As many as 37% of jobs in the U.S. can be performed entirely from home, according to a recent paper from economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research. These account for 46% of all wages.
And increasing numbers of employers are embracing the new normal. Experts have noted a rise in job opportunities that offer flexibility, meaning workers can adjust the structure of their work day or work remotely. Job boards like FlexJobs, for example, show more openings for positions with some level of flexibility.
Remote work opportunities have "been steadily moving up" over the years in industries like education, says Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs. "But because everything has suddenly shifted online," she says, "we're seeing [even more progress] happening within the last few weeks."
Here are six jobs that have historically required work in an office and are now increasingly offering options for remote work, according to FlexJobs. If you're not sure what kind of remote options a job offers, make sure to ask about them during the interview process.
"Because so much of customer interaction now is happening online," says Reynolds, including in industries like retail, "we're seeing an increased demand for [remote] customer service representatives and similar types of positions."
Customer service representatives work in an array of fields, from banking to retail, and respond to an organization's customer inquiries via internet chat, email, or phone. They report issues with products or services that customers may be having and generally serve as the face, or the voice, of a company.
Median salary: $35,800 per year
Education is "one of the top remote fields" right now, says Reynolds. "From pre-K all the way through Ph.D. level, programs are moving online." Full-time educators, from ESL teachers for kindergartners to biology teachers for high schoolers, are needed to take on remote work.
Median salary: $41,000 per year
Bookkeepers keep track of financial records for businesses and organizations. They monitor and record expenditures and profits using various kinds of software and databases, produce income reports, and check to make sure records are accurate.
Median salary: $43,430 per year
"More medicine is moving to telehealth," says Reynolds, "especially right now."
Workers in this position enroll people in health insurance programs. Depending on the position, they might also educate people about their insurance plan, reach out to potential customers, and perform administrative duties like recording data.
Median salary: $44,000 per year
Video by Mariam Abdallah
Translators translate spoken words or written material from one language to another. They must have a deep understanding of the languages they are working in, translating not just the words themselves but the cultural nuance behind them. Translators are needed in a wide range of industries, from medicine to law to literature.
"If you have a second language that you have mastered," says Reynolds, "you qualify for these types of positions." Among the languages in high demand, according to Reynolds, are Spanish, French, German, and Chinese.
Median salary: $51,830 per year
Auditors examine the financial records of organizations to ensure that they're accurate and that the company is complying with the laws. They prepare tax returns and make sure taxes are paid on time and assess the financial operations of a company to see where it can cut back.
Median salary: $71,550 per year
"I think that [Covid-19] is really going to push us forward in the sense that if some employers were reluctant or unsure" about remote work, says Liz Cannata, senior manager of HR operations at CareerBuilder, "now they're seeing that it is possible."
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