For many, working a job with a normal 9-to-5 schedule can seem stifling. Luckily, there are plenty of career opportunities that can give you a level of flexibility and freedom that satisfies your needs and preferences. In this article, we explain why finding jobs that are not 9-to-5 could be important and provide a list of positions that can help you escape having a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
Related: 27 Non-Desk Jobs That Pay Well
30 great jobs that aren't a 9-to-5 workday
Whether you simply dislike the idea of working a normal job with a typical schedule or you have additional personal responsibilities that require some flexibility, finding jobs that are not 9-to-5 can be ideal.
Here's a list of jobs that don't necessarily adhere to the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below:
National average salary: $20,530 per year
Primary duties: Substitute teachers typically work on an on-call or ongoing basis, which gives you the ability to decide if and when you accept assignments. As a sub, you cover classes when teachers are out by following a lesson plan and facilitating the needs of the students.
National average salary: $24,086 per year
Primary duties: Housekeepers clean homes and professional buildings, and their schedules almost always exist outside of the traditional 9-to-5 model.
National average salary: $26,312 per year
Primary duties: Home care aides provide those that are elderly, sick, disabled or unable to care for themselves with the care that they need so that they can continue to live on their own. These healthcare professionals usually work for themselves or for a home care service, and they are typically able to choose their clients and their schedules.
National average salary: $27,352 per year
Primary duties: In order to optimize their sites for search engines, most companies hire bloggers to develop well-written and authoritative content that entices and educates visitors. As a blogger, you can freelance, contract your services or work as a full-time employee for one company. A majority of the time, this position enables you to work remotely and set your own hours.
National average salary: $30,306 per year
Primary duties: Thanks to an abundance of delivery services, there are more opportunities for delivery drivers than ever before. Whether you work for an app delivery service or a specific restaurant, you can expect to work a flexible schedule securing people's orders and transporting food to them in a timely manner. In fact, delivery drivers who work for services can usually choose the hours and frequency that they work.
National average salary: $31,616 per year
Primary duties: Health care facilities often hire medical transcriptionists to transfer important information and codes from physicians' notes or audio recordings to a computer database. This position can either be part or full-time, and many professionals in this role have the ability to work remotely.
7. Dog walker
National average salary: $32,469 per year
Primary duties: Dog walkers care for their clients' pets while they're at work, on vacation or otherwise unable to give them the attention and exercise they need. If you decide to work as a dog walker, you can usually set up a schedule that works for you and the client.
National average salary: $33,571 per year
Primary duties: Photographers typically freelance or work as contract employees. Whether you decide to capture photos in a studio, at a wedding or for a company's marketing materials, you have the freedom to decide how often you work and which projects you take on.
9. Tour guide
National average salary: $35,714 per year
Primary duties: Tour guides work for themselves or for landmarks and organizations, such as tour buses, battlefields, parks, national monuments and museums, leading visitors through the exhibits or sites and educating them as they go. This job requires great communication and interpersonal skills and is often done during unconventional hours.
10. Web designer
National average salary: $37,548 per year
Primary duties: Web designers design, develop and code websites to make them more attractive and user-friendly. Though there are certainly opportunities in this profession that provide a more traditional work environment, many web designers decide to take on freelance work, allowing them to choose their projects and schedule.
National average salary: $37,773 per year
Primary duties: Entrepreneurs and organizations sometimes hire virtual assistants to help them handle everyday tasks when they don't necessarily need a full-time assistant. Virtual assistants often work remotely and set their own hours, just so long as they're able to meet the client's needs in a timely manner. Some of the tasks they handle can include things like setting reminders, scheduling appointments, answering emails and providing customer service.
12. Graphic designer
National average salary: $41,856 per year
Primary duties: Though some companies decide to employ graphic designers full-time, many organizations hire freelance designers to handle a specific project. These professionals usually work remotely, but they do have to adhere to client deadlines. They often work on things like company logos or promotional materials, such as brochures or business cards.
13. Freelance writer
National average salary: $43,222 per year
Primary duties: Freelance writers usually write for their clients on a project-by-project basis, but they are sometimes compensated through a fixed or hourly rate. Most of the time, freelance writers work remotely and make their own schedules. They just have to make sure that they get the work done before the client's deadlines.
National average salary: $44,425 per year
Primary duties: Social media managers create and post content on a company's social media platforms, as well as interact with their followers. In this type of position, you usually work on a contractual basis for several different clients, though some companies hire full-time social media managers. Most of the time, this job can be done remotely and it provides you with an extremely flexible schedule.
15. SEO specialist
National average salary: $44,664 per year
Primary duties: Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that websites rank high when users search for their services or products online. As an SEO specialist, you ensure that clients have websites that rank higher on the results page, therefore generating more online traffic. Though there are full-time SEO specialist positions within certain companies, many in this fieldwork on a project-by-project basis.
16. Personal trainer
National average salary: $45,926 per year
Primary duties: Personal trainers can work in a variety of settings and for a wide range of organizations, including for themselves. These professionals provide clients with the guidance and nutritional advice they need to reach their goals regarding physical fitness. Though it depends on the company they work for, personal trainers typically enjoy a flexible schedule that usually extends outside of 9-5 hours.
National average salary: $46,319 per year
Primary duties: An air traffic controller is responsible for directing plane traffic on the ground and in the air and alerting pilots when hazards or changes arise. Though they work for airports and airstrips, individuals in this role are usually able to choose their schedules. This is because airplanes are in flight at all hours of the day and every day of the year.
National average salary: $46,782 per year
Primary duties: If you are multilingual, you could put your knowledge to use as a translator. In this position, you'd help organizations and individuals translate written or verbal communications. The hours for this kind of role usually vary and the work can often be done through telecommuting.
National average salary: $49,982 per year
Primary duties: A plumber installs and repairs the water systems in homes or commercial buildings. Their schedules are usually quite flexible and depend on the needs of their clients.
National average salary: $50,544 per year
Primary duties: As a tutor, you can work either online or in-person helping students of all ages in a variety of subjects. Tutors help pupils master new skills and academic subjects by coaching them in either a one-on-one or group setting. They sometimes work for tutoring companies, specific schools or they freelance and take on certain students. Because of this, tutors enjoy an incredible amount of flexibility.
National average salary: $62,566 per year
Primary duties: Massage therapists can work for sports organizations, health clubs, resorts, spas or for themselves. They boost the wellness of clients by applying pressure and touch to manipulate soft tissues so that they can improve circulation, foster relaxation and relieve pain. When working for a company or organization, they usually meet their clients on-site, but an independent massage therapist can also travel to a client's home or set up a studio in their personal home.
If you decide to become an independent masseuse or you find work with an organization that has flexible hours, you can perform your duties outside of the normal 9-to-5 schedule.
National average salary: $65,125 per year
Primary duties: Outside of a doctor's office, nurses can usually work a flexible schedule. Whether you work in a walk-in clinic, hospital or specialized healthcare facility, your duties typically entail assisting and treating patients that are either sick or injured, supporting doctors by carrying out their treatment plans and tracking patient vitals and paperwork.
23. Makeup artist
National average salary: $65,749 per year
Primary duties: Because makeup artists often apply makeup for special events, camera appearances or photoshoots, they usually work irregular hours.
National average salary: $66,622 per year
Primary duties: Dietitians provide their nutritional expertise in a number of different environments, such as medical facilities and cafeterias. They can either serve as contract employees or work directly for an organization evaluating the needs of patients or clients, counseling them to assess issues or develop healthy habits and creating meal plans that meet their budget and needs. Regardless of the setting, they usually have a fair amount of control over their work schedules.
National average salary: $72,114 per year
Primary duties: Also known as an SLP, a speech language pathologist evaluates, diagnoses and treats speech, language, swallowing and communication disorders in both adults and children. SLPs can work in a wide range of settings, from hospitals to schools, and some even work in clinics where clients come to them for their expertise. Though it depends on the organization and clientele you work for, this well-respected profession typically enjoys a high amount of freedom when it comes to scheduling.
National average salary: $72,248 per year
Primary duties: You can consult within a wide range of industries and specialties by offering clients guidance in your area of expertise. This type of career usually takes you from one organization to another, giving you a flexible work environment and schedule.
27. Dental hygienist
National average salary: $78,541 per year
Primary duties: Dental hygienists perform teeth cleanings at dental offices. Their services are usually only required a few days a week, so they often choose their schedule and work at several locations.
National average salary: $81,017 per year
Primary duties: If you are tired of working 9-to-5 jobs, becoming a real estate agent could be a great career choice for you. These professionals meet with clients to evaluate their needs and then guide them through the process of renting, buying or selling a home or property. Real estate agents work on commission, so though your hours would be flexible, your success would rely on your ability and willingness to work whenever clients need you.
National average salary: $113,471 per year
Primary duties: An actuary utilizes their analytical skills to calculate and manage risk for a wide range of organizations, namely insurance companies. They can either work as full-time employees or for a consulting firm that allows them some freedom and flexibility with their schedule.
National average salary: $130,514 per year
Primary duties: User experience (UX) researchers are responsible for researching the aspects of software or applications that affect the experience of the user. To improve the overall functionality of an app or software, UX researchers evaluate user data and then use that information to develop reports and suggestions. They often work remotely and create their own schedules.