Is there a job out there that fits this criteria?

Okay. I’ve got a friend who has career aspirations but she is stuck in a rut, and she may be right about this one. Is there a job out there that:

  1. Works with and/or around kids
  2. Does NOT require a college degree
  3. Pays 40+k per year


I can’t think of any off of the top of my head, but she really likes working with kids and also needs to pay the bills. I’ve always thought that there is a niche for everything, but this one is stumping me.


School bus driver?

Is going back to school a possibility? That would open a lot of doors without necessarily requiring a 4 year commitment.

Well, taking some night classes would be a possibility, but a 4 year committment would not.

School bus drivers make more than 40k per year?

Kiddie show host? Owner of two or more ice cream trucks? Birthday/Bar Mitzvah clown?

If your friend has 60 hours of college credit she could get a job as a substitute teacher. Last time I checked, substitutes were paid about $28/hr. So IF she could get on as a full-time substitute she could just get to $40K for a 36-week school year. Chances of that happening for someone with no teaching experience, however, are pretty much zip.

There is a niche for everyone, but not necessarily one that pays $40K.

She could probably find a way to get into nursing. It requires about 2 years of education, but it is possible to start working in a related field with less education and find an employer that will pay for the continuing education in exchange for a commitment. Median salary is $39K. I’m not sure how wanting to be in pediatrics would affect that, but being willing to work undesirable shifts and overtime could easily increase her earnings.

Heres a bunch of info on LPN careers:

Self-employment by running a daycare might be a possibility. It would not be easy, would require start-up capital, and she would need to have a good head for business. She wouldn’t be spending her time playing with the kids. There is also the fact that $40K in self-employment income is not the same as $40K in salary + benefits from employment. Here’s information on the credentialling in Florida: This gives a median *salary *of a director at 33k Although I doubt anyone would be hiring her as a director over all of the more experienced people they already have working for them. Still, it’s a job and a business that a lot of people work in without taking it seriously as a career. She *might *be able to make it work.

Or, if she has some idea for another kid-related type of self-employment, that could work, too. But making money in your own business requires busting your butt and a bit of luck.

I will say there is probably nothing a woman can decide that will lower her earning potential more than to say that she wants to work with kids. (Well, maybe saying she wants to work with kids *and *art). It essentially condemns her to a labor market with constant, serious oversupply. If she’s already got a good job, volunteering with kids in her free time might be a better option.

If she became a licensed day care provider, she could run a day care business out of her home. If she took in the maximum number of kids allowed (full time) she could probably make more than $30K, depending of course on what the typical rates are in her area.
When my wife decided to start a day care business, we both got licensed. It wasn’t that big a deal – we took a series of classes, got first aid training, had a background check done, etc.
Another benefit is when you do improvements to the house, it’s partially tax deductible as business expenses.

Yup, in-home daycare is what came to my mind, too. My MIL has been doing it for about 10 years and pulls in about $50k–in a community where the median family income is $25k. I wouldn’t call the job “easy,” but it affords her the opportunity to do her errands and shopping each day from 12-3 (nap time) and have a pretty decent lifestyle. She employs several people, mostly family, and IIRC, can take up to 12 kids at a time.

There is some degree of personal investment required, but one thing to keep in mind is that there are grants out there to purchase toys, educational materials, etc. I’d say she has around $12k worth of that stuff that was provided free to her. I had to put most of it together, heh.

In-home daycare is the ticket. 6 kids (which I think is the maximum for over 2 years old, per on duty provider, at least in my state), $130 a week = $40,560. Of course, that’s with no time off and doesn’t account for supplies and food for the kids, or self-employment taxes for her.

In most (if not all) states, you can be a “therapist” or “counselor” with no licensing and no official training. Only specific terms (like psychologist or psychiatrist) are regulated. She might have to see whether she could take insurance without better credentials, but there are a lot of successful quacks in the Seattle area doing counseling/hypnotherapy/etc without college education. Some specialize in working with children.

I think your friend needs to get serious about going back to school. There are programs like UOP Online or Kaplan that are designed for people working other jobs.

She could work for a library. It’s not going to start out at 40k a year, but nor do you need a college degree. I started out as a part time page (shelving books) and now work full time and do a bit of everything including working with children in the youth department. Depending on the library setup and their policies she could go directly into their youth department, and work her way up and get on the job training or even get college paid for if she decides to pursue library science.

Krokodil writes:

> Birthday/Bar Mitzvah clown?

There is actually someone who makes over $100,000 a year purely by being an entertainer at parties for children aged 2 to 6 - Eric Knaus, the Great Zucchini:

He’s one of the best in the business though, so who knows what others make. Read the article by Gene Weingarten. If someone as messed up as him can do it, maybe someone who’s more organized can do better.

Possibly a studio photographer.


Wow, this must be one of those ymmv things, because I’ve never heard of a sub making much more than $10/hour in my area.

Yeah, but no non-librarian position in a library will make anywhere near $40K a year. And even if you are a librarian (with that fancy Master’s and all), starting at $40K requires you to find a job with a fairly affluent library.

Some geographic areas have such severe nursing shortages, they’ll pay for you to get your nursing degree and put you to work as a nursing aide while you;re doing that.

I don’t think there’s anywhere in the country where substitute teachers or bus driers can make $40k. The hourly rates are modest, and neither will give you anywhere near 40 hours a week.

Home daycare may allow you income of $40k, but there are also expenses to be considered, not the least of which is licensing and insurance. It’s awfully tough work.

I’d wager there are very few jobs in this economy where you can walk in without a degree or special skill and earn $40k.