This is another career where you can build lasting relationships with your clients and know you’re making a difference. Again, it can take at least 300 hours to become board-certified, depending on your state. 
  • Nutritionist or registered dietician, where you advise clients on food and lifestyle. Nutritionists can work with people with specific health concerns, athletes, or with parents and children. 

For reference, the National Academy of Sports Medicine suggests trainers can charge $25–100+ per hour. Remember that your hourly rate will also have to cover the cost of renting a venue, buying equipment, your training, and the time it takes you to travel to or from an appointment.  

General Advice for Returning to Work as a Mom 

However you decide to restart your career, your emotions will be mixed and your experience will be unique. There’s still some universal advice to remember in the weeks and months before you get back into the workforce. 

Don’t Shy Away From the Gap in Your Resume

Employment gaps will always catch a recruiter’s attention, so you’ll need to face them head-on. But there’s no official way to do this. You only need to share the information you’re comfortable with, and you definitely don’t need to use the term “Mommy Gap” to explain it. 

You can give the information a potential employer needs in a few short sentences: 

  • You took time out of the workplace to raise your kids. 
  • You’re happy that you had the opportunity and full-time caregiving was a rewarding experience. 
  • Many skills from parenting translate to work: for example, time management, empathy, budgeting.
  • You’re looking forward to returning to work and building on your education and skills.

Build Your Network

Parents are in contact with people they would never have met if their children weren’t born around the same time. 

As tough as it can be to have a whole conversation at the school dropoff or check out line, try finding out what people did before they became parents. It changes up the regular debate on sleep schedules or meeting milestones, and it makes connections that could help both of your careers later. 

You never know who might be your foot in the door in the industry you want to go into, or your first freelance client. 

Read more: How to Meet Other Professionals, Showcase Your Skills, and Land Your Next Role

Be Realistic About How Family Life Will Change 

When you return to work, your daily routine will change dramatically. That’s why it pays to have an open discussion with the other people who help you care for your child before your first day back. There are plenty of logistical questions to ask: 

  • How will you redistribute the chores at home so you don’t end up with a full- or part-time job on top of everything you were already doing? 
  • Should you consider a cleaning service, a meal subscription, or a babysitter to protect some of your precious free time? 
  • Who’ll leave work early when your child inevitably catches a virus from their new friends at kindergarten, or when an older child has a recital in the middle of the afternoon? 
  • What are your priorities for spending or saving your salary? 
  • And dozens more depending on who’s in your village. 

You’ll also have to keep communicating as you transition so none of these questions becomes a source of conflict. Be prepared for any eventuality, and make adjustments until you find a system that shares the load and works for everyone. 

Read more: How to Balance a Career Reboot and the Rest of Your Life

Take the Time to Prepare

We know that some moms need to return to work earlier than planned because their family circumstances change. But if you have the time to really consider your short- and long-term goals and find a job that’s perfect for you, grab it. It can make going back to work a more enjoyable experience. 

This preparation phase also means you might have more time to shop around for daycare or after-school care that ticks all your boxes, or to settle younger kids into their new setting more slowly, which can make the transition easier for everyone. 

Get Qualified, Find a Community, and Get Back to Work with Climb Hire

Returning to work as a mom can be a fantastic time to prioritize your goals and find a career that aligns with your values, interests, and family commitments. Whether you want to go to a job that feels completely different from the time you spend with your kids, or you think you’ve discovered some new transferable skills you’d like to expand on at work, there’s a path to make this transition manageable and rewarding. 

Remember, Climb Hire’s learning tracks can help you break into two of the country’s most in-demand industries. Our programs in IT Support and Paid Search Marketing are a great foundation for a new career, with:

  • Hands-on experience 
  • Globally recognized qualifications 
  • Personalized career coaching 
  • An engaged community of like-minded Climbers
  • An 80% chance of finding a high-paying job within six months of graduating. 
  • Continuing support after you finish your course. 
  • Full scholarships for everyone who enrolls in 2024, making both Climb Hire programs 100% free.

Learn more about our programs and scholarships and apply today

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