How to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom
Working moms are the rule rather than the exception. Seventy percent of moms with kids under 18 work, and more than 75 percent of those moms work full time. In fact, mothers are the primary or sole earners for 74 percent of U.S. households with children under 18. Making money while you’re parenting requires work that accommodates the demands of your busy life. Many moms need jobs that allow them to work from home.
Entrepreneur.com has culled suggestions on ways to make money from home. While the majority of these ideas require computer and internet access, the majority of these suggestions have low to zero startup costs and require little to no additional schooling. Check out the next 16 slides.
Virtual tutoring is a good way for moms to create convenient schedules and use their expertise in subject matters or test preparation from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual tutors use FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts and other technologies.
Tutoring doesn’t require in-state teaching certification, but the majority of companies hiring ask for a bachelor’s degree and some sort of demonstration of expertise in a subject through an exam or other type of assessment. Many tutoring companies offer convenient online training modules. If you already have some experience either in teaching or tutoring, that’s an excellent start and experience you want to emphasize.
The median hourly wage for a tutor is $23.23. Do a quick online search of tutoring wages in your area to manage your expectations and set your price.
Tutors in math (all grades, as well as the math used on the SAT and ACT) are always in high demand, as well as in physical science subjects (physics, chemistry, earth science) and English (critical reading and reading comprehension for test taking), writing (essays) and ESL (grammar, test preparation and English for Specific Purposes, e.g. specific occupations).
You can create a profile for virtual tutoring companies, which will allow you, in most cases, to be contacted by clients, or you can “bid” on clients looking for tutors. Check out the tutoring companies and marketplaces, including Wyzant, Tutor, Revolution Prep and Course Hero, to get started.
Another growing opportunity lies in teaching English to students abroad in countries such as China. Some English tutoring companies to research are VIPKID, Topic-Time, Twosigmas, Lingoda and Funbulous.
We’ve all gotten calls from telemarketers, possibly trying to sell a bundled internet and cable package or alternative electricity and gas. Telemarketers often get phone hangups. But the upside of telemarketing is that it’s an excellent work-from-home option and the hours come in shifts that may work for your life demands as a mother. Also, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree or a lot of training, so the entry barrier is relatively low.
What you do likely need for this job, which requires making multiple calls to sell products, conducts surveys and solicit donations, is to be articulate, friendly and thick-skinned. If you have any sort of sales experience, that can work for you.
Telemarketers can make, on average, $10.50 per hour. To find this sort of work, you can simply search through job sites such as Upwork, Glassdoor, Monster, Indeed or FlexJobs. Type in “telemarketing” or “telemarketing” into the search box with your specific parameters.
A transcriber types out a script, and while that sounds simple, the work requires fast and accurate typing skills. Other things you will need for the job are good headphones, a computer and word processing software, such as MS Word. A foot pedal that controls the audio recording or video can be helpful. Transcription work can be a good for a mom’s lifestyle, because it can be done remotely and doesn’t require a long ramp-up period to train or get to work. However, be aware, transcription may seem like it’s just typing, but it definitely requires concentration and time. This job can suit a parent who has children in school, or with relatives close by willing to look after the kids.
Typically transcription work comes in daily and requires a quick turnaround, so the day-to-day workload is often unpredictable, unless you work as a transcriptionist for a specific company as opposed to working as a freelance transcriptionist registered on various gig and freelancer sites.
The average median hourly wage for a transcriptionist in the U.S. is $15.39 an hour. If you're interested in building a more stable job from this opportunity, such as in medical transcription, which tends to pay more, you’ll require more training.
To get started, you can do a search of “transcription” or “transcriber” on job sites such as Glassdoor. Or you can register as a freelance transcriber on job marketplace sites such as TranscribeMe, Go Transcript, UpWork and Scribie.
A virtual assistant performs remote tasks across a number of fascinating industries, but the core of the job is administrative. Most of us have booked travel, arranged catering for meetings, done expense reports, maintained a calendar, performed general research and other administrative tasks -- these are among the skills you want to emphasize for the job, along any other organizational or administrative experience you possess.
The beauty of the job is that it can be done from home, and it can be done on a freelance basis -- some gigs last a day, some for weeks or months. The median salary for this position is $15.65 an hour, and like any assistant, virtual ones need to be good on the computer and well-organized and deliver what is asked. Having a good phone and email manner helps. You can kick off your job search by looking for “virtual assistant” on job sites such as FlexJobs, Upwork, Remote.co, ZipRecruiter and Freelancer.com.Related: 10 Lucrative Side Gigs for Millennials Looking to Earn Extra Money
A job as a babysitter encompasses various roles, such as picking up a child from lessons or school, helping with homework, making dinner and giving baths. In other words, responsibilities that any parent is already familiar with. While working as a full-time babysitter would be a tough fit for the life of a stay-at-home mom, working as a part-time babysitter may work, depending on your schedule and the age of your child or children.
While you can always go the route of running a daycare business from your home, that would require ramp up time and the proper state licenses and permits. (Researching the National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations can help you figure that out.) However, if you wish to skip the hassle of running a daycare business, then stick to babysitting and make sure that you’re not mistakenly running a daycare business. For instance, in New York State, “Any child day care program planning to serve three or more children for more than three hours a day on a regular basis must obtain a license or registration.”
You can offer your childcare services through word of mouth as well as through social media and personal networks. Put up flyers or signs where parents would be, such as at schools and local stores that carry children's products or specialize in kid activities. Get permission first.
Also, try leveraging online job marketplaces such as Care.com, Urbansitter.com and Sittercity.com, which connect childcare and babysitting professionals with jobs. Or you can look on Snagajob, a general jobs website for hourly work.
The hourly wage for babysitting and nanny services vary, depending on the responsibilities (such as if you’re asked to tutor) and geographical location. The average babysitting rate in 2017 was $16.20 per hour, according to the Care.com 2017 Babysitter Survey. However, you can research using a tool that accounts for the average rate in your area.
Customer service representative
This hourly position has a relatively low barrier for entry, which is helpful for moms or dads who want to work from home and don’t have the time for too much additional training and education. The job of a call service representative is typically taking inbound calls and helping customers. The work is in shifts, and because you’ll be interacting with a lot of people over the phone, some who probably are frustrated or upset, having a knack for staying calm, friendly and solution-focused is a plus.
The role of call service representative typically requires a GED and a year of experience, so when applying emphasize any experience you’ve had in customer service or in jobs that have asked you to assist people over the phone and problem-solve. Most call service representative jobs come with training. The median pay for customer service rep in the U.S. is $13.60 an hour.
To kick off your search for this type of work, look on job sites for job titles that include “Customer Care Representative,” “Customer Success Specialist,” “Call Service Representative,” “Client Service Representative” and “Client Success Specialist.”
The gig economy and freelancer marketplace have opened an online market for moms who can sell their expertise from home. Moms with professional degrees in a variety of high-skilled areas, such as accounting, law, medicine, social sciences, grant writing, marketing or veterinary medicine, can create their profiles on expertise marketplaces, where clients can either select you for your services or where you can bid on work.
Among the places where you can get started is on the consulting and coaching platform Clarity.fm, where experts get paid by the minute to talk to clients over the phone or online. Or offer your expertise on JustAnswer, where potential clients post questions online and registered experts (e.g. doctors, lawyers, antique appraisers, engineers, essay experts and many more) bid to answer the question.
Some other gig platforms where you can sell your expertise may take you out of the house: Fiverr (the marketplace is geared toward services required by the lean entrepreneur, e.g. digital and video marketing), TaskRabbit (household and errand services), Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mostly menial repetitive computer tasks), Amazon Home Services (handyman services) and Upwork (another marketplace also geared toward services needed by lean businesses). These marketplaces vary in the range of required expertise and pay per assignment.
Another way for mothers to earn by offering their expertise online? Create a class in your area of expertise (personal finance, public speaking or fundraising) on one of the many online learning platforms. This would require considerable work in the front end: Recording video lectures, creating a class syllabus and coming up with assignments. However, once the work is done, you simply have to post your class and get a percentage of the sales. Some online learning platforms to consider are Zeqr, Skillshare and Uscreen. Pay models vary, but typically you get a percentage of the sales combined with royalties calculated by minutes of your videos watched.
Social media evaluator
Social media evaluators get paid to gather information about a company’s social media strategy and presence (evaluating the quality and relevance of ads, search results and news feeds) in their market. Moms can do this entry-level work from home, so long as they have a computer or smartphone and internet access.
But be forewarned, some of the drawbacks for this type of work is that the hiring process itself can be impersonal (entirely digital) and the assessment for the job can take weeks, according to feedback on Glassdoor about one of the leading social media evaluator employers, Appen. The upsides: the hours are flexible and the work is easy.
The pay range is $10 to $14 an hour, depending on where you’re located. You can start looking for work by going on job websites including Glassdoor, FlexJobs and Indeed and typing in “social media evaluator” in the search box. Another similar job title you can search for is “web search evaluator.”
Market tester and researcher
Companies want to know your opinion, and they’ll pay for it. For the majority of these jobs, you don’t need to leave your home, but you do need a computer or smartphone and internet access. However, the pay for this type of tester and research work varies. For instance, a website tester can get paid $10 for a completed test that takes 15 minutes. So depending on how many tests you can take in a day, you could make up to $40 an hour. However, the reality is, you likely won’t be doing test after test all day.
Here are a variety of ways for you to participate in market testing and research:
Website tester: You provide feedback on apps and websites for an average of $10 a completed test, which typically takes 10 to 15 minutes. Some companies you can check out for this type of work are UserTesting.com, Whatusersdo, UserTest, Userfeel, Startuplift and Analysia.
Become a mystery shopper: You get paid to secretly visit stores and report back your experience. The average U.S. wage for a mystery shopper is $14.74 an hour but can range as high as $60 an hour. Find out more through these mystery shopper companies: Mystery Shopper Providers Association, Market Force, Best Mark and Sinclair Customer Metrics.
Join a research study or focus group: Companies will pay you to sit in groups and answer consumer questions, from an hour to all day. The pay varies. You can sign up for focus groups at SIS International, Focus Group, Focus Groups, Global Strategy Group and PaidFocusGroups.com.
Fill out online surveys: Register your information for a market research survey site, and you’ll be contacted when there is a survey that fits your demographic. Here are some survey websites where you can register: MyPoints, Survey Junkie, Pinecone, Survey Spot and Opinion Outpost.
Online crafts seller
Are you crafty? You may be able sell your unique designs on an online crafts marketplace, such as the one everyone knows -- Etsy -- and on some of the lesser known crafts sites, such as Amazon Handmade, Bonanza, Craft Is Art, DaWanda, ArtFire, Aftcra and Zibbet, to name some. The majority of these sites either charge a small fee to list items and then take a percentage (for Etsy, it’s 5.0 percent) of your sales.
If you do decide to go this route, don’t list solely on Etsy (or any one marketplace) to sell your items. Etsy is an extremely competitive marketplace, so the price points start low. You’d have to sell a lot of units to make it worth your while. List your crafts for sale on four or five online crafts marketplaces, including Etsy, which offers high exposure, and decide from there whether you need to list your items on additional sites.
Another way to go about selling is to set up your own ecommerce site; however, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee and figure out how to set up your store, which can be a hurdle for those who aren’t tech-savvy. You can use digital storefronts such as eCrater and Big Cartel.
The advantages for online sales for moms are that once you list your items and have inventory, the sales process is pretty passive until you make a sale and have to package and ship. (Some marketplaces do that for you.) However, if you offer custom-made designs, then you have to consider the labor it takes to make your custom crafts, as well as the money required for the materials. The money earned from this endeavor really varies, so be conservative when spending on materials in the initial stages. You'll want to test whether there is an actual market for your crafts; and don’t leave it to just online stores. See if local gift and craft boutiques would be interested in selling your items, too.
The obvious caveat with coding is that it’s a high-skill job. If you don’t know a programming language, then you will need to learn. This sort of work tends to attract self-reliant introverts who have a knack at recognizing patterns and logic, so it's not for everyone. As with math, coding requires paying attention to the small stuff.
Related: 18 Ways You Can Make Money Right Now
Data entry clerk
Data entry work sounds technical, but it’s a job that boils down to accurately entering information on a computer. While it doesn’t requires previous experience or a bachelor’s degree, data entry work requires computer skills, such as knowledge of typing, accuracy and speed, as well as installing and removing software, creating new folders, sending emails and using the internet. The work can be ideal for moms, because it can be done from home and simply requires a computer and internet access. The average pay for a data entry clerk in the U.S. is $14 to $17 -- however some of the companies pay by the completed piece or keystroke.
If you want to get your feet wet with data entry work, you can create your profile on freelancer job sites such as Freelancer.com, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Upwork, The Smart Crowd, Fiverr, Working Solutions, Clickworker and Microworkers. Once your profile is created, you can either do a search for “data entry” to find gigs to apply for, or you may be contacted for work.
Also, beware of any scams soliciting money for you to be registered in a data entry jobs database.
"Landlord" in the sharing economy
If you have an extra room or converted basement or garage to rent out, then you can join the sharing economy and rent out part of your living space on Airbnb. You can also list your living space on vacation rental site, such as HomeAway.
You can not only rent out your living space, but also rent out your driveway for parking using sharing platforms such as Rover Parking, JustPark, Parklee, Panda Parking, Pavemint and CurbFlip. There are also platforms to rent out your backyard, such as Nookzy; however, this can cause you some legal trouble in certain cities.
If you have a much-coveted garage or additional storage space in your apartment, you can use the apps Roost and Spacer to rent out storage space. The money you make from renting out space varies, depending on where you live and the demand in your community. However, according to Spacer, you can make from $2,000 to $4,000 annually renting out your garage for storage.
Do some research on whether there is demand for storage, parking and rooms in your area. What’s in demand in an urban area, such as a parking space, may not be for a rural area where parking isn’t a problem. However, that doesn’t mean that someone may not want to rent your driveway to stash his boat or RV. By researching the platforms to see what people are renting out in your area, you’ll get a better idea of how to market your rental spaces.
Related: How to Make Money With Social Media
Virtual recruiters find candidates for job openings. The idea is that virtual recruiters reach out to a large and more diverse pool of applicants using “virtual open houses” where the recruiter can meet with interested candidates online to talk about the company and open positions, using “gatekeeper questionnaires” that screen interested candidates. The job of the virtual recruiter is to save time and labor for companies before the company meets candidates face to face. Recruiters are usually paid a percentage, so Top Echelon reports that for a $70,000 position, a recruiter making 20 percent would be paid $14,000.
Virtual recruiters typically work independently or for an agency -- the latter is recommended for anyone who doesn't wish to invest much money up front for this work, requiring access to job board subscriptions and costly recruitment tools, which can be accessed for free if you join an agency.
This sort of job could be ideal for moms with kids that are in school and are willing to get some training on the recruiting process and tools available (these are also typically available through joining a recruiting agency). If you already have a background in recruiting and human resources, then you’re ahead of the game and should emphasize this experience when you apply.
If you don’t have a background in recruiting or HR, don’t worry. These companies are looking for someone who can match job seekers to jobs, and to do that, you need to have the infrastructure for it (meaning the tools and the process) and also the ability to screen candidates. So being someone who is emotionally intelligent and understands what a company is looking for as well as what a candidate tells you can help. While you don’t need a bachelor’s degree for this work, you should have at least an associate’s degree or related experience. Go to any job site, including Glassdoor, Monster and LinkedIn, and type in “virtual recruiter” to find available positions.
Copy editors and proofreaders review written material and check for factual accuracy, spelling, grammar and readability. This is a detail-oriented job for people who have an affinity for the English language and accuracy. Oftentimes, copy editors and proofreaders are expected to abide by a certain style guides, such as the industry-standard AP Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style. If you already possess a knack for grammar, punctuation and spelling, then this could be a good way for you to earn money. The median hourly wage for a web copy editor in the U.S. is $28 to $37.
Keep in mind though that finding a full-time copyediting or proofreading job is rare. This is a shrinking area, and most companies have outsourced this job to freelancers or contract workers.
The jobs in this field are varied, from print magazines to financial trade reports to web copy. If you already possess knowledge of AP or Chicago Styles, then you’re better suited for copyediting and proofreading for the media publishing industry as well as many advertising agencies. However, academic and medical materials tend to follow different guidelines, such as the AMA Manual of Style. The bottom line is, if you’ve already got a solid handle on the basics of grammar rules and punctuation and readability, then learning various styles is a matter of simply purchasing the style guide (or an online subscription to the style guide) and looking rules up. You can fine-tune your copyediting and proofreading skills by taking an online copyediting course for certification through recognized online organizations, such as the American Society for Editing, Mediabistro or Poytner.
To find work as a freelance copy editor, check out major job sites, including Monster, LinkedIn and Glassdoor; also research freelance sites, such as Upwork or Freelancer. Type “part-time copy editor” or “copy editor” into the search box. Also look at job sites that are more targeted toward copy editing work, such as Super Copy Editors, Mediabistro and Global. Create a profile on these sites. Typically, you can apply for jobs available or see if your profile attracts potential clients. Keep in mind, some places may ask you to take a short copy editing test to assess your skills.
A professional resume writer creates resumes for people who find themselves unable (or unwilling) to format and organize a narrative of employment, education and skills on their own. It’s a specific skill that requires editing (a resume shouldn’t include everything) and copyediting -- and keep in mind that it’s painful to see a glaring spelling or grammar mistake on a resume. Also, resuming writing requires you to find out a person’s background and shape it into a concise format. That’s not an endeavor that takes 30 minutes to an hour. It can take four or five hours. Professional resume writers can charge between $50 and $75 per resume and between $200 and $300 for a Fortune 500 executive. However, if you’re just establishing your services, it’s advisable to start at a lower price point.
This work is flexible and can be done from home. There's also low overhead: You simply need a computer and phone, internet access and word processing software. This work requires a knack for organizing and formatting information and the ability to punch up job experiences into worthy accomplishments and to call out singular skills. Information on how to write resumes (tips on language and keywords) and actual resume templates are readily available online. You can offer your business to those with less job experience and shorter resumes -- anyone fresh out of college -- before you market yourself to professionals with long and varied careers. To find those college students, market your services in their institutions' career centers or advertise on campus and in the campus paper (if they still have one).
Writing resumes for professionals who have extensive job histories is a different skill than writing resumes for those fresh out of college, who often need a chronological resume as opposed to a targeted one. Job-seekers with significant experience have a much more narrow search, so you can leave large parts of their unrelated work experience off the resume. While it’s not necessary, you may want to get certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. To get started, search for this type of resume work on Elance, Freelancer, FlexJobs, Indeed, RiseSmart, Talent Inc. and Upwork.
For more information on how to write a great resume, check out these articles:
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