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The top 12 great jobs for military spouses?!

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12 great jobs for military spouses

July 11, 2012 10:59 AM
By Melba Newsome - contributor (MCT)

The Department of Defense reports that 85 percent of military spouses want or need to work.

The good news? This population has more education and training than the general public. 84 percent have some college, 25 percent have a bachelor's degree and 10 percent have an advanced degree. And that doesn't take into account their other marketable skills. Because 35 percent of military spouses in the workforce are in jobs that require a professional license, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden announced a goal for license portability for military spouses to be passed in all 50 states by 2014, as part of their work with Joining Forces.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) is developing partnerships with local, nationanational and international businesses to support the workforce needs of both military spouses and businesses. Through MSEP, Fortune 500 “PLUS” companies across America are partnering with the Department of Defense to create employment and career opportunities for spouses. The impressive list of employers includes Microsoft, Hyatt, Amazon, CVSCaremark, DELL, H&R Block and many other marquee employers who value military spouses.

“Our partners recognize that military spouses bring reliability, adaptability, knowledge and skills that put them head and shoulders above other candidates,” says MSEP Program Manager, Dr. Lillie Cannon. “Federal employers give preference to military spouses and private employers make an effort to employ them.” Cannon advises job seekers to start their search at their military readiness offices and check with the MSEP website to see which jobs are available in the area. (Check out this list of Military Spouse Friendly Employers:

With the help of MSEP, we have also come up with this list of 12 ways military spouses can turn their education and/or skills into a money-making venture regardless of location.

1. Direct selling

Become a representative for an established, direct marking firm like Mary Kay, Avon, Stella & Dot or Pampered Chef. Most require a small but affordable investment for the sales materials and products necessary to get started. Consultants sell door-to-door or organize home parties.

2. Child care and babysitting

Good, reliable childcare is always in demand so start your own childcare and babysitting service for parents in your area. Having experience with your own children will probably give you a leg up on the competition. Be sure to familiarize yourself with state laws for caring for children, especially if hosting them in your home.

3. Selling handcrafted goods online

Websites like and are the equivalent of eBay for handcrafted or artisan goods. If you have a knack for creating artsy crafts, supplies, jewelry or art, you have the potential of earning hundreds of dollars each month.

4. Tutoring and substitute teaching

Proficient in math, science or English? Hang out your tutoring shingle! Also, websites like and need tutors to work with students online from their home computers for almost every subject. The pay varies depending on the subject and the number of hours. Every school district in the country needs quality subs and the flexibility makes this a very appealing job for military spouses. Most fill-ins will need a college degree but qualifications vary from state to state. Check with your state education department to learn if you qualify and how to start working in your area school district.

5. Errand runner

Whether they are elderly, busy or simply lack a car, many people need help with time-consuming tasks like picking up the dry cleaning, grocery shopping or renewing their auto registration. That’s where you can come in. Establish an errand business and earn extra cash being a go-fer for others.

6. Catering and/or cake-making

Those hours spent watching the Food Network might be the genesis of a money-making plan. If you have great culinary chops, try catering parties or backyard cookouts, selling homemade baked goods or offer your services as a personal chef. A course in cake decoration, candy making, and baking from a community college or gourmet food shop can boost your presentation skills.

7. Pet services

Turn your love of pets into some extra cash by caring for animals for people who travel or work long hours. While most pet owners need help with dogs and cats, be prepared to care for rabbits, snakes, hamsters, birds and fish, too. Listing your services on Craigslist or posting flyers at neighborhood pet stores and veterinary offices can drive customers your way. A mobile dog and cat grooming business can also bring in consistent income.

8. Gift basket creator

Use your creative flair to create beautiful gift baskets. Package gifts and goodies in attractive baskets, decorative tins, boxes or bags for special occasions like baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries or holidays and market them via word-of-mouth, brochures or a dedicated website.

9. Personal trainer

Are you in great shape? Do people often ask you to share your fitness tips? Instead of giving away the store, hire yourself out for personal training sessions. Your chances of getting a job at a gym or fitness studio are good since staff turnover is high.

10. Administrative assisting

This is one of the largest occupations in the country. Your office and computer skills can land you a job in a variety of settings including schools, government agencies, or a variety of corporate settings.

11. Information technology (IT) specialist

Temporary agencies and MSEP partners like Microsoft and Dell are consistently in need of workers in this portable, high-growth and high-demand field.

12. Tax preparer

Each year, large tax-preparation firms such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt train and employ tens of thousands of people to prepare tax returns in their storefront offices. Any background in accounting and bookkeeping will undoubtedly give you a leg up on the competition.

13. Consistent “temp” work

Local temporary agencies, as well as national ones like Manpower and Kelly Services, provide an opportunity to work in your field of expertise or learn a new skill. Another great resource for hourly work is

by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Replies (51-53):
by on Nov. 29, 2012 at 2:09 PM
Ok? Maybe that's all they want? A little extra money. And again YOU don't get to make that descion for other people.

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

Money. Not a viable income, money. Huge difference. These are not careers, these are lower level day jobs.

And everyone should pursue a higher education in some form.

Quoting militarywife09:

That may be true but at the end of the day you don't get to make that decision for anyone but yourself. Again this article gives those who don't have a higher education (whatever the reason) ideas to make money.

Quoting Aqua_Jen:

IMO, there are very few legit reasons for a military spouse to not have a higher education. This list is stupid and insulting.

Quoting militarywife09:

I don't see the big deal. They are easy jobs that are flexible. Obviously if you have a masters this wouldn't apply to you. Guess what? Not everyone has a college degree to rely on!!!

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by Silver Member on Nov. 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM
As per the article, I would love license portability, as my job requires it. However, I'm not sure how it would work with my field as the licesing laws I radiography vary greatly from state to state.
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by Melissa on Nov. 29, 2012 at 6:01 PM

The author failed to consider the current economy. Most of these jobs aren't good at all, let alone "great". 

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