Flexible jobs are more popular than ever. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 35% of Millennial workers aged 18 to 34 say they’ll change jobs at some point in 2017, while 15% of workers aged 35 and older said the same. However, if you’re thinking of making a career change in 2017 because you need more wiggle room in your work schedule, some fields may be more appealing than others. The career website FlexJobs has put together a list of 20 jobs that offer some leeway for workers and have the best growth outlook over the long term. (For more, see 5 Career-Changing Mistakes.)

How the Most Flexible Jobs Were Chosen

FlexJobs considered several factors when selecting jobs for inclusion on its list. These include:

  • Average job growth between 2012 and 2016
  • Current number of job openings
  • Growth outlook through 2024
  • Pay scale
  • Whether each job offers flexible working options, such as telecommuting, part-time hours, alternative schedules, short- and long-term projects or the hiring of freelancers

What the Most Flexible Jobs Are

The jobs included in the rankings are varied, but they share a common thread in terms of flexibility. With that in mind, here are the positions that made the final cut, in alphabetical order:  

Job Type

Flexibility

1. Account Executive

Telecommuting

2. Account Manager

Full- and part-time schedules, temporary positions, freelance options, telecommuting

3. Business Development Professionals

Full- and part-time schedules, temporary positions, freelance options, telecommuting, flexible schedules

4. Business Process Analyst

Telecommuting, freelance options

5. Client Services Coordinator

Part-time schedules

6. Data Scientist

Telecommuting, freelance options, short-term projects, full-time schedules

7. Financial Analyst

Full- and part-time schedules, short-term projects, freelance options, temporary roles

8. Front-End Developer

Full- and part-time schedules, telecommuting, short- and long-term projects, freelance options, temporary roles

9. Genetic Counselor

Full- and part-time schedules, occasional jobs, flexible schedules, telecommuting, temporary roles

10. Information Security Analyst/Manager

Freelance options, telecommuting, full-time schedules

11. Medical Director

Full- and part-time schedules, telecommuting, short-term projects

12. ICU Nurse

Full- and part-time schedules, short-term roles, occasional work, alternative schedules

13. Nurse Practitioner

Full-time and part-time hours, flexible schedules, telecommuting, occasional and temporary options

14. Occupational Therapy Assistant

Part-time schedules, occasional work, alternative schedules

15. Office Manager

Full-time and part-time schedules, short-term and temporary options

16. Operations Analyst

Full- and part-time schedules, short- and long-term projects, telecommuting, freelance options, temporary roles

17. Operations Manager

Telecommuting, temporary and short-term jobs, freelance options

18. Physical Therapy Assistant

Full- and part-time schedules, occasional work, alternative schedules

19. Product Manager

Telecommuting, full-time schedules, short-term projects, freelance options, temporary roles, flexible schedules

20. Statistician

Full- and part-time schedules, telecommuting, temporary roles, freelance options

As you can see, there are a variety of fields represented here, with medical, computer and IT-related positions and finance taking center stage. In terms of how flexible each job is, some offer more options than others. It’s also important to note that there’s wide variance in the type of educational and professional background required for each position, as well as the level of compensation.  

A statistician, for instance, requires a master’s degree or in some cases a Ph.D., but the trade-off is a median annual salary that tops $80,000. Occupational therapy assistants, by comparison, earn a median income of around $55,000 per year, but an associate’s degree may be sufficient for gaining an entry-level position. 

Freelancers Surge

More than half the jobs on the list offer telecommuting, freelance options or both. That’s important, considering that as of 2016 there were 55 million freelancers in the U.S., a number that the Freelancer’s Union anticipates will continue to grow. The increase in the number of freelancers is reflective of the expansion of the gig economy, which has seen its workforce climb by 27% more than payroll employees over the last two decades. (For more, see The Rise of the Gig Economy.) 

The Bottom Line

If more-favorable working hours or the ability to work from home are what you’re after, the FlexJobs rankings are a good starting point for finding a new career path. Each of these fields is set to experience growth in the coming years, some more than others. 

If you’re considering moving into a freelance role, just remember that you’ll be responsible for withholding and paying estimated quarterly taxes. You’ll also have to develop your own retirement options since you won't have an employer-sponsored plan available. Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed explains what you can do.

 

 

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