15 Jobs That Give You the Most Time Off to Enjoy Life

If you’re looking for a flexible career with a better-than-average work-life balance, try one of these 15 jobs.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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All work and no play make life pretty boring. Sure, some people find meaning in a life of hustle. But if you aren’t one of them, you don’t have to settle for a soul-crushing 9-to-5 job.

Instead, find a job as flexible as you are in our list below. Many of these gigs offer a work-life balance and enough income you can move beyond living paycheck to paycheck.

Online tutor

insta_photos/Adobe online tutor teaching digital class

Want to put your teaching credentials to good use without sticking to a strict school schedule? Try online tutoring.

Tutoring jobs can pay anything between $13 and $40 an hour, ZipRecruiter says. The top of that range offers better pay than many traditional jobs.

As for flexibility, online tutors can create their own courses and advertise their tutoring services. If you don’t want to do that much legwork, you can sign up with a website like Tutor.com to be paired with students who want help.

Graphic designer

Andrey Popov/Adobe graphic designer working

There are plenty of on-site, full-time graphic design jobs, but many graphic designers value their creativity and artistic freedom too much to stay tethered to a desk.

Remote graphic designers usually collaborate with individual clients or marketing teams to bring a project to life, but they do it on their own time and schedule.

Freelance photographer

deagreez/Adobe photographer cheking photos on a digital camera

Like most freelancers, freelance photographers can choose which jobs they want and skip the rest.

Depending on the type of photography services you offer — such as wedding photo shoots or family portraits — you can make between $18,000 and $83,000 a year, Comparably says. And you can do it while maintaining your own schedule and building a creative portfolio.

House sitter

Drobot Dean/Adobe young woman florist taking care of pot plants

Being a house sitter is just about the easiest job out there. It doesn’t always pay a lot, but staying in someone else’s house, watering their plants, and checking their mail can give you a sense of adventure while requiring you to do the bare minimum amount of work.

Travel agent

WavebreakmediaMicro/Adobe smiling travel agent sitting at her desk

Travel agents can work on their own, creating home-based businesses that help clients travel the world. Other agents work for companies that provide training, compensation, and benefits. 

You can work your own hours from home and, depending on the agency you work for, get perks that make global travel easier and cheaper.

Substitute teacher

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe  teacher pointing at blurred girl raising hand in classroom

As a substitute, you don’t have the same rigid schedule requirements as a full-time teacher. You also spend a lot less time stressing about your job — for the most part, you’re there to present pre-prepared material while keeping a class under control.

Since substitute teaching opportunities tend to come up at random, you won’t have as much job security as a tutor with a contract. But if that type of freedom is exactly what you’re looking for, being a substitute teacher could be your next dream gig.

Dog walker

SB Arts Media/Adobe professional dog walker with dogs on leash

As long as you love dogs and know how to keep them safe at the local dog park or on a neighborhood stroll, dog walking can give you a quick paycheck without a huge time requirement.

Pro tip: If you find you need a little more income than these jobs provide, consider other ways to earn extra cash, such as a low-stress part-time job or a fun side hustle.

Product tester

Nomad_Soul/Adobe customer testing lipstick in make-up shop

Before a product hits the shelves, companies usually want to test it on the target demographic to make sure it will sell. Makeup companies, toothpaste manufacturers, and others pay potential customers to try products and offer honest feedback.

You won’t make a lot at this particular gig, but the pocket money (and the free products) are definitely useful.

Freelance writer/editor

sodawhiskey/Adobe woman using computer laptop while sitting

Some writers and editors thrive at desk jobs with strict quotas and deadlines. Others struggle to slip into a creative mindset on command and prefer to write only when they feel like it.

If you fall into the latter group, freelance writing and editing can save you from wasting hours sitting at a desk waiting for inspiration to strike.

Sites like Upwork, Indeed, and WritersDomain curate lists of freelance gigs for writers and editors in a variety of fields. Many writing jobs pay by the project or word, while editing jobs often pay by the project or hour.

Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash driver

Odua Images/Adobe smiling asian taxi driver

If you already enjoy traveling by car — maybe with a podcast or playlist to keep you company — it’s pretty easy to make some extra money while you’re driving.

Rideshare services notify you when someone near you needs a ride. You can opt in to the job or decline it if you’re busy. Either way, your schedule is entirely up to you, as is the number of hours you work in a day.

Massage therapist

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Massage therapist and client

Becoming a massage therapist requires more schooling and certification than many of the other jobs on this list. Once you’ve finished your training, though, you can decide which clients to take, how many, and which days of the week.

You’ll also have at least some control over how your workspace looks, including your room’s music, mood, scents, and lighting.

Virtual office assistant

paulaphoto/Adobe woman in suit working in office desk virtual computer

COVID-19 did a lot to normalize remote work, especially administrative jobs that used to require folks to be in the office. Now, many companies employ remote at-home assistants to keep the virtual office running smoothly.

As a virtual aide, you might answer phone calls, create spreadsheets, balance the books, or plan others’ schedules. Just remember that if the company you work for needs you during regular 9-to-5 hours, you’ll have to be free during that time.

Curriculum creator

DragonImages/Adobe hands of teacher or business lady working on new project

Want to help students and teachers without standing in front of a class all day? Become a curriculum designer.

Also known as institutional coordinators, these professionals create educational content alongside teachers, school districts, principals, legislatures, and other educational organizations like testing centers.

The job blends creativity with attention to detail and strict organizational skills, which makes it a good fit for people who are easily bored by repetitive tasks.

At-home transcriptionist

pressmaster/Adobe human fingers pushing the buttons of keyboard

Many industries, especially the medical and legal fields, use audio recordings to capture every word of patients or clients. 

However, lawyers and doctors don’t usually have the skills or time to accurately transcribe audio data, so their organizations outsource transcribing services to at-home typists.

All you need to get started is a computer, keyboard, and an eye for detail, and you can do this job from virtually anywhere in the world.

Interpreter or translator

AntonioDiaz/Adobe translator working at his home office desk

Government offices, concert venues, hospitals, and school districts often desperately need someone fluent in both English and another language at a moment’s notice.

Interpreting jobs are expected to grow 20% through 2031, according to the federal government. So, while part-time interpreting work isn’t predictable or steady, it’s definitely in high demand.

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Bottom line

mavoimages/Adobe Smiling female entrepreneur going through paperwork

These 15 jobs could keep you on solid financial ground and let you live your best laid-back life.

Whether you value setting your own schedule or having the maximum amount of free time, making a career move into the fields above can help you enjoy your life while doing as little work as possible.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.