High-Paying Flexible Jobs

Looking for a career that offers flexibility or a fat paycheck? It turns out there are plenty of jobs that offer both.
With help from Payscale.com, which lets users compare their salaries with those of other people in similar jobs by culling real-time salary data from its 35 million profiles, we’ve compiled a list of 10 high-paying flexible jobs.

Payscale found the 22 most flexible jobs in terms of schedule flexibility, and the percentage that can telecommute (work from home)–and provided the average pay for workers in these jobs with at least a bachelor’s degree and 5 to 8 years of experience.

Forbes culled through the data to find the 10 best-paying gigs, and at the top of the heap we have senior project managers, IT, who bring in about $99,700 a year, on average. Twenty-six percent of these professionals (those with at least a bachelor’s and 5 to 8 years experience) say they’re able to do their job from home. The average across all jobs and industries for workers with at least a bachelor’s is 7%.

A senior project manager in IT is responsible for developing a detailed project plan for IT services and products, and identifying critical paths, says Katie Bardaro, Payscale’s lead economist. “They must match detailed customer requirements with constraints and assumptions of the IT team in order to establish project deliverables,” she says. And they can easily do the job remotely.

“The IT industry pays well and typically grants the ability to work from home to its seasoned workers,” she says. “Many of the tasks completed by these jobs can be done via technology (phone, computer, e-mail, web chats, etc.) and require a sharp focus and sometimes odd hours, all three of which sum up to a perfect job for telecommuting.”

Actuaries hold the No. 2 spot on our list of high-paying flexible jobs. These professionals use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Payscale data shows they make $94,600 a year, on average; and 93% say they have a flexible schedule. (The average across all jobs and industries for workers with at least a bachelor’s is 72%.)

“Schedule flexibility is important to employees as they are comforted by the knowledge that they can easily change their schedule and time-off,” Bardaro says. “This knowledge will incent workers to be productive as they know they have some level of control in their schedule. This is especially key for families who might need to take time off to align with school breaks or stay home with a sick child.”
Third we have attorneys and lawyers. Ninety-one percent of them, who rake in about $92,400 a year, on average, say they have flexible schedules.

Rounding out the top five are management consultants and tax managers, who make $89,500 a year and $89,300 a year, respectively. Both of these jobs are considered highly flexible by Payscale, because of the percentage of workers who said they can do their job from home.

“Flexible jobs don’t only offer the ability to have a better work-life balance, but also often make workers more productive,” Bardaro says. An office environment can be distracting–and working from home shuts out all office chatter, drama and distractions, and provides workers with the ability to hunker down and focus solely on their work tasks.

“One key thing to mention, however, is that the ability to work from home is a privilege and often only granted to experienced or seasoned workers,” she adds. “This is driven by the fact that a worker will need to prove themselves trustworthy in a work environment before they are trusted to work well with no supervision. Often times, the best way to convince employers that you can work from home is to be an all-star at the office and show you have the ability to succeed with limited supervision.”