Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the Spring of 2020, the trend of working remotely has become the norm. As many employers have temporarily allowed employees to work from home to mitigate the spread of the virus, workers nationwide have discovered remote work actually increases their productivity.
Whether you’re looking for a permanent remote position, or are trying to evaluate if your current career path is well suited to remote work, here’s everything you need to know.
Who Succeeds with Remote Roles?
While most people have the capacity to work well in work from home roles, there are certain traits that’ll help to determine if working remotely is right for you:
- Non-Customer-Facing Roles: If your job requires you to interface with clients directly, remote work likely isn’t tenable. These jobs include brick and mortar sales (cashiers, stockers, etc), truck driving, restaurant workers, and certain medical professions. For instance, if you’re a dental hygienist, it’s unlikely you can adequately perform the duties of your job from your living room.
- Personal Discipline: Remote workers won’t have a boss or supervisor micromanaging their productivity, so the ability to self-start and stay independently focused are table stakes for successful remote workers.
- Connectivity: Remote work demands a reliable high-speed internet connection, a designated work space, and a great laptop.
- Support: Successful remote workers need support from family or housemates. Noisy roommates and crying children don’t lend themselves to productivity.
Naturally, there are other factors that’ll determine your availability to succeed in a remote job, these are definitely some of the most important.
What Kinds of Work-For-Home Jobs Are in Demand?
While remote jobs are not inherently new, some career sectors have seen a spike in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic started. These include:
- Social Media Specialist
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Developer
- Graphic Designer
- Registered Nurse (remote consultations)
To put the increased popularity of remote work into perspective, consider this: Pre-pandemic, just 17 percent of American employees worked remotely 5 days or more per week. That figure has increased to 44% as the nation enters its second year under the pandemic.
Also, a recent PWC survey revealed that 72 percent of those who are currently working remotely plan to or would like to maintain their remote employee status once the pandemic is over. Whether or not your current job is suited for remote work, work from home jobs are a growing sector of the job market, and remote workers aren’t going anywhere. Read on for 25 of the most popular and in-demand work from home jobs in 2021 and beyond.
Top Careers Where You Can Work From Anywhere
1. Graphic Designer
If you have an eye for design and are computer savvy, consider a career as a work from home graphic designer or web designer. Graphic and web designers are the artists who conceptualize and create different visuals to communicate a message. Examples of graphic design include advertisements in magazines or newspapers, a business logo, a poster, a website, or even an album.
Graphic Designers earn an average median salary of $54,000 per year. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic design jobs will keep growing over the next few years as demand for graphic or web designers continues to increase.
2. Data Entry Specialist
Data entry professionals represent the link between computer data and paper information. Data entry specialists transcribe data that’s likely in numerous formats- everything ranging from emails to physical, hardcopy documents- and meticulously enter it into an electronic data system so it can be stored and analyzed.
While this is one of the most comfortable remote jobs you can find, it is important to understand that successful data entry specialists not only need to transcribe a large amount of information with extreme accuracy, they also need to be quick.
3. UX/UI Designer/ Website Tester
Standing for user experience and user interface designers, UX/UI professionals create the flow, design, and functionality of online experiences. These tech-savvy designers are in demand not only because their skill set lies at the intersection of design and advanced computer literacy, but also because more and more parts of our daily lives have digital components to the experience.
Closely related to UX and UI designers is the profession of being a website tester. Depending on the company hiring, varying degrees of technical experience and expertise will be in demand, but there are companies like UserTesting offer projects to “average” people to evaluate their experience and help improve the product’s end quality.
4. Customer Service Representative
Another legitimate- and relatively easy to find- work from home job is that of a customer service representative. While specific duties will be determined by the industry and complexity of the employer, work from home customer service representatives will interact with clients and customers on behalf of their employer. The customer service representative’s job may include tasks like taking orders, responding to complaints, and providing general information about services and products.
If you want to apply for this position it is crucial to have great communication skills, as you’ll be acting as the “face” of your company and directly interacting with clients in this role.
5. Focus Group Participant
If you’re looking for a convenient, part-time work from home job, consider becoming a focus group participant. Done from the comfort of your own home and taking just a few hours a week, focus group participants help companies to understand if they have a product or service that will resonate well in the market at large.
A focus group entails participating in a group interview with a very small number of demographically similar people that will give their opinions about certain topics. Each focus group particiapnt’s answers and opinions will be studied by the hiring company to determine product-market fit.
Focus groups are regularly used to evaluate everything from the success of a forthcoming blockbuster movie to the potential sales figure of a new car.
Focus group participants will be asked to honestly give their opinion on the product or service and to comment on what other participants say.
6. Virtual Assistant
While working from home as a virtual assistant is a job that sometimes gets caught up in the category of “work from home scams,” the truth is that working as a virtual assistant can be a great way to make money remotely. After all, a virtual assistant is just an independent contractor who provides administration services. The client will give you access to all the necessary planning documents remotely.
To be successful as a virtual assistant requires just a few traits. Organization, meticulous attention to detail, professionalism, and follow through- that is, doing what you say you’re going to do- are critical to succeeding as a virtual assistant.
Working as a virtual assistant can garner payment of between $15 to $30 per hour for executive assistant services, and $40 to $75 for more specialized financial tasks.
Working from home as a writer or editor does not necessarily mean you have to be a best selling author. There are many legitimate work from home jobs as a writer or editor for a company looking to create original content for their websites, or to simply rewrite some previous articles.
Working from home as a writer or editor has become quite famous as many firms and even some media outlets have been allowing their writers to work from home over the last few years.
Naturally, there are different writing jobs, including:
- Content writing
- SEO writing
- Ghost Writing
- Blog Posting.
In order to succeed in this type of job it is crucial to have impeccable writing and editing skills, as well as pay close attention to detail and clients requests. Additionally, those successfully working remotely as a freelance writer or editor need to deliver work on time, the many people aspire to be a freelance writer and competition is quite steep in this space.
In a number of professional fields, companies will either have internal teams dedicated to hiring staff directly or engage with an external company specializing in attracting top candidates to the industry a given business falls within. People whose job it is to hire personnel are often known as professional recruiters, but are more casually known as “headhunters.”
Recruiters/headhunters are tasked with sourcing the best candidate for an open position at a given company. Regardless of whether they work from home or in an office setting, the responsibilities of the recruiter are similar- coordinate with the hiring company’s management team to understand team dynamics and professional requirements a candidate needs to possess to be successful in the open role.
In addition to having a great work ethic, having an extended professional network is a key asset needed to achieve success as a professional headhunter. Headhunters can easily work from home if they have a strong network and are able to connect their contacts with a hiring company. Both in-office and work from home recruiters may achieve additional success if they have a niche focus in terms of companies with whom they work. Headhunter focuses may include professions like finance, technology, medical services.
A bookkeeper’s primary job is to oversee the financial data of the company and accurately reflect the company’s financial status. Extreme attention to detail and a strong grasp of accounting will serve a remote bookkeeper or accountant well, as this role entails balancing daily expenditures and earnings of a business- often including payroll-, accounting for larger expenditures or one-time projects, as well as compliance with all external organizations.
Work from home or in an office, the main main responsibilities of a bookkeeper or accountant would include:
- Conducting the company’s banking operations
- Reconciling reports to third-party records
- Producing financial reports
- Processing the company’s payments
Attention to detail, an excellent handle on mathematics, and strong communication skills are important skills for a work from home bookkeeper to possess.
10. Telehealth Professional
The previously nascent profession of telehealthcare exploded in popularity and mass adoption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealthcare professionals are the virtual “face” of a medical practice, answering questions and giving medical advice and guidance to patients over the phone or video call. These telehealthcare professionals may be licensed medical professionals like doctors or nurses, but they may also be “civilian” caregivers.
Because none of the interactions in telehealth occur in person, telehealth is a profession ideally suited for working remotely. As with any remote position, having a strong internet connection and laptop with video chat capabilities will be crucial.
As noted above, there are roles in telehealth for those with professional qualifications in the medical realm, as well as those with no previous medical experience.
Becoming a telehealth professional might be an ideal part-time job for someone who’s retired from the medical field, a healthcare professional who’s taken leave from in person care for personal reasons (perhaps to raise children), or healthcare professional who are looking for a non-traditional way to care for their patients.
11. Medical Transcriptionist
Also known as healthcare documentation specialist, the medical transcriptionist listens to voice recordings from healthcare workers and turns them into written reports. Naturally, precision and quick typing are the key elements to succeed in this type of job.
If you’re interested in a remote medical transcriptionist job, the skills that employers often seek include:
- Impeccable grammar
- Typing Effectiveness
- Ability to Multitask
Sometimes, the medical transcriptionist also has to review and edit different medical documents created by the use of speech recognition technology.
In addition to writing and editing, translating is a common- and extremely popular- legitimate remote job. Companies worldwide are seeking translators and interpreters, and this work can usually be done from anywhere in the world.
In addition to the standard skills and tools needed to be successful when working remotely, serving as a translator or interpreter also requires you speak and/or write more than one language fluently. Translation services by experienced, native-speakers are highly in demand and can be ideal work from home jobs.
If you work as a translator or interpreter, you will translate a variety of documents and other material from one language to another. Also, you may be tasked with translating spoken passages from one language to another during conference calls, speeches, and seminars.
Typically, a translator/interpretor’s deliverable will be the approximate or exact translation of the material and recordings provided by the client.
Though popular before, the COVID pandemic has only increased the demand for qualified remote teachers and tutors. Both credentialed and non-credentialed educators can find remote teaching positions thanks to robust technology.
In working as a teacher/tutor from home, you will have to prepare and properly implement lesson plans and activities for students in a virtual environment. In addition, you will need to adjust instruction and communicate with students, colleagues, and parents when needed. Both the classes and communication usually occur through discussion boards and video conferencing software.
14. Mock Juror
Another position that can easily be performed remotely is that of mock juror. While not a full time job, the purpose of this role is to help a legal team strengthen their case before it goes to trial, and allow either the prosecution or defense to prepare for potential weak spots in their arguments.
Basically, the mock juror pretends like they’re an actual juror in a real case to evaluate arguments and evidence before the case goes to trial for real. Mock juries typically consist of 9-12 people, pay $20-100 per case (on average), and cases take a few hours.
So long as they have a strong internet connection and speak English well, someone could serve as a mock juror from anywhere in the world. A great way for those that are into true crime stories to make some extra money!
15. Sales Representative
As a remote sales representative, you will be responsible for selling the company’s products and services by identifying and closing leads. In addition, you will have to properly educate the prospects on the features and benefits of the product or service being sold through trainings, calls, and presentations. Some companies may ask you to provide existing clients and customers with exceptional support.
While most job postings will seek candidates with a knack for closing deals, or a deep understanding of the vertical the business is in, many companies will also require a Bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.
It’s also important to understand that not all sales jobs are created the same. While successful salespeople representing strong companies can earn a lot in commission- or a reward/kickback earned for closing a deal- many sellers struggle to make ends meet. This can be especially true for young sellers without an established network, for people working on commission only (no base salary), or for those representing with a weak value proposition or product market fit.
Blogging can be a great way to earn some extra income. Whether you choose to make blogging a hobby, a part time gig, or your full time profession, creating and publishing interesting content on the web can be a path to easily earning money from home.
Bloggers can write articles about almost any topic, and earn money anytime someone comes to their website and sees the advertisement. There are a number of free and low cost platforms that can be used to launch and monetize the website with business-safe ads.
Earning a living as a blogger is certainly possible- especially for larger, more established sites-, but most bloggers don’t make enough to quit their day job.
17. Social Media Influencer or Social Media Manager
If you’re lucky enough to always be ahead of the trend curve and have already amassed a significant social media following, perhaps you should consider becoming a social media influencer.
Influencers can work money remotely by promoting a company’s goods or services to their follower base. The promotion usually comes in the form of posts, videos, or stories. While brands still want a significant fan base for prospective infuencerts, the minimum follower count has decreased with the rise of the “micro influencer” trend. And while micro influencers can earn for promoting a third-party brand, they certainly won’t command the fees of a celebrity like Kim Kardashian.
For those interested in earning money with social media, but don’t have a large following, perhaps you could consider a job as a social media manager. It’s easy to work from home as a social media manager, as the role entails work that can be done anywhere in the world. Often social media managers are tasked with managing the online presence of their client by developing social media strategies, analyzing usage data, producing attractive content, managing different types of projects and campaigns, and/or even facilitating customer service.
18. Contact Tracer
Here’s a job that’s rocketed up the charts in popularity- and importance- following the COVID-19 outbreak: contact tracing. The main responsibility of a contact tracer is to reach to potential contacts of someone who’s tested positive COVID-19, and provide those contacts with proper health education and guidance in order to prevent further transmission.
As with any customer-facing remote job, strong interpersonal and communication skills are really important. But this trait is even more important for the contact tracer, as studies have shown some people may suffer negative psychological reactions, stemming from feelings of panic to desperation and hopelessness, as a result of possible exposure to COVID-19.
19. Insurance Professional
If you’re looking for a long-term stable remote job, pursuing a career as a remote insurance professional is a great option.
Depending on their preferences and contracts, independent insurance professionals can represent either one or numerous insurance carriers, and one or multiple types of policies- home, life, automobile, boat, etc.
Independent insurance representatives liaise with both the insurance companies and their clients to understand which policies are the best fits for each person or family. Often, these relationships can last a lifetime, as insurance reps can help to guide their clients through all of life’s major milestones.
Successful insurance professionals can work from an office, from home, or really, anywhere in the world, so long as they have reliable internet connection, and an unwavering commitment to their clients.
20. Travel Agent
While professional travel agents are less common today than they were 25 years ago, there is still a demand for competent travel professionals. A distinct difference between today’s agents and those of yesteryear are the specialized nature, and “white glove” or boutique service offered today. Specialties may include Disney Vacations, cruises, adventure travel, ecotourism, or destinations like South East Asia or the Mediterranean.
Like their predecessors, travel agents today are tasked with arranging end-to-end travel accommodations for their clients. Specific tasks would include identifying and booking preferred airfare, booking accommodations in the destination, reserving transportation, and curating sightseeing, attractions, dining, and entertainment. These requirements, of course, must fall within the client’s budgetary constraints.
Travel agents are well-suited to work from home, as face-to-face interaction with clients is not a requirement. A travel agent who’s working in an exotic or far-flung location may even help their “case,” in that people who are seeing travel may count the expat travel agent as an expert in their field (as they’re actively living the international lifestyle)!
If you have specialized professional knowledge, and want the ability to set your own hours and work from anywhere in the world, consider working as a consultant. Consultants, effectively, advise their clients, based on their deep subject matter expertise.
The services consultants provide vary based on the needs of their clients, but likely will entail calls and meetings with the client- and perhaps even their clients- to understand their challenges and market position. Consultants will then create and help implement changes to the current strategy to improve things customer satisfaction, earnings, and overall efficiency.
In order to be in demand and command a reasonable hourly or project rate, consultants need to possess extensive, up-to-date knowledge of the industry they’re serving. It’s common for a consultant to be more senior in their field or to have remarkable early success (ex: they successfully sold a business they started, etc). While it might be alluring, it’s unlikely that someone with only a few years of relevant, professional experience would qualify as a consultant.
22. Project Manager
Assuming you’re organized, a self-starter, reliable, and have impeccable time management skills, the role of project manager is a great work from home career. Project managers help to align the tasks and priorities of everyone in the company to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.
The project manager role is important because they’re the lynchpin that unites the goals, priorities, and mandates of leadership and/or an external client with the workload, resources, and capabilities of the internal execution team. Project managers often track the status of ongoing projects to ensure operation efficiency and effectively communicate said status back to leadership/the client.
Good project managers not only are extremely organized, but they also need to have a firm grasp of the industry in which they’re working. For instance, it would be hard for a doctor to effectively estimate the amount of time needed to paint a living room. No matter how smart and experienced the doctor is in the field of medicine, they likely aren’t experts at estimating the cost and time it would take to tape, edge, prep, paint, etc.
23. Claims Investigator
If you’re detail oriented, patient, and love solving mysteries, working from home as a claims investigator may be the career for you. Claims investigators typically work for insurance companies and investigate claims made by policyholders related to property damage, medical and worker’s compensation, liability, bodily injury and more.
Often, the investigation of claims is purely routine and is considered necessary for an insurance company to pay out. However, the importance of claims investigators increases when there’s suspicion of potential fraud.
A claims investigator’s job may include collecting and analyzing numerous documents related to the claim, interviewing relevant players involved in the claim, and presenting evidence back to the insurance claim. The investigation non-dangerous offenses like false medical claims, jewelry fraud (ex: pretending a diamond ring was lost and filing a claim, when it was intentionally sold), or homeowners insurance cases (ex: someone intentionally sets fire their house, then files an insurance claim) are examples of cases a claims investigator working from home may encounter.
24. Account Manager/Account Executive
Account managers and account executive roles are ideally suited for remote work, as the biggest factor of success in these roles is personal discipline and dedication to the client.
An account manager’s responsibilities may vary from company to company, but they’ll usually serve as the client’s primary contact internally, assist them in their challenges, advocate on their behalf, and grow their business. Account managers typically do not have a sales quota, but may have the potential to earn a commission for growing the existing business.
On the flip site, account executives often do have a sales quota and function similarly to sales people. They may be required to identify, pitch, ans close new business opportunities, in addition to managing existing accounts
Depending on the industry, the terms account manager and account executive can be used interchangeably, so definitely confirm that the requirements and job descriptions are for you before you apply for any remote account manager or account executive role.
25. Medical Coder
Working as a medical coder is a great remote job, as all that’s required is a reliable computer and precision and patience on the part of the coder. Simply put, medical coders translate medical conditions, treatments, and diagnoses into the corresponding standardized alphanumeric code used by insurance companies.
Correct medical coding helps healthcare providers be reimbursed by insurance companies. In addition to translating “human speak” into medical code, a medical coder working from home may assist in the submission of insurance and reimbursement claims, on behalf of the medical provider. While some knowledge of health and medicine would be helpful in this role, it’s not essential.
How to Determine if a Work-For-Home Job is a Scam?
If working from an exotice tropical locale- or even the comfort of your couch in PJs- sounds like a dream, remote work may be for you. However, you’ll want to avoid scammers, as they’re unfortunately common in the work from home hiring space.
While there’s always some risk with a remote job, there are a few steps you can take to determine of a work from home job offer is a scam:
- Research the company that is hiring to make sure it’s legit. Do they have a website, contact info that works, a valid physical address, a presence on social media, current employees on LinkedIn. The absence of these basics are likely to be red-flags.
- Seek references. Talk to past and current clients and employees to understand the validity of the opportunity.
- Read the job description carefully. If a role is requiring you to make a payment up front to get started, it’s likely a scam.
While none of the above are fool-proof, they are helpful in determining if any job (in office or remote) is legitimate.
How to Apply for a Work from Home Job?
Applying for remote roles has a similar process to applying for traditional, in-person jobs. Major job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed offer “remote” as location options or filtering choies, and there are also specific work from home job sites.
Remote work is unique in that it allows for people to not only work anywhere in the world, they also can work for companies headquartered in other countries. Thanks to the internet, a person in Boise, ID can work for a Australian company, while someone in Killeen, T X can work for a company based in Hong Kong.
If you’re considering working for an international company, bear in mind that they may require you work hours aligning with their standard work day. Depending on where you live and where they’re headquartered, the time difference may be negligible, or it could be completely opposite (where you’d have to work nights).
As with a standard job, make sure your resume is up to date and accurately- and positively!- reflects your work experience. You’ll also want to make sure your social media profiles are work-appropriate, as employers who don’t have the chance to meet you in person (only via video conferencing) may scrutinize your social profiles more intensely.
Remote work is in demand, but it’s important to be patient and find the right fit for your career and lifestyle goals.