Here are 20 of the best jobs and careers for being remote
We’re calling it: 2020 is the year of the “pivot.”
The coronavirus has forced — or, maybe inspired? — us to judiciously reconsider everything from where we live to what we value most in our homes. Amid shutdowns and evolving safety guidelines, businesses have swiftly adopted new business models, selling subscription boxes and going virtual to stay connected with customers during These Unprecedented Times. We’ve also become more thoughtful neighbors and enthusiastic cheerleaders of our local businesses.
As we all try to understand and embrace “a new normal,” many of us are pondering a career change. Millions of Americans have been laid off since the start of the pandemic, thrusting them into job searches for the first time in years. For others, it may be the momentum of change and the quest for self-fulfillment that’s leading them to consider new options. Also? Many of us have simply become accustomed to working from home and don’t want to return to the office.
See: U.S. jobless claims, including federal filings, rise fourth straight week in sign of stalling labor market
To help guide those who are job searching amid a pandemic, and particularly looking for jobs they can do from home, our friends at FlexJobs have pinpointed 20 of the most common remote job titles, along with their average pay. We also reached out to those in co-working spaces to take a pulse on remote work and learn, from an on-the-ground level, what fields tend to excel in remote work environments.
Which careers thrive in remote spaces?
With the exception of brick-and-mortar retail, food service, and hands-on careers that require special equipment and materials, just about any field can thrive with employees who are working remotely, says Erin Pottebaum, director of operations with the Iowa City Area Development @ Merge and CoWork @808.
“It really comes down to an individual’s self-discipline and managers allowing their team to just get work done without micromanaging,” Pottebaum says. In fact, employees just seem happy when they’re co-working.
“They can come and go as needed and often will take a break to join a book discussion or yoga class, yet always find their way back to their desk — usually with a cup of coffee or tea,” she says.
Plus, as we rethink what our work lives look like, co-working spaces can help foster connections and community. You can always find someone who knows something about anything, says Pottebaum, who notes that members at her co-working space in Iowa City specialize in fields including technology, food waste management, graphic design, podcasting and functional medicine.
Connecting to a larger network is especially important for freelancers and solopreneurs and those who are launching new career endeavors, says Mary Stargel, with Society of Work in Chattanooga, TN.
“I believe that creatives, programmers, developers and designers can especially thrive in a co-working space as it gives them access to a larger group of like minded individuals that they can discuss career possibilities or job opportunities,” she says.
What remote work jobs are in demand?
Before COVID-19, remote work was already increasing in popularity. In 2018, 3.6% of U.S. workers worked remotely at least half the time, and remote work has soared 159% since 2005, according to FlexJobs.
Then, COVID happened and suddenly 51% of employed Americans began working from home.
The research team spends roughly 100 combined hours every day searching for, screening and posting remote and flexible jobs to its site. The team recently analyzed its database to pinpoint the 20 job titles that most often have remote work options.
While the career fields on this list have always been fairly strong in the remote job market, there’s been an increase in job listings in areas like customer service, medical and health, computer and IT, and education, says Brie Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs.
“Broadly, these industries have all seen shifts since the pandemic began and have required additional professionals to work, largely remotely, to support those changes,” Reynolds says.
Here are the 20 most popular work-from-home job titles in 2020, with salaries from PayScale:
Average salary: $51,208
You might interact with your own accountant once a year around tax time. But accountants are the financial backbone of businesses, preparing, maintaining and interpreting important records. According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors will grow faster than the average for all occupations, at a rate of about 10% from 2016 to 2026.
Average salary: $85,670
In general, engineers use science, technology and math to design everything from machines to computer software to equipment. Engineering contains a lot of different specialties, including aerospace, chemical, civil, computer, petroleum, mechanical, software and more.
3. Teacher/faculty member/tutor/instructor
Average salary: $45,938
With more education happening online, many teaching jobs can now be done remotely, whether it’s one-on-one tutoring to supplement home schooling or professors lecturing over Zoom ZM, 4.25% to larger classes.
Average salary: $49,804
If you’re a natural wordsmith, many companies are looking for writers who can create content, including digital articles, marketing copy for their websites, blog posts or technical manuals.
Average salary: $87,476
What’s your area of expertise? If you have years of experience in fields like education, health care, government services, IT, engineering or other fields, you may be able to work as a consultant to companies that are looking for areas where they can improve or problem-solve.
6. Program manager
Average salary: $52,044
A program manager oversees a company’s tasks and projects and strategically coordinates individual initiatives. Some of their responsibilities might include leading planning meetings, reviewing project plans and coordinating with other departments.
7. Project manager
Average salary: $74,230
Project managers are responsible for guiding a project from start to finish. They keep tabs on deadlines, budgets and delegate taste and track results. Several fields including construction, finance, IT and health care need project managers.
8. Customer service representative
Average salary: $38,807
As e-commerce has skyrocketed amid COVID-19, many companies are in need of customer service representatives. In this common WFH job, you assist customers, place orders or reservations and problem solve over the phone, email or chat.
9. Business development manager
Average salary: $73,000
If you’re a natural networker and great communicator, a business development manager role might be worth exploring. These managers are tasked with increasing a company’s earnings by writing proposals, making sales pitches, and finding and following up on leads.
10. Account manager/account executive
Average salary: $54,371
Account managers and executives are in charge of maintaining and growing relationships with clients and customers. You’ll find this job title in many sales jobs, but also advertising and public relations firms hire account executives.
Average salary: $50,452
In this job, you help companies find top-notch, qualified candidates for open roles. You might be in charge of writing the job postings, conducting interviews and helping companies onboard new employees.
12. Sales representative
Average salary: $49,749
As a sales representative, you sell products and services and have a solid understanding of what customers want. Those who excel in this role are often finding new sales leads and make work in a B2B role which requires building relationships for long-term contracts.
13. Web developer
Average salary: $59,578
Web developers design and create websites. Not only are they responsible for the look of the site, but also its technical aspects. Education requirements for web developers range from high school diploma to bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the job outlook is strong as this industry is projected to grow by 8 percent between 2019 and 2029.
14. Medical coder
Average salary: $42,297
Different from a medical biller, medical coders read and analyze patient’s medical charts and categorize diagnoses and procedures by using a national classification system.
15. Territory sales manager
Average salary: $63,903
This is a popular remote job that often requires travel in a specific region the manager oversees. Territory sales managers are responsible for developing and maintaining customer relationships, setting and meeting sales goals to increase company’s revenue and creating sales strategies.
Average salary: $64,618
Telehealth platforms are booming, which has created a demand for nurses to visit with patients over the phone, videoconferencing, messaging and email, answering questions and providing advice.
17. Data analyst
Average salary: $60,530
By collecting data, analyzing it and spotting patterns, data analysts can help companies make decisions. Data analysts work in a variety of fields, including the health-care industry, marketing, insurance, with credit bureaus, and at tech firms.
Average salary: $52,422
Every writer needs an editor. Editors aren’t only responsible for identifying grammar and style errors, but they also are responsible for making sure that articles meet the publication’s standards for quality. The scope of editor roles has grown and often includes writing headlines, selecting images to go along with content, promoting content on social media and understanding SEO strategies.
19. Case manager
Average salary: $40,876
Often found in health care and legal fields, case managers work to understand patient or client needs and help connect them with resources. This might include providing education and guidance or advocating for them.
20. UX/UI designer
Average salary: $73,993
Designers in this growing field focus on how users interact with a product. Whether they are creating apps, websites, or software programs, the goal is to make their products intuitive for users.