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2020’s Best Remote Jobs Within ZipRecruiter’s 10 Hottest Markets

2020's best remote jobs

We are already a month into the new year! If you are committed to finding a new remote job this year, then we have good news for you about 2020’s best remote jobs! 

2020’s Best Remote Jobs Within ZipRecruiter’s 10 Hottest Markets

Whether you’re looking to change gears in your personal life or searching for a way to turn your remote work dreams into reality, geographic location is everything. Fortunately, you now have a few resources to get you started. ZipRecruiter recently compiled a list of the 10 hottest job markets throughout the U.S. based on job market size, job market growth, median annual wage, and jobseeker leverage.

Virtual Vocations assessed these markets to determine 2020’s best remote jobs for each named location. Use this information to help you take the next step in your career. There’s no better way to start 2020 than with your dream job in a city you love. 

1. Fargo (ND-MN)

Nestled along the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, Fargo is a small city bursting with job opportunities for remote workers. With one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates (1.6%, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oct. 2019) and job listings growing at a pace of 55% annually, Fargo’s job market outpaces that of much larger cities. A relatively small job applicant pool also increases the number of job openings per job seeker.

While the city suffers from a cold, harsh, and long winter, Fargo also has a unique culture and arts scene. Sports fans must visit the Roger Maris Museum. Creatives will enjoy the Plains Art Museum, which owns works from Warhol, Edward S. Curtis, and David Bradley. After a day at the office, stop by JL Beers for one of the best burger-and-beer combos you’ll ever have.


Fargo healthcare professionals looking for remote employment should consider positions such as a supplemental medical clinical reviewer, medical supervisor, or nurse. Two of the city’s largest employers—Sanford Health and Essentia Health—provide jobs for nearly 10% of Fargo’s population.


A job growth rate of 19% makes interpreters and translators one of 2020’s best remote jobs around the nation, and Fargo is no different. As of 2018, nearly 10% of households speak English as a second language (U.S. Census Bureau), growing the need for talented interpreters/translators.


Many manufacturing, IT, and service companies require the skills of talented salespeople, from remote entry-level positions to upper management.

2. Boston-Cambridge, MA

Home to world-renowned universities, Boston and its surrounding suburbs act as a cultivator for startups and other innovative companies. Education, IT, and professional services top the list of fastest-growing industries in the Boston metro area. An unemployment rate of just 2.3% (BLS, 2019) is also a positive sign about the number of overall job opportunities.

Living in Boston immerses you in an exciting scene outside of work. With a winning sports tradition, 200-year-old buildings steeped in history, and, arguably, the best lobster rolls in New England, there’s a little something for everyone. Take the downtown Freedom Trail to see some of the city’s top attractions. Then soak in all the sights and sounds of a game at Fenway Park—the oldest park in Major League Baseball.


Several local, regional, and national insurance companies call Boston home, making insurance industry positions among  2020’s best remote jobs in the area. Insurance underwriters, actuaries, analysts, and claims adjusters are just a handful of the top jobs available.


Boston’s technology industry is thriving. IT professionals will find abundant job opportunities in the Boston area. These may include titles such as web developer, software engineer, and full-stack or Java developer.


Boston is home to many of New England’s top medical centers. Seven out of the top 10 employers in the city are in the healthcare industry. This creates a range of employment opportunities for remote healthcare professionals.

3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The lack of a corporate state income tax drives businesses to Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota. Overall job growth of 3% (South Dakota Dept. of Labor and Regulation, 2019) coupled with a low unemployment rate of only 2.2% has also improved employment opportunities for remote workers.

Although the winters are often long and snowy, the summer brings mild temperatures and plenty of entertainment. The iconic Falls Park gives the city its namesake and is the ideal place for a picnic. Many art galleries, bars, and shops line the quaint downtown that feels like a bit like the Old West.

Financial Services

Banks and financial service companies from around the U.S. have been flocking to Sioux Falls for nearly a decade because of tax laws and other perks. Wells Fargo and Citi are two of the largest employers in the city, creating ample opportunities for telecommuting finance work.


Sioux Falls has six universities within the city limits and three higher education institutions within an hour’s drive. In addition, the City of Sioux Falls School District has over 3,000 employees, making it one of the top employers.


With four sizable hospitals, Avera Medical Group, and Sanford Health, Sioux Falls is a hotbed of employment for healthcare workers.

4. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

The healthcare, financial, and education sectors push Providence to number four on the list of America’s hottest job markets. Although Providence’s unemployment rate (Rhode Island Dept. of Labor and Training) is equal to the national rate of 3.6%, significant job growth outpaces it.

Nestled on the shores of the Providence River, Providence is as scenic as it is entertaining. College Hill is a haven for fans of colonial architecture while downtown transforms into a carnival-style atmosphere during the summer for the famed WaterFire Festival.


Although Providence doesn’t have as many tech firms as other cities, companies in many industries are hunting for qualified professionals. Some of 2020’s best remote jobs in Providence include UX developers, network engineers, and interface developers.


With its many universities and local school districts, Providence hires more educators than anywhere in Rhode Island. Remote workers will also find plenty of employment opportunities outside the classroom, in positions such as tutors and social workers.


The healthcare boom continues its dominance with strong job growth in Providence. Because it’s the largest and fastest-growing market, the City of Providence developed the Office of Economic Opportunity, which brings employers and candidates together.

5. Portland-South Portland, ME

According to ZipRecruiter, Portland, Maine, makes the list because of its high-opportunity index. The index measures a variety of economic and non-economic factors to reveal not only quality of life, but also the opportunity for employment. Four Fortune 500 companies have significant operations within the city, and a switch from manufacturing to services has prompted an overall boom in job growth and employment.

Known for its scenic beauty, Portland also has a vibrant cultural scene. The Old Port area of this city is filled with boutique shops and restaurants while the Portland Museum of Art is one of the top art institutions in New England.


The largely diversified industries in Portland provide numerous opportunities for salespeople. Regional managers, entry-level positions, and upper management are all available positions within the city.


Software developers, network engineers, Java developers, and consultants can all find employment within the robust economy of Portland.

Professional and Technical Services

Employers such as Wex, Woodard & Curran, and Tilson Technology Management highlight the medium-to-large businesses that hire professionals with a variety of backgrounds. Individuals with a background in finance, accounting, management, and marketing are in high demand within this sector and should find chances for remote employment.

6. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

With a median salary of $74,841 per year, San Francisco and the surrounding area claims the top spot on the list in terms of pay. However, with an average home listing price of $1.3 million, it’s all relative. The tech startup boom continues, forging growth among young professionals and tech experts. Business services and biotechnology are also a vital portion of the job market. Coupled with an unemployment rate of only 1.9% (Employment Development Depart, Nov. 2019), the area is a potential goldmine for virtual job opportunities.

People from around the world travel to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Looming over San Francisco Bay, it overlooks both the city skyline and Alcatraz. It is also home to the world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf and America’s top-rated stadium, AT&T Park. 

Professional and Technical Services

San Francisco job seekers searching for employment opportunities in business and professional services can find employment with job titles such as a project manager, solutions engineer, account manager, or travel consultant.


The prosperous tech industry may have started in Silicon Valley, but the surge of remote employment opportunities in San Francisco outpaces anywhere else in the country. While software developers and engineers are one of the hot job markets, other job titles include growth leaders/managers, security analysts, data engineers, and tech project managers.


Digital marketing has led to an influx of jobs in a variety of industries. Highly coveted marketing professional roles include positions such as social media manager, marketing manager, or marketing associate.

7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Home to the U.S. government and hundreds of global organizations, Washington, D.C. has been said to be impervious to economic recessions, even outside of the government job sector. A 5.1% increase in job growth in professional services (BLS, 2019), as well as employment opportunities in tech, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare drive the city’s economic upturn.

Packed with history and culture, Washington, D.C. has plenty of attractions and destinations to satisfy its current and new residents. The Smithsonian remains one of the top museums in the world, and iconic landmarks such as the Vietnam War Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the White House also provide plenty to see.


One of the main reasons that the IT industry thrives in the District of Columbia is that government entities and organizations rely heavily on cybersecurity. To prevent hacks and infiltration, IT companies are often on the hunt for software developers, Drupal developers, and security engineers.


With 23.8 million visitors each year, Washington, D.C. is one of the most-visited cities in the nation. As a result, the hospitality, tourism, and leisure industry provides thousands of job opportunities for qualified workers, some of which deserve the title of 2020’s best remote jobs in the U.S. capitol.

Professional and Technical Services

A highly educated workforce propels the business and professional services sector. Financial services and planning, recruitment agencies, account executives, and account managers are some of the more common and lucrative positions available to telecommuters.

8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

While financial services, healthcare, and education dominate the job market, Philadelphia experiences high unemployment (4.9%) and job growth (1.4%, BLS) comparable to the national average. However, its low cost of living relative to other major cities draws in businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs, helping to fuel its hot job market.

History buffs rejoice at the mere thought of the City of Brotherly Love. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and colonial architecture highlight just some of its historical landmarks. A die-hard sports scene and the city’s reputation as a foodie haven also give it clout as a relocation destination.

Professional and Technical Services

Thanks to a strong manufacturing history, the need for business and professional services to keep things running smoothly remains strong. Salespeople, financial analysts, accountants, marketers, and logistics professionals are some of 2020’s best remote jobs for the Philadelphia area. 


Some of Pennsylvania’s biggest healthcare facilities are in Philadelphia, boosting employment opportunities in the healthcare field. Remote psychologists, speech pathologists, and nurse case managers are just some of the potential job titles worth searching.


Philadelphia is home to Comcast, which is one of the country’s largest providers of cable television, home internet, and home phones. Boasting more than $94 million in revenue, the company is a great starting point for those with degrees or experience in IT, communications, marketing, advertising, and sales.

9. Bismarck, ND

Although Bismarck is the smallest city on the list with a metro population of only 132,678, the city’s 1.8% unemployment rate (BLS, 2019) and high opportunity index have attracted both employers and remote jobseekers. Unlike the rest of the country, mining and manufacturing continue to boom in Bismarck.  Industries such as healthcare, retail, education, and sales continue to further the city’s overall job opportunities.

Isolated in the middle of the plains, Bismarck’s flat topography is an interesting sight for new residents and visitors. A walkable downtown filled with shops, bars, and restaurants provides entertainment. North Dakota’s State Capitol is a rare example of art deco architecture in the state, and the North Dakota Heritage Center and Dakota Zoo highlight some of the city’s other top attractions.


Both Sanford Health and CHI St. Alexis — the largest healthcare provider in central and western North Dakota — are among the top 10 employers in Bismarck. While many jobs are onsite, other professions such as nurse case managers and medical transcriptionists may find remote employment.


A talented sales staff remains one of the most pivotal departments within companies, from small to large. Regardless of expertise or experience, Bismarck companies are always on the lookout for motivated self-starters in their sales department.


With a handful of higher learning institutions and the largest public school system in the western half of North Dakota, employment opportunities within education are among 2020’s best remote jobs in Bismarck. Aside from teaching, tutoring is a popular virtual job in the city.

10. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

With more than 200,000 job openings, the New York metropolitan area provides more opportunities than any other city in the country. While the cost of living is high, the sheer number of opportunities across all industries makes New York an attractive destination for professionals with many types of skills and experience.

As America’s largest city, New York is home to more than 8 million residents with an additional 13 million people in the surrounding area. Thanks to its large population, New York remains a melting pot of cultures, giving you the chance to eat every type of cuisine and experience other peoples’ way of life in your own backyard. Plus, New York is the home of some of the world’s most famed attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

Financial and Banking Services

Home to three of the world’s largest financial services firms (JPMorganChase, Citi, and American Express) and the offices of several others (including AIG), finance professionals should have little problem finding remote job openings in New York City.


With 62 hospitals in the city limits alone, healthcare is a massive, booming industry in the Big Apple. Speech pathologists, nurse case managers, social workers, and transcriptionists are just some of 2020’s best remote jobs in New York City, as professionals can typically find remote work because of the high demand for skilled workers. 

Professional and Technical Services

Although many workers in professional and technical services work in supplementary roles, their importance is integral. Virtual lawyers, consultants, marketers, and advertising professionals round out just a few of the top opportunities.

Armed with this information and thousands of jobs in the Virtual Vocations database, you can instantly find job listings that pair your career aspirations with a robust, exciting social scene outside of the office. It’s the best of both worlds and something you deserve this year. Good luck on your job hunt, and don’t forget that Virtual Vocations is always here to help you on your journey.

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iStock Photo Credit: Cn0ra

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