Choosing a job you love isn't just about matching your skills to the market to land an in-demand gig with an adequate salary. Where you work affects your whole life, shaping your days, your possibilities, and your mood.
So if you want to make the most informed decision possible about your career path, you need data not just on pay and possibilities for growth, but also on a position's potential to eat up all your hours. That's why Glassdoor supplements its salary data with an annual report on the best gigs for work-life balance, ranking job titles based on their potential to allow you a satisfying life outside the office.
The latest one was just released and is based on 60,000 company reviews compiled by Glassdoor. It ranks jobs on a five-point scale, with one representing employees who are very dissatisfied with the work-life balance provided by their jobs, and five representing those who call themselves very satisfied. Here's the top of the list, along with additional data on each type of position:
- Data Scientist: 4.2 work-life balance rating, 1,315 job openings, $114,808 average base salary
- SEO Manager: 4.1 work-life balance rating, 338 job openings, $45,720 average base salary
- Talent Acquisition Specialist: 4.0 work-life balance rating, 1,171 job openings, $63,504 average base salary
- Social Media Manager: 4.0 work-life balance rating, 661 job openings, $40,000 average base salary
- Substitute Teacher: 3.9 work-life balance rating, 590 job openings, $24,380 average base salary
- Recruiting Coordinator: 3.9 work-life balance rating, 446 job openings, $44,700 average base salary
- UX Designer: 3.9 work-life balance rating, 338 job openings, $91,440 average base salary
- Digital Marketing Manager: 3.9 work-life balance rating, 640 job openings, $70,052 average base salary
- Marketing Assistant: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 384 job openings, $32,512 average base salary
- Web Developer: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 2,117 job openings, $66,040 average base salary
- Risk Analyst: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 208 job openings, $69,088 average base salary
- Civil Engineer: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 809 job openings, $65,532 average base salary
- Client Manager: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 503 job openings, $71,120 average base salary
- Instructional Designer: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 782 job openings, $66,040 average base salary
- Marketing Analyst: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 341 job openings, $60,000 average base salary
- Software QA Engineer: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 457 job openings, $91,440 average base salary
- Web Designer: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 500 job openings, $53,848 average base salary
- Research Technician: 3.8 work-life balance rating, 299 job openings, $36,525 average base salary
- Program Analyst: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 524 job openings, $71,120 average base salary
- Data Analyst: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 1,954 job openings, $58,928 average base salary
- Content Manager: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 409 job openings, $60,960 average base salary
- Solutions Engineer: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 652 job openings, $92,456 average base salary
- Lab Assistant: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 779 job openings, $27,550 average base salary
- Software Developer: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 3,330 job openings, $80,000 average base salary
- Front End Developer: 3.7 work-life balance rating, 1,337 job openings, $75,000 average base salary
Tech isn't only for workaholics?
What are some additional tidbits to take away from this ranking? For one, as VentureBeat notes, tech jobs do surprisingly well -- 10 of the top 25 are technical gigs, which is a little surprising given the popular image of the software engineer or startup guy hunched over his laptop, scarfing company-provided burritos until all hours. If Glassdoor is to be believed, tech has unfairly gotten an bad rap, and technical jobs aren't just for unencumbered young men and other assorted workaholics who are happy to put in insane workweeks. Getting the word out might help improve the sector's sad diversity stats.
Work-life balance really is getting harder to achieve.
The other interesting takeaway here is that it's not just you; work-life balance really does appear to be getting harder to achieve. "Glassdoor found that work-life balance has actually been creeping downward in recent years, as employees reported an average work-life balance satisfaction rating of 3.5 in 2009, 3.4 in 2012, and holding at 3.2 since 2013," reports Fast Company in its in-depth writeup of the ranking.
Glassdoor's list isn't the only bit of research confirming what many of us have experienced firsthand -- one recent, international survey by Ernst & Young came to similar conclusions, with a third of respondents reporting that achieving work-life balance had gotten harder in the previous five years.
Has achieving work-life balance gotten more difficult for you?