our everyday life

How to Find a Job in a Small Town

by Mark Applegate, studioD

Small towns can be an employment wasteland. When you drive from one end of town to the other and see very little business life, you may be discouraged as to the employment possibilities it has to offer. There are often jobs available even in a very small town, but these positions can take some creativity and searching skills to find. Look closely in a few categories for a hidden gem.


For many small towns, the local government is the biggest employer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that over 5.5 million people were employed by local government in 2011. County and state governments may also have positions that cover your small town as well as some surrounding communities. Contact the local city hall as well as county and state government offices to pursue these positions. These careers range from skilled jobs such as police and administrative work to general labor like maintenance and dog catching.


Schools are one of the biggest employers in a small town. Some will hire non-certified teachers on a provisional basis to fill positions based on need. These jobs typically require at least 60 hours of college and are contingent on you pursuing state certification within a prescribed time frame. Schools also hire a nurse, cooks, maintenance workers, and other skilled and unskilled laborers. These positions are typically stable and may offer benefits.

Health Care

Health care is an enormous industry with its tentacles in even the smallest of towns. Contact the local health or dental office to ask about available employment. You can usually find skilled jobs as nursing and home health aides as well as unskilled jobs in maintenance and similar trades. Medical billing or transcription work, typically requiring some training or an associate's degree, may also be an option at a clinic. Hospice care, which requires training, often covers small and large communities through a central facility.

Manual Skilled or Unskilled Labor

Manual labor is an option in any town with residents. If you have skills in carpentry, remodeling, plumbing or other similar skills, you may be able to find a collection of small jobs that will support you in a small town. Also consider farms and ranches, as substantial manual labor is required to operate them. Advertise on social media, print media and on local billboards inside places of business to find this kind of work.


Telecommuting, or working from home using a computer or phone, is an option in certain fields. If you have an information technologies or sales background, visit job websites looking for positions that you can work from home. Be aware that a substantial number of these positions are scams. Investigate large corporations known to utilize these services before considering lesser known firms. Never pay for a telecommute position and always investigate the company through the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Consumer Protection.

About the Author

Based in Bolivar, Mo., Mark Applegate has been a professional writer since 2003. An experienced Christian entrepreneur, Applegate work covers business, careers and technology as well as religious topics. He has primarily published in print in the "Cedar County (Mo.) Republican" and the "Republic (Mo.) Monitor" along with an host of online publications. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University and currently serves as the information technology director at a local public school.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images