Internet Self Improvement

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

Rob Nightingale 18-03-2016

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 Stressed At Work? How To Relax & Focus In An Open Office Does working in an open plan office kill your productivity? You can probably blame the Germans for its wide adoption. But let's reconcile after you tried these tips. Read More , and at home.


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 6 of the Best Paying Tech Careers for 2016 Investing in the right technology career requires planning and foresight. These six career options are expected to be the hottest in the next few years. Are you ready? Read More , 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 How to Become a Data Scientist Data science has gone from a newly coined term in 2007 to being one of the most sought-after disciplines today. But what does a data scientist do? And how can you break into the field? Read More . 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

More Learning Resources

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 11 Simple Steps For Successful Social Media Giveaways Social media giveaways are a proven way to increase your page likes, interaction, followers, and the size of your mailing list. But what steps should you follow to ensure your giveaway is an astounding success? Read More , 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


More Learning Resources

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

More Learning Resources

  • Online UX Design Course — This is quite an expensive course, but it’ll teach you pretty much everything you need to know to step into this industry.
  • Top 10 Skills UX Designers Should Have  Learn more about the attributes you’ll need to make it to the top of this career ladder
  • Blogs all UX Designers Should Follow Start following these blogs religiously to keep up to date with what all UX Designers should be learning

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 How to Learn Programming Without All the Stress Maybe you've decided to pursue programming, whether for a career or just as a hobby. Great! But maybe you're starting to feel overwhelmed. Not so great. Here's help to ease your journey. Read More  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

More Learning Resources

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 The 12 Best Calming Apps to Relax, Destress, and Clear Your Mind Here are the best relaxation apps to help you meditate and stay calm when life becomes too stressful. Read More , switching off 7 Ways To Avoid Letting The Internet Destroy Your Life This is true for anyone that devotes a large portion of their time to the Internet. It may be bloggers trying to grow their website, technology workers working remotely, or just folks that get overly... Read More , exercising 7 Best YouTube Workout Channels To Exercise at Home Home gyms and personal trainers help the moneyed get up straight from their beds and hit the gym. We lesser mortals have to call on our powers of self-motivation and discipline to trudge the few... Read More , and spending time with your loved ones.

Next, you need to give up on perfectionism. Learn how to recognize when something is good enough Reach Your Peak Efficiency with a Minimum Effective Dose When "good enough" is actually good enough, why do we still push towards perfection, which in turn simply pushes us to waste time? How can we stop ourselves doing this? Read More , and be happy to leave it at that. Along a similar line, know when to delegate tasks How To Become Super-Productive By Outsourcing Your Day-To-Day Tasks Get more done in a day. By learning what you can outsource, plus a few 'best practice' tips for delegating your day-to-day chores, you too can become super-productive. Read More , and how to effectively manage your time 7 Time Management Lessons I Learned from Mountain Climbing How you manage your time from the first moment in the morning, to the last moment when you go to bed, is a lot like mountain climbing. I learned these lessons the hard way. Read More .

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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  1. Anonymous
    March 18, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    A work-life balance depends on the employer, not the job one does. If the employer is open-minded and accommodating, even those with menial jobs can have a good work-life balance. If the employer is a "slave driver", all employees have a lousy work-life balance. I have seen people in the six jobs you mention work 60-80 hour weeks and be on call 24/7/365. Makes for a crappy work-life balance.

    • Rob Nightingale
      March 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      True, but some jobs are more geared toward a work-life balance than others, it seems. :)

      • Ari Shrum
        October 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        It "seems", but is usually not so, but rather VERY MUCH dependent upon the HUMAN "running the show" (or so they think). I agree with ANON. I know business owners who own restaurant chains and treat their employees like gold (paying for their honeymoons, etc., WAY beyond traditional "benefits") including one who has 12 HUNDRED employees.

        I also know (and worked) for a d__k which bodily member drove his decisions since I was replaced by T&A (who only took the job to get VERY expensive medical treatment immediately -- oops).

        Also, I have a bit of a problem following someone who is asking me to go where they never have and never would.


        • Ari Shrum
          October 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm

          P.S. The d__k-head was a middle manager responsible for less than 25 employees. BSD in a small pond, I suppose. No envy here, just fact. Things worked out wonderfully for me. May not go so well for him at the Last Day (or before).