Need flexible hours?

Not every job in the medical field is going to be chock full of flexible hours that allow you to work anytime day or night and just "do your own thing" otherwise.

However, there are SOME jobs in the medical community that do offer you flexible hours that will allow you to work your job around your family, your schooling, and your life. Check it out...

The first thing you have to realize is that only 1 ENTIRE branch of the "medical tree" is totally flexible. Which branch is this you ask? Well, the Dental branch is entirely flexible. If you think about it, it makes sense. First off, most Dentists and Oral Surgeons only work 4 days a week (they usually take like Monday, Saturday and Sunday off) and those offices aren't ALWAYS packed, but there are TONS of Dentist's offices all around even small cities. This means that the Dentist gets to choose their hours (because they own the practice) and they have a lot of work for part-time employees.

Think about it: If you are a Dental Hygienist and you work part-time for a Dentist that is only open 4 days a week you can really pick and choose your days since they are so limited to begin with. Plus, if you wanted to bulk up your hours you could just work for more than one Dentist. Say Dentist A is closed on Saturday and Monday, but Dentist B is closed on Tuesday and Friday. Well, work for Dentist B when Dentist A is closed and vice versa. You can actually turn part-time hours into full-time work. Plus, you have to remember that Dental Assistants also work in Dentist's offices and if you only want to work on the days that the Dentist does big procedures then you only have to work on those days.

Take it from another angle: Let's say you're a Nursing Aide and the hospital is open 24 hours a day. You can work the night shift if you want to be at home with your kids or go to class during the day.

Well, what if you're not an Orderly? A Medical Assistant has to around at all hours because people need samples taken for testing, or to be checked up on, etc. You know who else is in the Hospital with them all day and night? Nurses!

A Registered Nurse will always be in the hospital (especially in specialized units like Labor and Delivery or Cardiovascular Surgery.) These nurses are looking after patients and providing care throughout the day and night. Well, if you need to be home or take a class during the day you can come in at night and work your shift. Since the hospital is open everyday you would also be able to take weekend hours if you need lots of time off during the week.

The other sorts of professionals who get to have flexible hours are those who tend to own their own practices. Just like a Dentist a Family Practitioner decides when his/her office will be open and on what days they will be open. The same can be said for OB/GYN's, Podiatrists, Optometrists, and Veterinarians. The list is pretty long, but you get the idea.

Don't forget one thing though. Many Doctors who you would THINK own their own practice might actually work for a larger practice and not be the "Big Cheese". Well, if you're just a partner or a salaried Doctor then you aren't picking your own hours...your boss is. So, be careful, if you go to Med School just to pick your hours you have to remember that you may not have the money to open your own practice and you'll end up "working for the man" anyways.

Last on our list are a couple of professions that slide under the radar but definitely have the potential to offer flexible hours. Nutritionists and Dieticians sometimes work in hospitals or manage cafeterias, but many others work alone, have a large client base, and (in essence) own their own practice. If you're driving around all day talking about cooking then YOU get to decide when to make your appointments (not the "man".)

Also, if you're a Medical Transcriptionist who works from home you can decide when you want to work (and you don't even have to change out of your pajamas if you don't want to.) Many companies employ Transcriptionists online and simply e-mail the Transcriptionist their work and the Transcriptionist e-mails it back when they're done. In this way you can work 24 hours a day without having to think for one second about how you'll get to work.

As you can see, the list is long and varied. Becoming a Doctor doesn't always mean you'll get to pick your own hours, but doing grunt work doesn't mean you'll enjoy this luxury either. Do the research, take a look around and you'll see that there are tons of options out there for you and we've only just scratched the surface!

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Medical Careers Mentioned

  • Dentists, General
    Salary: $142,870
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 85,910
    Part Time: 17%
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
    Salary: $180,420
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 11 years
    # Employed: 4,760
    Part Time: 23%
  • Dental Hygienists
    Salary: $66,570
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 2 years
    # Employed: 173,090
    Part Time: 55%
  • Dental Assistants
    Salary: $32,380
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 0 years
    # Employed: 293,090
    Part Time: 36%
  • Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants
    Salary: $23,850
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 0 years
    # Employed: 1,422,720
    Part Time: 24%
  • Medical Assistants
    Salary: $28,300
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 1 years
    # Employed: 475,950
    Part Time: 23%
  • Registered Nurses
    Salary: $62,450
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 2 years
    # Employed: 2,542,760
    Part Time: 21%
  • Family and General Practitioners
    Salary: $157,250
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 11 years
    # Employed: 106,210
    Part Time: 8%
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    Salary: $243,646
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 12 years
    # Employed: 19,750
    Part Time: 8%
  • Podiatrists
    Salary: $113,560
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 9 years
    # Employed: 9,670
    Part Time: 8%
  • Optometrists
    Salary: $96,320
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 25,970
    Part Time: 30%
  • Veterinarians
    Salary: $79,050
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 53,110
    Part Time: 10%
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists
    Salary: $50,590
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 5 years
    # Employed: 53,630
    Part Time: 33%
  • Medical Transcriptionists
    Salary: $32,060
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 2 years
    # Employed: 86,200
    Part Time: 23%

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