Top 30 Flexible Jobs to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

Looking for a career with flexible hours? We’ve got you covered.

Reviewed by Hayley Ramsey

Flexible jobs to improve work-life balance

It is safe to say that most people do not want to work unless it is from home or in a setting of their choosing. Be it time saving or being more productive, young professionals have noticed the benefits of working remotely and not being stationed to a centralized location.

According to a December 2020 Pew Research Center study, more than half of survey respondents want to keep working from home. The data are comparable to other surveys that find a growing number of individuals desire jobs with flexible hours or good schedules tailored to their needs.

And if their employer cannot offer them this type of work from home arrangement, employees are quitting their jobs or going as far as changing careers.

Hello, the Great Resignation!

So, what would be the best flexible jobs in this type of environment? We’ve compiled a list of the top 30 jobs with the best hours.

1. College professor

Average annual salary: $80,560

College professors need to have a post-graduate degree (usually a Ph.D.) to teach at a college or university. The hours are terrific and flexible, summers are off, and they are highly paid. Some also conduct research when they’re not in the lecture halls. Many opportunities to advance in the rankings also come with higher pay.

2. Personal trainer

Average annual salary: $40,510

To be a successful personal trainer, you’ll need a certificate in fitness, nutrition, or health. Personal trainers can have private clients or work for a gym. The working hours are flexible, and there is room to grow and earn more.

3. Fashion designer

Average annual salary: $75,810

Fashion designers are creative and have a sense of style and charisma. The fashion design industry is huge, and there are many opportunities to advance. While there is no requirement of having a fashion degree, an internship may be required to break into the industry.

4. Blogger

Average annual salary: $67,120

It is important to have excellent writing skills to succeed as a blogger. Most bloggers have a college or university degree and are well read. The work is flexible, but the field is very competitive, since many people worldwide want to write and can easily launch a blog.

5. Auditor

Average annual salary: $73,560

Auditors must have a degree in accounting, economics or finance. They can either work for reputable accounting firms or have their private practice. Auditors are also often employed by large organizations. Knowledge of tax laws is vital. The hours are flexible, and the pay is very good. 

6. Chartered accountant

Average annual salary: $73,560

Chartered accountants must complete a three- to five-year degree course in accounting and pass the national exam. The curriculum is tough, but those who make it can enjoy successful careers. Most accountants work for large corporations and deal with finances and accounting.

7. Electrician

Average annual salary: $56,900

It takes about three years to become an electrician when you enroll in a college. This is usually followed by an apprenticeship for one to two years. Excellent knowledge of mathematics and physics is necessary. Electricians can operate their own business or join a larger company. The hours can be quite flexible depending on the type of project and your experience.  

8. Real estate agent

Average annual salary: $51,220

It is easy to qualify for this position. You can complete a real estate agent program within 3–6 months, and you will need to pass the state licensing exam. All the coursework is online and can be done in your own time. After activating the license, you can join a brokerage firm to gain experience or work independently.

9. Software developer

Average annual salary: $110,140

Software developers must have the ability to develop software and applications for computers. Most software developers have degrees in Computer Science or Information Technology and are well-versed in physics, mathematics and computing. There is a very high demand for software developers and many remote/freelance opportunities available, offering great flexibility and excellent pay.

10. Online tutor

Average annual salary: $40,590

Online tutors generally have a Master's degree or some experience teaching students. They are certified to teach and may work full time or choose their own clients or students. The hours are flexible, but the competition for online tutoring is stiff since this is an international occupation that can easily cross borders.

11. Photographer

Average annual salary: $41,280

Professional photographers need a diploma in photography or fine arts. This is generally followed by an apprenticeship. To gain experience, most novice photographers join a business, such as journalism, science or the fine arts. With enough time and experience in the field, photographers will venture into solo projects. The hours are terrific, there is an opportunity to travel, engage in interesting projects and the pay can vary depending on the client.

12. Taxi driver

Average annual salary: $32,320

In order to become a taxi driver, you need to be 21 years or older, have a good driving record, and have a valid driver's license. If you don't have your car, you can lease one. These days, there are various opportunities for taxi drivers. You can work for Uber, Lyft, or for yourself. The job is flexible, and the pay depends on the number of hours you put in.

13. Backend developer

Average annual salary: $77,200

Backend developers have a degree in computing, electronics, physics or mathematics. They are essential for creating features and components for users on the internet. Most backend developers work for large businesses and earn an excellent income.

14. Virtual assistant

Average annual salary: $40,990

Virtual assistants help a client with administrative services from a remote location. The tasks require scheduling, making travel arrangements and managing social media feeds. No formal qualification is necessary, and the hours can be very flexible. This is an ideal position for students, stay-at-home mothers, and self-employed workers.

15. Dog walker

Average annual salary: $26,370

This is an easy and enjoyable job, especially for people who love dogs and are pet friendly. There are no formal qualifications needed to become a dog walker. You can choose your hours and have total flexibility in terms of choosing days of work and clients. 

16. Massage therapist

Average annual salary: $43,620

Massage therapists need to get a diploma which only can be completed in about 6–12 months. This is typically followed by supervised training. Once you have the diploma and the training, you can either join an existing massage business or establish your independent practice. Massage therapists can also work for spas and gyms. The hours are flexible, and the pay is good.  

17. Recruiter

Average annual salary: $63,490

Recruiters screen, interview and hire workers for different businesses. They are primarily engaged in human resource management and must have the skills to identify and recruit good talent. There is no formal training, but one must have good communication skills and a graduate degree. Recruiters can either work part-time or full-time, and they are either paid a salary or, in some cases, make their income based on commissions.

18. Graphic designer

Average annual salary: $53,380

Graphic designers are skilled in computer graphics and imaging software and create visual campaigns and images for different clients. They are creative people who have an artistic mind. They should have the skillset to create ads, brochures, magazines and infographics. Most have a background in computing. Graphic designers have tremendous opportunities and enjoy some of the most flexible schedules in any career.

19. Cybersecurity analyst

Average annual salary: $103,590

Cybersecurity analysts are in charge of protecting a company's software, hardware, and networks from hackers. They usually have a solid background in computing and play a vital role in maintaining a company’s IT infrastructure. They usually work for big companies and can make an excellent income. Cybersecurity analysts are free to choose their hours, clients and the projects they would like to work on.  

20. Physical therapist

Average annual salary: $91,010

Physical therapists assist clients with physical disabilities to facilitate mobility and recovery. Physical therapists must complete a four-year program followed by an internship. They also need to pass a national exam and obtain a license before choosing to work for a healthcare facility or establish an independent practice.

21. Dietitian

Average annual salary: $63,090

Dietitians offer professional advice related to food and nutrition. Dietitians must complete a three- or four-year nutritional program and pass a national exam. They can work independently or for a hospital, a government agency or an educational institute.

22. Interior designer

Average annual salary: $57,060

Interior designers make interior space beautiful, safe and functional for either a home or a commercial building. They are creative individuals with a good sense of colors, lights and space. Interior designers must have a degree or diploma in interior designing. They can make an excellent income and have the flexibility to work full time or on individual projects.

23. Makeup artist

Average annual salary: $27,630

Makeup artists use cosmetic techniques to alter or boost an individual’s appearance. They need a diploma in cosmetics and should have at least three years’ experience before working independently. They often work with celebrities, entertainers, TV shows or models. Pay can vary depending on clients, but hours can be flexible.

24. Social media manager

Average annual salary: $141,490

These professionals manage a company’s online presence on social media platforms. They develop a strategy to help market the company by analyzing data and enhancing the overall image of their client. Social media managers need strong marketing and computing skills and can choose their own clients and hours.

25. Web designer

Average annual salary: $77,200

Website designers build websites for different companies and organizations. In order to become a web designer, you must have a degree in computing, physics, or mathematics. Web designers can work remotely or on site. They can also choose their own hours.

26. Plumber

Average annual salary: $56,330

Plumbers need vocation training, followed by an apprenticeship. They also need to be licensed and must have practical experience. Plumbers can work independently or for a specific client or business. If working independently, they have the freedom to choose their own hours.

27. Software consultant

Average annual salary: $110,140

These professionals advise clients on how to use various software applications. They have a background in computing and can help businesses keep up to date with new software and suggest options for cybersecurity. They can choose to work remotely or on site and have the flexibility to choose their own hours.

28. Tattoo artist

Average annual salary: $27,630

Tattoo artists create permanent images or drawings on skin. There are no formal qualifications, but they have to be creative, imaginative and have good hand skills. They usually work independently and can make a good income depending on their location and client base.

29. Game designers

Average annual salary: $77,700

Game designers typically have a background or college degree in computing or physics. Most are creative and develop games for computers, websites and smartphones. They have good knowledge of building codes to create games using flowcharts. Successful game designers can make excellent money. They are not bound by a schedule and work independently and flexibly.

30. Entrepreneurs

Average annual salary: $107,680

Entrepreneurs are visionaries who establish and run their own businesses. They may or may not have a professional degree but are outgoing, confident, know how to manage money, and are financially creative. They are usually involved with start-ups and can work the hours they want.

Final thoughts

Is it all about working at jobs with good hours? While it is a contributing factor, it is not the primary reason. In today's economy, conditions are tilted in favor of workers, affording them the opportunity to negotiate better conditions, be it work schedules or better compensation. From web designer to social media manger to fashion designer, there are all sorts of employment opportunities when you are finding a career that can easily be performed at the kitchen table or at a coffee shop.

Do you have a job with flexible working hours? Are there any other professions you think can be flexible? Let us know in the comments section below!


This is an updated version of an article originally published on 15 February 2018.