Let's face it, life is messy and unpredictable. It doesn't always allow us to work the traditional 40-hour, Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 schedule. You may need to be home at times to take care of a child or parent. You might have chosen a career that never has a set schedule. (Retail, anyone?) It could be you need to work around a class or internship. Or, you might be one of the 7.5 million Americans who works more than one job. Perhaps you just prefer working an alternate schedule.
Whatever the case, more than 27 million full-time workers have flexible work schedules according to the most recent data (May 2004) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This comprised 27.5 percent of all full-time and salary workers. If given the opportunity, a lot more employees would choose to work alternate hours. In a 2007 survey by Robert Half International and CareerBuilder.com, the No. 1 perk that workers said would cause them to choose one job over another was flexible scheduling (65 percent).
In the private sector, industries with the highest prevalence of workers with flexible schedules included financial activities (37.7 percent), professional and business services (37.6 percent), and information (34.9 percent). Industries with the lowest prevalence of workers on flexible schedules included mining (22.9 percent) and construction (20.3 percent). In the public sector, flexible schedules were more common among federal (28.8 percent) and state government employees (28.4 percent) than among workers in local government (13.7 percent).
If you in the market for a job that fits into the rest of your busy schedule, here are 10 jobs that can meet your needs:
Accountants track finances and advise individuals and institutions on financial matters. Most accounting jobs require a bachelor's degree in accounting in order to practice. Due to the technical nature of the job, many accountants may be able to do part of their work at home.
Average annual salary: $43,267*
Administrative assistants manage the workflow of an office, and their duties may include training new staff, conducting Internet research and operating new office technologies. Increasingly, they need to be proficient in computer programs and database systems. The technical nature of the work allows them to create flexible working arrangements, including flex schedules, part-time work or telecommuting.
Average annual salary: 33,950
Admissions representatives are like sales representatives for educational institutions. They recruit new students to fulfill enrollment goals by generating interest in the university, conducting college interviews and calling potential students. Like many sales professionals, they often enjoy the luxury of setting their own schedules.
Average annual salary: $31,734
Carpenters work from blueprints and instructions to construct, install and repair a variety of structures, from bridges to window frames. Because the jobs they take on are so wide-ranging, becoming a skilled carpenter usually takes between three and four years of both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Most of the work is on a contract basis, meaning hours and schedule to vary by project.
Average annual salary: $33,835
Fitness workers lead, instruct and motivate people in cardiovascular, strength-training and stretching exercises. While group fitness instructors don't necessarily need formal training, many gyms require certification. Because most gyms are open long hours, many fitness workers can divide their work weeks among early morning, late evening or weekend hours.
Average annual salary: $20,321
Medical transcriptionist listen to dictated recordings from health care professionals and type them up to produce medical reports, correspondence and other administrative material. They often enjoy the flexibility of working from home-based offices or as self-employed, independent contractors.
Average annual salary: $27,628
Physical therapists help patients suffering from injuries or diseases restore function, relieve pain and prevent disability. They typically need about two years of training as well as a state-required license in order to practice. Because they work on an agreed-upon schedule between patient and client, therapists often have atypical working hours.
Average annual salary: $53,508
Registered nurses, after becoming licensed, provide general care to patients in health care facilities and keep track of patient health records. Shift work allows them to divide their working hours among daytime, nighttime and weekend work.
Average annual salary: $49,534
These professionals guard industrial or commercial property against fire, theft, vandalism and illegal entry, and often need a combination of one to three months of directly related training and experience. Although they work weekend and holiday in addition to daytime shifts, their schedule rotates to allow for sufficient time off as well.
Average annual salary: $24,034
Technical support specialists ensure computer systems are working properly, address technical problems and train workers in using computer equipment. Many of these professionals have a bachelor's degree in their field of specialty. As computer networks expand, more technical support specialists may be able to work from home.
Average annual salary: $63,993
*Salaries are averages based on information from CBsalary.com.
Copyright 2007 CareerBuilder.com.