The 13 highest-paying jobs for people who want to work less than 40 hours a week

REUTERS/John KolesidisPharmacists make a lot of money, and the average employee works less than 40 hours a week.
  • Some high-paying jobs allow employees to work less than the typical American.
  • Using Census data, we found 13 jobs where you can work less than 40 hours per week and earn a high annual salary.
  • Dentists, optometrists, and pharmacists were at the top of the list.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More and more people are interested in a shorter workweek.

In its survey of over 3,000 workers, Kronos Workforce Institute found roughly 40% of full-time Americans want a four-day workweek.

Some companies have experimented with a shorter workweek to observe its potential benefits, including its effect on productivity. However, there are some jobs where employees already typically work less than 40 hours and still earn a large income.

To find jobs that allow you to maintain work-life balance but still get paid well, we analysed US Census data for about 478 occupations distilled by the Minnesota Population Centre’s 2018 American Community Survey Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

According to this data, the average working American logs about 40 hours a week, and the average earned income – a sum of wage, salary, and business income – across all occupations is over $US58,000.

While some may work more or less than the average depending on their employer or where they are in their career, people with the following professions report typically working an average of less than 40 hours a week and estimated average total earnings of at least $US70,000 a year. We included only specific occupations and excluded catchall occupation categories, like “other psychologists.”

Read on to see the 13 highest-paying jobs where the typical employee works less than 40 hours a week sorted by average annual income, along with their responsibilities according to the Labour Department’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) description:


13. Court reporters

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Average income: $US70,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.10

What they do: Use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, retrieve, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.


12. Audiologists

Average income: $US72,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 37.61

What they do: Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders.


11. Physical therapists

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Average income: $US75,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.52

What they do: Assess, plan, organise, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.


10. School psychologists

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Average income: $US76,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.98

What they do: Investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.


9. Radiation therapists

Average income: $US78,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.92

What they do: Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.


8. Diagnostic medical sonographers

REB Images/Getty Images

Average income: $US84,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.86

What they do: Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.


7. Property, real estate, and community association managers

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Average income: $US86,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.49

What they do: Plan, direct, or coordinate the selling, buying, leasing, or governance activities of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate properties.


6. Real estate brokers and sales agents

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Average income: $US87,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.86

What they do: Operate real estate office, or work for commercial real estate firm, overseeing real estate transactions. Rent, buy, or sell property for clients.


5. Clinical and counseling psychologists

Sladic/Getty Images

Average income: $US95,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 37.09

What they do: Diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observations, interviews, and psychological tests and formulate and administer programs of treatment.


4. Chiropractors

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Average income: $US98,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.59

What they do: Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system.


3. Pharmacists

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Average income: $US106,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.0

What they do: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use.


2. Optometrists

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Average income: $US146,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.25

What they do: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.


1. Dentists

Boston Globe/Contributor/Getty Images

Average income: $US213,000

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.93

What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums.

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