13 Careers With the Most Time Off

Updated February 27, 2023

Most people in the workforce log regular 40-hour workweeks with an additional one to three weeks of paid time off throughout the year. In some jobs and industries, full-time workers may have shortened hours, extended breaks or flexible schedules that allow for more time off.

In this article, we discuss 13 jobs that offer the most time off throughout the year.

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13 jobs with the most time off

Here are 13 jobs with flexible schedules or added vacation benefits that may give employees more time off than those in other professions:

1. K-12 teachers

National average salary: $23,390 per year

Primary duties: Elementary, middle and high school teachers handle the preparation and delivery of educational instruction to students. They create teaching resources, prepare and share presentations and facilitate classroom instruction. Teachers grade student assignments, attend parent-teacher and faculty meetings and take part in professional development workshops.

Many teachers may have a shorter workday—between six and seven hours—than those in other professions. They may work evenings only for special occasions. They may also get weekends, breaks and holidays off from school. Many teachers also get a two- or three-month summer vacation each year.

Related: Learn About Being a Teacher

2. Pilots

National average salary: $43,470 per year

Primary duties: Pilots fly and navigate aircraft such as airplanes and helicopters. Depending on their specialty, pilots may transport people and cargo, provide charter flights or lead rescue missions. They select flight routes, perform inspections and keep flight records.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides regulations on the number of hours a pilot works within a week and a month. Pilots can't fly over 32 hours in seven consecutive days or 100 hours in any calendar month. They must also have at least eight hours of rest between flights and at least one full 24-hour day off every seven days.

Related: Learn About Being an Airline Pilot

3. Firefighters

National average salary: $44,494 per year

Primary duties: Firefighters provide rescue services for people, animals and property. They drive emergency vehicles, put out fires and rescue victims from burning buildings. Some firefighters may treat sick and injured people.

When not working with the public, firefighters may clean and maintain their equipment, conduct training drills and prepare written reports about emergency calls. Firefighters may work long shifts with varied hours and take overtime duties as well. They may take part in things like 10/14 shifts, where they work 10 hours on call and have 14 hours off.

Read more: Learn About Being a Firefighter

4. Air traffic controllers

National average salary: $47,022 per year

Primary duties: Air traffic controllers direct and monitor the movements of aircraft in-flight and on the ground. They direct traffic on runways, give takeoff and landing instructions to pilots, transfer control of incoming and outgoing flights and alert airport response staff of aircraft emergencies.

The FAA has regulations about the number of hours an air traffic controller can work in a week. They cannot work over 10 straight hours during one shift and must have at least 9 hours off between each shift. Air traffic controllers must also have at least one full 24-hour day off every seven days.

Read more: Learn About Being an Air Traffic Controller

5. Librarians

National average salary: $58,932 per year

Primary duties: Librarians may have different job duties depending on their specialty. Children's librarians communicate with children, youth and teens to provide educational programming, offer homework and study help and connect them to books and other materials of their interest.

Digital librarians may catalog new materials, answer technical questions about computers and devices and run technology-related programming. Reference librarians help answer specific research-related questions. Most librarians, no matter their specialties, answer questions from patrons, give book and material recommendations and promote library services and resources within a community.

Certain types of librarians may have more time off than others. Public librarians may have time off for holidays, inclement weather or maintenance issues. In addition, school, university and research librarians may have time off on weekends, during school breaks and in the summer.

Read more: Learn About Being a Librarian

6. Law professors

National average salary: $63,836 per year

Primary duties: Law professors teach postsecondary students about the judicial field and the intricacies of the laws in the United States and in countries around the world. They prepare course materials like handouts, presentations and homework assignments.

They also lead class lectures and discussions and assign independent work. Law professors grade assignments and tests, maintain student attendance records and offer office hours outside of class. They may also perform administrative tasks and conduct research within the field.

College and university law professors may have flexible schedules depending on their tenure status. Some professors may choose how many courses and sections they teach and at what times of the day they're offered. They may also get weekends, school breaks, holidays and summers off.

7. School psychologist

National average salary: $70,043 per year

Primary duties: School psychologists support both students and teachers to provide learning support and lessons related to emotional and social issues. They work to better connect the relationships between a child's home life, school and the community. School psychologists promote learning motivation and engagement and help manage students' classroom behaviors.

They may also conduct psychological assessments, assess student emotional and behavioral needs, provide individual or group counseling and change curriculum for individual needs. School psychologists may teach lessons on bullying, peer pressure and conflict resolution.

Because they work in educational settings, school psychologists may have weekends, holidays, breaks and summers off from work.

8. Dental hygienists

National average salary: $78,242 per year

Primary duties: Dental hygienists examine patients for signs of oral disease, provide preventative care and educate patients about oral hygiene. Dental hygienists may also write reports on patients' oral health for the dentists and document treatment plans. Dental hygienists use many industry-specific tools, such as lasers, x-ray machines and polishing devices.

Many dental hygienists may work part time or only a few days per week for multiple dental practices. In non-emergency settings, they may work some evenings or weekends on appointment-based schedules. However, they may also get holidays and breaks off at the discretion of the dentist.

Read more: Learn About Being a Dental Hygienist

9. Speech language pathologists

National average salary: $80,983 per year

Primary duties: Speech language pathologists work with adults and children at various stages of development and recovery to correct speech, language and swallowing difficulties. They may create individualized treatment plans that include teaching sounds, improving vocabulary, building sentence structure and strengthening oral muscles.

Speech language pathologists may also provide counseling for families and caregivers to assist with treatment. Speech language pathologists that work in educational settings may have evenings, weekends, school breaks, holidays and summers off from work. Those who work in other settings may have a flexible appointment-based schedule that allows for more time off when necessary.

Related: Learn About Being a Speech Pathologist

10. Nurse

National average salary: $81,849 per year

Primary duties: Nurses assist doctors and patients by taking health histories, conducting exams and administering tests. They may check vital signs, draw blood, provide immunizations and conduct other tests and procedures at a routine visit. They may also provide counseling or healthcare advice to patients.

In hospitals or other specialized settings, nurses may have additional responsibilities. Nurses may work longer days or longer shifts than those in other professions, but have more consecutive time off. Depending on the work setting—such as private practices, home healthcare or hospitals—nurses may have more flexibility to build their own schedules.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse

11. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $82,472 per year

Primary duties: Occupational therapists treat injured, ill or differently abled patients through everyday activity therapy. They may review medical histories and evaluate patients' conditions to develop specific treatment plans. They may show exercises that help relieve pain or help patients relearn basic skills like walking.

Occupational therapists may also evaluate a patient's home or workspace to identify and implement accommodations. Because occupational therapists may work in education settings, they may have evenings, weekends, holidays and summers off. Those who work in other settings may have appointment-based or flexible schedules that allow for longer breaks or more free time as needed.

Read more: Learn About Being an Occupational Therapist

12. Judge

National average salary: $94,602 per year

Primary duties: Judges conduct court proceedings and interpret the meaning and implications of the law. They decide if cases have enough evidence to go to trial. They also appoint public defenders to those who need them, set bail and ensure defendants make pleas voluntarily. Judges can also punish misconduct within a courtroom.

Since judges are elected or appointed government officials, they qualify for federal sick and administrative leave, paid holidays and vacation time. Since court dates run on an appointment-based schedule, judges may also have the flexibility to choose when they work.

13. Principals and education administrators

National average salary: $109,094 per year

Primary duties: Principals lead school communities through policy creation, management and setting educational standards. They supervise all students, faculty and staff daily. They are also hire all employees and approve volunteers. They communicate with parents and faculty through various channels, plan academic calendars, handle student recruitment and admissions and provide discipline as needed.

Unlike teachers, principals may work more evenings, weekends or time in the summer depending on their specific duties. However, they may get holiday and break time off. They may also work modified hours in the summers with limited daily hours or total days per week.

Read more: Learn About Being a Principal

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