Five High Paying Careers That Aren't 9-to-5 Jobs

Five High Paying Careers That Aren't 9-to-5 Jobs

By: Daniel Steingold | July 30, 2016

Although it was once the gold standard, the 9-to-5 workday is progressively becoming a relic of the past.

In 2009, it was noted that 20 percent of all Americans worked at non-standard times— this includes during the evening, night, or on rotating shifts.

Millennials are pushing this trend even further, to the point where some of the media has declared that the 9-to-5 job is dying.

According to one study conducted by Millennial Branding, 45 percent of millennials prioritize workplace flexibility over pay. Because of this, freelancing and the gig economy have expanded rapidly.

But this brings up an important question: what if you want a typical full-time job, but just don’t want to work rigid hours?

This post will mainly be directed towards people who fall into this category— those who want a fulfilling, stable career that they can work on their own time.

Here are five careers that can pay well that don’t require working from 9-to-5.

Massage Therapist

While being a masseuse pays well and allows for flexibility, it should not be mistaken for being easy work.

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Most credentialed massage therapists are required to complete an intensive post-secondary program, along with 500 hours of supervised practice. From here, you will be expected to get a license.

Of course, performing massage is also very physically demanding. Some massage therapists even report getting injured on the job, although there are ways to prevent sustaining an injury.

The benefits of being a massage therapist include being able to set your own hours, help and interact with a number of people, and having the potential to make good wages. (The best make over $72,000 a year.)


Like with being a masseuse, many people oversimplify what it takes to be a photographer. It doesn’t just take a good eye for aesthetics; you will need to be well-versed in lighting, portraiture, and landscape techniques, for starters.

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Photography is great in that it is one of the most flexible professions you will find. You can decide to start your own studio, and perhaps even hire others to work under you. Furthermore, you can choose when you want to work, and what kind of photos you’d like to shoot.

Although the most experienced of photographers can make upwards of $90,000 a year, it should not be glamorized as being a profession where you’ll necessarily make a killing. The bottom rung of photographers often find themselves underpaid, and sometimes even working for free.

Many of the best compensated and most recognized photographers work in the entertainment industry.

Tax Accountant

Tax accountants find themselves in a weird predicament: during certain times of the year (primarily from January through April), they have too much work to handle, while the rest of the year, things are pretty calm.

Although some online platforms like TurboTax have carved away at the business of tax accountants, it is safe to assume that these platforms will not replace them entirely. In fact, 5

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To help balance out their activity throughout the year, many tax accountants have clients who need non-traditional services performed, such as quarterly returns. The median pay for accountants of any type is $67,190 a year.

Personal Trainer

While being extremely physically fit is nearly required to be a personal trainer, a deep knowledge of the principles of nutrition and exercise is just as important.

Many personal trainers work for a gym, although perhaps just as many have their own private practice. If a trainer chooses the latter path, they’ll likely find that they can work whenever and wherever they want.

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Personal trainers can make extraordinary amounts of income when their clientele includes the rich and famous— a much more likely prospect in bigger markets like Los Angeles or New York City.

The median pay for a personal trainer is $56,000, the top pay is $128,000, and the industry is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2012 to 2022.


Despite making a median salary of over $95,000 a year, many people are puzzled when it comes to what actuaries actually do.

Quite simply, actuaries manage and analyze risk— they are particularly used in the insurance industry.

The schedules of actuaries are very flexible; they get to choose their own hours, and furthermore, with whom they want to work. Also, as an actuary, you get to travel a ton!

Part of the reason that actuaries are paid so well is because they have to be great at math. You have to be an expert at calculus and statistics, along with having excellent problem-solving skills and knowledge of probability theory.

In terms of mental rigor, being an actuary is likely in a class of its own on this list.

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