Redirecting career for part-time or flexible employment, best options
March 19, 2017 11:19 PM   Subscribe

What fields offer the best opportunities for part-time / flexible employment with reasonable pay? I'm interested in all options - as long as there are ample opportunities for work, I can work part-time or flexible hours, and the pay is decent. More details inside...

I'm interested in (but have limited experience in) the following fields : trades work, especially electrical, machining, HVAC, and welding; electrical engineering; computer science/network admin/software engineering; drafting & technical writing; GIS.

Are there any fields that I could break into with less than 2 years of additional study, with the goal of having either part-time or flexible employment (I would happily be self-employed if there is work).
I'd ultimately like to find a job with a great work/life balance, where I can make enough to cover the bulk of my living expenses (<$30k/year), and have time to focus on pursuing a less profitable, side-business.

I'm open to the idea of returning to school - but not for more than 2 years. I have a bachelors degree in horticulture. I have 8 years experience in ag/hort field work, and a little over a year's experience in inside sales/support for the manufacturing industry. I'm not interested in continuing in sales.

Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (1 answer total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think the answer is right in front of you and you don't realize it. Leverage your horticulture skills into a part-time landscaping business. The way you keep a landscaping business part-time is to limit how many clients you take on.

The cost of entry is low. You can start with a lawn-mower and gradually work up from there. You can make a lot of money-- there are plenty of millionaires who started with nothing and got their money landscaping. You keep your money by keeping expenses low, and by doing the work yourself-- if you really want to stay part-time don't hire any employees. Buy equipment only as you need it, and always with cash (don't go into debt). Work from an old truck, or even a station-wagon if you have to.

If you live in a cold climate, landscaping can segue naturally into snow-plowing which is almost as cheap to get started with.

Finally, leverage your horticulture degree to brand yourself as the educated landscaper who can do site analysis, permaculture consulting, swales and contour flooding mitigation, all-organic installations, xeriscaping, expedite soil testing, turf science, etc. Focus on communicating with your clients-- something other landscapers may not be as good at. Make yourself stand out.

Good luck and I hope you make a lot of money!
posted by seasparrow at 9:51 AM on March 20

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