Flexible hours. The ability to work from home. More paid time off. Free nights and weekends.
Ask anyone what a healthy work-life balance looks like to them and you will get drastically different answers. For example, while some relish the opportunity to nab a job that allows for remote work, others find the responsibility of full-time remote work to be challenging.
This has been particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic when approximately 40 percent of full-time employees in the United States found themselves suddenly working from home—and many struggled with burnout as a result. Before the pandemic, however, less than one-fifth of people working full-time from home felt similarly burnt out according to a 2021 Gallup survey . What created a healthy balance between work and life at one time, challenged mental health at another.
The reality is that work-life balance is not inherent in any job, occupation, or work style. Instead, it means something different for each of us and is as much the product of our own efforts as those of our employers and the parameters of our jobs. Nonetheless, there are some flexible jobs that could make achieving work-life balance easier than others.
In this article, you will find a list of jobs that offer the potential for good work-life balance alongside detailed information about their pay, how to get one, and what kind of unique opportunities they offer jobholders.
There may be no “best” work-life balance job, but there are some occupations and industries that offer more flexibility than others.
A study conducted by Glassdoor Economic Research, for example, reviewed millions of employee comments posted on the job-seeking platform from March 15, 2020 to September 28, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to identifying a list of the highest-rated companies for work-life balance, the study also identified the top five industries with high work-life balance ratings based on employee reviews :
Aerospace and defense
Each of these industries received highly favorable work-life balance scores from employees by providing innovative programs, such as the ability to work from anywhere, flexible working schedules, and unlimited paid time off.
The list below takes these insights into account and includes a range of jobs in the above industries. Each of the jobs below also features an individual median salary that is well above the average in the United States. Furthermore, each job is projected to grow in the coming years.
Data analysts collect, clean, study, and model data to help organizations and businesses make informed decisions.
Data analysts span many industries, including business, finance, medicine, and government. According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, data analysts are expected to be the second fastest-growing job in the United States . Data analysts in the United States make an average annual salary of $69,517 as of January 2022, according to Glassdoor .
The job of a data analyst is related, though distinct, from that of a data scientist, which tends to ask bigger questions of data and also design original experiments surrounding data. While you will likely need to get a master’s degree to become a data scientist, you could start a career as a data analyst by either formally studying it in college or building skills on your own or through a certification or credential.
As a data-heavy role that involves computers, the job of a data analyst might appeal to those who enjoy working with numbers and are looking for a position that can likely be done remotely.
User experience (UX) designers oversee every aspect of a product’s design from a user experience standpoint. User interface (UI) designers, meanwhile, design all the screens that users go through on an app, website, video game, or virtual menu. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field encompassing digital designers is expected to grow by 13 percent and add 25,500 new jobs between 2020 and 2030 .
Working as a designer also pays. According to Glassdoor, UX designers in the United States make an average annual salary of $115,743 as of January 2022 . UI designers, meanwhile, make an average annual salary of $98,583 .
Becoming a UX or UI designer often means building a portfolio of work to demonstrate your skills. Gain or refine these skills in numerous ways: through flexible online courses, in a Professional certificate program, or with a college degree program in a relevant field.
The job of a UX or UI designer will likely appeal to those who enjoy creative fields with a practical research-oriented angle. Furthermore, many aspects of UX and UI design are also able to be conducted remotely, meaning it is a job that lends itself to working from home.
Read more: UI vs. UX Design: What’s the Difference?
Real estate agents work with clients to buy, sell, and rent properties.
In addition to conducting a significant portion of their working days outside of the office at properties, real estate agents also typically get the benefit of setting their own work schedules. Glassdoor puts the average annual income for real estate agents at $67,962 as of January 2022 . According to the BLS, real estate broker and sales agent roles are projected to grow by 4 percent between 2020 and 2030 .
In order to become a real estate agent, you will likely need at least a high school diploma and gain state licensure. Prior to getting your license, you will likely need to take real estate courses at the community or four-year college level.
Becoming a real estate agent might appeal to individuals who enjoy client-facing sales roles that allow them to have control over their own schedule.
Statisticians analyze data to help businesses and other organizations understand trends and make decisions.
Like the closely related roles of data scientist and data analyst, statisticians can find work in a wide variety of fields, including health care, public safety, and even sports. The average annual salary for statisticians, according to Glassdoor, is $88,989 as of January 2022 . According to the BLS—itself an organization that runs on the work of statisticians—mathematician and statistician roles are projected to grow by 33 percent between 2020 and 2030 .
Most statisticians have a master’s degree in either statistics or mathematics.
The role of statistician will likely appeal to those who enjoy working with numbers and are looking for a job that allows for the possibility of working from home.
Web developers build and maintain websites, such as this one.
Using a range of design and programming skills, web developers ensure that sites function properly for clients and visitors. Overall, the job outlook for web developers is positive. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a web developer in the United States is $70,863 as of January 2022 . The BLS, meanwhile, projects that the field encompassing web developers will grow by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030 .
In order to become a web developer, you don’t necessarily need a degree, but some employers might prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. That said, you can become a web developer with either a high school diploma or an associate degree.
Web developers can either be freelance or work in-house for a company, meaning it could potentially offer flexible employment models. If you enjoy working with computers, then becoming a web developer might offer you the opportunity to work remotely with a flexible schedule.
Financial advisors help clients manage and plan their personal finances. Some of the responsibilities of the role include helping clients set short and long-term goals, invest, and maneuver tax laws. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for financial advisors is $58,805 as of January 2022 . The BLS, meanwhile, projects that financial advisor roles will grow by 5 percent between 2020 and 2030 .
In order to become a financial advisor, you likely need a bachelor’s degree and will need to undergo on-the-job training with a supervisor to gain key skills. Optional professional certifications, such as those offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, may help you gain valuable credentials, and special licenses are required for those who wish to buy or sell bonds, stocks, or insurance policies .
In addition to working in corporate settings, many financial advisors also work as freelancers with their own clients. If you enjoy working with numbers and want a job that offers the possibility for a flexible work schedule, then you might consider a career as a financial planner.
Corporate recruiters handle the hiring of talent, including sourcing and screening candidates, for companies and other organizations. Through their work, recruiters must be good at working with other people, identifying client needs, and locating strong candidates for corporate positions. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for corporate recruiters is $63,190 as of January 2022 . The BLS projects that human resource specialists—the jobs category under which corporate recruiter falls—will grow by 10 percent between 2020 and 2030 .
In order to become a recruiter, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as in human resources or business. In some cases, employers might prefer candidates with related work experience as a human resources assistant or customer service representative.
Occasionally, corporate recruiters must travel for their work to attend job fairs. As a result, becoming a corporate recruiter might appeal to individuals who enjoy traveling, working with people, and having the opportunity to conduct business outside of the office.
Project managers organize, plan, and execute projects while working within budgetary and scheduling constraints. Their project-based skill set allows them to work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, tech, business, and government.
The average annual salary for project managers is $88,907 as of January 2022 . The Project Management Institute estimates that employers will need to fill approximately 2.2 million project-managed roles each year through 2027, meaning that there is likely to be demand for project managers in upcoming years .
Requirements for project managers vary from project to project and employer to employer. Some employers might prefer that you have an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Science in Management (MSM), though this is not always required.
If you are someone who is good at planning, organizing, and working with others, then a role as a project manager could offer the opportunity for flexible remote work.
Social media managers handle all aspects of the social media presence of a company, organization, or individual. As a result, they are tasked with ensuring their clients stay on-brand and on-message when posting material and responding to commenters.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a social media manager in the United States is $55,117 as of January 2022 . The BLS projects that advertising, promotions, and marketing managers—the job group under which social media manager falls—will grow by 10 percent between 2020 and 2030 .
While there is no specific credential required to become a social media manager, employers might prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as marketing, business, or communications. You could also start building the needed skills through a Professional Certificate as either an alternative or a supplement to a college degree.
If you are someone who enjoys marketing and using social media, then you might consider a career as a social media manager, a job that can often be done remotely – occasionally even from your phone.
Build the skills companies are hiring for in remote-friendly industries like project management, UX design, social media management, and data analysis by earning a Professional Certificate from industry leaders at Google and Meta. Learn at your own pace from anywhere with an internet connection.
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21. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm.” Accessed December 22, 2021.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.