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The most flexible jobs and what they pay

I can't tell you how many people long for a job that allows them to make their own schedule. I would trade a 40 hour work week for a 50 hour week if it meant I could work those hours with some flexibility.Most of us just need a little room in our schedule to go to a parent teacher conference, take a kid to the orthodontist or hit the gym for a short break in the day.

 Online salary and career database PayScale.com recently surveyed working Americans to find out how they rated their job's level of flexibility. AOL listed the jobs that ranked highest, along with some requirements for getting started, in case you're ready for a career change. Most requiring schooling and skill. Some of them are in extremely competitive fields. Click here for the AOL link that will take you to available jobs in each category.

1. Web Designer and Developer

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 82%

Median annual salary: $52,000

Every successful business wants an easy-to-use, attractive website. Web developers have the software, tools and know-how to design and develop websites from scratch. A four-year degree in a computer-related field is preferable, though a lot of Web development skills can be self-taught. Further study is always required to keep up with technology.

2. Software Developer

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 81%

Median annual salary: $73,000

Here is another job that is not only flexible, but is certain to be in demand now and in the future. Software developers design software for computer games, operating systems and other products using coding languages and computer science principles. The skills can be learned through books and online coursework, though employers are looking first at candidates with four-year computer science degrees.

3. Assistant Accountant

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 78%

Median annual salary: $39,000

Detail-oriented? Happy amid numbers, charts and tables? Helping out a full-time accountant can be a great flexible job, with potential for growth. The work does not require an advanced degree, and a lot of the skills can be learned on the job. You'll succeed or not depending on how many errors you catch and how many columns add up right.

4. Human Resources Generalist

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 75%

Median annual salary: $49,000

This is a job for a people person with a strong work ethic. You may help companies attract top talent, let poor performers go, design benefits plans and plan company parties. Educational requirements vary, but those people with four-year degrees will have the best job prospects.

5. Newspaper Reporter

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 75%

Median annual salary: $35,000

While there are fewer of them, newspaper writing jobs do exist. Competition is higher at major publications, but you may be able to get a foot in the door with a small, local paper. If you have a way with the written word, this is work you can do whenever it is convenient for you. You just have to meet your deadlines. A four-year journalism or English degree is preferred, though some solid writing samples may get you started with less.

6. Financial Analyst

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 74%

Median annual salary: $59,000

Financial analysts have the very important job of researching and recommending places for individuals, companies and governments to invest their money. You may be meeting with a client across town in the morning and spending your afternoon at your desk writing up a report. As an expert, you have a lot of flexibility. Most financial analysts have a college degree in business, accounting, statistics, or finance, and a master's degree will boost job prospects.


7. Film / Video Editor

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 72%

Median annual salary: $46,000

Here's a great job for the film buffs out there who appreciate how scenes transition, music comes and goes, and stories build. If you'd like to be a part of deciding how films, commercials and Web videos are put together, training at a community or technical college can get you started. Getting a gig can be competitive, though, so a four-year degree helps your chances.


8. Employment, Recruitment, or Placement Specialist

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 71%

Median annual salary: $50,000

Here's another job where interpersonal skills are key. A recruiter helps employers find the right candidate for a job opening. To do the job well, you need to maintain relationships both with your clients, the employers, and the many possible job candidates who could be the perfect pick. Opportunities in this field are likely to grow. A four-year degree is typical, though there is no specific major for recruiters, so including business-related classes in your studies is a good idea.


9. Dietitian

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 71%

Median annual salary: $49,000

Dietitians can help people eat well enough so that they can maintain a healthy weight, avoid illness or recover from being sick. Many work in hospitals, though they can also find jobs in nursing care facilities and physicians' offices. As experts in their field, dietitians have more opportunities to set their schedule. At the very least, a bachelor's degree in a related field is required, as well as licensing and certification that varies somewhat state to state. A specialty and further education will improve job opportunities.


10. Data Analyst

People in this job reporting high flexibility: 70%

Median annual salary: $52,000

Here's a flexible job that also has huge growth potential. As technology continues to grow, so do the piles of data that companies, governments and organizations want to sort through and learn from. A data analyst may figure out which customers come in more often on the weekend or which doctors use the fewest medicines when treating their patients. The job requires a four-year degree and on-the-job training.


If you work in a profession with flexibility, please chime in with your suggestions. If you work in any of the jobs listed above, let's hear your thoughts on how flexible they are.