The 9 Top Jobs for Work-Life Balance

It is possible to find a job and have a life as well.

Young woman at beauty salon spa getting a facial massage

With below average stress and plenty of flexibility, massage therapists come in third on our list of jobs that offer excellent work-life balance.

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Most employees and business owners are always on and always working. Are there any jobs where work life is really balanced?

Work-life balance is a major consideration when looking for work. The Best Jobs of 2014 list features some strenuous occupations, but there are also jobs that may allow you to telecommute, work shorter hours and provide time for your hobbies and family.

If work-life balance is your first priority, consider these nine professions. Our editors gave each of these picks a qualitative rating score of below average or low for stress level, and a score of above average or high for flexibility.

[See: 20 Work-Life Balance Hacks.]

1. Bookkeeping, Accounting and Audit Clerk
Stress Level: Low
Flexibility: Above Average

These professionals produce financial records for corporations, institutions and clients. Flexibility is above average, but some seasons may require longer shifts. Different industries and work environments might also require overtime work. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says those in an office setting will work more hours during audits, tax season and at the end of the fiscal year. Bookkeeping, accounting and audit clerks who work in hotels, restaurants and stores may clock overtime hours during holiday and vacation seasons. The stress level is low because clerks work alone often and can meet deadlines at their own pace.

2. Landscaping and Groundskeeper
Stress Level: Low
Flexibility: Above Average

It’s no surprise this job has a low stress level – what could be more relaxing than planting flowers, trees and shrubs? The BLS says most grounds maintenance jobs are seasonal, with the most job opportunities in the spring, summer and fall months. If you take this job, make sure to be careful using heavy machinery like lawn mowers and chainsaws. Instances of injury and illness are higher than usual in this line of the work, according to the BLS.

3. Massage Therapist
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: Above Average

These professionals promote wellness with every touch. They relieve pain and assist in rehabilitating injuries, improving circulation, reducing stress and increasing relaxation. The job's stress level is below average, but it may be higher for self-employed therapists who balance business tasks with seeing clients. Most massage therapists book appointments, which gives them the flexibility to choose their schedule.

[Read: The Best Cures for Workplace Stress.]

4. Office Clerk
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: Above Average

Office clerks work across industries, fulfilling duties such as answering phone calls, scheduling, sorting and delivering mail, and preparing memos and communication. According to the BLS, tasks are very general – which results in a below-average stress level – but there is variety in everyday work, depending on the industry and environment. One plus: Office clerks rarely need to take their work home.

5. Optician
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: Above Average

Tasked with making sure glasses or contacts fit comfortably, opticians work in eyewear stores or departments, medical clinics and ophthalmologist and optometrist offices. Flexibility is above average because this is a job with abundant part-time openings, but keep in mind opticians in retail establishments may work evenings and weekends. The stress level is below average, as long as opticians don't have to deal with irritated or impatient customers.

6. Physical Therapist
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: Above Average

Physical therapists are responsible for helping patients rehabilitate from simple sprains and strains, plus more complex pain and injuries. The stress level is below average for therapists working in environments with support staff to handle administrative and general tasks. This job can be labor intensive, however, and PTs may feel tired after working on their feet all day and lifting or assisting patients. However, most physical therapists work normal business hours, so they get the evenings and weekends to rest.

[See: The 25 Best Jobs of 2014.]

7. Recreation and Fitness Worker
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: High

Whether they're stationed in 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Bally Total Fitness or LA Fitness, recreation and fitness workers employ a personality mix of pleasant friend meets drill sergeant to help gymgoers meet fitness goals. Many recreation and fitness jobs are part time, which offers more flexibility to find a second job or enjoy some free down time.

8. Sports Coach
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: High

Flexibility can revolve around seasonal obligations for sports coaches. For instance, if you coach a Little League team, the season may require you to work longer hours and travel for games, while in the off season, you may only have one or two practices a week. This job's most stressful moments are probably experienced on the sidelines of a sporting event. The BLS says coaches provide direction, encouragement and motivation to athletes, track performance and recruit new athletes. Coaches who work part time will have the most flexible hours, while those who coach multiple teams and in schools may have less leeway.

9. Web Developer
Stress Level: Below Average
Flexibility: High

Unless strings of HTML, CSS and JavaScript stress you out, this job should be fairly low-key. Web developers – also called Web programmers, designers or webmasters – design, create, execute and maintain websites. About one quarter of developers were self-employed in 2012, according to the BLS. Those who work for themselves have more flexible schedules than those employed by companies that might require a larger project load.