Job seekers: These 9 careers let you work 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off

By Arianne Cohen

The 40-hour workweek is a bad deal: Most of your day-to-day time is consumed by eight hours of daily work, plus eating and self-care and errands, leaving no time for your own interests.

If the coronavirus pandemic is forcing you to consider other career paths, why not seek one with an awesome schedule? “Capitalize on this unique opportunity to explore,” says Ariel Schur, CEO of New York recruiting firm ABS Staffing. “Are there certain aspirations that you’ve never explored?” Yes! Weeks off, every month. Here are “equal time off” roles.

    Commercial shipping and fishing crews. Ships and barges hire seamen to live and work on board, often 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off.  Deep-sea routes can be 30-45 days on/off, though those schedules can be psychologically brutal. Bigger ships hire cleaners, cooks, crew, and engineers.

    Traveling and live-in nurses. Traveling and emergency flight nurses often work long stretches on/off. Live-in nurses live 1-2 weeks in a home caring, sleeping over, followed by 1-2 weeks off.

    Magazine fact-checkers. Editorial publications often hire fact-checkers to proof articles. At monthly magazines, this can mean working 7-14 days per month.

    Hospital workers. Everyone from nurses and x-ray techs to physician assistants and administrative staff work on/off shifts. There are many shift varieties: Some work three 12-hour days, followed by 4 days off, or week on/week off stints of 12-hour shifts.

    Firefighters and medics. Firehouse staffs typically work 24 hours on, 48 hours off, or 48-72 hours on, 96 hours off. Wildland firefighters work seasonally for employers like the National Park Service with 1-2 week on/off shifts.

    Remote camp staffers. Everything from mountain base camps to arctic research camps need camp managers and staff, who typically work schedules of 3-6 months on/off, and seasonally in harsh weather environments.

    Miners and oil field/rig workers. These locations hire a variety of positions, including camp support, security, engineers, carpenters, cleaners, field hospitality, etc. Shifts of 1-3 weeks on, 1-3 weeks off are common, working 12-hour days.

    Wilderness trekking. Leaders of teen and adult programs typically run or assist on 2-week trips, and then enjoy 2 weeks off. Pay can be low.

    Overseas contractor. Companies with government contracts to work abroad, often in war zones or violent regions, often work a few months a year.

Pro tip: Blocks of more than a few days can damage romantic and family relationships. Workers without children often do best by finding a partner on the same schedule. Enjoy your equal time off.


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