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Jobs That Let You Flex Your Freedom
Quite a regular
2008/1/15 12:37
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Jobs That Let You Flex Your Freedom

Career #1 - Medical Assistant

Medical assistants keep doctor's offices running smoothly by handling both administrative and clinical duties. As a medical assistant, you might update and file patients' medical records, answer phones, greet patients, and handle scheduling and billing. You might also record vital signs, perform basic laboratory tests, and draw blood.

Freedom Factor: Many medical assistants make a good living by working part time, evenings, or weekends. It's a win-win situation - you can benefit from the flexible schedules available at 24-hour health care facilities, and you will walk away with a feeling of satisfaction earned by helping others.

Training: Prepare for a career as a medical assistant by completing a certificate or diploma program, or by earning your associate's degree. In these programs, you generally learn about career-relevant topics like medical terminology, lab techniques, transcription, and insurance processing.

Salary: Median annual wages for medical assistants are around $28,300, but earnings vary depending on experience, skill level, and location. The highest 10 percent averaged at more than $39,570 in May 2008.

Career #2 - Graphic Designer

Graphic designers create and communicate ideas visually, verbally, and in writing. As a graphic designer, you could find yourself developing and designing publications, creating brochures for products, or even designing logos for businesses.

Freedom Factor: Freelance graphic designers often work from home offices and can set their own hours. If you're a creative person, you may find many jobs repetitive and stifling... but not this one!

Training: Earning an associate's degree or certificate in graphic design from a two-year or three-year professional school should qualify you as an assistant to a graphic designer.

Salary: According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, staff-level graphic designers had a median salary of $45,000 in 2008.

Career #3 - Police Officer

Police officers work hard to protect lives and property. As a police officer, you might spend a lot of time writing reports, maintaining incident records, apprehending criminals, responding to calls, and investigating suspicious activity. Sound like fun? You're in luck...the job can also be quite flexible.

Freedom Factor: Some police departments are instituting programs like the LAPD's Compressed Work Schedule. You work a few longer shifts, but have more consecutive days off. That might mean working three 12-hour days a week, or four 10-hour days a week. If you're someone who can't stand being cooped up in an office all day, police work offers a definite change of pace.

Training: Applicants should have a high school education. Physical education and participation in sports are encouraged, as they develop competitiveness, stamina, and agility. For those seeking further education to prepare for this career, you can look into degree programs in criminal justice, police science, administration of justice, or public administration.

Salary: Police and sheriff's patrol officers have median annual wages of about $51,410. Many departments pay higher salaries to officers who earn one of the degrees mentioned above.

Career #4 - Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists listen to and transcribe dictated recordings made by doctors and other health care professionals. As a medical transcriptionist, you would need to understand medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, and treatment assessments.

Freedom Factor: A great many medical transcriptionists work at home, thanks to the growing practice of receiving dictation over the Internet. If you're one of these home-based medical transcriptionists, you get to decide your own hours. It's up to you whether you work full time, part time, evenings, or weekends.

Training: Completion of a two-year associate's degree or one-year certificate program is highly recommended, but not always required. Many programs include supervised on-the-job experience.

Salary: Medical transcriptionists had a median hourly wage of $15.41 in May 2008, with the top 10 percent of transcriptionists earning more than $21.81 per hour.

Career #5 - Sales Representative

Sales representatives can make their sales calls in person or over the phone. As a sales rep, you might work for a single organization or several companies. Your job could include a lot of travel, or you could work mostly by phone.

Freedom Factor: While most sales calls take place during regular business hours, a lot of the paperwork and strategy involved with sales can be completed at any time of day. That means you can determine your own work schedule and arrange meetings around it.

Training: If you're dealing with scientific and technical products, a bachelor's degree may be required. For other jobs, a high school diploma is enough. If you'd like more preparation for this career, courses in marketing, economics, and communications, may give you the edge you need to make your sales.

Salary: Median annual wages for technical and scientific products sales representatives are around $70,200, including commissions. For sales representatives who don't deal with technical and scientific products, median annual wages are around $51,330, including commissions.

Career #6 - Web Developer/Designer

Web developers and designers use their skills to design and create interactive media. As a web developer or designer, you might design projects for web sites, mobile phones, and other interactive media using a variety of graphic design and animation software.

Freedom Factor: Web developers or designers might work in an office or in their own home. If you're a freelance developer or designer, you can work at any hour of the day or long as you keep your client's deadlines in mind.

Training: The coursework for an associate's degree or certificate in graphic design will teach you the technical requirements necessary for this job. If you want to work for a design firm, a bachelor's degree may be required.

Salary: According to national salary data from, the average salary for web designers in October 2010 was $33,859-$50,213.

Career #7 - Teacher

Teachers play a critical role in fostering the intellectual and social development of children. As a teacher, you will plan and assign lessons, prepare and grade tests, and meet with parents and school staff to talk about students' academic progress and personal situations. You might also act as a coach or even assist students in choosing colleges and careers.

Freedom Factor: Just like students, teachers get winter breaks, spring breaks, and summers off. Many teachers use their summers to pursue master's degrees or additional certifications, which in turn raise their salaries.

Training: Most teachers have either a bachelor's or master's degree. All teachers in public schools must have a teaching certificate and a license to teach.

Salary: Median annual wages of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers range from $47,100 to $51,180.

Career #8 - Registered Nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) can work in hospitals, schools, community centers, or patient's homes. As a registered nurse, you might treat patients, perform diagnostic tests, administer medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation.

Freedom Factor: Because hospitals and nursing care facilities are open 24-hours a day, nurses are needed to work all hours of the day, night - and even on weekends. As a nurse, you can arrange a shift that works best for your personal schedule. This could include longer shifts for fewer days a week, leaving you free to spend your time as you want for the rest of your week.

Training: To prepare for a nursing career, consider a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program.

Salary: Registered nurses earn an average annual salary of $62,450.

Posted on: 2010/11/18 15:27
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