When looking through lists for “family-friendly careers,” it’s clear everyone’s got a different idea of what makes a career great for parents. Many seem to think flexibility is the top consideration, but while that can be nice, there’s a lot to be said for careers with fixed hours, secure futures, and high pay. With that in mind, here are some great careers for moms and dads and people planning on future families.
- Web developer
There’s no end in sight for the future of web development and coding. The average developer earns around $63,000, depending who you ask. This industry is overwhelmingly male (79% of workers) and nearly 30% of jobs report offering no benefits, possibly because there are so many contract opportunities. But the upside is, developing work can often be done remotely from home.
Earning around $55,000 on average in BC, accountants work in all kinds of settings, from high-paying corporate gigs through to remote working from home. It’s also a career many parents turn into self-employment, allowing them to juggle home and family life.
- Dental hygienist
In British Columbia, the median dental hygienist salary comes in around $78,000 per year, but this is often a job that can be done part-time or with flexible hours. And it’s a gig where you can count on never taking home with you at night!
- Auto mechanic
With a median income of $55,000, and topping out around the six-figure mark, auto mechanics have always made a good living. These days, there’s a shortage of mechanics, so it’s a promising future. And with cars becoming more complicated, compensation is increasing too. Specialized mechanics, autobody workers, and detailing experts can earn considerably more.
- Physician’s assistant
For those with a passion for medicine but no desire to do the long education required to be a physician, this is a great compromise, with the median salary in Canada being around $86,000. The high earners can take home as much as $146,000. And the jobs futures look bright, with some authorities forecasting a growth of over 30% in this career over the next decade.
With all kinds of specialties and emerging technologies, the pay for electricians covers a wide range, depending on their sector. According to Statistics Canada, an industrial electrician has a median income of $93,540 just four years after certification. With many licensed electricians finishing work around 3 p.m. daily, it’s a great job for parents with school-aged kids. And solar and other green tech means the future is bright for the electrical trades.
- Computer software engineer
Like web developing, computer software engineers are in demand as society moves further into the Internet Age. BC is a tech hub, so it’s a great place for these jobs. The average salary in Canada is about $81,000, but this is also the industry with the highest job turnover.
So, White Collar or Blue Collar?
No job is perfect. But between the benefits and the money and the day-to-day, there are rewarding, enjoyable jobs that make raising a family easier. For some, that’ll mean a job in an office or working from home. For others, they crave variety and a job that’s not tied to a desk.
White collar jobs can have great pay, but the digital aspect of many office-type jobs can mean scope creep with emails or calls coming after hours. It can be easy to take work stress home with you. On the flipside, these jobs can often be done from home, which can be terrific for single and stay-at-home parents. But working from home can also mean a lot of distractions, too, which hurts earning potential. Finally, white collar jobs can come saddled with student loans, less security, and potentially a lack of pay parity.
The trades tick a lot of boxes for family living – jobs tend to be secure, they’re often well-paid, and opportunities are ample. In union trades jobs, women make pay parity with male colleagues, but everyone’s expected to put in a good day’s work, and all that physicality can be exhausting if you’re going home to kids after.
Still, unions are family-friendly, holding fun events throughout the year and sometimes offering other family resources. Daycare can be tricky for tradespeople, who work early, but earning $80,000 a year makes it easier to afford that daycare, too. Generally, trades jobs mean work stays at work and down time is all yours.
A shortage of skilled workers means tradespeople are in demand throughout North America. The job security this brings, combined with high pay, is definitely family-friendly.If you’re curious about a career in the electrical trades, you can learn about entry-level courses at the Electrical Joint Training Committee here: https://ejtc.org/eltt/apply-now-eltt/