Jobs Where You Can Set Your Own Schedule
There can be plenty of times in your life when having a set work schedule isn’t convenient. Whether you’re a student, parent, semi-retired, or otherwise can’t commit to a typical 9-5 schedule or some other weekly routine, there are jobs where you can set your own schedule to work when and where you want.
Depending on what interests you, you may be able to make a living working a flexible schedule. In other cases, a flex job can supplement your income and give you skills to bolster your resume for the future. You may be able to work on a project basis or hourly during the times that you’re available for employment. You can even mix and match multiple options to boost your earning power.
In many cases, you can use the skills you already have to find employment, either as an employee or a contractor. Some of these positions can be done online, so you won’t be locked into a geographic work location. For others, you’ll need a home base. Review this list of jobs where you can schedule your own hours for options to make money and ditch the office.
27 Jobs Where You Can Set Your Own Schedule
There's something for just about everyone here, and most of the following jobs can either be performed as a sole practitioner business owner or as an independent contractor or employee for someone else's company.
If you have professional skills and experience that you can use to help others in your career field or industry succeed, you may be able to line up consultant jobs, either for a consulting firm or as your own business. Consultants work on a short-term or long-term basis sharing their expertise to help companies succeed in various business areas. Here’s information on finding work as a consultant.
2. Copy Editor/Proofreader
Do you have top-notch grammatical skills and eyes like an eagle? Copy editors and proofreaders are used by companies that produce content for the web and for print. Freelance and part-time jobs are plentiful, though you may need to pass a copy editing test to get hired.
3. Freelance Writer/Editor
Writers and editors are in demand, especially on a contract basis. Opportunities range from one-article assignments to long-term contracts. Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in freelance writing, including where to find jobs and how much you can make.
Many hairstylists are employees of salons, while others rent a booth and work for themselves. In either case, you may be able to set your own schedule based upon the hours you’re available to work. Hairstylists need a license in all 50 states, but it’s a job you can qualify for quickly if you don’t have the required credentials.
5. House Sitter/Caretaker
When you don’t have to be tied down to one location, housesitting or caretaking jobs can provide free housing as well as a paycheck. Opportunities are available within the United States and internationally. If you plan it right, you may not even need a home base.
6. Independent Recruiter
Recruiters help employers find employees, and many work on an independent or contract basis. Most work on a short-term basis, and the assignment ends once a new hire is brought on board. One way to determine if it’s something you’re interested in is to try Indeed Cloud. You can source and refer candidates, and you’ll be paid a finder’s fee for each referral that is hired.
7. Massage Therapist
Many massage therapists work as contractors at clinics or are self-employed. If you work independently, you’ll be able to schedule your clients based on your calendar.
8. Per Diem or Temp Medical Staff
If you’ve got health care skills, but don’t want to commit to full-time employment, there are per diem positions available for nurses, dental assistants, dental hygienists, doctors, medical assistants and other medical staff on an on-call basis. For longer-term assignments, consider a traveling medical position.
9. Personal Trainer
Do you spend a lot of time in the gym? If you’re passionate about fitness, consider becoming a personal trainer. Personal trainers can schedule clients based on when they are available to work, and fitness centers are typically open evenings and weekends, so there’s a lot of flexibility.
10. Pet Sitter
For an animal lover, pet sitting doesn’t even seem like work. That’s especially the case if you can provide pet sitting services in your home. Whether it’s overnight boarding or doggy daycare, you can take clients when it’s convenient for you. Check out services like Wag and Rover for an easy way to get started.
11. Project Manager
Do you have the skills to take a project from conception to implementation? Are you organized, efficient, and good with technology and tools? A lot of project management work is handled by freelancers and consultants, so if you have the right skill set it’s a role to consider.
12. Real Estate Agent
It’s a sales job, so your earnings depend on your sales. However, you can earn a lucrative living selling or leasing property. Here are six reasons to become a real estate agent.
13. Ride-Share Driver / Delivery Driver
If you have a dependable vehicle and appropriate insurance coverage, ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft are constantly hiring. There are mixed reviews when it comes to earning potential, but it’s easy to get started. You can apply online, schedule your availability, and get paid to drive passengers around with your vehicle. Amazon also hires delivery drivers in some locations.
Whether it’s working in direct sales, commission sales, selling online, or working retail, there are always opportunities for sales representatives and entrepreneurs with the ability to make a sale.
15. Seasonal Jobs
Regardless of the season, there are jobs available specifically for that time of year. Resorts hire ski season and summer workers, tax season provides opportunities for tax preparers and filers, and the fall is a good time to get hired for a holiday season job.
16. Social Media Consultant
Are you glued to your home and constantly connecting on social media? You can put those skills to good use and get paid for helping businesses with their social platforms.
17. Special Events Staff
When you live near a performance venue or are willing to travel to work at a music festival, you’ll find plenty of short-term work opportunities. Jobs include ticket sales, ushers, food vendors, brand ambassadors, event planners, production, logistics, and positions working behind the scenes.
18. Substitute Teacher/Aide
School districts typically have a roster of people they call when they need substitutes. Even if certification is required for a permanent teaching position, it may not be for a substitute. Hiring subs may be handled on a school or regional basis. You’ll be able to note your availability and work when your schedule permits. Here’s how to find a substitute teacher job.
A lot of little jobs can add up to a decent paycheck, and with task-based jobs, there is no commitment beyond the task you’ve signed up to do. If you’re handy or have any number of other skills, you can work on a job-by-job basis and spend as much—or as little—time as you want.
20. Test Proctor
Test proctors are needed for college and graduate school testing, certification, licensing, and other standardized exams. Hours and schedules vary, and you’ll need basic computer and customer skills.
21. Tour Guide
Do you know the way around town or do you love to travel? Tour guides can work by the tour or the day, or escort national and international tours. In addition to guiding tours and adventures, there are also positions available booking tours and excursions.
Are you fluent in at least two languages? Interpreter/Translator is a high growth occupation with many projected openings. Freelancers work by the project or may have a client they work for on a regular basis.
Most transcription positions are work from home, and as long as you can meet deadlines, you can work as little or as much as you want. Knowledge of medical and legal terminology is required for those types of positions.
Tutoring is work that can be done based on your own availability. It could be after school, evenings, weekends, during the day for adult learners, or during the summer. Subject area expertise and excellent communication skills are requirements.
25. Video Production Assistant
Video producers often hire assistants to work on a specific project like a commercial. If you’re a multi-tasker with some video experience and good organization skills, you will get paid by the gig, and you can line up projects for when you want to work.
26. Web Content Manager
There are many different facets of a job working on web content. The position could involve researching content topics, search engine optimization, writing, editing and organizing content, and social media promotion. Many small businesses hire contractors rather than full-time employees to help them keep their websites in optimal shape.
27. Web/App Designer/Developer
There are too many opportunities to count for web and app designers and developers. It’s a high-growth career field for people who know how to build websites and applications. You’ll find many freelance positions available.
Keep These Tips in Mind When You’re Setting the Schedule
Working as an independent contractor or on a project basis gives you more control over your own schedule, but it comes with a few things that differ from a traditional work environment. Answering the following questions up front will get you closer to finding the perfect job fit.
Do You Have the Right Skills?
For some set-your-own-schedule jobs, you won’t need any specialized training. For example, you can get in your car and drive to get started as a ride-share driver. For other jobs, you’ll need specialized training and possibly certification or a license. Research what you need to get started—skills, education, tools, supplies, clients, investment, and technology—before you decide what you want to do.
Will You Be an Employee or a Contractor?
Your employment classification will depend on the employer or client you’re working for, the type of work you’re doing, and how you want to handle your finances. For example, if you’re working on one-at-time projects, you could be paid an hourly or project rate by the organization that hires you
If you’re working as a freelance contractor, you’ll be responsible for invoicing the organization for your time, and for paying employment taxes. Here’s the difference between employees and independent contractors.
How Much Will You Earn?
One of the challenges of working at a job (or two) where you set your own schedule is figuring out how much you’ll earn. If you need a steady revenue stream, consider what income you will need and how you can earn it on an hourly or project basis. Be prepared to negotiate rates for freelance work.
How Will You Land Jobs?
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may need to find a steady stream of work rather than just one job you can work when you want to. Where are the best places to find them? In addition to using the top job sites like Indeed and Monster, check websites like Upwork and FlexJobs that focus on freelance and flexible work options. Craigslist and TaskRabbit are other sources for project- and task-based employment.
If you know a company you’d like to work for, check the website for open position listings and an online application.
Don’t forget to tap into your personal and professional connections. One of the best ways to start freelancing or find a job is to let your contacts know you’re making a go of it on your own.