The number of people wanting to work from home has increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. There has also been a significant increase in the number of remote job vacancies advertised. However, so far, availability is falling short of demand. According to a recent survey, 45% of remote jobseekers are looking for 8% or 9% of job listings. This is up from 2% of job vacancies prior to the pandemic, but still not nearly enough to go around.
Even remote workers who were forced to work from home want to continue working remotely, at least part of the time, for the rest of their careers. In fact, the requirement to work remotely is a major contributor to the “great resignation.” While it may seem like hyperbole, there are more people in the American labor force quitting than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), every month between April and September 2021 hit a new high, with 4.4 million people quitting in September alone.
According to a recent survey by Zety, the lack of a remote work option was one main reason for quitting and a top reason for accepting a new position.
Main reasons for quitting:
- Low salary: 67%
- Limited career opportunities: 66%
- Being forced to return to onsite work: 57%
Main factors attracting workers to new jobs:
- Flexible working practices: 77%
- Better salary: 77%
- Benefits: 77%
- Stable work hours: 77%
- Meaningful work: 75%
- Prospect of career growth: 74%
Benefits of Working from Home for New Remote Workers
If you’re not one of the lucky ones who are currently, or were previously, working from home, you might wonder what the fuss is about. According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2021, remote workers identified the following biggest benefits:
- Flexible schedule: 32%
- Flexibility to work from any location: 25%
- Not having to commute: 22%
- Ability to spend time with family: 11%
- Ability to work from home: 8%
Drawbacks of Working from Home for New Remote Workers
Of course, remote work isn’t for everyone, and there are a number of drawbacks. According to the same Buffer survey as above, the following are the biggest challenges remote workers encountered:
- 27% Not being able to unplug
- 16% Difficulties with collaboration and communication
- 16% Loneliness
- 15% Distractions at home
- 12% Staying motivated
- 7% Being in a different time zone from teammates
Remote Job Suggestions for New Remote Workers
After weighing the pros and cons, if you’re still on board for a remote job, you need to find the right role in a relatively competitive market. Below are suggestions of work from home jobs for new remote workers. Selections are based on occupations most likely to offer remote employment, as well as remote-friendly jobs that are in high demand or growing at a fast rate. Because high demand and fast-growing job categories are more difficult to hire for, there is increased pressure on employers to offer remote work options.
Recent information released by the BLS indicates that 50.1% of legal positions offer telework options. This is more than any other occupational group. In addition to lawyers, this group includes the remote-friendly occupations of paralegal, legal assistant, and transcriptionist.
If you’re a lawyer or plan to become a lawyer, there are plenty of work from home jobs for new remote workers. However, becoming a lawyer requires an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and passing the bar exam to practice. In addition, each state has its own bar exam. This means positions for lawyers are sometimes limited to applicants with a license in a specific state.
All that work does pay off. As of May 2020, the median annual salary for lawyers was $126,930.
If you are interested in the legal field but are not interested in investing the time and money necessary to pass the bar, there are other options. For example, a career as a paralegal might be more appealing. While the legal field overall is projected to grow 9% between 2020 and 2030, the demand for paralegals is expected to grow 12%. This is faster than the average for lawyers. Paralegal job growth is due to companies trying to reduce legal costs.
The median annual wage for paralegals in May 2020 was $52,920.
Computer and Mathematical Occupations
Computer and mathematical occupations come in a close second with 47.6% of positions offering remote work, according to the BLS. For the most part, these are highly specialized, technology-based positions. They usually ask for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and many require post-graduate degrees as well. However, there are positions in software programming and network administration where technical certifications are more important than formal education.
This is another large category with a wide variety of professions, however, there are a few occupations with very high growth rates. One example is the position of statistician. The BLS is projecting that employment in this occupation will increase 35.4% between 2020 and 2030 as compared to 9% growth for all occupations.
The high growth is matched with high wages with the median annual wage for statisticians was pegged at $92,270 in May 2020.
While the growth rate for computer occupations is strong at 13%, the growth rate for information security analysts is 33.3%. This growth is fueled by the worldwide increase in cyberattacks and the widespread adoption of cloud services by small and medium enterprises, as well as high-security organizations such as banks and financial institutions and the healthcare industry.
High growth and a shortage of competent candidates are driving up the median wage for cybersecurity jobs which amounted to $103,590 in May 2020.
Business and Financial Operations Occupations
This is a large category of occupations, many of which can be adapted for remote work. The BLS found that 40.8% of business and financial operations positions are conducted remotely. While the vast majority of positions require a bachelor’s degree for entry, they are also high paying. The median annual wage was $72,250 in May 2020 as compared to $41,950 for all occupations in the U.S.
One fast-growing occupation in this category is market research analysts. These professionals gather and analyze data on customer demographics, preferences, and buying habits to inform a company’s marketing strategies. Positions in market research are expected to increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030. The high growth rate is due to advances in technology and the use of “big data” or extremely large information sets.
The median annual wage for market research analysts was $65,810 in May 2020.
Fundraiser is another position in this group of occupations that is experiencing strong growth. Employment is expected to grow 16% between 2020 to 2030. This is double the average for all occupations. Growth is driven by the continued reliance of nonprofits on donations. In addition, advances in technology that facilitate online fundraising using websites and social media platforms are fueling the creation of more remote positions.
The median wage of fundraisers was $59,610 per year as of May 2020.
Administrative Support Positions
Another area of growth in remote occupations is the broad area of administrative support. This is good news for individuals looking for jobs that don’t require a college degree and may require less experience. While most of these positions require contact with supervisors, team members, and customers, in many cases, interactions do not need to be in person. Advances in technology offer the convenience of communicating by telephone, chat, email, and video conference.
Customer service representative positions are frequently available as remote positions as companies move away from centralized call centers. Some customer service jobs are being phased out due to automation and offshoring. Nonetheless, there are still high-quality positions available for more complex customer service interactions and with companies who value providing service via live representatives.
As of May 2020, customer service representatives earned a median hourly wage of $17.23.
If you are enthusiastic about maximum job flexibility or freelance work, then consider a position as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with a range of administrative services from a remote location. They usually work independently or for a business services agency and provide services for one or more clients at a time. Virtual assistants are filling a need for a growing number of businesses that realize the value of securing administrative assistance without hiring an employee or even needing an office.
The median annual wage for administrative assistants as of May 2020 was $38,850. However, the wages vary depending on experience and specialization. Executive secretaries ($63,110) and legal administrative assistants ($48,980) make higher wages, while medical administrative assistants make slightly less ($37,350).
While many healthcare roles are not remote-friendly, there are a growing number of positions available for telecommuters. Many are administrative, related to case management, utilization reviews, and medical billing. However, driven by the pandemic, telehealth roles have increased dramatically. So, if you are a healthcare worker looking to work remotely, you no longer need to give up patient care.
With demand spiking at 52.2% between 2020 and 2030, there is a clear need for nurse practitioners, including those that work remotely. Commitment to obtaining a nursing certificate or bachelor’s degree in nursing is necessary. Moreover, some clinical experience is usually necessary before securing a remote role. However, if you are currently a nurse practitioner, obtaining a remote role is an alternative to leaving the profession entirely if you want to leave clinical practice.
This is a highly paid field and experienced nurse practitioners can expect to earn a median annual wage of $111,680 as of May 2020.
Another area of healthcare where qualified applicants are in high demand is employment in medical and health services managers roles. This field is expected to grow 32% from 2020 to 2030. Demand for healthcare services rises due to an aging population. As a result, there will be an increased demand for the administration of those services. This includes management of staff as well as new healthcare technologies that will allow services to move from hospitals to outpatient and remote settings.
Medical and health services managers are also highly paid. The BLS reports a median annual wage of $104,280 in May 2020, $10,000 more per year than other management occupations.
Where to Find Work from Home Jobs for New Remote Workers
As demand for remote jobs continues to put pressure on employers to provide flexible work options, more work from home jobs will become available. The key is to identify the area of employment you wish to focus on and know where to look for the best opportunities. One of the best places to look is the Virtual Vocations jobs database featuring thousands of legitimate, hand vetted opportunities. In addition, if you have companies that you are interested in, Virtual Vocations has information on almost 20,000 remote-friendly companies. With the right resources, you will find the perfect remote job!
Are you new to working from home? Which of these occupations do you think are best suited for remote work options? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!
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