By Alida Moore, PayScale.com
If you often feel on top of things at work, but hopelessly behind at home, you’re not alone. Work-life balance -- and how to achieve it and maintain it -- is a top concern for many workers, says Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at online salary database PayScale.com. “People often believe that success at work means sacrificing a personal life,” she says.
But does it have to be that way? Not necessarily if you choose a profession that allows you to earn a decent income without working too many hours. In fact, in some jobs, you can work part time and still earn more than the national median full-time salary of $39,500.
There is a catch, of course. “You can’t expect to just walk into these jobs and cut your hours immediately,” Bardaro says. “It takes certain levels of education -- as well as diligence and hard work -- to reach this professional level.”
Still, consider one of these seven occupations in which you can earn more than $40,000 annually while working just 20 hours a week. Your commitment to pursuing one of these professions now could pay off later, in both time and money.
Typical Median Annual Pay: $47,600
Are you a conceptual thinker who enjoys collaborating with other creative people and seeing the creative process through -- from inception to finished product? You might enjoy a career in art direction, where you can set the artistic vision for projects in a variety of industries, including game design and marketing. An associate’s degree is the minimum level of education needed to get started, but a bachelor’s degree is more typical.
Find art director jobs.
Typical Median Annual Pay: $46,700
This job requires a significant up-front commitment. To become a veterinarian, you’ll need a doctorate of veterinary medicine, which typically takes four years to complete. But if you enjoy working with animals, you could do well in this career. Many vets go into practice for themselves, which allows them to set their own hours.
Find veterinarian jobs.
Typical Median Annual Pay: $44,200
If you aren’t put off by needles and you fancy yourself a healer, consider becoming an acupuncturist. Based on the ancient Chinese practice of correcting imbalances in the body’s “chi,” or energy flow, acupuncture has become widely embraced in Western culture. Acupuncturists hold master’s degrees.
Find acupuncturist jobs.
Information Technology Consultant
Typical Median Annual Pay: $41,700
Can you speak the language of computer technology and think strategically? You might find a satisfying career as an IT consultant. A bachelor’s degree will get you started. With companies needing expert help with data storage, security, networking, upgrades and other aspects of their technology operations, this field boasts plenty of job security.
Find IT consultant jobs.
Typical Median Annual Pay: $41,600
When a plumbing emergency occurs, the plumber is every panicked person’s best friend. Aside from feeling good about helping people, you could have the freedom to set limited hours for yourself. Most master plumbers hold associate’s degrees and must complete an apprenticeship program.
Find plumber jobs.
Typical Median Annual Pay: $41,200
If you’ve ever felt more drawn to an arguing couple than put off, you might have a future as a marriage/family therapist. Most family therapists hold master’s degrees, so this job requires an investment in your education.
Find marriage/family therapist jobs.
Typical Median Annual Pay: $40,800
Would you like to help someone walk with a prosthetic for the first time or stand up straighter after back surgery? If you’re fascinated by health and enjoy assisting people with physical recovery, look into becoming a physical therapist. You could enjoy a flexible schedule in this rewarding field. Physical therapists are required to have a postgraduate professional degree.
Find physical therapist jobs.
Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are annual median salaries for workers with five to 15 years of experience working 20 hours per week and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.
Learn more about part-time careers.