What are the best careers for moms going back to school?

For single mothers going back to school, narrowing down career options that make sense for your work/life balance isn’t always easy. The last thing you want to do is jump into a career that makes raising a child challenging and doesn’t provide a good ROI based on your education. 

As you start to research what you want to go back to school for, you’re likely looking for flexibility and potential for growth. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there, no matter what you might be passionate about.

Here are some of the best careers for single mothers to pursue. 

Web Developer

Having a leg up when it comes to technology will benefit you long term. These days, having web development skills pretty much guarantees you steady work and a consistent income. 

What does a web developer do?

A web developer designs, creates, and manages the technical back end of websites. You’ll spend most of your time collaborating with clients to determine what their needs are and how to build a website that meets those needs. You’ll likely need to have an understanding of design and be available to troubleshoot problems as they arise. 

Why is this a good job for single mothers?

There is a lot of flexibility in web development jobs. You can be your own boss and work from home, or get a job with a company and negotiate flexibility into your package. 

In addition to that, employment for web developers is expected to grow by up to 15% by 2026. And as for salary, that’s pretty solid as well. The median salary for web developers is $67,990. 


Though realtors typically work a lot of hours in a week, they generally work for themselves and get to set their own schedules. These are just a few of the reasons this career is suitable for single mothers. 

The unfortunate downside to being a realtor is that it’s specifically tied to how good or bad the housing market is doing at any given time. The uncertainty can be a reason some people choose not to pursue this path.

What does a realtor do?

Realtors are responsible for representing either the seller or the buyer when it comes to buying, selling, or renting properties. This is an excellent career for natural born sellers, as much of your job will be highlighting the unique aspects of a property and negotiating the sale on behalf of your client. 

To become a realtor, you have to be licensed in the state you plan to do business in and go through the licensing certification process. You don’t necessarily have to be college-educated to pursue a certification, which means the timeline for getting straight to work can be shorter than going to college or university. 

Why is this a good job for single mothers?

Realtors typically get to decide on their own schedule. You can choose when to show a property, and the hours you spend doing paperwork. If you work for yourself, you can even choose to work from home.

It also provides a consistent salary, although you should know that it is greatly dependent on how much you sell. The median wage for real estate brokers is $57,730 as of 2017.

Graphic Designer

If you consider yourself an artistic, design-oriented person, you might want to consider going after a career as a graphic designer. In many cases, you can take a simple non-traditional program that will give you the skills you need to succeed in less than two years. 

If you already have some experience, it’s easy to take one-off classes to educate you in the areas you might be missing. Graphic designers generally need a creative eye, management skills, and strict adherence to deadlines. All things that most moms have a handle on. 

What does a graphic designer do?

A graphic designer creates the visual design for websites, marketing materials, labels, and other necessary brand designs. You work closely with your clients to align their vision with your design experience and create content as needed.

Why is this a good job for single mothers?

Graphic designers have a lot of flexibility in their work hours. In fact, depending on the road you plan to take, you could easily work from home and create your own hours. 

You can pick up freelance opportunities as well, outside of a full-time job, to help amplify your income if needed. The median salary for a graphic designer is $48,700 as of 2017.

Medical Administrative Assistant

If you have the drive to help people but don’t want to spend all the years it takes in school to be a doctor; a medical assistant is another great way to step into the medical field. Typically, you can finish up your education in 2-years through a technical school or community college, which means you can start working full time faster than with a traditional medical education.

What does a medical assistant do?

A medical assistant handles a lot of the daily operations in an office, including setting appointments, billing, managing medical charts, and medical reporting. You’ll need to be skilled in current technology and have a solid understanding of medical terminology and procedures.

Why is this a good job for single mothers?

Medical assistants generally work on a set schedule, meaning you’ll know exactly when you’ll be in and out each day, and that you’ll have holidays off. As a career, the need for medical assistants is expected to grow by 29% through 2026, which means there is likely to be a demand for your career over the next few years.

The median annual salary for a medical assistant is $34,729 as of 2020. 

Human Resources

If you enjoy helping others find their dream job or simply making the workplace better for others, human resources is a great career option. It requires a need for empathy, organization, and an understanding of basic state rules and regulations. 

What does a Human Resources specialist do?

Generally, people who work in human resources help with the employee screening process, hiring, and daily workplace compliance. You’ll have a hand in employee relations, benefits, and compensation, as well as ensuring that your employees have what they need to thrive.

Why is this a good job for single mothers? 

A job in HR usually means a consistent schedule with little surprise. You’ll know your hours throughout the day, and if you work for a company that provides flexibility, you may be able to spend some of that time working from home.

Additionally, in most cases, HR professionals do not have to work weekends or holidays, which means you get that time with your kids back while still getting a consistent paycheck. While there are some certifications and education requirements for HR, it is a career that you can grow in and is well worth the investment.

The median salary for HR specialists is $60,350 as of 2017. 

Administrative Assistant

The need for administrative assistants is continually growing. They handle the day-to-day needs of an office and usually work off a consistent schedule — both reasons it’s a great fit for single mothers. 

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

An admin assistant is responsible for helping run an office or assisting executives with their daily needs. This can be anything from project management to clerical tasks such as filing paperwork, scheduling travel, routing calls, and gathering presentation assets. 

If you’re an organized person who enjoys keeping things on task and helping others, this is a great job with room for growth when with the right company.

Why is this a good job for single mothers?

Like working in HR, administrative positions typically come with set hours and holidays off. Depending on who you work for, there may be times when you have to work overtime or help out with events, but those situations should be discussed in the interview process. 

You can also become an administrative assistant without a defined education, though obviously, having some understanding of technology and organizational processes will be helpful in securing a job. 

The median salary for an administrative assistant is $44,285, according to Glassdoor. 

As you can see, there are a lot of flexible career options for single mothers looking to go back to school. Take time to figure out what is most important to you and create a plan based on a career that gives you the flexibility and peace of mind you need.