30 jobs that are not 9-5
Henry Ford changed the world with the invention of the Model T, the automobile that made cars available to the common person. He also changed the world of work by developing the modern assembly line, which he used to build those cars quickly and cheaply. The Model T is now a museum relic and today's assembly lines are so advanced, Ford wouldn't recognize them. His third major innovation, however, had much more staying power.
In 1914, Ford broke away from the 48-hour workweek, which was common then, because he believed too many hours sapped worker productivity. He shaved off eight hours and introduced the now standard 40-hour workweek, which he split into eight-hour shifts spread across the five weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. It was a game-changing innovation that made a job at Ford one of the most prized gigs in the working world.
One hundred and five years later, however, the 9-to-5 model is an antiquated relic from a bygone era, yet most of America is still shackled to classic rat-race hours. The once revolutionary 9-to-5 format makes no attempt to consider the needs and schedules of the millions of employees who are still bound to it. It makes a healthy work-life balance difficult to achieve and compels the masses to spend their lives working in anticipation of the weekend. It also makes commuting a predictably soul-crushing grind—like the classic, grumpy old man story having had to walk to school uphill both ways, 9-to-5 commuters endure rush-hour traffic both to and from their jobs.
Changing attitudes and priorities are now sending the 9-to-5 grind the way of the Model T, and legions of modern employees are pursuing work that offers flexible scheduling and the option to telecommute even at the expense of lower salaries. Many others are going for freelance work that doesn't require a commitment to an employer at all. For those who have never known anything but clocking in at 9 a.m. and clocking out at 5 p.m., the hardest part of breaking the mold is knowing where to start.
Here's a list of attainable jobs known for offering flexibility and independence in scheduling. The list includes salary data from career site PayScale, but pay is listed here by median hourly rate because many of the jobs are not usually salaried positions.
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Median hourly rate: $23.44
Freelance writers can work alone or in teams, on-site, or from home. It's a hustle job, as much of what freelancers do is drum up work. Once they establish a client list that consistently delivers good assignments, however, freelancers can pick and choose their projects and, provided they meet their deadlines, work according to their own schedules.
Freelance technical writer
Median hourly rate: $30.52
Freelance technical writers are unshackled from a 9–5 schedule for the same reasons as generalist freelance writers. They tend to earn more, however, because they're specialists, so good ones are therefore harder to come by. This type of work involves writing technical documents like manuals, reports, and content for technical or scientific publications.
Freelance web designer
Median hourly rate: $19.75
People who have a knack for building, designing, and coding great websites—or a desire to learn—can earn a decent living or some cash on the side by creating websites on a contract basis. Some freelance web designers work with companies, but many others farm out their talent to individuals, artists, musicians, bloggers, or even other freelancers.
Median hourly rate: $17.50
Tutors work with pupils of all ages and disciplines and can earn money by helping them enhance their academic or work skills, both in person and online. Tutors may help students one-on-one or in groups, and they have significant control over their hours. That's because they often set their own schedules or choose to work with specific schools or students, depending on when their services are needed.
Median hourly rate: $25.18
Shutterbugs can turn their passion and talent into cash by working as freelance photographers. They might photograph plates of food for a new restaurant's marketing materials, or take pictures at a wedding, or anything in between. No matter the specialty, freelance photographers enjoy wide latitude over when and how often they work.
Freelance graphic designer
Median hourly rate: $16.93
Some businesses keep full-time graphic artists on staff, but in many cases, it makes more sense to farm out work on a project-by-project basis to freelance graphic designers. Like all freelancers, they generally spend a lot of their time finding new clients and establishing and maintaining professional relationships, and they, too, often have the option of working remotely. Whether they're designing promotional materials, corporate logos, or graphic art for newspapers or magazines, freelance designers often work on deadline and can therefore work at their leisure, provided they submit their work on time.
Median hourly rate: $19.93
People who have a mastery of more than one language can put their linguistic skills to use as translators. The global economy has put a premium on language, and while businesses, the military, and other global organizations supplement their needs with translation software, human translators are still necessary. Telecommuting is often an option, and although hours vary, the nature of the work ensures that most translators enjoy flexible, nontraditional schedules.
Median hourly rate: $28.02
Curriculum developers create training and instruction materials for a variety of organizations, including businesses, governmental agencies, religious institutions, hospitals, and nonprofits. They often can work remotely, at least some of the time, and they generally exercise significant control over their hours, provided they deliver their assigned projects on time.
Median hourly rate: $15.48
Health care professionals hire medical transcriptionists to transcribe codes from doctors' notes to computerized databases, or sometimes to transcribe audio recordings into document form. The work can be done on a part- or full-time basis, and often comes with the ability to work from home at least some of the time.
Median hourly rate: $19.79
Massage therapists can work for high-end hotels, spas, resorts, health clubs, sports organizations, or for themselves. While many in the occupation work on site, independent massage therapists sometimes convert a portion of their homes into studios. In those cases, they have the luxury of setting their own schedules, while massage therapists who work for an employer often do so outside of regular hours, including during the evenings and on weekends.2018 All rights reserved.