Virtual Vocations, which researches an average of 500,000 possible telecommute job leads per year, releases its first annual “Best Telecommute Jobs” list as a new resource for telecommute job seekers.
In order to populate our list of the “25 Best Telecommute Jobs of 2016,” we looked to our own data on the job searching and job application trends of our subscribers, as well as to salary statistics compiled by PayScale and job growth data archived by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
When examining our own data, we extracted 2016 first-quarter records that document the telecommuting job fields, from the more than 40 categories of remote jobs accessible in our Telecommute Jobs Database, most often applied to by our subscribers searching for available telecommute jobs.
Next, we combed those top 25 telecommute job categories sections within our Telecommute Jobs Database to determine which remote job within each of those industries was the most prevalent.
To strengthen our selections for the “Best Telecommute Jobs” we utilized PayScale’s salary comparison statistics to log the average wages for each of the top telecommute jobs and researched the BLS’ projected job growth of those telecommute jobs from 2014-2024.
Every telecommute job on our first annual “Best Of” list will experience growth through 2024, and every one of these telecommute job’s average wages nearly doubles the 2016 Federal Minimum Wage standard of $7.25 per hour.
Abstract of Key Findings
- Telecommute jobs for Software Developers and Project Managers consistently remain the most sought after positions
- New popular telecommute jobs include Illustrator, Social Media Manager, and Business Analyst
- Sales Representative positions climbed 10 spots to become the third best telecommute job, and the remote job with the greatest increase in vacancies over the last year
- The highest salaries are earned by professionals in telecommuting executive level and management roles, which reflects one of Virtual Vocations’ largest subscriber demographics: telecommuters with more than five years of experience who earn upwards of $71,000 per year
- Remote work opportunities in consulting, nursing, and research are some of the fastest growing
- Computer based Quality Assurance professions will experience the highest rate of job growth through 2024 at a rate of 21%
25 Best Telecommute Jobs of 2016
1. Software Developer
A telework Software Developer is the creative backbone behind programming that allows users to complete specific tasks on a mobile device or computer. Software Developers are also responsible for developing systems that dictate the behavior of networks and run our favorite devices.
Average Wages: $68,082 per year
- Four-year degree in computer science or a similar field
- Strong programming skills in languages like Java and C++
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 17% with a gain of $186,600 jobs
2. Technical Project Manager
From orchestrating technical project planning to assigning tasks to project members, remote Technical Project Managers are the IT masterminds companies seek to advance their technology goals.
Average Wages: $84,797 per year
- Relevant bachelor’s degree associated with your area of expertise
- 5-7 years of experience within the industry
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data on project management jobs. Instead, the BLS groups data on project management occupations with statistics on the specialized fields those Project Managers service.
Data on Technical Project Managers is grouped with Computer and Information Systems Managers. Through 2024, these occupations are expected to grow much faster than average (15%) and gain 53,700 new positions.
3. Sales Representative
Home-based Sales Representatives sell services and goods to customers by determining customer needs, answering questions about products, and pursuing leads through resources like business directories and client referrals.
Average Wages: $40,522 per year
- High school diploma or GED for most entry level, non-technical sales roles; some employers may prefer a bachelor’s degree
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills
- Professional and enthusiastic phone manner
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 5% with a gain of 778,000 new jobs
4. Executive Director
Telecommuting Executive Directors serve as an organization’s upper management and senior operating officers. These roles are particularly prevalent among non-profit organizations within the United States.
Average Wages: $70,470 per year
- Four-year degree
- A minimum of five years of industry experience
- Proven ability to delegate tasks
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 6% with a gain of 147,000 jobs
5. Field Case Manager
Field Case Managers, who work from home on a partial telecommuting basis, are charged with on- and off-site patient care. A Field Case Manager acts as a liaison between physicians, patients, and insurance companies to coordinate care, much of the time for patients seeking to return to work after an accident or injury.
Average Wages: $66,532 per year
- Bachelor’s degree in a field like nursing, behavioral health, psychology, or human services
- Certification or licensure as dictated by the candidate’s state of residence and work
- The ability to travel, often on a frequent basis, to attend to patients in their homes and visit with healthcare and community services providers
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 10% with a gain of 13,200 jobs
6. Customer Service Representative
When a business needs workers to field customer complaints, process product returns, offer information about services, upsell products and take orders they look to Virtual Customer Service Representatives.
Average Wages: $13.00 per hour
- High school diploma or GED
- Calming and professional, yet personable phone manner with the ability to de-escalate tense calls concerning services complaints
- Proficient in the use of computers and standard work processing and database software
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 10% with a gain of 252,900 jobs
7. Marketing Associate
As a telecommuting Marketing Associate, a remote worker would primarily create marketing campaigns, market products to clients, coordinate with product developers, and launch and promote services and goods.
Average Wages: $41,901 per year
- Four-year degree in marketing, communications, public relations, advertising, or a similar field
- Experience in customer service, sales, or telemarketing is preferred
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 6% with a gain of 14,900 jobs
8. Content Writer
Online Content Writers are wordsmiths who create digital content, especially blog posts, articles, and webpage content, for websites. They most often work on a freelance basis, tailoring their work to best suit the needs of their clients and their unique readership.
Average Wages: $40,951 per year
- High school diploma or GED is standard; post-secondary study may be required if expertise is needed when writing for a specific industry like education, technology, or psychology
- Excellent command of the English language
- Strong proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite as well as with email and CMS applications like WordPress
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 2% with a gain of 3,100 jobs
9. Business Analyst
Telecommuting Business Analysts assess companies and organizations to document and improve the functionality and efficiency of their systems and processes, as well as analyze their business model and its level of technology integration.
Average Wages: $58,923 per year
- Bachelor’s degree in a field related to business administration or information technology
- Professional certification, such as a CBAP or IIBA designation, is often preferred
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: 14% with a gain of 103,400 jobs
Telecommuting Consultants are skilled, experienced professionals who provide advice within a specific industry such as technology, education, security, or healthcare.
Average Wages: $68,982 per year
- Post-secondary degree and professional certification and/or licensure related to the consultant’s area of expertise
- 10+ years of demonstrated professional experience within the specialty area
BLS Projected Job Growth from 2014-24: The Bureau of Labor statistics groups consulting occupations with business analysis roles under the classification of Management Analysts, or Management Consultants; therefore, consulting telecommute jobs are also projected to grow by 14% with a gain of 103,400 jobs, which is must faster than average when compared to all other job categories.
11. Adjunct Professor
Telework Adjunct Instructors are post-secondary educators who instruct college level students online. Adjuncts are employed by colleges and universities but are not considered full-time faculty members.
Average Wages: $31,357 per year
- Master’s degree in the subject matter the Adjunct wishes to teach
- Relevant professional experience in the field
- Previous teaching experience is preferred
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 13% with a gain of 177,000 jobs
12. Administrative Assistant
A virtual Administrative Assistant is someone who works from home while performing organizational and clerical tasks typical of an on-site office. They may draft emails, letters and memos, organize digital files, and support other staff and departments as needed.
Average Wages: $14.00 per hour
- High school diploma or GED
- Skilled the use of computers, email, and standard computer software, especially the Microsoft Office Suite
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 3% with a gain of 118,800 jobs
Remote Recruiters are vital to staffing agencies and businesses with dedicated human resources departments. They review candidates’ resumes and cover letters, negotiate compensation terms, and place candidates in positions agreeable to both the job applicant and the employer.
Average Wages: $45,439 per year
- Bachelor’s degree is standard; candidates with an an HR certification are often preferred
- Keen understanding of management processes and employment laws
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 5% with a gain of 22,000 jobs
14. Account Manager
Telecommuting Account Managers are responsible for managing relationships with specific customers for their organization, including completing sales. Account Managers must have a thorough knowledge of their organization’s products and services and need to be able to make targeted pitches for current and future clients.
Average Wages: $50,760 per year
- Four-year degree, especial in business management, business administration, or sales-based subjects
- Professional experience in sales, marketing, advertising, or administration is beneficial
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: BLS job growth data does not specifically track the future expansion of account management occupations. However, the BLS does forecast job growth for a similar occupation, Sales Manager, which is expected to grow 5% throughout 2014-24 with a gain of 19,000 jobs.
15. Graphic Designer
A work-at-home Graphic Designer is someone who creates visual concepts, by hand or by using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers.
Average Wages: $40,666 per year
- Four-year degree in graphic design or a similar field
- Professional portfolio of the designer’s best work
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 1% with a gain of 3,600 jobs
16. Instructional Designer
A work from home Instructional Designer oversees school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.
Average Wages: $60,233 per year
- Master’s degree
- Professional experience in teaching and/or school administration
- State licensure, if required by your place of employment
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 7% with a gain of 10,500 jobs
17. Computer Analyst (QA) Specialist
Home-based Quality Assurance Computer Specialists are responsible for performing tests on computer applications to isolate and solve issues. They often initiate tests, analyze results, and find solutions to technical problems.
Average Wages: $53,944 per year
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar field, although candidates with a business degree and a demonstrated knowledge of IT concepts can be considered
- High-level attention to detail
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 21% with a gain of 118,600 jobs
18. Clinical Research Associate
A partial telecommuting Clinical Research Associate (CRA), also called a clinical monitor or trial monitor, is a health-care professional who performs many activities related to medical research, particularly clinical trials.
Average Wages: $61,176 per year
- Four-year degree in a medical or science field
- State licensure, if warranted by your place of residence/work
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 16% with a gain of 52,100 jobs
Home-based Accountants prepare and examine financial records. They make sure records are accurate, ensure taxes are paid properly and on time, and perform overviews of the financial operations of a business in order to help it run efficiently.
Average Wages: $47,936 per year
- Associate’s or bachelor’s degree, depending on the experience level of the job desired
- Professional certification, such a CPA designation, as determined by the requirements of an individual employer; overall, CPAs enjoy greater job prospects
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 11% with a gain of 142,400 jobs
20. Registered Nurse (RN)
A remote Registered Nurse (RN) is a credentialed nursing professional who has obtained a nursing license in accordance with the nurse’s state governing body. Telework RNs develop and manage nursing care plans, instruct patients and their families in proper care, and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health.
Average Wages: $58,371 per year
- Associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or nursing diploma course completion
- Active, unrestricted nursing license held within the state(s) in which you intend to provide care
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 16% with a gain of 439,300 jobs
21. High School Teacher
A telework High School Teacher is a secondary education professional who teaches academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and enter the job market. Telecommuting 9-12 educators primarily provide instruction and guidance to their students via email and video conferencing.
Average Wages: $45,889 per year
- Four-year degree in a relevant content area like English, history, science, math, arts and humanities, computers, physical education, special education, or languages
- Experience working with the age group the educator would like to teach
- Strong computer proficiency and the ability to quickly adapt to and learn new software
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 6% with a gain of 55,900 jobs
A virtual Illustrator is an artist who specializes in clearly demonstrating concepts by providing a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text or idea.
Average Wages: $20 per hour
- A four-year degree in fine arts or a specific category of post-secondary artistic study is typically required; a high school diploma or GED may be acceptable if a job candidate can demonstrate an exceptional talent in the field or an impressive measure of professional experience
- Updated portfolio of completed/ongoing illustrations
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 6% with a gain of 3,900 jobs
23. Social Media Manager
An online Social Media Manager is a digital marketing and content specialist who is responsible for monitoring and measuring the social media presence of an individual, company, brand, or organization.
Average Wages: $46,402 per year
- High school diploma or GED; some employers may require a four-year degree or some college coursework completion in marketing, advertising, or public relations
- High degree of familiarity with social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Snapchat; social media management job seekers should be prepared to share links to their personal social media accounts with potential employers
- Mobile device enabled
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 9% with a gain of 19,700 jobs
24. Insurance Claims Adjuster
Whether handling claims adjustment for personal injuries, vehicle damage, or structural damage, Telecommuting Insurance Claims Adjusters are responsible for investigations that determine to what extent the insurance company will be held liable for personal or property reimbursement.
Average Wages: $48,811 per year
- High school diploma or GED for entry level positions; advancements may necessitate a bachelor’s degree
- Insurance industry adjuster license as determined by your state
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 3% with a gain of 9,600 jobs
25. Medical Coder
A work-at-home Medical Coder processes and interprets patient data, like medical records and insurance information, and codes diagnoses and insurance payment requests.
Average Wages: $16.00 per hour
- Post-secondary certification, most often an AAPC certification like CPC or CPC-H
- Fast, accurate typing skills
- Knowledge of medical terminology
BLS Projected Job Growth 2014-24: 15% with a gain of 29,000 jobs
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