Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance

Careers with good work-life balance

Jobs that allow you to spend less time working after hours, or choose your own hours, are definitely desirable. It’s also great to know that your job has stable, set hours and you won’t be taking work home. Keep reading to discover the best work-life balance jobs, which come from the U.S. News Best Jobs ranking. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median Salary: $208,000
Education Required: Doctoral or professional degree

Orthodontists may use braces or other devices to help straighten a patient’s teeth. Some orthodontists work less than 40 hours a week, while others may work more, but usually, they can set their own hours so they’re in control of their schedule. Orthodontists have a very high median salary, which is another great benefit.

Learn more about orthodontists.


Median Salary: $160,370
Education Required: Doctoral or professional degree

Dentists help patients maintain the health of their teeth and gums. A dentist may have their own business, and most work less than 40 hours a week. Dentist is No. 10 in the Best Jobs ranking. Dentists have high salaries, and there is consistent demand for dental services, so they also fare well as far as job security, too.

Learn more about dentists.

Physician Assistant

Median Salary: $121,530
Education Required: Master’s degree

Under a doctor’s supervision, physician assistants treat and diagnose patients. According to the health site Clinical Advisor, before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, nearly two-thirds of physician assistants were satisfied with their work-life balance and autonomy in their career. Also, according to the American Academy of Physician Associates, they usually have two to three specialties, meaning they have some flexibility and control over the direction of their career. Physician assistant ranks high at No. 4 in the Best Jobs ranking.

Learn more about physician assistants.

Software Developer

Median Salary: $120,730
Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Software developers design computer applications that allow users to perform tasks or to meet their needs. Most software developers work full time, so this is a job with stable hours. A work week may be 40 to 50 hours, but software developers can work remotely or from home without difficulty.

Software developer is the No. 1 Best Job of 2023 due to its high median salary, low unemployment rate of 1.3% and projected job growth over the next 10 years.

Learn more about software developers.


Median Salary: $28,910
Education Required: No formal educational credential

Telemarketers connect with potential clients over the phone to provide customer service or sell a product. It’s possible to work from home or in an office setting in this role. Telemarketers who work from home may have more flexibility with their work hours, and part-time work is also available.

Learn more about telemarketers.

Dental Assistant

Median Salary: $38,660
Education Required: Postsecondary nondegree award

Dental assistants work closely with patients and dentists to ensure a dental care visit runs smoothly. They may sterilize instruments, take a patient’s medical history, assist a dentist during a procedure, do some recordkeeping or schedule appointments. Dental assistants are able to work part time or full time with stable hours. Some may work evenings and weekends.

Learn more about dental assistants.

Interpreter and Translator

Median Salary: $49,110
Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Interpreters and translators communicate spoken and written dialogue, including sign language, into another language.

Interpreters and translators may work part time or set their own hours as self-employed consultants. Depending on the projects they receive, they may sometimes have long or irregular hours. Usually, translating work can be done remotely.

Learn more about interpreters and translators.


Median Salary: $29,670
Education Required: Postsecondary nondegree award

Hairdressers style and trim hair, as well as provide other enhancements for personal appearance. There are a variety of flexible options for work, including part time, evenings and weekends. Those who own their own business may be able to choose their own hours. However, sometimes work hours may be longer in order to serve clients’ needs. Some hairdressers have customers come to their house.

Learn more about hairdressers.

Nail Technician

Median Salary: $29,210
Education Required: Postsecondary nondegree award

Nail technicians shape and paint nails, and provide other nail treatments. They mainly work full time and sometimes more than 40 hours a week, but part-time work is also an option, as well as working evenings and weekends. Self-employed nail technicians may set their own schedules.

Learn more about nail technicians.

Recreation and Fitness Worker

Median Salary: $30,930
Education Required: High school diploma or equivalent

Recreation and fitness workers lead activities to help people have fun and stay healthy. Recreation and fitness workers may work part time, seasonally or other irregular hours based on their personal needs.

Learn more about recreation and fitness workers.

Dental Hygienist

Median Salary: $77,810
Education Required: Associate degree

Dental hygienists work with patients to improve oral health and remove stains, tartar and plaque from teeth, as well as take X-rays and provide other preventive dental care. Dental hygienists often work part time, or only a few days a week. This means dental hygienists can free up their schedules, or work for more than one dentist if they choose.

Learn more about dental hygienists.

Web Developer

Median Salary: $77,030
Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Web developer ranks high on the Best Jobs list at No. 9. Depending on the company they are working for, web developers may have good work-life balance due to their ability to work from home, or to travel and work remotely wherever they like.

Some big companies like Google also allow web developers to work on innovations they are interested in for 20% of their time. But sometimes, longer hours are necessary to meet project deadlines. Self-employed web developers may have more control over their schedules.

Learn more about web developers.

12 best work-life balance jobs:



Physician Assistant.

Software Developer.


Dental Assistant.

Interpreter and Translator.


Nail Technician.

Recreation and Fitness Worker.

Dental Hygienist.

Web Developer.

More from U.S. News

The 25 Best Jobs of 2023

25 Best Jobs That Pay More Than $100K

20 Best Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of

Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance originally appeared on

Update 01/24/23: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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