Top 5 Flexible Careers Revealed Credit: Dreamstime.com

Flexible job opportunities are becoming the most sought-after work arrangement as employees struggle to achieve an acceptable level of work-life balance. New research from FlexJobs, a job listing service for telecommuting, part-time, freelance and other flexible jobs, finds that the industries with the most flexible positions are:

  • Medical and health
  • Education and training
  • Web and software development
  • Sales
  • Administrative

The job categories that gained the most volume of flexible work opportunities from July to August 2011, indicating an increase in hiring these fields, were graphic design, engineering and research. The career categories with the biggest drop in the volume of flexible jobs were data entry, marketing, nonprofit and philanthropy.

To provide an overview of what types of industries the job-seekers are interested in, August numbers show that the most sought-after flexible positions were in data entry, writing, administrative, editing and customer service.

"The Flexible Job Index is unique as it tracks professional jobs often missed by other employment and job indexes — namely, part-time, telecommuting and freelance opportunities," Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs, shared. "In addition, all of our jobs offer work flexibility, which is both highly desired by job-seekers and frequently misunderstood by employers. Companies often see flexible/part-time schedules, telecommuting, and freelance jobs as fringe to their key positions and hiring needs; however, the variety and depth of the jobs we find can show a very contrary picture."

Flexible work environments are proving increasingly important to workers. Recent research found that many employees would trade some pay for a flexible work environment . Flex arrangements can be defined as anything from remote work options to flexible hours. It seems employers are beginning to respond to this demand, which also benefits them in cases where workers are treated as contractors rather than full-time employees because they are not obligated to pay benefits. As a result, the range of flexible job offerings is expanding to include positions that were traditionally not thought of as flex jobs.

A few job postings on FlexJobs from the past month include:

  • A senior systems engineer, who would “provide concept support for fire control/guidance systems of submarine launched ballistic missile program, " with a part-time, flexible schedule
  • A vice president of strategic accounts in a full-time telecommuting role for a Fortune 500 company
  • An American Sign Language interpreter for a telecommuting, flexible schedule role
  • A chemistry acquisitions assistant with a part-time schedule for a leading university