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Best part-time jobs with a future

  • Story Highlights
  • More people want to work part-time jobs with flexible schedules
  • Jobs expected to grow range from tax preparer to receptionist
  • Fitness trainers average $13 per hour; dental assistants, 14.53
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By Anthony Balderrama
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Many people are opting to find part-time work these days. Parents want to spend more time with their children; students need to balance work and school; and would-be retirees aren't ready to give up their careers just yet.

Here are the best part-time jobs based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They pay well, offer flexible schedules and are expected to grow both in demand and the amount of job openings over the next 10 years.

1. Pharmacy technicians

What they do: Techs work in hospitals, health care facilities and retail pharmacies helping pharmacists prepare prescriptions for patients. Depending on location, their duties can include counting medicine tablets, maintaining inventory and patient records, handling prescription requests and performing administrative duties.

What the hours are: Due to the many places a pharmacy tech can work, there are a variety of scheduling choices, whether one prefers daytime hours or graveyard shifts.

What they earn: $12.32/hr, with higher pay for weekend shifts and certified technicians.

2. Tax preparers

What they do: Tax preparers help people and businesses file their annual income taxes. They know what expenses can be deducted and what forms need to be filled according to the law.

What the hours are: Between the first of the year and April 15 tax preparers experience their busiest time of year. Therefore it's possible to maintain another job for the rest of the year and only work part time during tax season. A large percentage of tax preparers are self-employed.

What they earn: $32.21/hr

3. Dental assistants

What they do: Dental assistants help dentists with procedures by preparing equipment, taking X-rays and tending to patients.

What the hours are: With approximately half of dentists working part time and the rest keeping standard business hours, dental assistants don't have to worry that their schedules will conflict with their personal lives.

What they earn: $14.53/hr

4. Personal and home-care aides

What they do: Personal and home-care aides work at the homes or assisted-living residences of elderly, ill or disabled patients. They help patients perform daily tasks and ensure their surroundings accommodate their needs.

What the hours are: Many jobs, especially for home-based patients, only require a few hours per day or a few days per week. Hours are based on the patient's need for assistance, so aides often choose patients whose schedules are compatible with theirs.

What they earn: $8.54/hr, with higher pay for more experienced aides

5. Receptionists

What they do: Receptionists greet and assist guests when they visit a business. Their duties depend on the type of business, but generally they perform administrative tasks and in medical offices they handle patient records and insurance information.

What the hours are: Although offices tend to keep 40-hour work weeks, part-time receptionists can often specify which shifts or days they can work.

What they earn: $11.01/hr, with medical offices paying higher than the average rate.

6. Clerical library assistants

What they do: Library assistants check out and reshelve books; they notify customers of overdue items; and ensure the library's materials, such as books, movies and music, are in good condition.

What the hours are: Hours vary by library, as some smaller libraries are open fewer hours than larger libraries, which can stay open late or even 24 hours a day, such as those on college campuses.

What they earn: $10.40/hr

7. Demonstrators and product promoters

What they do: Product promoters and demonstrators generate buzz about products by illustrating their usefulness. They show products at trade shows, retail stores and even corporations, depending on the item they're promoting.

What the hours are: Demonstrators and promoters rarely have traditional nine-to-five schedules because trade shows and retail stores often require them to work evenings or on weekends.

What they earn: $10.65

8. Child-care workers

What they do: Child-care workers supervise young children either in their own home, at a child-care center or at the child's home.

What the hours are: Many workers care for children while their parents are at work. Some parents only require child care for a few hours per day or even per week, when they might have medical appointments, need to run errands or between the time school lets out for the day and the parent gets off of work.

What they earn: $8.48, with higher levels of education earning more, especially if employed at a child-care facility.

9. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

What they do: Fitness trainers either work in large fitness centers or in private gyms to help clients achieve their physical health goals, which often include losing weight, building muscle or conditioning for an event. Instructors teach group classes like spinning and a variety of aerobic courses at gyms.

What the hours are: Trainers base their schedules on when clients can meet, and instructors teach courses when the gym decides there's a demand. Therefore the hours tend to be scattered and best for people seeking part-time work.

What they earn: $13.05

10. Physical therapist aides

What they do: Aides assist physical therapists during their sessions with patients by having the area organized and any equipment ready. Aides provide physical support to patients who have trouble walking or standing during the sessions.

What the hours are: While some clinics and health care facilities only schedule physical therapy sessions during normal business hours, others offer night and weekend appointments.

What they earn: $10.61 E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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