Healthcare jobs have a reputation for being a grind. Twenty-four-hour shifts and exhausting work weeks leave little time for family, friends, or hobbies. However, many medical professionals embrace the high demands and find healthcare careers very rewarding.
For those who want a more balanced life, you don’t have to eliminate healthcare as a potential career. There are roles that are rewarding and also strike a healthy work-life balance. We’ve rounded up the top healthcare job for work-life balance if reasonable hours and time for life outside your role is your goal.
1) Travel Nurse
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, nursing has been associated with burnout. Images of nurses working long hours in the ER have scared some from considering this profession. However, the recent shortage of nurses has given nurses more power than ever to set more reasonable schedules.
Travel nursing, in particular, offers freedom and adventure that makes it ideal for many.
Travel nurses choose where they work and set their own hours. The role requires them to assess patients, keep thorough records, and coordinate with other healthcare providers across various healthcare environments. And they are well-compensated: experienced travel nurses can earn as much as $177,040 per year in certain states.
Dermatology is a career that offers fixed office hours and rarely requires after-hours care. It also offers a chance to develop relationships with your patients over time, as opposed to emergency care, where you likely won’t have interactions with patients outside of the immediate treatment period.
Although going through medical school and residency may require a less-than-ideal work-life balance, choosing a dermatology specialty will help you clock in fewer hours after your education. Dermatology is also a lucrative specialty and has an average salary between $309,900 and $420,900.
U.S. News and World Report listed orthodontia as one of the best jobs for work-life balance. Orthodontists have to complete additional schooling for specialized care after dental school, but graduates are rewarded with a relatively low-stress career. Because they specialize in treatment for teeth and jaw alignment through appliances, they rarely have emergencies that pull them away from their lives after work. Plus, they are one of the top-paid specialists, making an average of $292,000 a year.
Pediatrics is the perfect profession for those who love to work with kids. Pediatricians have a relatively low-stress medical job caring for children's physical, social, and emotional well-being from infancy to young adulthood.
Many pediatricians have routine office hours, and those in large hospital groups rotate emergency care, so you don’t always have to clock in after hours. A survey of pediatricians found that over 58% worked less than 50 hours a week. And the average pediatrician makes $225,500 a year.
5) Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists (SLP) treat patients who have difficulties speaking, swallowing, or with language. They serve a broad patient base, including those relearning speech after a stroke, children with language delays, babies who have difficulty swallowing, and patients who have a stutter.
Because it is a broad field, SLPs have their option of patients and environments. Some possibilities include schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private practices. Plus, SLPs rarely have to handle emergencies. The average salary is $92,690, with many earning over six figures.
Not everyone thrives off a high-stress career, but that doesn’t mean that healthcare isn’t for you. If your goal is to balance medicine with raising a family, spending time with friends, or having hobbies, consider one of the careers above to make it happen.
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