Bumpie Tip of the Week: Best (and Worst!) Careers for Working Moms

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

Thinking about having a baby…. or a career change now that you have a little one? Being a working mom can be hard, but Bumpies on the Working Moms board share both the best and worst careers, in their experience, for moms:

“I am a software engineer, and overall I think it’s a pretty good field to be in. There are a lot of jobs, most companies offer flex hours and occasional work from home, I’ve never had to work much overtime, and salaries are high. My husband, on the other hand, works in finance and is stuck commuting to NYC. He works long hours. He sometimes wishes he had gone into accounting instead because it would be easier to find a job closer to home.” — jf198400*

“If i could do it all over again I would go to school and become a nurse practitioner. It has the option for flexibility if you want it (you can usually find something 3 days a week or per diem or something like that). You can specialize in a field that you find most interesting.  The money is good (I think better than a registered nurse — RN) and most importantly I think it would be nice to have job that was rewarding. Currently, I work in finance in NYC and there’s zero flexibility to my job.” — jd614

“I would recommend my career. I’m a research librarian for a large government contractor. Corporate libraries have the highest pay in the library field, generally, and that allows me to outsource a fair amount. Plus, I have a reliable schedule and the work is interesting. My friends who work in university libraries seem pretty happy too — lots of vacation time and other benefits, good pay.” — LibraryChica

“I’ve thought about this topic a lot since I would consider a “second career” later and possibly go back to school. I would want something that offered part time hours but decent pay, which is super hard to find. I think occupational or speech therapy could be a good fit. Seems like there are a range of job environments and different hours available, pay is good, lots of opportunities, and you don’t have to take work home (much? I don’t think?). I think anything in healthcare can be great for moms. There are LOTS of nursing jobs with flexible hours and good pay in my area, so I think that is a good field also, but I am not at all interested in nursing. My field is major gift fundraising. It’s a GREAT field, working for a good cause with lots of perks and you get to associate with high-level leaders, but if you really want to do it well you should be willing to attend all kinds of evening events and really be out networking. I’m just not there right now.” — NicoleWI

“I am an attorney but wish I’d followed my desire to teach instead. Schedule-wise I think a job at a school with school hours/schedule would be amazing. I’m going for a position like this at a law school, I’d work 8-5 but would have summers and winter break off.” — Poofbaby1

“I am a civil engineer and think it’s a great career for working moms. I work PT, from home, and have a lot of flexibility. I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but where I live a lot of women in my field have the same flexibility.” — jlaOK

“I always find it funny when people think accounting is well-paying and flexible. It is either well paying (with long hours) oR flexible (making $10 an hour).” — financialdiva

“My next door neighbors are a nurse (wife) and a pharmacist (husband).  From the outside looking in, it seems they both have had the flexibility to change their work hours as their family needs have changed over the years.  So those seem like pretty good gigs for working parents to me.” — sparky

“I would still say teaching is the best — lots of time off when your kids are off (holidays, summers, after 3PM, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, and ski weeks), preferential choice of school for your children (in my area anyway), fewer total hours than other professions and the ability to do the extra stuff required at 3PM or 8PM like grading papers, lesson planning, etc…” — SandAndsSea

“I think my job is kind of in between. I’m in business development/account management for a marketing agency. On one hand, it’s great to work for a small company that offers a lot of flexibility in regards to coming in late/ducking out early or working from home when needed due to kid stuff. But I think that’s a perk of my specific company more than my field.” — socialmommy

“I’m a financial assistant at a large brokerage firm and it really allows me to have a great home/work balance. My hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. though if need be I can change those to something like 7 to 4 (which might happen during the school years). I get a four month, 100% paid maternity leave, lots of vacation time and great pay. It’s not frowned upon when my girls are sick and I have to stay home or if I’m in an hour late due to a doctor appointment for the girls.” — skyejo

“I’m a case manager for an insurance investigation firm. It’s a computer job that can be done anywhere you have internet access and telephone reception. Something along these lines would be great because there is an amount of reward in what I do, there is some growth opportunity, you’re constantly learning, the pay isn’t too bad and there is a fair amount of flexibility.” — married2matt

“I work for the government and I think that’s pretty good work/life balance wise. I get 4-5 waking hours with my kid on work days and don’t do much overtime — most of which I can do after bedtime.” — cicandguantam

“I’m an accountant and used to work in a CPA firm — that would be a pretty difficult job to be in with children. Working during tax season involved a ton of overtime. There were nights I wasn’t home until after 10. I now work in government accounting and it is a huge improvement. I get a good amount of paid time off, every holiday you can think of and was able to switch my hours and go in/leave earlier.” — ccam

“I work as an in-house attorney and I think it’s a very sweet gig. It’s pretty flexible, pay is good, the company I work for is employee friendly when they can be, I get to do a LOT of different things, and I’m usually out the door at or before 5. If I was the general counsel my schedule would involve more travel but even more flexibility on a day to day.” — mustardseed

“I work as an academic advisor for a university and it’s a pretty good family fit. I think that it also has to do a lot with the company that you work for rather than the position itself.” — mrsdelcasto

*Some names have been changed.

What do you think is the best career for working moms?

Plus, more from The Bump:

What Being a Working Mom is (Really) Like

A Week in the Life of a Working Mom

Here’s to Having It All: How to Balance a Career and a Life