Best Jobs for Telecommuting

Working remotely can be a well-paying option

A great many jobs can be done from home, thanks to more job tasks being able to be done online. You might be surprised by the kinds of jobs that are best suited for telecommuting or remote work: They vary greatly, from engineering to writing to brokering stocks. 

Work Activities That Cannot Be Done From Home

First, let's talk about the jobs that can't be done remotely—jobs that require your in-person presence at the office or another specific location. Each company evaluates which positions are eligible for telework on a case-by-case basis (according to the employee's tasks, position, and work history), but there are some types of job activities that do not lend themselves to being performed remotely. 

Here are some of the activities the Office of Personnel Management lists in their Telework Guide as eliminating the telework eligibility for employees in the Federal government:

  • Face-to-face personal contact (e.g., most counseling, medical assessment, some sales)
  • Hands-on operation of equipment, vehicles, or other onsite assets
  • Direct physical handling of secure materials
  • Activities dependent on a physical presence (e.g., security guard, forest ranger)

After eliminating those remote work disqualifiers, you can see that a great many office-based jobs could be suitable for working from home, though some might be easier to do at home than others.

Getty/Jetta Productions

Job Types for Telecommuting

Here's a rule of thumb for deciding if a job is suitable for telecommuting: If your job involves a lot of solo work, can be done as a home-based business, and/or is mostly computer-based, it's probably ideal for telecommuting.

Here is a list of occupations that are ideal for telecommuting: 

  • Accountant, bookkeeper
  • Administrative assistant
  • Auditor, financial analyst
  • Computer programmer, software engineer
  • Data entry clerk
  • Database administrator
  • Engineer
  • Graphic designer, illustrator, desktop publisher
  • Insurance agent
  • Marketing planner, media buyer
  • Medical transcriptionist, medical reviewer
  • Paralegal
  • Public relations professional, speechwriter
  • Researcher, market research analyst
  • Sales rep, customer service rep, travel agent
  • Stockbroker
  • Telemarketer, telephone order taker
  • Translator
  • Website designer
  • Writer, reporter, editor

Companies and Best-Paying Remote Work Jobs

If you want to get started telecommuting—enjoying the benefits of working from home while also being a full-time employee rather than working for yourself—here are some resources to consult.

The best companies for telecommuting are companies that have established telecommuting programs and allow employees to work from home at least part-time.

The listing site, FlexJobs, compiled a list of work-from-home jobs with the highest salaries, most of which are in the six figures:

  1. Clinical regulatory affairs director ($150,000 salary): help pharmaceutical companies meet legal needs for clinical trials.
  2. Supervisory attorney ($117,000 to $152,000): work-from-home lawyers.
  3. Senior medical writer ($110,000 to $115,000): reviewing, writing, and editing medical documents.
  4. Environmental engineers (up to $110,000): when not conducting research in the field, work can be done from a home office.
  5. Director of quality improvement ($100,000 to $175,000): oversee operations and programming for an organization's quality improvement programs.
  6. Senior software engineer ($100,000 to $160,000): design and develop software programs.
  7. Director of business development ($100,000 to $150,000): at-home sales directors.
  8. Research biologist ($93,000 to $157,000): some research biologists have their own labs for research.
  9. Audit manager ($90,000 to $110,000): perform financial and operational audits for clients, including companies.
  10. Major gifts officer (up to $90,000): secure large-sum donations from current and prospective donors.

FlexJobs also evaluated which telecommuting-friendly industries have jobs that are the most in-demand by employers.

  • Healthcare industry (e.g., medical transcriptionist)
  • Sales (e.g., insurance sales agent or regional sales manager)
  • Computer and information technology (e.g., software developer)
  • Customer service (including computer user support)
  • Education and training (online teachers and tutors)
  • Administrative jobs (e.g., insurance claims processing clerks)
  • Marketing (e.g., market research analyst)
  • Business development (e.g., business analyst)
  • Web and software development (e.g., web developer)
  • Research (e.g., background investigator).

As you can see, jobs that are ideal for telecommuting run the gamut of industry fields.

Keep in mind that knowing if telecommuting is right for you is not just about having the right job; it's also about having the right skills, not necessarily job related, such as being self-motivated and being able to manage your time.

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