Working from Home is the New Normal
Let’s get this straight right away – working from home is already the new normal.
According to economists at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIERP), in June 2020, a staggering 42 percent of the US labor force was working from home full-time. Another 33 percent weren’t working full-time at all, leaving only 26 percent of mostly essential workers still going to a physical business premise on a daily basis.
Experts say this change is largely permanent. This is great news for those who are attracted to the benefits of working from home such as a better work/life balance.
What You Need to Work Remote
The good news is that the technical requirements for remote workers is often minimal. While a bachelor’s degree in a related field is still required for most entry-level positions, most work from home jobs have a few basic requirements:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Related Field
- Flexible Schedule (including some weekends and holidays)
- Personal computer
- 2 GHz Processor
- 3 GB of RAM
- 80GB Hard Drive
- 8 Mbps Download Speed (minimum for effective video calls)
- Color Printer/Scanner
- Quiet, Dedicated Work Space
- Clear speaking phone and/or headset.
A Wide Range of Industries to Choose From
Remote work doesn’t lend itself to every industry. Having said that, there are a range of industries that have shown significant growth in the number of remote workers. Here is a list of the top work from home jobs, along with their average salary as reported by Glassdoor (will vary by location).
- Graphic Design
Average Salary: $39,124/yr
Responsibilities: Create aesthetically pleasing visuals that convey messages effectively. This includes creating brochures, logos, signs, magazine covers, website elements or reports.
Skills: Proficient Use of graphic design software such as Illustrator, Photoshop. Artistic ability.
- Insurance Sales
Average Salary: $33,519/yr
Responsibilities: Develop leads with potential customers to sell them insurance products. This involves being able to describe policies and educate customers. These positions are often readily available with paid training/licensing for qualified candidates.
Skills: State-Issues Insurance License, Basic Computer Skills
- Software Engineering
Average Salary: $73,073/yr
Responsibilities: Utilize expert-level programming knowledge to design, dest, and develop software. Also bug fixing and troubleshooting in a methodical manner.
Skills: Proficiency with Various Programming Languages, Expert Computer Skills
- Web Development
Average Salary: $61,604/yr
Responsibilities: Design, layout, and coding of websites for optimal user experience and functionality. This also includes maintenance and troubleshooting, usually under the guidance of a manager. These positions are also on-call for site errors such as down-time.
Skills: Core Web Code Knowledge (HTML/CSS) and other languages sush as SQL and PHP.
- Personal Financial Consulting
Average Salary: $54,382/yr
Responsibilities: Helping individuals with financial investments, tax laws, insurance and planning (such as retirement).
Skills: Knowledge of financial investment vehicles such as stocks/bonds, retirement plans, account types, etc. There is not a specific license required, however, other licenses may be required to sell investment products & securities.
- Social Media Management
Average Salary: $44,397/yr
Responsibilities: A social media manager’s key responsibility to monitoring and maintaining the online presence of a brand on social media, and growing awareness by engaging relevant influencers. It involves deftly communicating with brand champions and critics in a respectful manner in accordance with branding guidelines.
Skills: Intimate knowledge of all social media platforms, analytics, online trends, and audiences.
Average Salary: $53,456/yr
Responsibilities: With the rise in telemedicine, remote work for registered nurses has become widely available. These responsibilities include providing follow-up calls for patients, case management, and even contract-tracing (during pandemics). This provides much-needed access to healthcare for people in remote locations or those who may be self-quarantining.
Skills: License for Nursing. Knowledge in General Medicine Knowledge including urgent care, patient safety, confidentiality, vital sign monitoring, etc.
- Search Engine Optimization
Average Salary: $32,691/yr
Responsibilities: The goal of an SEO is to increase the visibility and rankings of online content to increase traffic and sales. This can include soliciting backlinks, writing content for landing pages and blogs, and regularly evaluating keyword rankings.
Skills: Knowledge of technical SEO, on-page optimization strategies, keyword strategy, and content management.
- Search Engine Marketing
Average Salary: $63,005/yr
Responsibilities: An SEM is primarily responsible for managing pay-per-click ads on search engines to drive traffic and sales or leads for a website or app. This role requires intimate knowledge of PPC strategies, campaigns, and monitoring. There are certifications for most major search engines that can show proficiency in using these platforms.
Skills: Proficiency with Adwords & Bing PPC, Product Feeds, and Ad Copy.
- Video Editing
Average Salary: $53,891/yr
Responsibilities: Video editors are in high demand thanks to the proliferation of web video content. The key to success as a video editor is the ability to craft high quality content quickly and efficiently. Doing so requires intimate knowledge of editing software, file formats, compression, and video hosting platforms.
Skills: Proficiency with video editing software such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. Proficiency with hosting platforms such as Youtube.
Choosing a valuable career path is important to every student. Equally important is finding a career that fits your desired lifestyle and goals. If your goal is to have the freedom to work from home, hopefully these career paths will help steer you into a professional career that meets your needs.
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