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According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, the average American works a 9.5 hour day and takes home another 4.5 hours of work per week, leaving little time for leisure--or sleep, for that matter. How much you work can not only affect your mood and the work you produce, but your life outside the workplace as well.

In the same study, part-time workers reported the highest percentage of sleep satisfaction. Almost half reported getting a good nights sleep almost every night. Sure, that sounds relaxing, but what about the paycheck?

Find the Right Online Certificate Program

Online certification courses can offer a great opportunity to kick-start a new professional career or advance in your current career in less time than it takes to complete most other college degree programs.

A certificate program focuses on a specific set of skills and offers intensive training to develop your abilities in that area. Time for completion may be anywhere from eight weeks to one year, or in rare cases, a little longer. The advent of online certification programs has made it even easier for many to pursue a degree from home.

Online Certification Courses

Below are some of the hottest jobs with part-time flexibility, or an average workweek of less than forty hours, that you can pursue with the right online certification course.

  • Desktop publishers use computer software to combine text, data, and images for documents, newspapers, and other print media. Production schedules may allow for part-time work, night shifts, and other alternatives to traditional hours.

Relevant Career Training: Desktop publishers can earn certificates in software engineering, Web development, or graphic design.
Average Annual Salary: $38,740.

  • Accounting clerks work part-time, updating and maintaining accounting records, posting transactions, and even monitoring loans and accounts, among other job duties that vary by experience.

Relevant Career Training: Online or traditional classroom certification in accounting, taxation, business administration, or small business management.

  • Law clerks assist lawyers in research, document preparation, and may even meet with clients. Law clerks are frequently known to work part-time hours.

Relevant Certificates: Certification in law and criminal justice.
Average Annual Salary: $40,580

  • Bill and accounts collectors are experiencing a surge in job growth as companies look to reign in spending and collect unpaid debts. Many have flexible or part-time schedules.

Relevant Certificates:
Certification in accounting, economics, or financial management.
Average Annual Salary: $32,180.

  • Retail managers may learn a lot on the job, but continuing education may help move them off the sales floor and into a management position.

Relevant Certificates: A certificate in human resources management, marketing, or small business management. Average Annual Salary: $39,910.

College Degrees in Six Sigma Management

An exciting area for management or other business professionals to consider for career advancement might be a Six Sigma management program. These certification courses are becoming more popular among online and traditional colleges alike. With Six Sigma training, you may be able to help businesses improve productivity and even to improve your own as well.

Whether you already have a college degree or not, a certificate program can be a great path to boosting your career in a short time period. What you gain in eight weeks or a year can have rewards that last a lifetime, so don't wait to pursue your educational and career dreams.