34 Good Jobs for Pregnant Women (And How to Get Hired)
In this article:
- 15 Jobs for Expectant Mothers With New or Unplanned Pregnancies
- 19 Jobs for Women Who Plan to Become Pregnant
- 8 Essential Tips for Getting a Job While Pregnant
Many people strive to find and attain good jobs. For pregnant women, however, that process is often especially challenging. After all, they face extra obstacles that are unique to expectant mothers. And many of them don't have a choice; they need to work in order to get by.
Getting a job while pregnant may not be the easiest thing in the world to do, but it is possible. According to the most recent figures, more than 65 percent of American mothers work during their first pregnancies. And, of those, about 80 percent keep working until within a month of giving birth.1 Many of them even work at home.
So if you are pregnant and need a job, then you're definitely not alone. You are also not alone if you're already employed and want to find a new job that is more family-friendly. Changing jobs while pregnant is something that many women consider, especially when they realize that their current positions may not be suitable for pregnancy or offer the benefits or flexibility that they'll soon need.
But how do you find your future employer? Despite the progress that society has made on many other issues, a lot of companies are still reluctant to make jobs available for pregnant women. It's almost like they want to pretend that pregnancies don't happen.
Yet, here are the facts: America is home to about 61 million women of childbearing age (i.e., between the ages of 15 and 44).2 Plus, each year, about six million pregnancies occur in the U.S.3 That means, at any given time in this country, about 10 percent of childbearing-aged women are pregnant. And because of their ages, they represent a significant portion of the labor pool.
That's why more employers need to get on board with the idea that pregnant women are willing and necessary contributors to the economy and are capable of adding long-term value to their organizations. And it's why you shouldn't feel any shame for job searching while pregnant. You probably have good reasons for seeking suitable jobs. Hunting for them doesn't require an apology.
Why not go after pregnancy-friendly jobs with gusto? Look for employment opportunities that don't require too much physical exertion and that won't cause you much emotional stress. Also, look for jobs that come with the chance to work flexible hours, offer good medical benefits, allow you to take time off as needed, and don't require a long commute. In addition, it's wise to consider avoiding jobs that may expose you to toxins, people with communicable illnesses, or other physical hazards.
Yes, it can be hard to get a job while pregnant. But this article is designed to help you prepare for that challenge. Now is your chance to explore several examples of suitable jobs. It's one of the best things you can do right now. Then, it will be time to make your plan and begin the search.
15 Jobs for Expectant Mothers With New or Unplanned Pregnancies
Did you know that over half of all women in America experience an unintended pregnancy by the time they reach the age of 45? It's a fact. Plus, each year, almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended.3 So, on an annual basis, millions of women are confronted with challenging circumstances and difficult decisions, especially if they aren't financially secure or don't have much family support.
Even for women in good relationships or otherwise stable living arrangements, unexpected pregnancies can cause new financial pressures since having a baby comes with higher costs. And those pressures are only compounded if a pregnant woman has recently been laid off or finds herself alone or in a bad relationship.
That's why a lot of expectant mothers need to find employment quickly and work during their pregnancies. They also don't have time to go to school for a year or more in order to get training for a new career. As a result, the best jobs for pregnant women in this situation are often positions that utilize their existing talents or that only require a small amount of continuing education or on-the-job training.
Keep in mind, however, that getting hired while pregnant will likely mean you won't be eligible for maternity leave after giving birth, even if your new employer is one of the few that offers it as a benefit. (Generally, you need to be with an employer for at least a year in order to qualify for maternity leave.) As a result, many women with unplanned pregnancies opt for temporary, part-time, or fixed-term jobs that don't require any long-term commitments. Here are some examples:
Taking on freelance writing projects can be a good way to earn money if you're already a skilled communicator. Publishers, organizations, and even individual professionals of all types seek writers for temporary projects as diverse as marketing materials, grant proposals, articles, blog posts, advertising copy, website content, technical documents, and books. Plus, writing is something that you can do from home.
- Median hourly pay—$28.004
2. Sales representative
As far as part-time jobs for pregnant women go, selling products or services continues to be a good option. After all, this field usually offers flexible work hours, so you can work as much or as little as you need to—even full-time if you want to earn the largest commissions. And effective sales techniques can frequently be learned quickly, especially if you find an experienced mentor.
- Median hourly pay (for selling wholesale products)—$26.795
- Median hourly pay (for selling services)—$24.865
Did you excel in any academic subjects when you were in school? Are you an expert in anything? Many students benefit from one-on-one tutoring outside of class in the subjects they struggle with. Plus, these days, many tutors offer their services online and conduct sessions with their clients through video-chatting technologies like Skype and Facetime.
- Median hourly pay—$17.004
4. Online community manager
Since Americans are spending more and more time online, many companies need friendly professionals who can help them interact with clients and customers across various digital platforms. You could become one of the online points of contact for a local or national organization while helping to promote its brand, answer questions, mediate conflicts, and grow followers over social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Median hourly pay—$17.004
5. Virtual assistant
Do you already have some office or computer-related skills? If so, you may be able to find work as someone who performs basic administrative or supportive tasks for a small company or entrepreneur over the Internet. Agencies even exist that help match virtual assistants with appropriate clients.
- Median hourly pay—$16.004
6. Virtual customer service representative
A lot of organizations now hire people to handle online inquiries or take customer phone calls from home. That's why being a customer service rep is among the most suitable online jobs for pregnant women. You'll need a reliable computer and Internet connection, but you may get to choose your own hours.
- Median hourly pay—$15.255
7. Office clerk
Many companies need people to help take care of basic office and clerical tasks such as filing, typing or copying documents, answering phones, taking notes during meetings, performing simple bookkeeping duties, and sending and retrieving mail. In fact, clerical positions are among the most common temporary jobs for pregnant women. And they sometimes turn into good long-term employment with advancement opportunities.
- Median hourly pay—$14.225
8. Personal shopper
Many working professionals (especially busy entrepreneurs) don't have time to shop for clothes, personal items, gifts, or necessary supplies. As a result, they sometimes hire people to find the best deals on quality products, make knowledgeable recommendations, and do their shopping for them. It can be fun work for pregnant moms who are avid shoppers, particularly since they get paid to spend other people's money.
- Median hourly pay—$14.00 per hour4
Have you ever planned your own wedding or helped friends or family members plan theirs? If you've already been through the experience, then you may be able to offer good advice and recommendations that other people will pay for. That's especially true if you know the advantages and downsides to all of the event venues in your region and have found and developed good working relationships with reliable vendors for flower arrangements, catering, photography, entertainment, and other specialty items and services.
- Median hourly pay—$13.004
10. Floral designer
Who doesn't enjoy the fragrance and cheer of fresh-cut flowers? Grocery stores and independent flower shops sometimes have openings for new floral designers. They are often part-time positions or come with flexible hours, which rank them among the best jobs for pregnant moms who want to work in a setting that is usually low-stress.
- Median hourly pay—$12.025
11. Library assistant
Local and regional libraries sometimes need additional workers to help sort and shelve books and other materials. This type of job also sometimes involves compiling records, retrieving materials for loan, and registering new library materials. Plus, libraries are calm and quiet work environments, which means that they tend to offer pregnant-friendly jobs.
- Median hourly pay—$11.775
12. Cake decorator
Are you into arts and crafts? Do you have any experience decorating cakes for special occasions? You may not have world-class skills yet, but that doesn't mean you can't start refining your talents on the job. Many stores and bakeries hire people who show potential in this culinary craft.
- Median hourly pay—$11.004
13. Dog sitter
If you love canine companions, then it may be worth asking around your neighborhood to see whether any dog owners need someone to look after their pets while they're out of town. It's possible to develop a good reputation fairly quickly, which could mean that new clients start seeking you out instead of the other way around. And having some dog training credentials can open up even more opportunities.
- Median hourly pay—$11.004
14. Retail salesperson
Some retail jobs are more pregnancy-friendly than others. For example, a lot of maternity stores like to hire pregnant women since it makes their primary customers feel more comfortable. Plus, other stores that sell pregnancy or baby products also sometimes offer suitable jobs that don't necessarily require you to be on your feet all day.
- Median hourly pay—$10.475
15. Infant care aide
Having this kind of job during your pregnancy may help you prepare for life after giving birth. You'll get to practice feeding babies, putting them to sleep, changing their diapers, and more. Many childcare centers offer this type of employment for pregnant women. And it sometimes leads to more advanced careers in early childhood education.
- Median hourly pay—$9.775
19 Jobs for Women Who Plan to Become Pregnant
Women who are able to plan their pregnancies often have a lot more options than those who become pregnant unexpectedly. That's because they usually have time to pursue college or vocational training for the types of careers that tend to be more suitable for working and expectant mothers.
In fact, almost 90 percent of American women who hold at least a bachelor's degree work during their first pregnancies. In contrast, less than about 30 percent of women without even a high school diploma have jobs while pregnant with their first child. Without post-secondary credentials, women are more likely to end up with work that is physically demanding, which may not be ideal when you're pregnant.1
Plus, getting an education before having a child makes it more likely that you'll be able to find an employer that offers up to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. And by spending at least one year on the job and waiting to become pregnant, you'll stand a much greater chance of qualifying for that leave. (Currently, only about 12 percent of American workers in the private sector have the chance to take paid family leave.6)
Progressive employers within career sectors such as financial services, technology, business, and professional services tend to offer some of the best employment benefits and most suitable jobs for pregnant moms, working mothers, and women who want to have children. That's why a lot of the following career options are worth investigating. Depending on your background, you may or may not need additional education to qualify for them. In some cases, you may be able to transfer a few of your existing skills into a new occupation that is more family-friendly than what you have now.
More and more women are thriving in the computer technology sector. And this occupation is one of the best-paying options you can find within it. Managing, testing, and safeguarding computer databases is interesting work. Plus, depending on your employer, it may turn into a job that you can do at least partially from home.
- Median hourly pay—$39.295
Programming skills are incredibly valuable to have, especially if you want a family-friendly job and the chance to work part-time or at home while you're pregnant. Specializing in mobile app development can be a particularly good path to explore given the ongoing popularity of Android and iOS devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Median hourly pay—$38.245
From tax preparation to financial operations assessment, professionals in this occupation can frequently carry out their duties from home or anywhere that they have access to a secure computer and Internet connection. Plus, the demand for accounting professionals stays strong since every organization needs to maintain accurate and legal financial records.
- Median hourly pay—$32.305
Websites continue to get more sophisticated and complex in response to factors like security issues, online shopping trends, entertainment habits, and the use of mobile devices. As a result, professionals in this field continue to be needed by organizations of every type and size. And web development jobs frequently represent some of the best opportunities for pregnant women since they can be done at home or during customized work hours.
- Median hourly pay—$31.235
Creative women with drawing talent and active imaginations can do well in the computer animation and special effects industries. The work requires a lot of focus, but it isn't physically demanding. And, outside of periodic deadline pressures, it is also frequently low-stress.
- Median hourly wage—$30.765
As new trends emerge and others fade away, market conditions change and create fresh opportunities and risks. So companies always need marketing professionals who are skilled at researching and evaluating competitors as well as current and future market conditions.
- Median hourly wage—$29.885
7. Video editor
Digital film and media projects are more popular than ever, which is leading a lot of companies to hire creative freelance or in-house video specialists. In fact, this occupation may eventually emerge as one of the most popular online jobs for pregnant women at home—especially for those who have a knack for learning and using professional software such as Final Cut Pro.
- Median hourly wage—$29.695
In most ventures, it's hard to achieve sustained success without a good reputation. As a result, nearly all companies, non-profit organizations, governments, celebrities, and politicians engage in the art of public relations (PR). Specialists in this field often get to enjoy flexible schedules and work arrangements, which is ideal when you're expecting a child.
- Median hourly wage—$27.295
9. Retail or wholesale buyer
This occupation is great for people who love shopping and digging into all of the details in order to find good deals and negotiate win-win agreements with suppliers and manufacturers. Stores and wholesale distributors rely on professional buyers to research buying trends and to purchase merchandise at good prices. Much of the job can be done online and over the phone, but limited travel is also a requirement for some positions.
- Median hourly wage—$25.455
Professionals in this creative role often enjoy a lot of flexibility when it comes to arranging their schedules. And many of them work partially at home when they aren't meeting with clients or performing on-site project tasks. So interior design can be a good job for pregnant women who enjoy having variety in their work settings.
- Median hourly wage—$23.485
11. Paralegal or legal assistant
Lawyers of every type hire people who have the skills and basic legal training to help out with research, document preparation, and factual investigation. Beyond law firms, some government agencies and large companies also hire people to assist with legal tasks. So work arrangements vary. But it's possible to find legal assisting jobs that are suitable for pregnant women.
- Median hourly wage—$23.475
12. Graphic designer
This creative job can provide a lot of flexibility in terms of where and when you work, especially if you operate as a freelancer. Plus, the work itself is often fun and full of variety. Your projects may range from web graphics and digital interface designs to new logos, brochures, book covers, and product packaging. The possibilities are more extensive than many people realize.
- Median hourly pay—$22.555
Few people have the in-depth expertise to consistently choose wise investments, minimize their taxes, plan their estates, or create budgets that enable them to achieve their long-term financial goals. As a result, financial planners and advisors can make a meaningful difference in the lives of other people. And they can often work for themselves or find employment that comes with outstanding medical insurance and family leave benefits.
- Median hourly pay—$20.004
14. Bookkeeping or accounting clerk
In this office role, you may get the chance to work flexible or part-time hours when you need to. After all, most organizations have a lot of financial records to organize and keep track of. So it's possible to find employers that provide job opportunities for pregnant women in this field who will work hard but need the freedom to take time off as necessary.
- Median hourly pay—$17.915
Many healthcare practitioners (especially doctors) make audio recordings about the details of their patient interactions, diagnoses, treatments, and potential plans of action going forward. But those recordings need to be transcribed into accurate and readable medical reports that can be easily understood and kept with each patient's records. Medical transcriptionists fill that need, and many of them get to work from home and set their own hours.
- Median hourly pay—$16.775
This job is often good for expectant mothers who feel energized by meeting and helping a variety of different people each day. It involves assisting customers with the selection of eyeglass frames or contact lenses and ensuring that those products are ordered and produced according to the proper measurements and prescription specifications.
- Median hourly pay—$16.755
Almost every professional office has at least one person in this important role. And large organizations and government agencies often employ several administrative assistants. It's a role that doesn't require much physical effort since it usually involves tasks such as coordinating schedules, making appointments, organizing files, handling phone calls, entering information into various computerized records, and writing letters and emails.
- Median hourly pay—$16.315
Most people use search engines like Google and Bing to find what they're looking for online. As a result, companies that appear within the first few search results often receive more visitors to their websites than those that appear further down. As an SEO specialist, you may get to work flexible hours while devising and implementing online content and marketing strategies that help your employer or clients achieve high rankings in the most popular search engines.
- Median hourly pay—$15.004
19. Website manager
Every large website requires professional oversight in order to ensure that it gets updated with relevant content and remains functional for visitors. And since websites are hosted online, being a website manager can often be counted among other great jobs for pregnant moms who want to work at home.
- Median hourly pay—$14.004
8 Essential Tips for Getting a Job While Pregnant
It's true: Finding a job while pregnant is not ideal. It can feel like a big challenge. After all, many employers see pregnancy as an inconvenience or even as a disability. It may not be right, but that is a common a perception. Just remember this: You have value to offer. And by following some of the advice below about how to get a job while pregnant, you can create a more even playing field and prove that expectant mothers are frequently worth hiring.
1. Know your rights
It is illegal in America for employers not to hire women just because they are pregnant. It is also illegal for employers to ask you if you are pregnant. In addition, you are not legally obligated to disclose your pregnancy. However, proving that your pregnancy is the reason for an employer's rejection is usually difficult to do unless you've already received a job offer.
But, sometimes, expectant mothers receive job offers based on their qualifications—without the employers knowing that they are pregnant. Then, when the employers find out about the pregnancies, they rescind their job offers. In situations like those, the reason for rejection is pretty obvious and easy to prove.
2. Understand the concerns that employers commonly have
As a recent job seeker, you may have encountered some of the following attitudes and objections already. And you definitely wouldn't be alone. In fact, research has consistently shown that mothers and pregnant women tend to experience a significant amount of discrimination throughout the hiring process. One study even found that, when family status was disclosed, women without children received 2.1 times more call backs and 1.8 times more hiring recommendations than mothers with equal qualifications.7
Similar research has also shown that mothers are perceived as less competent than women who don't have children. And visibly pregnant women have been perceived by research participants as more emotional and irrational as well as less dependable, authoritative, and committed to their jobs.7
So a lot of employers share similar concerns. They may worry that you'll have to take too much time off for medical appointments or sick days. Or they may fear that you won't have the energy or mental sharpness to stay productive throughout your pregnancy, especially during your final trimester. And, of course, they may not want to deal with the problem of trying to find a replacement for you if you quit the job or take an extended leave after giving birth.
That said, some employers actually do have compassion for pregnant job seekers and are willing to weigh their short-term concerns against the potential long-term benefits of hiring somebody who is clearly qualified for the job in all other respects. So be careful not to paint all employers with a broad brush. Some of them may pleasantly surprise you.
3. Create a detailed plan that addresses employers' fears
This step is all about going on the offensive. By taking the initiative to put together a well-thought-out plan of action that addresses common concerns, you can demonstrate to potential employers that hiring you may not be as risky as they would otherwise think. It may even help you stand apart from competing job seekers—in a positive way.
Start figuring out exactly how you will manage your various commitments. How much time will you need outside of the workplace based on conservative and worst-case scenarios? Who will help you, and when will they help? How flexible are you willing to be in terms of the hours you work? Will you work longer hours on some days in order to make up for the time off that you may need? Have you determined what you will do after having your baby? Do you have any plans for childcare?
It is certainly a lot to think about. But it's also the kind of stuff that can ease employers' concerns about your reliability. Creating a plan or a work proposal shows employers that you care about their concerns and have the smarts to solve complex problems. It also takes away a lot of their potential burden of having to figure out some of the contingencies on their own.
At the end of the day, you want a plan that helps employers recognize that you can provide long-term value to their organizations. Help them see that your pregnancy will be a temporary situation in a long and fruitful partnership.
4. Begin your job search as soon as possible
Searching and applying for jobs while pregnant often requires a lot of time and energy, so the earlier you start, the better. Plus, your pregnancy will only become more and more visible the longer you wait, which can put you at an extra disadvantage since employers will begin to notice the obvious.
5. Look for employers that have urgent hiring needs
It may be easy to convince yourself that no one will hire you because you're pregnant, but it's important to remember that some employers are nearly desperate for workers. So if you've had limited success in applying for jobs with popular employers, then try shifting your focus to organizations that may not be as popular but that have critical openings and urgently need people to fill them.
Just make sure that whatever jobs you apply for will be suitable for your physical needs and won't involve working in high-stress environments. Do as much research on each potential employer as you can before applying. It might even be worth it to find current or former employees to talk to, especially if an organization has a lot of staff turnover.
6. Enlist the help of people in your existing network
You probably have at least a few people in your life who can verify your reliability and worth ethic. Ask them to provide references, especially if they are former bosses or work colleagues. Also, don't be afraid to tell friends and acquaintances that you are searching for a new job. Just be cautious about who you tell, particularly if switching jobs while pregnant is your goal. (You may want to hang on to the security of your current job in case you're unable to find a better one.)
7. Decide whether or not to reveal your pregnancy
There's no sugarcoating it; this decision is tricky. You'll probably hear advice that goes both ways. So you'll need to weigh the potential advantages and risks associated with each side.
On the one hand, you may be early enough in your pregnancy that nobody would be able to tell. And you may not even want to disclose it to your friends or family until you feel assured that you and the developing baby are healthy. Plus, why create an obstacle that doesn't need to be there (at least until you start showing)?
On the other hand, any employer that hires you may feel betrayed when they finally learn of your pregnancy. Or they may not. It's impossible to know. So you may want to be up front about everything and present the detailed plan of action that you created in step three. A lot of employers respond well to honesty.
Of course, if your baby bump is already visible, then trying to hide it can make you come across as dishonest, which is never good. That's why a lot of career experts suggest waiting to disclose your pregnancy to potential employers until it becomes obvious. Then, if you still aren't showing and an employer presents an offer or makes you a finalist for the job, be forthcoming about your pregnancy.
Ultimately, how you handle this dilemma is a personal choice. But it's good to make a decision one way or the other before you get to the interview stage so that you have time to become comfortable with it and can focus on selling your strengths.
8. Handle your job interviews like a pro
Interviewing while pregnant doesn't have to be all that different from interviewing when you aren't expecting. Either way, your mission is to present yourself as a friendly, attentive, enthusiastic, and capable professional. So it helps to brush up on some time-tested interview tips well ahead of getting invited for these opportunities. Have confidence in your abilities, your plan, and the decisions you've made up to this point. Then, try to relax and enjoy the process of meeting new people and showing them why you would make such a terrific long-term addition to their teams.
Grab Your Future
You may have more to offer than you realize. So you don't need to feel held back. Jobs for pregnant women do exist. And you can even find quick training for some of them online or at nearby vocational schools. Why not move forward and prove to yourself and everyone else that you are worth taking a chance on? Discover short training programs right now by entering your zip code into the convenient school finder below!
1 Pew Research Center, "Working while pregnant is much more common than it used to be," website last visited on August 11, 2016.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Current Contraceptive Status Among Women Aged 15-44: United States, 2011-2013," website last visited on December 13, 2016.
3 Guttmacher Institute, "Unintended Pregnancy in the United States," website last visited on August 11, 2016.
4 PayScale, website last visited on August 11, 2016.
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on August 11, 2016.
6 U.S. Department of Labor, "DOL Factsheet: Paid Family and Medical Leave," website last visited on August 11, 2016.
7 American Journal of Sociology, "Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty?," website last visited on August 11, 2016.