Virtual Vocations has compiled key remote work statistics into our 2017 Year-End Report on the status of remote work and telecommuting trends that will shape the virtual work landscape during 2018.
Virtual Vocations 2017 Year-End Report and Telecommuting Statistics
Virtual Vocations spent 2017 providing remote jobseekers with the largest database of telecommute-only job postings online, researching employers who hire telecommuters across all industries, and helping job candidates improve their hireability through resources and services like resumé reviews and e-courses.
“Thanks to our Database Operations Team’s commitment to finding and sharing the newest telecommute job openings, we vetted over 6,500 new telecommute-friendly employers and saw an astounding 20 percent increase in the number of new jobs added to our job board in 2017.”
—Shannon Cyr, Database Operations Division Manager, Virtual Vocations
Report Mission Statement
We will examine 2017 telecommuting statistics and trends reflecting the following insights into the status of remote work:
- Top States for Remote Work
- Top Companies Who Hire Telecommuters
- Top Industries for Telecommuting Jobs
The Latest Telecommuting Statistics
Global Workplace Analytics, which reviews, collects, and conducts up-to-date research on work strategies including telecommuting, tracks data on the prevalence of remote work arrangements and the number of telecommuters in the U.S. The following statistics reflect the continued growth of telecommuting in the workplace despite telework policy revisions and abandonment from large employers like IBM, Yahoo, Bank of America, Honeywell, and Best Buy:
- 20-25% of the U.S. workforce telecommutes at least some of the time
- 80% to 90% of professionals in the U.S. want to work from home at least on a part-time basis
- Since 2005, there has been a 115% increase in regular remote work arrangements among non-self-employed professionals
- The number of U.S. employers facilitating remote work policies has increased 40% in the last five years
Who Is the Typical Telecommuter?
In order to better understand the work styles, habits, and goals of professionals who actively telecommute as well as those who seek to work remotely, Virtual Vocations regularly conducts voluntary surveys of our registered users. Among the thousands of survey responses we have received, Virtual Vocations learned that professionals interested in telecommuting work styles fit the following profile:
- 42.3% care for children or a family member in their homes on a regular basis
- 48% are age 50+
- 82.3% have received a post-secondary diploma or degree
Among respondents who stated they were already employed or contracting within a telecommuting work arrangement,
- 39.5% earn at least $71,000 per year
- 50.4% work as independent contractors
- 56.4% have 5+ years of previous telecommuting experience
- 62.2% telecommute 100% of the time with no travel
- 74.3% have experienced an increased quality of life since they started working remotely
- 83.5% have experienced decreased costs (e.g. lunches, clothing, gas, etc.) associated with work since they began telecommuting
Among respondents who hope to become hired in a telecommute job,
- 33.2% would accept up to a 5% decrease in pay in order to telecommute
- 36.6% say the most frustrating element to looking for telecommuting jobs is the lack of employer response to applications
- 44.7% want to telecommute only as an employee, with 42.8% willing to work in any type of telecommuting arrangement
- 47.6% do not want to travel for work
- 53.7% have prior telecommuting experience
- 74.7% are want to telecommute because they desire flexibility and control over their work schedules
Annual Data Collection Methodology
Telecommute Jobs Database
Virtual Vocations Job Researchers, Job Quality Specialists, and Quality Assurance Specialists reviewed hundreds of thousands of potential telecommuting jobs. Those that met our standards, which you can learn more about on our FAQ page, were added to the Virtual Vocations job board.
During 2017, Virtual Vocations team members approved and posted 160,654 remote job openings.
Approved telecommute jobs are classified using criteria like the following:
- Job Category: Our list of more than 40 telecommute job categories includes popular telecommute-friendly industries, such as Graphic Design, Internet and eCommerce, and Medical Coding as well as more surprising fields like Engineering, Nursing, and Training.
- Telecommute Level:
- 100% Telecommute: Working remotely all day, every day with no travel (PJs optional.)
- Majority: Telecommute most of the time but may have onsite travel or infrequent meetings
- Frequently: Working remotely approximately three or four days per week
- Occasionally: Working remotely an average of one or two days each week
- Location: Telecommute job openings can be narrowed by U.S. locations including nationwide, state, region, and time zone.
- Travel Requirements: From 100% virtual jobs to those that require some on-site requirements or time on the road or in the air, this is where we designate a remote job opening’s travel demands.
- Education Level: You can elect to browse remote job openings based on your education qualifications including some college experience or a variety of earned degrees.
- Employment Status: This classification tells jobseekers if an open position is permanent, temporary, seasonal, an internship, or a contract offer.
- Employer Type: Here, we specify the source of the telecommute job posting which is either directly from employer resources or from a staffing agency.
- Career Level: Entry level, experienced, manager, senior level, executive level
- Weekly Hours: Jobseekers with specific schedule demands can utilize the Weekly Hours filter and choose telecommute jobs for day shift or evening shift, flexible schedules, and full-time or part-time hours.
- Additional Information: This section of search filters allows jobseekers to view postings from 100% virtual companies, employers who are continuously hiring, companies posting notice of future openings, and remote jobs with information available about company benefits.
- Date Posted: With this search filter, you can opt to view telecommute job openings posted within 14 days, seven days, two days, or 24 hours.
Telecommute Companies Database
The Telecommute Companies Database is an example of Virtual Vocations’ commitment to improving the ease and efficiency of remote job searches by reducing the time it takes to locate companies who will hire applicants to work from home. This database is a hub where jobseekers can research more than 10,000 1companies by name or industry and discover more about what it is like to telecommute for that employer. Within each profile, jobseekers gain access to the following company information:
- Main company website link and a business description and/or mission statement
- Crucial company research details like the company’s headquarters location, industry information, and founded date
- Resource links to the employer’s Wikipedia page and Better Business Bureau profile
- Resource links to the employer’s social media profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
- An RSS feed of company news
- A graph charting the employer’s most recent hiring trends
- A list of company telecommuting job openings you can apply to via the Virtual Vocations job board
Top States for Remote Work
One of the most common questions we are asked by jobseekers is “Why do telecommute jobs have a location requirement?” While it is easy to assume all remote jobs can be performed from any location, this is not the case.
Virtual Vocations 2017 telecommuting statistics show most remote job postings added to our database included a geographic restriction, like requiring applicants to reside in a particular city, state, region or time zone, versus accepting applicants living in any U.S. location.
Some of the most common reasons why telecommute jobs have a location requirement include the following:
- State-specific employment laws
- Tax restrictions
- Health insurance restrictions
- Professional certification or licensing requirements
- Onsite work requirements
- Time zone differences
For our Virtual Vocations 2017 Year-End Report, we compiled location data for each of the more than 160,000 telecommute jobs added to our job board to determine the top states for remote work. In the graphic below, we highlighted the top five states with the highest number of remote job openings for the year.
Remote job postings with location requirements for California, Texas, New York, and Florida comprised 23.26% of all job postings in the Virtual Vocations database for 2017.
The infographic above illustrates the wide reach of available telecommuting positions. To further showcase the scope of opportunities to telecommute throughout the United States, we highlighted the top 20 states for remote work and categorized them into regions.
#9 North Carolina
#3 New York
#8 New Jersey
Top Companies Who Hire Telecommuters
With 80 to to 90 percent of U.S. professionals working remotely at least some of the time, the demand for more employers to offer telecommuting work arrangements has never been higher.
To determine the top remote companies for 2017, we looked to data from our companies database and job board to extract the number of telecommute job vacancies from each employer that we researched, screened, and posted to our jobs database from January 1 – December 31, 2017.
Thousands of telecommute-friendly companies are profiled within our Telecommute Companies Database, but 20 employers topped our list of the best telecommute-friendly companies for 2017 because of their high frequency and variety of telecommuting jobs available throughout the year.
Let’s count them down.
20. CyberCoders, Inc.
CyberCoders is a nationwide recruiting and job search firm specializing in tech and information technology staffing. Founded in 1999, CyberCoders is a division of On Assignment and employs over 350 recruiters. The company recruits for positions in areas like technology, sales, executive-level, legal, marketing, sales, finance, operations, and accounting.
Who they recruit to work remotely: Sales engineers and representatives, software developers and architects, research scientists, and web developers
19. Aetna Inc.
Aetna Inc. is a major healthcare, dental, life insurance, and medical services provider. The company provides services for individuals, corporations, colleges, and government agencies. Founded in 1853, Aetna has grown to employ approximately 50,000 professionals and serves 46.7 million customers.
Who they hire to work remotely: Healthcare project managers, account managers and directors, web managers, reporting leads
A 100% remote company, Crossover connects talent from around the globe with companies who are looking to hire the best candidate available. Growing quickly, they have placed more than 1,500 people from 85 different countries into full-time positions for their clients.
Who they hire to work remotely: Software architects and engineers, sales engineers, customer support managers, and technical delivery owners
17. U.S. Bank (U.S. Bancorp)
U.S. Bank (U.S. Bancorp) is the second-oldest bank operating under its original charter in the United States. The bank’s branch network, specializing in regional consumer banking, business banking, wealth management services, national wholesale and trust services, and global payments services, provides banking and financial services to 25 states and 17.4 million customers.
Who they hire to work remotely: Sales Managers, account executives, business and credit analysts, loan assistants, and risk managers
16. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is an American multinational biotechnology product development company. It is one of the leading names in the genetic testing and precision laboratory equipment markets. Through the premier brands Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, and Unity Lab Services, the company offers a combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience, and comprehensive support.
Who they hire to work remotely: Systems executives, account managers, product managers, sales specialists and managers, accounts directors
Appen is an Australian company that develops datasets for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. They have over 330 employees at six offices and over 400,000 curated flexible workers worldwide. Appen mainly serves the technology, retail, automotive, healthcare, and financial industries. They also work with government agencies on emergency response, national security, and law enforcement.
Who they hire to work remotely: Social media and web search evaluators, transcriptionists, linguists, crowdsourcers, and information technology professionals
14. Soliant Health
Soliant Health is the leading healthcare staffing agency in the U.S. They match qualified nurses, physicians, therapists, pharmacists, and technicians with temporary, virtual, and partial telecommuting jobs. Some job assignments are temp-to-hire; most require state licenses to apply.
Who they recruit to work remotely: Speech-language pathologists, healthcare professionals, and information technology specialists
13. PRA Health Sciences
PRA Health Sciences is a clinical research company that conducts scientific trials to test newly developed pharmaceuticals. In the past five years, PRA Health Sciences has participated in over 3,500 clinical studies with support from more than 10,000 employees located in over 80 countries. Their primary lines of business include bioanalytical laboratories, biometrics, and clinical development, diagnostics, and pharmacology. They also provide safety, risk management, and strategic solutions to their clients.
Who they hire to work remotely: Biostatisticians, clinical scientists, data specialists, and managers
SAP is a European company that specializes in enterprise software applications. They have over 350,000 customers and 87,800 employees around the world. The company’s major product lines include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, cloud and data platforms, procurement and networks, and analytics. SAP also delivers solutions tailored to customer engagement and commerce, Internet of Things (IoT), digital supply chain, human resources, and financial specialties.
Who they hire to work remotely: Information technology professionals, product specialists, and sales and customer care representatives
11. Anthem, Inc.
Anthem, Inc. is a leading health insurance corporation that provides medical services and benefits to over 64 million Americans. Anthem’s affiliate organizations, such as Anthem Blue Cross and Empire BlueCross BlueShield, deliver a wide range of coverage and customizable healthcare packages including HMO, PPO, and hybrid plans, as well as dental, vision, and life insurance. They also provide specialty services benefits, such as oncology treatment, senior-focused healthcare delivery, and disability plans, through their specialty affiliate companies.
Who they hire to work remotely: Nurses, case managers, business analysts, and consultants
10. Connections Academy
Connections Academy provides free online public-school education for grades K-12. They offer personalized one-on-one instruction with active parental involvement. Their curriculum includes core courses (i.e., math, science, language arts, and social studies) and electives such as music and sign language. High school students receive access to college preparation materials including ACT and SAT practice tests and Career Technical Education (CTE) resources to learn real-world skills.
Who they hire to work remotely: Teachers, tutors, and curriculum writers
9. Conduent Inc.
Conduent Inc. is the subsidiary of Xerox Corporation that develops business processes for clients. Conduent offers digital processing, automation, and analytics services and solutions for industries like retail, public transportation, automotive, aerospace, and defense. They also help healthcare systems, human resources departments, customer service divisions, learning services, and financial agencies.
Who they hire to work remotely: Customer service representatives and information technology professionals
8. Humana Inc.
Humana Inc. is a leading healthcare insurance provider that offers coverage to individuals and families throughout the U.S. Their healthcare coverage extends to nearly three million active military members, veterans, and their families. In addition to healthcare insurance, Humana provides life and supplemental insurance to cover extended hospital stays, critical care, and accidental injuries.
Who they hire to work remotely: Registered nurses, pharmacists, case managers, business managers, and information technology professionals
Salesforce.com provides customer relationship management (CRM) software and solutions to small businesses and enterprises across the globe. Over 150,000 companies use Salesforce CRM to keep track of potential customers, communicate with clients, track and store client data, create efficient internal business processes, and manage customer service operations.
Who they hire to work remotely: Salesforce primarily hires information technology professionals, sales associates, and business managers
CyraCom provides language translation and interpretation services for healthcare systems, customer contact centers, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and state and local government agencies. Their primary services include phone and video interpretation, translation and localization, on-site interpretation, and language assessment and interpreter training. They operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and have offices in the United Kingdom.
Who they hire to work remotely: Bilingual interpreters, bilingual translators, system developers
5. Oracle Corporation
Oracle Corporation specializes in enterprise information technology solutions, software programs, computer services, database management systems, and business consulting. Oracle is a global leader in integrated cloud computing and infrastructure platforms. Their clients include top companies in aerospace and defense, automotive, banking, engineering and construction, medical device, oil and gas, and telecommunications. The company has 430,000 customers, 25,000 partners, and 138,000 employees around the world.
Who they hire to work remotely: Software implementation consultants, product security architects, project managers, applications developers, and a host of other business development and IT professionals
4. K12 Inc.
K12 Inc. is a leader in public and private online education. They provide courses, lessons, and learning materials for elementary, middle, and high school students across the U.S. Their K-8 program for public school students is customized to match each state’s education requirements, and they offer programs to supplement private school learning and homeschooled students. Their high school program contains over 200 online courses, including AP, STEM, and career preparation courses.
Who they hire to work remotely: Virtual K-12 teachers, education specialists, Title 1 coordinators, high school counselors, and special education teachers
VocoVision is a leader in virtual speech therapy services for children. They implement telepractice and mobile applications to engage children in speech-language pathology treatment programs, provide sign-language interpretation services, and assist visually impaired students. They also offer telepsychology and remote occupational therapy services. VocoVision’s resources and services help students, educators, and family members work together to support each child’s needs.
Who they hire to work remotely: Speech-language pathologists, speech pathology teletherapists, school psychologists, school occupational therapists, virtual teachers for visually impaired students, and home-based instructors for D/deaf students
2. Kaplan Inc.
Kaplan, Inc. is a leader in educational services for individuals, businesses, and universities across the globe. Kaplan provides courses, materials, and practice tests for high school exams (e.g., AP and GED), college entrance exams (e.g., ACT and SAT), and graduate school entrance exams (e.g., GRE, MCAT, and LSAT). They also specialize in resources for international college and graduate school students, TOEFL test takers, and licensed professionals such as medical doctors and lawyers.
Who they hire to work remotely: Home-based instructors, campus coordinators, programs directors, and test prep instructors
1. UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (UHG) is one of the largest healthcare insurance providers in the nation, spanning all 50 states and over 125 countries. Their UnitedHealthcare insurance products and services provide complete healthcare coverage and benefits for individuals and families. UHG is present in almost every branch of healthcare related services.
Who they hire to work remotely: Customer service representatives, healthcare specialists, information technology professionals, and business developers
Top Industries for Telecommuting Jobs
The top industries for telecommuting jobs in 2017 are based on the career categories to which the greatest number of Virtual Vocations members applied to telecommute jobs throughout the year. We paired these stats with a list of common remote work job titles in these industries and projected job outlook data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
When examining the list of top industries for telecommuting jobs in 2017, note that Education and Teaching telecommute jobs are considered separate career categories. Within the Virtual Vocations job board, the high volume of available virtual and partial telecommuting teaching positions warrants its own category distinction. Meanwhile, the Education category includes telecommuting positions for school administrators and administrative support staff, counselors and advisors, and other teaching adjacent careers.
1. Information Technology
BLS Information Technology Jobs Growth Projection:
From 2014 to 2024, jobs in computer and information technology are projected to experience faster than average job growth. By the end of 2026, the more than 550,000 new IT jobs will have been added to the market. As of May 2016, the median wage for all IT occupations was $82,860 per year.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Information Technology:
- Remote Cloud Architect
- Telecommute Lead Software Engineer
- Work at Home Programmer Analyst
BLS Sales Jobs Growth Projection:
Nearly half a million sales jobs will be added to the market by 2026. “Sales workers in the services and wholesale sectors will continue to be in demand because these occupations remain critical in building and maintaining customer bases for businesses,” according to the BLS.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Sales:
- Remote Account Executive
- Telecommuting Inside/Outside Sales Representative
- Telework Regional Sales Manager
BLS Healthcare Jobs Growth Projection:
Based on the most recent BLS stats, healthcare is the fastest growing job field among the top telecommuting job categories. By the end of 2026, healthcare related careers will have added approximately 2.4 million jobs, achieving an industry growth rate of 18 percent over a decade. In addition, that healthcare industry boasts average wages nearly double the national median salary.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Healthcare:
- Partial Telecommuting Field Medical Case Manager
- Virtual Telephonic Nurse
- Work at Home Physician Reviewer
4. Account Management
BLS Account Management Jobs Growth Projection:
Although the BLS does not monitor job growth projections for the field of account management, we can look to their data on the trajectory of sales management careers for clues as to how the account management field will change over the next decade. According to the BLS, sales management jobs are likely to grow seven percent to add approximately 29,000 new jobs to the employment market.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Account Management:
- Telecommuting Account Manager
- Virtual Strategic Account Manager
- Remote Billing and Payments Client Executive
BLS Education Jobs Growth Projection:
“Enrollment is projected to increase at both the college and university level and among public elementary and secondary schools…” This will drive demand for educators and grow the field, which also includes training and library occupations, according to the BLS.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Education:
- Virtual University Department Director
- Telecommute School Educational Program Manager
- Telework High School Counselor
6. Project Management
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).
Examples of Remote Jobs in Project Management:
- Partial Telecommuting Clinical Project Manager
- Virtual IT Project Manager
- Work at Home Strategic/Implementation Project Manager
BLS Consulting Jobs Growth Projection:
Consulting careers, or management analyst careers, are projected to experience one of the highest rates of growth among 2017 top telecommute industries. Adding more than 115,000 jobs from 2016 through 2026, 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.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Consulting:
- Remote Risk Management Consultant
- Telecommute Compliance Analyst
- Virtual Business Consultant
BLS Teaching Jobs Growth Projection:
The BLS “Career Outlook” on teaching states approximately 1.9 million new teaching jobs will be added to the employment market by 2024.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Teaching:
- Online Faculty Instructor
- Virtual High School Teacher
- Telecommuting Elementary School Teacher
BLS Management Jobs Growth Projection:
The need for management occupations is driven by the desire for businesses to expand their operations and start new ventures. More than 800,000 new management jobs will be added between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS, totaling eight percent job growth within one of the largest telecommuting industries.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Management:
- Home-Based Program Director
- Partial Telecommute District Manager
- Telecommute Business Manager
10. Customer Service
BLS Customer Service Jobs Growth Projection:
Customer service is a reliable remote work industry in that customer service representatives (CSRs) are utilized across a variety of additional sectors, from healthcare and insurance to retail and technology. Occupations in this popular home-based field are forecast to grow at a rate of five percent through 2026, which is as fast as average for all occupations.
Examples of Remote Jobs in Customer Service:
- Telecommuting Customer Care Representative
- Virtual Customer Care/Technical Support Specialist
- Work at Home Customer Service Agent
Other popular remote work categories include the career fields listed below. Clicking the names of the job industries will direct you to that career field’s category page on the Virtual Vocations job board where you can find the most current telecommute job openings in each industry.
Jobseekers, visit our Services Page for more information on how Virtual Vocations can benefit you during your telecommute job search. Employers, our Employer Portal has information and resources for you about how to post your telecommute job openings to our database at no cost.
Do you want to share or reference this report? For your convenience, we have created a Virtual Vocations 2017 Year-End Report Findings PDF.
If you have questions or seek additional information about the Virtual Vocations 2017 Year-End Report? Contact the Virtual Vocations customer service line at 1-800-379-5092 or email Kimberly Back, Senior Content Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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