Best-Paying Work-from-Home Jobs
By Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, PayScale.com
Mobile technology has made it easier than ever to work from home, but not every company will allow employees to work from home all the time and not every job is suitable to full-time telecommuting.
According to Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at PayScale.com, two types of professional workers are best-suited to work from home:
- IT professionals who rarely need to interact with others in person to do their work successfully.
- Employees who can do most of their work via email and phone, such as employment recruiters, statisticians or analysts.
"The ability to work from home is a privilege, not a right," Bardaro says. "The best way to prepare yourself for it is to make yourself a star performer in your current role in the office and show the powers that be that you have the ability to succeed in your role with limited supervision."
In fact, employees with work-from-home privileges often -- though not always -- report higher earnings than their in-office counterparts. This is probably because trusted and valued workers are more likely to be able to negotiate a work-from-home situation.
"It's very rare to be able to work from home if you're just starting out in your career, because people have no idea whether they can trust you to work well without supervision," Bardaro says. "So it's people who've been in their career for a while, have a defined skill set that's super-useful or have been able to prove themselves and say, 'Hey look, I'm a good worker -- I know what I'm doing, I need very limited supervision.'"
Here are six high-paying jobs that can be done from home:
Median Annual Telecommuter Salary: $96,000
Working mainly for insurance companies, actuaries analyze statistical data to determine risk and liability. Because they work primarily with data, actuaries can sometimes arrange to work from home.
Find actuary jobs.
Business Intelligence Analyst
Median Annual Telecommuter Salary: $79,200
Business intelligence analysts translate complex data into actionable information for their companies -- information that could help organizations decide whether to court (or drop) a specific kind of customer or give them the data they need to streamline their internal operations. Since this is another job that deals with numbers, it can be done from home, although you might need to put in some occasional face time at the office.
Leigh Fonseca, principal of Fonseca Data Science, a San Francisco-based data science and visualization consulting company, confirms that business intelligence analysts who want to work at home should still be prepared to make an occasional off-site visit.
"You will be much more successful in this industry if you spend some time with your clients in their space," Fonseca says. "You need to understand your clients' businesses, get a feel for how they work and get their culture."
Find business intelligence jobs.
Median Annual Telecommuter Salary: $75,500
Software developers can go for long stretches of time without having to meet with end users, a situation that makes their jobs ideally suited for work-from-home status.
"People flock to these positions," says Ben Adams, an Atlanta-based senior Web developer for a social-media company in New York. "At my last job, I was the third person to leave for a work-at-home position with another company. So there's competition for them, but it's also becoming more common. I hadn't even seen positions like this a few years ago."
Find software developer jobs.
Median Annual Telecommuter Salary: $74,500
Compensation analysts use market and internal data to advise their companies on such matters as starting salaries, merit increases and overall compensation plans. They may also help create job descriptions and run budget reports.
Find compensation analyst jobs.
Market Research Manager
Median Annual Telecommuter Salary: $71,900
Market research managers help companies determine how much their products are worth, identify potential customers, and help set prices that keep customers happy and the company competitive in the market. Because their work can sometimes be done over the phone or online, market research managers can occasionally arrange work-from-home jobs.
Find market research manager jobs.
Public Relations Manager
Median Annual Telecommuter Salary: $63,200
Like market research managers, PR managers spend a considerable amount of time on the phone, making it easy for them to do their jobs -- creating and managing the public image of their clients and companies -- from home.
Find PR manager jobs.
Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are median, annual salaries based on annual salary or hourly wage and include bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions and other forms of cash earnings as applicable. All salaries are for employees with five to eight years of experience who indicated that they have the option to telecommute or work from home.