The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Careers with Great Work-Life Balance
A lot of people have no idea what their dream job is. When they were young they never had an answer to the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question and probably always wished they could fit into the group of people who neatly came up with common answers like doctor, lawyer, or even astronaut.
But you know what? If you are one of the people who didn’t know what they wanted to be when they grew up and still don’t know what that dream job is today that is perfectly fine. In the below infographic on Careers with Great Work-Life Balance, you’ll learn a thing or two about careers that fit the bill in terms of six very important job search factors.
You can take a look at the below jobs listed in the infographic on your own but let’s take a moment to dive into the six areas that you should consider when seeking an ideal job.
The Indicators of Great Work-Life Balance
When finding a job that you are sure to love, research has shown that the following six factors should be considered before deciding on your future career:
- Total hours worked per week
- Fun rating
- Average pay
- Growth potential
Just ask yourself (as consistent with the above six indicators):
- How many hours do I want to work each week? (don’t say zero)
- How important is fun to me within a job?
- How much do I want to start out at?
- What kind of upward mobility am I interested in?
- How much flexibility do I have to do the things I want?
- What am I willing to sacrifice in terms of stress?
Check out the below jobs that rank best in each of these categories and be candid with yourself in your responses and you’ll have a great understanding of the factors that are most important to you for your dream job.
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Indicators of Work-Life Balance
Just what do American’s look for when seeking careers with great work-life balance? According to the OECD Better Life Index, six of the major indicators are:
- Total hours worked per week– this is an obvious one, but the fewer hours worked per week the more favorably a job is looked at.
- Fun rating– some jobs are a lot more fun than others and many careers actually provide this type of balance within the job.
- Average pay– pay is an important consideration for any career and for those people who want a job with great work-life balance and good average pay, these professions should be considered.
- Growth potential– upward mobility is important to many professionals and is a major factor when deciding a career path.
- Flexibility– having a schedule that is flexible is becoming more and more important to many individuals.
- Stress– finding a balance between work and stress can be a career decision that makes you happier and healthier.
The Top Jobs for Work-Life Balance
According to career website Glassdoor and our own analysis of jobs with great work-life balance, some of the most promising careers that meet this criteria include:
- Lifeguard– while saving lives is no joke, lifeguards enjoy flexible schedules, casual environments such as the beach or a swimming pool, and are highly regarded by society.
- Data Scientist– ranking at the top spot of Glassdoor’s list, the data scientist is in high demand, boasts great pay, and is integral to the success of their employers.
- Personal Trainer– personal trainers consistently come up on lists of professionals with a great work-life balance due to their flexible working hours, benefit to society, and low-stress jobs.
- SEO Specialist– another career that is in high demand, the SEO specialist helps rank websites in search engines and can virtually work from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
- Social Media Manager– the social media managers job is to create fun, engaging content across their clients’ social networks and can also work from nearly anywhere.
- Hollywood Stuntman– the most fun job on this list, the Hollywood stuntman is no stranger to excitement and hanging with celebrities.
- Solutions Architect– a solutions architect is one of those jobs no one knows about but wishes they did because of the high pay and ability to work remotely.
- Dental Hygienist- coming in hot for one of the best part-time jobs as well as a great job for working moms, this jobs offers great flexibility and pay.
- Hair Stylist- according to career site CareerCast, the hair stylist has the least stressful job of 2015 and has considerable job growth opportunities.
- Tour Guide- another job with low stress and that tends to be a lot of fun, the tour guide is a top job for those seeking great work-life balance.
Best Jobs Under 40 Working Hours Per Week
According to financial website 24/7 Wall Street, the airline pilot has the best job with the highest pay and most time off. Working about half of what most consider a full-time job at 21 hours, these professionals have a median annual income of over $100k and can make as much as $139,330 per year.
While pilots work the least and make a great income, personal trainers should also be mentioned on this list. With the ability to set their own hours and rates (if they are self-employed), the typical personal trainer works less than 40 hours per week and still makes a respectable median salary.
Along with working with celebrities, hanging on the sets of exciting action and adventure movies, and doing crazy stunts like crashing Ferrari’s, getting set on fire and doing martial arts with kung-fu experts, stunt men can make as much as $250,000 a year if in high demand.
Another job that easily makes our list of top jobs on the fun scale is a video game tester. These professionals test for bugs while playing video games and can make as much as $55k each year. Does anyone remember Grandma’s Boy?
Best Average Pay
If you’re seeking a job with great work-life balance but want a higher average pay than most, check out the solutions architect position. These professionals have a median salary of $112k and a solutions architect in a TechCrunch interview said it’s not uncommon for him to get shot in the face by a NERF dart while on the phone with a customer. Money and NERF darts? Where do I sign up?
A great work-life balance can mean different things to different people. For some, the ability to have a lot of opportunity for upward mobility or income is very important. For those who value growth potential in their careers, consider jobs in either mobile applications development or personal training.
The personal training industry is speculated to grow 13 percent through 2022 and the salary increase of a mobile applications developer is forecasted to grow 10.2 percent each year.
Is flexibility in your work hours something that’s important to you? Check out these professions that offer considerable flexibility in specific sectors:
- Best telecommuting or remote job: SEO Specialist– these professionals can work from home, the beach, or anywhere there’s internet.
- Most flexible schedule (hours determined by worker): Consultant– consultants don’t have employers that dictate specific work hours making this an extremely flexible job.
- Best freelance job: Graphic Designer– for the self-employed contractor, perhaps there is no better job than a graphic designer.
- Best part-time job: Dental Hygienist– working less than 40 hours a week and still making decent money is why a dental hygienist position is so appealing.
- Best short-term or seasonal job: Photographer– if long-term obligations aren’t your thing, consider a career as a professional photographer.
Stress can lead to headaches, elevated blood pressure levels, and trouble sleeping according to WebMD. Our jobs can often be the center of these problems which is why many job seekers look for jobs with low stress levels.
A hair stylist is a career with considerably low stress and offers job growth in the area of self-employment. A career as enlisted military personnel has been identified as one of the most stressful careers for obvious reasons although this job is held in very high esteem by society and us at Fitness Mentors in particular. Big thanks to our troops!
Best Work-Life Balance by Background
When considering work-life balance in careers we also wanted to identify with a few popular sub-sectors of professionals. What we found was that the following three professional-types were increasingly looking for jobs that offered great work-life balance:
- Working Moms
- Business Travelers
- Digital Nomads
Best Jobs for Working Moms
Working moms have a lot going on. They have to take care of a lot of household responsibilities as well as the kids and also provide for their families. The two best jobs that help working moms maintain a good work-life balance are jobs that offer considerable flexibility as well as attractive pay.
According to Monster.com, two of the best jobs for working moms are a dental hygienist and fitness trainer. Dental hygienists can often work part-time or very flexible hours so that they have time to tend to their family lives. Similarly, fitness trainers can create their own schedule and make a competitive hourly pay if they are motivated.
Best Jobs for Business Travelers
Do you love to travel but think that a permanent career means that you’ll be glued to your desk? Think again, Business News Daily identifies a travel agent and traveling nurse as two excellent jobs for jet-setters.
Part of a travel agent’s responsibility when providing sound vacation advice is to actually have firsthand experience with the suggestions that they make. This means travel is a work requirement and can be written off as a business expense while also allowing you to form relationships with luxurious resorts or dining destinations that might actually compensate you for recommending their properties.
Traveling nurses make Business News Daily’s list of great jobs for people who love to travel because the position allows you to move from location-to-location, enjoy great pay and benefits and a rewarding career that is always in demand.
Best Jobs for Digital Nomads
If you work in the digital realm and like the idea of being able to set up shop anywhere, a digital nomad lifestyle is for you.
Topping work and travel website Global Goose’s jobs that allow you to plug in and get it done are jobs for web designers and SEO specialists. Building websites is a skill that is in high demand and if you have a good reputation it could mean the work will continue to allow you to live your nomadic lifestyle how you want.
A similar profession is the SEO specialist, a digital professional that often works as a marketing consultant or with a team to help clients achieve superior search engine rankings. Both these jobs allow you to work on a laptop and travel as you please.
What Does Work-Life Balance Mean to You?
There are lots of jobs out there that afford you great work-life balance, but the definition is subjective. Before you quit your job or pursue one of the above ask yourself what type of balance is most important to you and you’ll have a good idea of jobs that may or may not fit that criteria.
In the end, you’ll be happier that you opened up your life to spend more time with the people that you love and doing the things that make you smile.