6 of the Best Tech Jobs to Have a Work-Life Balance

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No matter where you live, maintaining a work-life balance is never easy. But if you live in the US, you have things particularly bad.

Despite the US ranking highly for housing quality, income, and wealth in the OECD’s Better Life Index, our standing in the work-life balance league is terrible.

Work Life Balance OECD

To illustrate this further, according to a White House report;

“In 2010, 46 percent of working men and women reported that their job demands interfered with their family life sometimes or often, up from 41 percent in 2002.”.

Work Life Balance Statistics

If you’re reading this, chances are that you identify with that 46% who are struggling to balance their career with their home life. Naturally, you want to have a career that allows you to spend enough quality time with your family and friends. You want to have enough leisure time so that your life is not primarily your job. And you want to have a job that doesn’t leave you feeling stressed out in the office, and at home.

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Fortunately, recruitment company GlassDoor researched the 25 best jobs for work-life balance. And as we’re a tech site, below are the top tech jobs for work-life balance from that research. These are careers in the tech sector that have been shown to have less of a negative impact on your family-life. They are easier to switch off from, demand less hours, and place less stress on your shoulders.

As a guide, the below salaries were calculated based on the job vacancies available on GlassDoor when the research was conducted. Regarding the work-life balance ratings:

  • 1.0 Very dissatisfied
  • 3.0 OK
  • 5.0 Very Satisfied

Data Scientist

Data Scientists often go by the name of Data Analysts and surprisingly enough, were pretty high our list of highest paying tech careers, too! As a Data Scientist, the onus is on you to extract meaningful information from (usually) vast quantities of data to help an organization make informed decisions and answer difficult questions.

Many of your day-to-day tasks will revolve around manipulating, modeling and visualizing data. Expertise in analytics, computer science, and statistics are necessary, though in such a fast moving field, you will never stop learning.

If you’re interested in this career choice, read our article on becoming a data scientist. It’ll describe in more detail what the job involves, as well as the exact skills you need to get started on this path.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.2
Salary: $114,808

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SEO Manager

In short, SEO Managers optimize websites so that search engines can find and rank them more easily. As mentioned, this involves website optimization, as well as creating website content, back-linking, and a host of other tasks.

To do this job well, you’ll need a solid grasp of both how search engines work (which is constantly changing), and digital marketing. Although specific qualifications are not required, a background in business, marketing, or computer science will be of benefit. As will intermediate knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.1
Salary: $45,720

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Social Media Manager

A Social Media Manager is someone who works with one or more organizations to manage and grow their online communities. This title encompasses many responsibilities which, for larger organizations, may be split between team members. These responsibilities include creating social media strategies, planning content schedules, creating engaging content, running social media promotions, and engaging with the community.

To become a social media manager, a background in marketing is helpful, though more important are skills such as being creative, basic graphics production, copywriting, a desire to please, and a solid understanding of how the commercial side of social platforms work.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 4.0
Salary: $40,000

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UX Designer

A User Experience (UX) Designer ensures that applications, websites, and other products are easy and enjoyable to use. This is different from the visual, artistic aspects of the design (that’s UI Design). UX Design is more analytical, and more technical.

It involves understanding what’s needed to make the product successful, then using testing, group feedback, wireframes, etc. to make sure that users are able to easily use the product for what it was built for.

If you don’t study formally, you can still teach yourself to become a UX Designer. First, through reading a ton on the subject. Then by teaching yourself applications like Sketch and Adobe Illustrator. After this, build up a portfolio of designs to show to prospective employers.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.9
Salary: $91,440

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Web Developer

A Web Developer is essentially an extremely specialized computer programmer who writes code that tells a website how to function. But it’s not all completely technical. To be a great developer also requires an artistic flare, and a solid grasp of how visitors interact with websites. This ensures that the end product will be able to achieve the goals for either the employer or your client(s).

You will usually be working as part of a team, and should learn to code in HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Oracle and SQL. This will help you to take on the most interesting projects. Although formal qualifications are not necessary, many employers will ask to see certificates, which you can often gain through online courses.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.8
Salary: $66,040

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Software Quality Assurance Engineer

A Software QA Engineer overlooks entire software engineering projects to ensure everything along the way adheres to certain standards. This is a specialized role in which the engineer needs an in depth understanding of how applications work, and how to test those applications. They then produce automated testing systems, so that QA testers can come in, and look out for problems with the software.

That being said, a QE Engineer does not necessarily need the same level of coding knowledge that a software developer needs (they do need some), though other skills are required.

Work-Life Balance Rating: 3.8
Salary: $91,440

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This Isn’t a Guarantee

Pursuing a career in this list is no guarantee of a work-life balance. That guarantee doesn’t come with any career. That being said, more of a work-life balance is still possible in most careers. Often, the reason for the imbalance is not due to pressure from an employer, but from the pressure you place on yourself.

In these cases, you need to first of all learn how to switch off. Receiving an email at 10pm from your boss is not an excuse for you to send an email right back. When you finish work, leave any work-related thoughts in the office, and spend your time at home relaxing, switching off, exercising, and spending time with your loved ones.

Next, you need to give up on perfectionism. Learn how to recognize when something is good enough, and be happy to leave it at that. Along a similar line, know when to delegate tasks, and how to effectively manage your time.

All of these tips will free up additional time you’d usually spend on work-related tasks. You can instead use this time to at last recoup some semblance of a work-life balance.

Do you feel like you currently have work-life balance? If so, please share your career in the comments!

Image Credits:work and family life by bernd.neeser via Shutterstock

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