(NON) 9 to 5 Jobs That Pay Well

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Most of us work a 9-5 job that keeps us indoors (mostly), take work back home and generally live a very regimented life. But thanks to the growing awareness about work-life balance, the idea of working out of a cubicle for the rest of their working lives is becoming a little overbearing for a number of people.

The reasons are many; you may be a morning person and mid-afternoon meetings just put you to sleep, or you could be an evening person and the thought of getting up in the morning terrifies you. Not surprisingly, as work-from-home culture stopped becoming a novelty a few years ago, the profession choices too, stopped being boring. Work became more rewarding regardless if you were an early riser or a night owl.

Tired of 9 to 5 Grind? These Jobs Pay Well Too!

Be Your Own Master

The whole point of a freelancing gig is that you are free to utilize your time as you see fit and do not have to stick to a conventional timetable. You choose your own timings, set up your own timetable and lay out the number of hours you want to work in a day. All of this, of course, depends upon if you find someone who will actually pay you to keep a timetable like that. The “safe” way, of course, would be obviously to go to your regular job, have the sort of routine everyone else does and get paid at the end of the month.

But if you have been there and done that, there are still plenty of careers out there that encourage you to maintain your own timetable and still get paid for it and the lure becomes irresistible because the work itself is fulfilling. You work when you want, or don’t when you don’t want to or only work on a specific number of days in a week, the possibilities are endless. Let’s have a look at some of these jobs that do not obey the 9-5 rule and still pay well!


If you are good at mathematics or have great English language skill, you can put these skills to work by taking up online tutoring. Depending on your expertise and background, you can sign up with a number of online tutoring websites, create a profile, choose a time slot and start teaching. You can charge up to whatever the online portal allows you to, based on your qualifications and never would have to leave your home! With online tutoring, you can set up your own schedule, the number of students and as many numbers of hours as the time allows.

And it doesn’t end here — if academic teaching is not your thing, there are other websites that allow you to teach other subjects and some portals even let you create your own classroom for subjects as ordinary as cooking or a little more hands-on subject like yoga. Classes can earn you anything from $15 an hour, depending on which company are you teaching it for.

Voice-Over Artist

Have you been told that you have a voice made for television or radio? You should really consider becoming a voice-over artist. The job is self-explanatory, you will be lending your voice to a number of applications that include trailers, cartoons, a documentary, an IVR, a commercial or even a movie.

You would be reading from scripts, or if the job entails, speaking out extempore (if it happens to be your area of expertise) until the producers tell you that you have nailed it. This is the career for you if you don’t mind being surprised and have always thought that you have the acting chops but weren’t sure about facing a camera, this is the perfect outlet for it. And it pays well; anything to hundreds of dollars from $20 for an hour’s work!

Massage Therapist

First things first, you cannot just venture into this field if you have been told repeatedly that you are great at giving massages. You will need to of course undergo a professional training program and a few hours of practical training before you can take it up as a serious profession, but for good measure. As a massage therapist, you set up a schedule and work by appointments, whether they are at a healthcare facility or a spa.

You could specialize in many types of services such as a deep-tissue massage, acupressure, sports massage, Thai massage and many more. If going freelance makes you uncomfortable, you can join any of the many massage therapy chains and with time and experience, you would have made a name for yourself. Once you have gained enough confidence, you can branch out on your own. Massage therapists can make anything from $25 to $40 an hour, depending on their expertise.


If you are bilingual or trilingual, you might consider venturing into this field. Being fluent in English and or your native language will serve you well and it would be a good idea to take out a language course and expand your arsenal. To start off, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to impart your services for free for a brief period to gain experience and testimonials. A lot of cloud-sourced projects require translators and they are a fantastic stepping stone to hone your skills.

Once you have glowing testimonials from your colleagues and clients, you can market yourself. A lot of companies hire freelancers, as well as home-based translators with skills in a variety of languages. There is a great demand for people who can translate, proofread, interpret documents to and from in English and other languages. The best aspect about it, of course, is the flexibility that it offers in terms of scheduling and the number of hours you want to put in.

You become more valuable if you have expertise in certain subjects such as medicine, biochemistry and legal industries, and experienced translators can charge as much as $50 an hour.


If caring for people comes naturally to you and having a non-standard schedule appeals to you, nursing could be for you. Ideally, nurses are required 24/7 because people do not get sick at convenient times and nurses are required not just to care for them physically, but emotionally as well. Hospitals and nursing centers have patients coming in at all times, be it the middle of the night or early morning, so it could be that you are working more than a standard day shift, but for fewer days in a week.

For that very reason, the working hours for nurses are flexible. You could be working day-only or night-only shifts that could stretch out for hours on end. But normally they don’t go over more than 3-4 days a week. You would, of course, need a degree and pass an exam before you get your nursing license. Nursing jobs can fetch as much as $6,000 to $6,500 a month.

Freelance Content Writer

This is hands down the most popular occupation when it comes to freelancing. Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for people who have a flair for writing and content that is fresh and that can generate more pageviews and traffic. So if you have a good grasp of grammar and are interested in researching and writing on new topics on a regular basis, freelance writing could be very well suited for you. The topics could vary from nutrition to product reviews or even self-help, the variety is limitless. Other streams that your writing can get you into is editing, technical writing, news reporting, magazine writing, social media manager and blogging.

One may argue that freelance content writing may lack the consistency of a 9-5 job, but one can argue that quite a few freelance writers are making up to $100 an hour. In any case, one can start for as low as 1 cent a word and then go up gradually as their reputation and confidence builds up. A word of caution though, if you have decided to take up freelancing ‘full time’, you will need to plan ahead a little.


Are you always playing around new recipes and chasing family members or friends to try your kitchen experiments? Do you claim you can make the best French omelets this side of town? You can maybe get serious about it and take it up as an occupation. Apart from cooking the actual food, chefs also prepare menus and decide on the presentation of a particular dish.

They also buy fresh ingredients, have to be complete cleanliness freaks in their kitchen and are also responsible for selecting the staff and handling most food concerns at the local eateries or restaurants. In short, they look at everything that would be important to make a restaurant operational. If you are a true foodie who also loves cooking their own food, this profession is for you, because it not only brings in a bit of money but also a lot of fame!


If you have an eye for a frame and are really interested in how an actual camera works, you can be assured that being a photographer can be really satisfying. As it is, everyone with a phone camera claims to be a photographer these days, but the real photographer won’t even bother to scoff at them, because actual photography involves real hard work and intricate knowledge about different aspects of photography, such as depth of field, lighting, landscapes, portraits, color grading, etc. And once you have acquired the basic knowledge, you can take up a job as a photographer anywhere and you wouldn’t even require a photo studio for it.

The kind of pictures you want to take depends entirely upon you; it could be weddings, food, industrial, model photo shoots or even wildlife photography.

This requires a great deal of determination and patience. But if you hone your skills enough, you might be soon shooting for TV or even films as a still photographer, or the people who shoot actual movie posters!


If you are wondering how on earth would a musician’s job pay, you are not wondering in vain. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median average income for a musician is around $27. A lot of musicians pursue music full time and become famous or at least local celebrities, while others pursue this as a part-time occupation. There could be many reasons for this; some musicians take it up as to fill time or to learn a new instrument, others actually take it up quite seriously and actually attain degrees.

Though this might not be the profession if you are looking to earn a regular, steady income and not quantifiable by factors such as a salary. Depending on your skill level, there is a lot of variation when it comes to a musician’s income. This profession is strictly for those who want to pursue their passion and uncover their true calling.

Personal Trainer

Do you really care about what you eat and when you eat? Also, are you fit and the gym is the place you could be found after hours, regardless of the hour? Are random people coming up to you and complimenting you on how fit you are? You should seriously consider becoming a personal trainer. This profession would allow you to work whenever or wherever you want quite literally. The client comes to your house, or vice versa, it doesn’t make a difference.

You can decide to work all days of the weeks, or you can decide to work only on weekends, but if you are a true fitness freak, it will most likely be the former. You can start work at a fitness club or a spa and if you are as good as your physique, you will attract a lot of clientele. And, if you live in one of those areas which see a lot of A-listers, you might even end up getting some really famous clients, meaning you could make serious money.

Social Media Manager

You may have seen this listed at many job websites. What does a social media manager actually do? A social media manager is someone that manages various social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. for individuals, brands, small businesses or even large companies. This isn’t a 9-5 type of job, because social media, has absolutely no timetable. As you may have noticed that barring a handful of people, most people get active on social media before or after their work hours are over.

Most brand managers hire social media managers to keep the social media buzz around their brand alive around the clock. This usually requires the social media manager working odd hours, especially if a new product has been launched. You can, of course, set your own timings around the week, work as a freelancer or a consultant — it is entirely up to you. Being a social media manager also pays a pretty penny; you can make as much as $40-$60 an hour, depending on your client.

Cabin Crew

If you like being well dressed and like flying all the time, then this is a profession you might want to give a thought. Just as it does for people in the service industry, their work starts before the arrival of the passengers which includes making sure the aircraft is clean and not in disarray, checking for in-flight safety gear and a list of other to-dos. Apart from the usual greeting and welcoming, their job is also to ensure that the passengers are comfortable and pleasant.

You will, of course, need to complete a course that specializes in hospitality and cabin crew services and as add-ons, you are also groomed and trained in other aspects of the job such as first-aid, personality development, communication and teamwork. Depending upon which airline you are flying with, the wages are high and international airlines pay more. On average, crew attendants earn up to $50,000 and above, depending on the carrier.

Radio Jockey

This is one of the most fun jobs out there if you are looking to break out of the 9-5 routine. Have you been told that you have a good sense of humor or that you have great communication skills or that you’re extremely witty? This is a job tailor made for you because you have all the skills needed to entertain or engage your audience. All your creativity as an entertainer comes into play when you are on air, be it playing the appropriate music for the occasion, building up content for the show or even interviewing a celebrity. It goes without saying that the timings for the radio shows are anything but regular even though the timings for these shows are fixed, just like on television.

Though there is no specific educational requirement for this job, if you have a background in media, it is a definite plus. These days, there are many institutes that provide on-hands training and courses for broadcasting and compering and even offer short-term courses on improving your diction or voice overs. Overall, this could be a very exciting profession if you are tired of the 9-5 grind and want something more out of your profession. Radio jockeys earn as much as $20-$25 an hour.

Unconventional jobs are all the rage these days, but be aware that there will be a lot of people who would want you to dole out a few “free samples” of your work and it is very easy to fall prey to that. Choose a profession that fits your personality well and is something that you are really passionate about. Also, bear in mind that freelancing is not just a trend but is fast turning into a reality and as many as over 50% Americans are earning from freelance gigs and consider it as a lucrative option, if not just as a side hustle. As it stands, the job landscape is changing and not surprisingly, many new job opportunities are freelance positions.









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