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Many of us struggle to balance time and money: finding enough time to spend with the kids while earning enough money to pay for their shoes and college educations, for example. It can be hard to scare up a job that allows you to do both, but part-time jobs with full-time pay do exist. Not all of them will allow you to coast toward financial stability on 20 hours a week, but they may provide enough flexibility that you can pick up hours when money is tight and scale them back when other priorities (kids, aging parents, that unwritten novel) surface in your life.
Bartender ($10.25/hr*): Bartending can be a dead end or a lucrative opportunity, depending on the bar. If it's a busy place in a trendy area, the pay can be significantly higher than the average calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A caveat: this is not a job for the easily fatigued, given the long, late hours of standing and lifting.
Consultant ($41.95/hr*): Consultants can earn substantial hourly pay, even if they choose not to work full-time for consulting firms. They might decide to establish their own consulting businesses, which guarantees flexibility (as long as the clients cooperate). Or they might choose to work through employment agencies like San Francisco-based Flexperience Consulting or Stamford, Conn.-based Flexible Resources, which connect consultants with part-time work.
Dental hygienist ($33.02/hr*): No list of part-time jobs is complete without this one: about half of all dental hygienists work part time, and the occupation is known for its flexibility.
Massage therapist ($19.12/hr*): Massage therapy is another profession with many part-time and self-employed workers. A therapist may choose to book many appointments or just a few, depending on schedule and budget. And their hourly rate can go up quite a bit depending on their professional skill and the market where they work. In big cities, hour-long massages usually start around $100.
Personal trainer/fitness instructor ($17.27/hr*): Trainers who work one-on-one with clients can plan sessions at any mutually agreeable time, which gives them a lot of scheduling latitude. Fitness instructors who teach classes also have a fair amount of flexibility, since aerobics, yoga, Pilates and other types of classes take place throughout the day.
Pharmacist ($52.29/hr*): Like many other health care professionals, pharmacists often work in shifts -- a way to make sure medicine is always available to people who need it. A pharmacist might choose to work just a few shifts a week, but at more than $50 per hour that still adds up to a nice living.
Physician (varies by specialty): Depending on their practice, physicians are sometimes able to pull off a part-time schedule. The American College of Physicians surveyed its members and found that 12 percent work part time. Half of those did so for family reasons.
Tax preparer ($17.82/hr*): If you want to work really hard in the winter and have lots of free time in the summer, this might be the job for you. Over the last decade, employment of tax preparers has spiked in the early months of the year (peaking in February), and hit a low point in July, according to the BLS.
*Average hourly wages for every occupation are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2010.
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