5 Jobs Done By Amish Women


Do Amish women work? Seems a silly question, with their full-time jobs as mothers, homemakers, and all the other roles they take on. What I mean is, do Amish women ever work away from home in an “outside job”?

The answer is yes. Younger or unmarried Amish women are more likely to have away-from-home jobs. Generally, those married women with young children are going to be at home. But Amish mothers often have other occupations, part-time or otherwise. The jobs Amish women take on are usually, though not always, different from those men typically do. Read on to learn about five of those jobs.

Five Jobs Done By Amish Women

1. Running a Store

Amish women are quite active in business. Some help run family businesses, but quite a few have their own shops–variety stores or fabric shops being two common examples.


If you’re interested in the subject, Beth Grabill wrote a doctoral dissertation on female Old Order entrepreneurs in Lancaster County. She notes that “the ways in which these women handle their business, family, and community roles sometimes involves extensions of traditional roles and sometimes departures from them.”

2. Quilting and Seamstress Work

Quilting is a popular occupation, be it creating a full quilt, or helping in part of the process in an “assembly-line” style arrangement, for example just quilting the tops.


Amish women may do other types of seamstress work. The wife of a friend sews costumes for an outside company in the family basement.

3. Furniture Finishing

Furniture finishing is the process of applying the final protective coating over the stained piece of furniture. This is done using a spray tool to evenly apply a finish onto the surface.


This is one that’s probably not too common, but I have been told by at least one Amish furniture business owner that he prefers women for this job. In his opinion they have better finesse at applying the coating.

His challenge with hiring females is turnover, of course, as marriage usually means leaving the job behind.

4. Teaching

Female teachers far outnumber male teachers. There are different reasons for that. Young men are more likely to gravitate to higher-paying, manual labor and craftsmanship jobs.


Teaching is typically an occupation for young women, and so also can have high turnover for the reason mentioned above. Though, some women do make a long-term career in the classroom.

5. Waitressing

If you’ve visited an Amish-style or PA Dutch restaurant in an Amish community, there’s a decent chance you had a young Amish lady as your waitress.


This is another one for younger unmarried females, but maybe not always. One of the waitresses at a breakfast spot I once frequented in Goshen, Indiana, was a mother to young children. There are often exceptions to any “norm.”

What other jobs, common or unusual, have you seen Amish women do?

Image credits: Sunshine & Shadow quilt– puzzler4879/flickr; Nature Way Store- Shawn; Needle– Phillippa Willits/flickr; Furniture Finisher- Vermont Timber Works; Amish school- Adair; Gasthof Amish village– Judy Baxter/flickr

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    1. kalrose v.

      wonderful people

      Amish women have alot to do at home&around the community, I really love their way of life&I wish I could of joined the church&/or their community.I hate this day&age were living in&I’m so willing to give up all modern conveniences. (I surely can do with out)anyway most women today are lazy&don’t do anything.Amish women&the people are wonderful&hard workers&appreciate the little they have (plain is great)&Having God&prayer.I will always have respect for amish people.

      1. Lazy women

        I was raised to work hard and my Mother worked hard to . We lived on a farm and did the same work as Amish women do. My Mother held an out side job as well. Please don’t call us lazy. I quit my job, because my husband is very sick and can’t be left alone, nor can I afford to hire someone to help. We make it, its hard, but were ok. people on the outside are not treated very well on your post. As for people wanting to join up with the Amish, I see nothing wrong with it, but are you ready to give up your family, friends and celebrating our holidays? How about joining the US armed forces, which we so strongly believe in? if you strongly believe in joining, I only wish you much happiness.

        1. Dolores

          Reply to Joan

          Joan, I work with amish directly. I have had the wonderful opportunity to see their lives/customs from a very close angle. They do celebrate holidays…they just don’t celebrate them with the extravagance that English do. As far as giving up family to join the Amish? That would depend solely on how ones own family accepts/rejects that move…not the Amish. English parents should take notes from the Amish ways of child-rearing. (I could also say they should have taken BETTER notes from their own grandparents methods of child-rearing). Their methods are what I grew up with under my mothers and grandmothers guidance…no pampering, no reasoning with toddlers, none of this modern day “gentle” parenting (I use the term “gentle” as a euphemism).

          I have gained enormous respect for the Amish culture, but admit, I am too “Modernized” and after 4 years…I still suck at speaking P. Dutch.

          However, I do fully agree on your stand about joining the Armed Forces…we need more of our youth to step up, LEARN the Constitution, and know what ot means to serve a greater good…but joining the Amish wouldn’t be bad either.

    2. Ted

      How much does the average Amish School Teacher make per year?

      I was wondering what the average Amish woman makes per hour at jobs for the Amish and for the English?
      I especially would like to know how much the Amish School Teachers make per School Year both woman and men?

      1. Maybe we can get some current insights from Rebecca or another teacher on this. Generally it can vary by community with wages lower in the plainer communities. Men tend to be paid comparatively more for teaching jobs, in part b/c if they have a family they are usually the main breadwinner.

        1. Kate

          Where's Mark?

          Mark, you wrote you used to teach school. Do you care to share your input on this one? I’d be interested in knowing how teacher’s wages compare male to female.

        2. Ted

          Teachers salaries

          I found an article from Pathway Publishing saying teachers salaries varied but they usually averaged $25.00 per day can anyone confirm that.

          1. Amish-girl Rebecca

            Much more than that nowadays, anyway here.

      2. Amish-girl Rebecca

        We usually get paid per month and it varies a lot from community to community or even school to school and we usually don’t make it public knowledge even among ourselves. The price is agreed upon before you promise to teach, but you most definitely don’t teach for the money.

        1. Michael

          Looking for an Elderly Caretaker for Mother.


          We are located in Columbus, Ohio and are looking for a caretaker for my elderly Mother as a possible option to a nursing home. My Mother had a stroke in 2013 but can do nearly everything for herself but can be unsteady and. She loves company, to make quilts and sew but is unable to do the fine quilting anymore. We are looking for some suggestions as to who we might be able to contact if you know the Ohio Area. The house is very nice and simple in a safe, good area of town. Please point me in the correct direction.



      3. Amish-girl Rebecca

        On wages for other jobs: I only have part-time summer jobs, so I normally don’t make as much as I would with a full-time job. $9.00 to 11.00 is common for my summer jobs. To clean house I got $50, but that only took me half a day. To mow an Amish single lady’s yard I got $15 -$20. If you work somewhere for a couple years and do a good job you can make more, but money isn’t everything.

        1. Barbara Holton

          absolutely correct!

          Money isn’t everything as you said. I’ve changed jobs in the past to make more money and regretted it!

        2. Leslie Trumble

          looking for an amish girl will to take care of my mom

          Hi my name is Leslie and I am ISO an amish girl willing to come into my home Sunday nights through Friday mornings and care for my mother. She is currently in a nursing home and they have done nothing but upset her. I am looking for someone who can work a stand up lift to and from bathroom cook meals shower her and work with her on her therapy excersizes everyday. I am open to interviewing my cell number is 260-273-6614. Thank you

      4. Dolores

        How much do (Amish) teachers get paid(?)

        I am curious as to why English are so interested in what the pay rate is for Amish teachers. In my understanding, Amish don’t discuss this sort of information with outsiders, let alone amongst each other. Amish do not make a habit of discussing income and do not judge other community members based on their financial status. It is a society of helping and enriching the entire community, not just for personal gain.
        Furthermore, each community has different standards, so what may be an average wage for one community will not likely be the same for another.

        If you are thinking of a job teaching the Amish…you’d better brush up on your Penn Dutch first. But that’s not likely to guarantee you a job.

    3. Terry from Wisc

      Rug weaving

      I have purchased woven rag rugs from two sisters for years. One is single and has her shop next door to the “big house” and cares for her aging parents. If she isn’t in the store when you walk in, you browse until she notices a car parked out front and will run over to wait on you.

      The married sister doesn’t advertise or have a store, but rather word of mouth and you go in the house and look at her rugs for sale. It depends on what time of year it is and how busy she is with her family duties, whether she has had the time to weave rugs. It’s a hit and miss thing. Because we are not strangers at either place sometimes all we’ve purchased is conversation!

      The last time we were at the store was kind of a sappy visit when Katie talked about the condition of her aging father. We’re not just old customers, but rather old friends after all these years of stopping in to shop and visit.

      Next Sat we’re going Amishing as we call it, and will make our usual stops at the bakery, bulk food store, rug shop, ? furniture store, ? the cheese house, a quick stop to buy eggs and end up at friends for coffee and goodies if I have written in advance when we’ll be there. 🙂

      1. Linda


        Where do you go to do this shopping?

    4. Colleen

      The link did not work

      If you’re interested in the subject, Beth Grabill wrote a doctoral dissertation on female Old Order entrepreneurs in Lancaster County. She notes that “the ways in which these women handle their business, family, and community roles sometimes involves extensions of traditional roles and sometimes departures from them.”

      1. Emily

        The link to Beth Grabill’s dissertation did work for me–I’m using Google Chrome. What are you using, Colleen? Could it maybe be a browser issue?

      2. Colleen did you get it to work? Here’s the url you can paste in your browser if you still can’t click through:


    5. Tom Geist

      Only Need 1 Job Done By Amish Women...

      Amish women only do 1 job….

      That one job is the job of doing EVERYTHING!!!

      Is that meant to be a joke, yes and no. Amish women pitch in all of the time to fill the gaps of the things the Amish men can’t do or won’t do. Me thinks that English women often do the same.

      my 2 cents

      Tom in Lincoln

      1. Dolores

        Point on! Tom in Lincoln

        You are so correct Tom! But I do think Amish women step up and do more than (most) English woman.

    6. Elva Bontrager

      In the 'Olden' Days

      In a simpler time – back in the 40s – my mother had regular customers in town for her dressed geese and ducks and chickens. I remember being with her when she delivered several at the back door of a local bank. I have no idea what she charged.

      Nowadays, she’d have to have a permit, not to mention an FDA sticker, if it was allowed at all. 🙂

      My older sisters in the 40s worked at a ‘glove factory’ – I have no idea what they did – for their own money. I was too young and, except for babysitting neighborhood kids, never had a job while I was Amish until I was 16 and did housework for a Mennonite family up the road. They paid my parents $7.00 a week, I believe.

    7. Alice Mary

      A recent tour of the Jayco RV factory in Indiana revealed at least one young Amish woman at work in the cabinet shop. We didn’t go into that area, but I’d guess she might be doing finishing work. Also, a film we watched before the tour showed an Amish woman applying “Jayco” stencils to the exteriors of completed RVs.

      I wholeheartedly agree with Tom Geist, as during my 41+ years of marriage, I’ve “been there, done that”! (Over & over & over…)

      Alice Mary

    8. Amish-girl Rebecca

      I have several friends in Northern, IN that work at trailer factories. Around here many Amish girls also work in the stores, Keim lumber, Weaver Leather, P Graham Dunn, besides those mentioned.

    9. Valerie

      Holmes County

      I see that there are many Amish young women (or older) who do the housekeeping at the hotels/motels, and there are plenty in Holmes County- seems it’s easier for them to get rides to work in busier towns and other more touristy areas like Holmes County- have seen many work in the cheese houses and bakeries as well-

    10. Forest Hazel

      Several Amish girls work in a Mennonite-owned bakery near here.

    11. Leslie Trumble

      looking for an amish girl to care for my elderly mom

      I am ISO an amish girl to take care of my mom sunday nights through Friday mornings cause my husband and I drive truck over the road. We are willing to interview interested girls will consist of cooking bathing and helping her to the bathroom and back to her chair. you can text me at 260-273-6614 interested people only

    12. Ren Semans

      Looking for prayer kapps

      When I lived in Virginia, it was easy to drive to Dayton and get my prayer kapps with no problem. Now that I am widowed, I moved back to my home on the Delmarva Peninsula and have been unable to find any local stores that sells them. My remaining two kapps are so filthy, it’s embarrassing to wear them; but I do. It’s sad to say, but only myself and the Pastor’s wife wears them anymore. I’m praying hard that when my new church has its first Love Feast, that I will see many more.

      Is there any women, that you know of, in the Dover Delaware community that wants to earn some pocket change? My kapps are Mennonite/Brethren in design, very plain…no embellishments, but I would accept lace for weddings. They are all made of simple net material. I also need a good black net for funerals. Right now I use Catholic lace coverings (black and white), for both weddings and funerals, but am not comfortable with it.

      1. Deborah

        I live in Nappanee Indiana. I go to a couple Amish stores that sell kapps. If I knew what kind you want I could get you a couple.

    13. I’d love to see any “modern woman” do the kind of work that these Amish ladies do… they’re amazing!

    14. Along 340

      Amish Women Jobs

      I’ve spent a lot of time living in Amish Country in the PA 340 Area. Amish ladies hold many different kinds of jobs. Some common and some quite unique. These are some I came across.

      Working in Amish fabric shops.
      Wait staff in local restaurants.
      Making pretzels .
      Making baked goods to sell from home.
      Making homemade cheese to sell at market.
      An elderly Amish lady makes big Amish clothesline wheels and distribution was PA, OH and Indiana!
      A young Amish mom makes homemade baby formula for fussy babies or moms who can’t breast feed.
      AN Amish couple makes and sells wooden game boards for a popular Amish game.
      Another young Amish mom makes and sells Gluten Free baked goods in her home bakery.
      A young Amish mom makes custom sized coverings from her home sewing shop and young Amish women line up early in the morning for her beautiful coverings Boxed up in a white bakery box.
      There is always plenty of food to be made for auctions and markets and Amish ladies fill these orders.
      Let’s not forget that Amish ladies really enjoy getting together to sew, have Tupperware parties, sell Essential Oils and other gatherings where they can market their wares.
      Come to think of it, of the many Amish ladies I know of various ages and stages in life… they all work in one way or another.

      1. Great list! This could almost be another post itself.

    15. Jay

      Order from online store

      Was wondering if you have someone that helps with ordering stuff from a country store online way I was holding to buy products that you may might have.