Job flexibility is becoming more valued by American workers. More than a third of professionals (and in the West, nearly half) said they would turn down a job offer that didn’t offer a flexible working environment, according to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research. While 24 percent of people who work in an office said they love their jobs in a recent survey by Leadership IQ, fully 38 percent of mobile workers and a whopping 45 percent of telecommuting workers said so.
If flexibility is important to you, instead of just checking to see how much flexibility there is in any job you apply for or are offered, consider being more proactive and aiming for fields and careers that are currently growing rapidly and offer considerable flexibility, too.
Where the Flexible Jobs Are
The folks at FlexJobs have identified 11 occupations that have the highest expected growth between 2016 and 2026 and that also tend to feature significant flexibility. They used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that cited solar photovoltaic equipment installers and wind turbine service technicians as the two fastest-growing occupations, but alas, those job tend not to be too flexible.
Here, then, are a bunch of the next-fastest-growing jobs (in descending order of job growth rate) that do offer flexibility, along with their median 2016 salaries and a brief description of the job from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Average Base Pay: $106,873
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 37 percent
Description: Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose and treat patients.
Average Base Pay: $117,298
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 36 percent
Description: Nurse practitioners (NPs) serve as primary and specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. They assess patients, determine the best way to improve or manage a patient’s health and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into a patient’s life.
Median Salary: $69,464
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 31 percent
Description: Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, and physical therapist aides work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients.
Median Salary: $75,323
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 30 percent
Description: Develop, create and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
Median Salary: $76,988
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 29 percent
Description: Mathematicians conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management and other fields. Solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.
Median Salary: $76,133
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 28 percent
Description: Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.
Median Salary: $68,571
Projected Growth, 2016-2026: 27 percent
Description: Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems and make better decisions.
A version of this article originally ran on The Motley Fool. It is reprinted with permission.