Virtual Vocations counts down the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries, a curated list of the 20 best virtual job categories for finding telecommuting employment and contract work.
In September 2016 we released our list of the 25 Best Telecommute Jobs of 2016. This first-annual report outlined the most prevalent and reputable telecommute jobs represented among the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Jobs Database. Now, it’s time for another first-annual report—one that delves deeper into the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries from which our 2016 “best of” telecommute jobs originate.
We curated our list of the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries by examining the virtual job categories to which the greatest number of Virtual Vocations members submitted job applications and compared those stats against our data on 2015 telecommute job application trends.
Next, we compared those industries against the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Jobs Database and Telecommute Companies Database to determine the most widespread types of telecommuting jobs within each of the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries and which telecommute-friendly employers are hiring within each of those virtual job categories.
Finally, we looked to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for data on the projected growth rates of each of the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries, as evidenced by the number of new available jobs the BLS predicts will be added to the job market over a period of time.
Abstract of Key Findings
- From 2015 to 2016, information technology and project management remain the top two telecommute industries.
- New virtual job categories making the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries list include accounting, research, account management, and business operations.
- Telecommute sales jobs represent the virtual job category with the highest increase in applications, moving from the 13th spot on the list in 2015 to 3rd place on the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries list.
- Additional virtual job categories with the greatest increase in applications from 2015 to 2016 include healthcare, growing from the 14th most popular telecommute industry to the 5th most popular telecommute industry, editing and human resources—each moving up five positions on the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries list—and graphic design and marketing, both of which climbed four slots from 2015.
- Remote jobs within consulting, healthcare, information technology, management, project management, research, and sales will experience the highest rates of projected job growth among the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries, according to the latest BLS stats on job growth from 2014 to 2024. The healthcare sector alone will add 2.3 million jobs throughout the decade.
The 2016 Top Telecommute Industries
Top Virtual Editing Job Titles:
- Online Copy Editor
- Virtual Proofreader
- Work from Home Content Reviewer
BLS Editing Jobs Growth Projection:
The BLS predicts a five percent decline in editing jobs from 2014 – 2024, which is attributed to competition from digital newspaper and magazine publications. Keep in mind, this is not necessarily bad news for telecommuting editors, as the projected decline in available editing jobs speaks to the broader trend in editing industry hiring that encompasses both traditional on-site and remote editing jobs.
Remote Employers Hiring in Editing:
Top Virtual Accounting Job Titles:
- Telecommuting Accountant
- Telework Bookkeeper
- Work at Home Tax Agent
BLS Accounting Jobs Growth Projection:
As a result of the continued overall improvement of the U.S. economy, accounting jobs are expected to grow 11 percent through 2024, according to the BLS; meanwhile, jobs for bookkeepers and financial auditing clerks are projected to decline by as much as eight percent from 2014 through 2024.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes this negative forecast for the future of bookkeeping and financial auditing clerk positions to advancements in accounting based software that can, at times, greatly restrict or altogether forgo the need for human involvement in accounting and financial processes.
Remote Employers Hiring in Accounting:
Top Virtual Research Job Titles:
- Partial Telecommuting Clinical Research Associate
- Remote Research Assistant
- Telecommute Market Research Analyst
BLS Research Jobs Growth Projection:
The job growth forecast for research positions is expected to be as good as or better than average for all other jobs. Positions for medical scientists, like clinical research associates, are expected to grow as much as eight percent through 2024, whereas jobs in market research analysis are predicted to grow by as much as 19 percent (much faster than average) from 2014 through 2024.
Remote Employers Hiring in Research:
17. Quality Assurance
Top Virtual Quality Assurance Job Titles:
- Telework Quality Assurance Analyst
- Virtual QA Test Engineer
- Work from Home Data Quality Auditor
BLS Quality Assurance Jobs Growth Projection:
A negligible degree of change is predicted for the number of available jobs for quality control experts through 2024, according to the BLS, which suggests that job seekers looking for work in this field will have the best chance for landing a quality assurance role if they have a relevant work history, educational background, and/or professional certification.
Remote Employers Hiring in Quality Assurance:
16. Instructional Design
Top Virtual Instructional Design Job Titles:
- Online Instructional Designer
- Telecommuting Freelance Curriculum Writer
- Work at Home Lesson Writer
BLS Instructional Design Jobs Growth Projection:
It’s good news for job seekers interested in obtaining an instructional design job over the next eight years. From 2014 to 2024, the BLS projects that nearly 11,000 new instructional design positions will be available, which equates to a seven percent rate of job growth throughout the decade.
Remote Employers Hiring in Instructional Design:
15. Graphic Design
Top Virtual Graphic Design Job Titles:
- Telecommute Mobile Graphics Artist
- Virtual Video Animator/Illustrator
- Work from Home Graphic Designer
BLS Graphic Design Jobs Growth Projection:
Available graphic design jobs are not expected to spike through 2024, but the graphic design industry will remain a steady source of employment for creative, artistic telecommuters, adding approximately 3,600 new employment opportunities to the job market.
Remote Employers Hiring in Graphic Design:
14. Account Management
Top Virtual Account Management Job Titles:
- Remote Major/Strategic Account Manager
- Telecommuting Client Solutions Architect
- Work from Home Regional Account Manager
BLS Account Management Jobs Growth Projection:
Account management jobs, especially those in areas like sales account management and advertising account management, are expected to grow between five and nine percent from 2014 through 2024, equaling a bump of nearly 40,000 available account management positions in these sectors.
Remote Employers Hiring in Account Management:
13. Human Resources
Top Virtual Human Resources Job Titles:
- Telecommuting Human Resources Director
- Virtual Recruiter
- Work at Home Talent Acquisition Manager
BLS Human Resources Jobs Growth Projection:
Job seekers looking for telecommuting jobs in recruiting and talent acquisition can expect as many as 22,000 new human resources employment opportunities to arise within the next eight years, according to the BLS.
Remote Employers Hiring in Human Resources:
Top Virtual Administrative Job Titles:
- Remote Digital Organizer
- Telework Administrative Coordinator
- Virtual Assistant
BLS Administrative Jobs Growth Projection:
Between 2014 and 2024, administrative and clerical positions, which typically require a high school diploma or G.E.D. and pay nearly $18.00 per hour, are forecast to grow by a rate of three percent. Although this projected jobs growth rate is considered slower than average by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry will add more than 118,000 new positions through 2024.
Remote Employers Hiring in Administration:
Top Virtual Education Job Titles:
- Online Adjunct Professor
- Virtual Tutor
- Work at Home K-12 Teacher
BLS Education Jobs Growth Projection:
In addition to offering salaries above the median annual wage for all occupations, the education field, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics combines with training and library positions for purposes of its data cataloging, is expected to add just under 700,000 new jobs from 2014 to 2024.
Remote Employers Hiring in Education:
Top Virtual Consulting Job Titles:
- Remote Risk Management Consultant
- Telecommute Compliance Analyst
- Virtual Business Consultant
BLS Consulting Jobs Growth Projection:
Consulting careers, or management analyst careers, are projected to experience one of the highest rates of growth among 2016 top telecommute industries. Adding more than 103,000 jobs from 2014 through 2024, the consulting field is predicted to grow as much as 14 percent.
The BLS assigns this level of growth based on the increasing number of businesses seeking the expertise of consultants who can help employers keep costs down and improve efficiency in their business operations.
Remote Employers Hiring in Consulting:
9. Business Operations
Top Virtual Business Operations Job Titles:
- Partial Telecommuting Business Operations Managers
- Remote Business Process Analyst
- Virtual Business Operations Specialist
BLS Business Operations Jobs Growth Projection:
Jobs as business operations specialists and managers, who also may be known as administrative services specialists and managers, will experience growth that is as fast as average for all other occupations. During the 2014-2024 decade, this industry will experience approximately eight percent job growth, equating to more than 23,000 new employment opportunities within the industry.
Remote Employers Hiring in Business Operations:
Top Virtual Writing Job Titles:
- Online Course/Curriculum Writer
- Virtual Content Writer
- Work from Home Freelance Writer/Blogger
BLS Writing Jobs Growth Projection:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, writing is slated to be a highly competitive field through 2024. The BLS projects that just over 3,000 new writing jobs will be added to the market during this time. If you wanted to be in top contention, review our guides on writing your best resume and cover letter: Telecommuting Resume Writing: A Complete Guide and Telecommuting Cover Letters: Formats for Success.
Remote Employers Hiring in Writing:
Top Virtual Marketing Job Titles:
- Remote Marketing and Events Coordinator
- Partial Telecommuting Communications and Public Relations Consultant
- Virtual Marketing Manager
BLS Marketing Jobs Growth Projection:
Marketing jobs are slated to grow faster than average when compared to jobs in all other industries. From 2014 to 2014, look for 19,700 marketing related openings to be added to the job market.
As businesses continue to expand their reach and appeal to broader audiences, especially those receiving information via digital mediums, more marketing jobs will grow to incorporate social media elements.
Remote Employers Hiring in Marketing:
6. Customer Service
Top Virtual Customer Service Job Titles:
- Telecommuting Customer Care Representative
- Virtual Customer Care/Technical Support Specialist
- Work at Home Customer Service Agent
BLS Customer Service Jobs Growth Projection:
Customer service represents another of the 2016 Top Telecommuting Industries that is fast-growing. Jobs in this field are forecast to grow at a rate of 10 percent over a 10-year period, which is faster than average.
Remote Employers Hiring in Customer Service:
Top Virtual Healthcare Job Titles:
- Partial Telecommuting Field Medical Case Manager
- Virtual Telephonic Nurse
- Work at Home Physician Reviewer
BLS Healthcare Jobs Growth Projection:
Based on the most recent BLS stats, healthcare is the fastest growing job field among our list of the 2016 Top Telecommute Industries. By the end of 2024, healthcare related careers will have added approximately 2.3 million jobs, achieving an industry growth rate of 19 percent. In addition, that healthcare industry boasts average wages nearly double the national median salary.
Remote Employers Hiring in Healthcare:
Top Virtual Management Job Titles:
- Home-Based Program Director
- Partial Telecommute District Manager
- Telecommute Business Manager
BLS Management Jobs Growth Projection:
The need for management occupations is driven by the desire for businesses to expand their operations. According to the latest BLS data, more than half a million new management jobs will be added between 2014 and 2024, equating to six percent job growth within one of the largest 2016 Top Telecommute Industries.
Remote Employers Hiring in Management:
Top Virtual Sales Job Titles:
- Remote Account Executive
- Telecommuting Inside/Outside Sales Representative
- Telework Regional Sales Manager
BLS Sales Jobs Growth Projection:
Even larger than the management industry, sales careers are expected to grow by nearly 800,000 new opportunities through 2024.
Remote Employers Hiring in Sales:
2. Project Management
Top Virtual Project Management Job Titles:
- Partial Telecommuting Clinical Project Manager
- Virtual IT Project Manager
- Work at Home Strategic/Implementation Project Manager
BLS Project Management Jobs Growth Projection:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not compile overarching data on the project management industry, according to the BLS economist Tom DiVincenzo. Instead, the BLS breaks out project management based roles into specific jobs within the field such as information systems manager or construction project manager, which average an occupational growth rate of 10% (faster than average).
Remote Employers Hiring in Project Management:
1. Information Technology
Top Virtual Information Technology Job Titles:
- Remote Cloud Architect
- Telecommute Lead Software Engineer
- Work at Home Programmer Analyst
BLS Information Technology Jobs Growth Projection: It’s fitting that the virtual job category that tops our 2016 Top Telecommute Industries list will also experience one of the highest rates of occupational growth during 2014-2024. Within this time frame, information technology jobs are projected to gain nearly half a million new openings, growing at a rate of 12 percent over 10 years.
Strengthening the demand for new IT job openings is the industry’s prioritization of good-paying jobs. Overall, information technology careers pay an average of nearly $50,000 more annually than careers offering the median annual wage of $36,200.
Remote Employers Hiring in Information Technology:
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