For some 8 million Americans, part-time jobs are a way of life. Many are cobbling together several part-time gigs while they search for that elusive full-time job. Some, though, prefer part-time work because it offers flexibility and time off for other pursuits, including raising kids.
But whether you are looking for part-time work out of choice or necessity, you probably want to find one that offers some personal satisfaction and good wages. With the help of PayScale, AOL Jobs has a compiled a list of the seven best part-time jobs. Some require little training, and many pay more than $25 an hour.
One caveat: The wages shown for each position represent a range of amounts paid to the 25th and 75th percentiles of workers who've been operating in their fields for five to eight years. In other words, a quarter of workers within a given job description earn less than the reported low wage, while the rest earn less than the reported high wage.
Also, PayScale notes that the range of wages shown are national numbers. If you live in a metropolitan area, you'll probably earn far more -- sometimes twice as much -- than what's listed here.
1. School Bus Driver
Hourly Wage Range: $12.40 to $16.70, nationally. (As noted, pay is often higher in urban markets, such as New York City, where the hourly median wage is $29.50.)
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 26
What you'd do: No surprises here -- school bus drivers transport children to and from school and related special events. Depending on several factors, including the distance to be traveled on a given route and when school starts, part-time school bus drivers may start work early in the morning -- 6 a.m. or earlier isn't unusual. Others work the afternoon "shift," picking up children from school and bringing them back home. Weather, heavy traffic and unruly children can make the job challenging at times, though one perk that many school bus drivers enjoy is summer break, giving them two to three months to pursue other jobs or interests.
What you need to get started: A commercial driver's license is usually required, and certain hearing and vision requirements must be met.
2. Makeup Artist
Hourly Wage Range: $14.70 to $23.50
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 20
About the Job: Makeup artists enhance performers' and consumers' appearance through the application of cosmetics, which may include knowledge of period styles to reflect actors' roles. They work in a wide variety of settings, including theaters, broadcast studios, amusement parks, as well as boutiques and department stores. States with a significant show business industry -- New York, California and Nevada -- have the highest numbers of workers employed in this profession. Ohio and Texas, with numerous large media markets and amusement parks, also rank high.
What you need to get started: Most makeup artists complete formal training that requires a high school diploma and may include obtaining an associate degree in cosmetology or bachelor's degree in theater. Some states also require cosmetologists and makeup artists to be licensed.
Hourly Wage Range: $12.70 to $27
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 8
What you'd do: Think of a tutor as a personalized teacher, who typically works one-on-one with students who are are having difficulty comprehending a specific field of study, such as language or math. The job requires patience and a willingness to listen. It also requires organization, an attention to detail and the ability to show up on time.
What you need to get started: There are few industry standards that apply to tutors, who generally gain expertise in a field of study through their own achievements, such as a high school diploma, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. Certification is available through numerous organizations, such as the College Reading & Learning Association and the American Tutoring Association.
4. Dance Teacher
Hourly Wage Range: $15.30 to $24.50
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 8
What you'd do: Teaching dance often involves working one-on-one with students to help them master the techniques in different styles of dance -- jazz, ballroom, Western swing, tap, children's -- though instructors frequently work with large groups. Settings vary and include dance halls or studios, classrooms, restaurants, retirement communities, resorts and even cruise ships. It requires a willingness to work with people and patience in dealing with students struggling to learn.
What you need to get started: Education and training requirements vary, however, part-time dance instructors typically require two years of teaching experience.
5. English Teacher for Non-Native Speakers
Hourly Wage Range: $18.10 to $30.50
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 17
What you'd do: Teaching English as a foreign language can be rewarding but also challenging. Students may be reluctant to learn or find English to difficult to master. For instructors, that means being well prepared with lesson plans, a knowledge of how to inspire and motivate struggling students and a degree of patience. Public and private grade and high schools, college campuses and community organizations are typical settings. Demand for English as a second language, or ESL, instruction is such that qualified teachers can land a job in virtually any country in the world.
What you need to get started: Generally, a bachelor's degree is required; a certification specializing in teaching ESL is also available from numerous institutions, including many colleges and universities.
6. Flight Attendant
Hourly Wage Range: $26 to $34.80
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 20
What you'd do: Though viewed by some travelers as little more than airborne waiters and waitresses, the primary responsibility offlight attendants is the safety of passengers aboard aircraft, which often includes reminding them about what is and isn't allowed during flight. There are perks, of course, which may include travel to many destinations and pay that's near the top for part-time work. Downsides include dealing with stubborn or unruly passengers, frequent downtime, and working in an industry that has gone through major layoffs in recent years.
What you need to get started: Many major airlines require flight attendants to have a college degree. A professional appearance and an outgoing personality are also key to landing the job.
7. Pilates or Yoga Instructor
Hourly Wage Range: $20.20 to $39.90
Median Weekly Hours Worked: 6
What you'd do: Yoga and Pilates instructors typically work with groups of students in the movements and techniques unique to each exercise. One-on-one training is common, too. As with other teaching professions, it requires a degree of patience with those students struggling to learn. One benefit is relatively high pay for a part-time profession -- and all that teaching helps keep you fit, too.
What you need to get started: Both exercise techniques require months or even years of practice before practitioners can begin teaching. Numerous certification programs are available for both disciplines.