Careers That Allow Work-Life Balance


Feeling out of whack? Straighten up your life by checking out these careers that could make balancing work and personal life a cinch!

By Chris Kyle

Feeling unbalanced? Like you have no time for yourself or your family? It could be your career that's plaguing you...

Jeff Davidson, author of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society, believes that modern-day society has turned many of us into human whirlwinds who need to slow down - before we crash.

"We need to control the workday and not let the workday control us," Davidson says. "Fewer and fewer people today are in control."

Want to take control of your professional - and personal - life? Check out these career options that could let you balance work with your busy life.

Career #1 – Nursing

Many registered nurses (RNs) enjoy flexible work schedules, which make it easier to put family first. Child care and educational benefits are two additional perks of the profession, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Education Options: Earn a nursing degree or diploma, then get certified in your state.

Average Earning Potential: $66,530 in May 2009, with the highest 10 percent of RNs earning more than $93,700.*

Search for Nursing schools near you now.

Career #2 – Teaching

Teaching could be another great option for those striving for work-life balance. Shorter workdays and summers off can mean more time for your favorite activities like gardening, playing sports, doing community service, vacationing, or just lounging on the couch.

Education Options: Earning a bachelor's degree is the first step. A teaching certificate will help qualify you to teach in your state, and a master's degree can often bump up your average earning potential.

Average Earning Potential: The median income for kindergarten, elementary, middle school, and high school teachers was $50,380, $53,150, $53,550, and $55,150, respectively, in May 2009.*

Search for Education and Teaching schools now!

Career #3 – Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work a pretty normal 9-to-5 schedule, which means that you could fit in recreational activities without the fear of work getting in the way. Other perks: medical assistant programs are often short and job prospects are excellent through 2018, according to the Department of Labor.

Education Options: A medical assisting program could help push you in the right direction.

Average Potential: In May 2009, the average income for medical assistants was $29,450, with the top 10 percent of medical assistants averaging at nearly $40,000.*

Search for Medical Assistant programs now.

Career #4 – Paralegal

Unlike lawyers, many paralegals may be able to leave their work "at work" by turning off their cell phones and computers when they head home. Paralegals also enjoy potentially short preparation programs and growing employment opportunities, according to the Department of Labor.

Education Options: An associate's degree in paralegal studies could be a good first step and online programs are available. For those who already have a degree, a paralegal certificate takes about one year to complete on average (depending on your course load)

Average Earning Potential: Paralegals had an average income of $49,640 in May 2010.*

Find Paralegal career programs in your area or online.

Career #5 – Sales Professional

Think the sales world is too fast-paced and demanding for you? Flex hours and telecommuting are common in sales, which could come in handy when it's time for a parent-teacher conference or a little league game.

Education Options: A bachelor's degree in an area like business administration, marketing, or public relations can help you build a solid foundation.

Average Earning Potential: Sales reps, on average, make $56,000, according to, with sales reps in Chicago and New York City making $61,000 and $70,000 respectively.*

Find Business and Marketing schools now!

*Unless otherwise noted, all salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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