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Jobs with the Most Vacation Time

Jobs with the Most Vacation Time

By Lydia Dishman, PayScale.com

If you wish you could spend more time sitting at the shore or scaling a picturesque peak over the summer, you may want to choose your job carefully. Online salary database PayScale.com discovered a surprising fact about paid time off. If you want more of it, it’s best if you put in very regular work hours.

“Working a 9-to-5 job with a fairly rigid work schedule tends to bring about the benefit of more vacation,” says Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at PayScale. Your industry choice also matters. Jobs that offer the most time off tend to be in industries that offer higher pay, such as finance, insurance and IT.

However, a bigger paycheck doesn’t always guarantee more days to relax, Bardaro says. Some high-salary jobs come with limited time off, especially when the job responsibilities -- like those for a leasing agent -- can spill over into evenings and weekends.

Likewise, “in jobs where you are constantly on call, like a personal assistant or social media manager, you’ll have limited vacation time,” Bardaro adds.

The average American worker with five to eight years of experience gets 2.2 weeks -- or 11 days -- of paid vacation annually, according to PayScale. Here’s a look at six popular jobs with the most vacation time.

Civil Engineer
Median Annual Salary: $63,200
Vacation: 3.2 Weeks


Though a major responsibility for most civil engineers is to supervise construction projects, many spend plenty of time at their desks designing and managing the details. Bardaro says that, like their counterparts in finance, engineers are well-paid professionals with relatively structured hours who enjoy a full additional week of time off compared with the national median.

Find civil engineer jobs.

Programmer Analyst
Median Annual Salary: $66,000
Vacation: 3.1 Weeks


Mark Zuckerberg may have made all-night “hackathons” popular at Facebook, but most programmers write and analyze code by the light of day. Specializing in a few different programming languages is common, but programmers may want to learn some foreign languages as well so they can enjoy international travel during their more than three weeks off.

Find programmer analyst jobs.

Financial Controller 
Median Annual Salary: $70,600
Vacation: 2.7 Weeks


It doesn’t get more buttoned up than managing an organization’s budget, analyzing bank and vendor statements, and developing strategies to meet long-term financial goals. To beat the stress of keeping balance sheets in the black, controllers are rewarded with nearly three weeks of vacation.

Find financial controller jobs.

Marketing Manager
Median Annual Salary: $63,100
Vacation: 2.7 Weeks

Capturing consumers’ attention in a competitive marketplace is a full-time job with round-the-clock stress. Close to three weeks of vacation provides a break from this fast pace, allowing marketing managers to escape to tropical beaches for a little "market research."

Find marketing manager jobs.

Operations Manager
Median Annual Salary: $57,000
Vacation: 2.7 Weeks

These professionals keep an eye on day-to-day company operations to ensure that business runs smoothly. To unplug, escape and relax, they earn almost three weeks of vacation, where their only concern, ideally, should be balancing rest and adventure.

Find operations manager jobs.

Executive Assistant
Median Annual Salary: $43,600
Vacation: 2.3 Weeks

Booking travel arrangements for executives is just a small part of the intense juggling act that defines the careers of executive assistants. More than two weeks of vacation gives them freedom to take a break from the demands of others and perhaps enjoy some travel themselves.

Find executive assistant jobs.

Source: All salary data provided by online salary database
PayScale.com. Salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time employees with five to eight years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. The vacation weeks listed are national median weeks per year for employees with five to eight years of experience.

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