Among many upheavals caused by the pandemic, the labor market has seen what has been dubbed "The Great Resignation," as millions of workers leave their jobs while employers across industries have trouble filling positions.

The pandemic greatly expanded our view of how work can be done remotely and shifted power toward employees, who are changing jobs and professions in record numbers. Greater flextime to balance work with family life will increasingly become a bargaining chip as more companies make permanent moves to a remote-first workforce.

Which jobs stand to benefit from this rising remote work wave? PeopleSmart analyzed government data on nearly 800 job classifications and found that nearly a quarter of those jobs can be done fully or partially remote.

We ranked those positions taking a number of factors into account, including median income, current job availability and expected job growth in the next 10 years (see methodology for full details).

Based on our remote suitability criteria and the number of companies with those jobs found in each state, our interactive map drills into the top 10 remote work jobs in each state.

Below are our rankings for the top 20 telework jobs overall as well as the top-ranked jobs for income, best for new college graduates and best for applicants without a four-year college degree.

Some important notes: The median annual income figures for the jobs below are based on national averages; the income figures in our state-level map represent the median income in each state for those jobs.

Also, some jobs are better candidates for flextime work rather than full-remote work. For example, civil engineers will need to visit job sites, astronomers need access to observatories or labs and some lawyers may need to appear in court. But these jobs hold the promise of more autonomy when working from home or in the office.

Best jobs for remote/flexible work

As computers and the internet have enabled the telework wave, computing and software-related jobs dominate our list of top overall jobs based on availability, job growth, income and suitability for remote work. Managers who have to coordinate a distributed workforce and a variety of analytical positions also top our list.

Overall

Best jobs for remote/flexible work: Median annual income

The highest paying jobs for remote work often require specialized knowledge and post-graduate degrees.

Income

Best jobs for remote/flexible work: No work experience required

Recent college graduates looking for remote work? Here are the top jobs suitable for remote work that don't necessarily require any previous work experience, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, some jobs—such as lawyers and medical scientists—will require advanced degrees.

No experience

Best jobs for remote/flexible work: No bachelor's degree needed

Not all jobs require a four-year college degree to work remotely. This list is dominated by clerical, sales and customer service-related jobs. Note: While this work doesn't need a four-year degree, some jobs require vocational training or licensing and certification.

No bachelors

Methodology

PeopleSmart analyzed data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources and ranked remote jobs according to these factors:

  • Pre-pandemic ability-to-telework rate (highest to lowest).
  • Pre-pandemic telework take-up rate—the proportion of workers in a remote-feasible occupation who actually did work remotely (highest to lowest).
  • Percent who teleworked because of pandemic (highest to lowest).
  • Median annual wage 2020 (highest to lowest).
  • Projected occupation growth rate 2020-30, including pandemic recovery (fastest growth to lowest growth).
  • Projected new job growth 2020-30 (largest numeric change in employment numbers to smallest change).
  • Annual average occupational openings 2020-30 (highest average to lowest average).
  • Employment per 1,000 jobs (highest to lowest).

Of the 789 BLS job classifications, we found 185 to be most viable for remote or flextime work. (Note: While the pandemic showed teachers could do their work remotely, we eliminated most educators and school administrators from our list because we don't believe this trend will continue post-pandemic.)

For more information, please contact Richard Gargan, richard@peoplesmartmedia.com, or Kerry Sherin, kerry@peoplesmartmedia.com

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