As of 2013 over 1 in 5 Americans were able to telecommute at least one day a week, with the same number predicted to reach over 60% in coming years. And unlike in the past, telecommuters aren’t all struggling artists or already successful entrepreneurs. The average telecommuter is actually 49 years old, college educated, and earns an average of $58,000 a year. While this is good news for anyone seeking some flexibility in their work life, this is particularly good news for a group whose special talents and needs have been increasingly recognized of late: introverts. Whether it’s just a matter of avoiding the additional stress of crowds, or a matter of keeping any productivity at all, there are a large number of careers that are great fits for introverts who would like to work at home. As we’re a higher education site, we’ve also gone through the liberty of pairing the following options with undergraduate degrees that are commonly used to prepare for the following disciplines. Where applicable, items are ranked according to their average salary as indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1. Statistics / Computer Science / Data Science : Data Scientist
Data scientists are a hybrid role between traditional analyst and computer science-based positions. A solidly prepared data scientist will not only understand advanced analytics and statistics, but also be a competent programmer and have industry-specific knowledge depending on the field they’re working for. While data science is a relatively new discipline that isn’t highly represented at an undergraduate degree level, degrees such as statistics and computer science can also help you land a position in the field. While skilled technical workers are at a premium across almost all sub disciplines, data science is one of the most sought after skill sets, as employers seek to be able to find, organize, and make sense of massive data sets that have been made available over the last few years. While many entry level gigs will require you to work in a workplace, perks are often extensive. And data scientists with some level of experience can often work from home. Currently the average salary for data science positions $117,846, leaving the job well in first in regards to earnings of workers.
2. Statistics : Actuary
Actuaries are essential to the insurance industry, and in recent years have been hailed as one of the most in-demand worker types out there. Responsibilities of actuaries include analyzing the financial costs of risk and uncertainty, as well as providing their clients with advice on how said uncertainty can be mitigated. A large portion of the fields growth can be attributed to increased access to large data sets with which to calculate uncertainty, as well as the aging population’s increased need for insurance. There are a number of ways to find yourself a good fit for an actuarial position, though perhaps the most common undergraduate degree that prepares you for the discipline is statistics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth for actuarial positions is expected to occur at 26% from 2012-2022, a rate much faster than average job expansion. The average salary of actuary positions was $93,680 in 2012.
3. Computer Science : Software Engineer
Software developers are responsible for the creation of applications as well as development for the underlying systems that control devices and networks. For years software engineers have been in great demand, as software progressively replaces, augments, or changes the roles of human workers in the workplace. Due to the demand for programmers as well as the solitary nature of some programming tasks (programmers often pair program and brain storm in groups), many software engineers have long been enabled to work from wherever they have a computer. While many entry level positions require workers to be in a workplace, experienced engineers, or those who choose to make their own products or freelance can generally work from wherever they like. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineering positions are expected to grow by 22% from 2012-2022, a rate that’s much faster than average. The median salary for software engineers was $93,350 in 2012.
4. Statistics : Statistician / Analyst
Statisticians, the more general term for a wide number of positions including actuarial and data science positions, are responsible for using statistical methods for collecting and analyzing data for private enterprise, the government, engineering firms, and scientific endeavors. While many statistician positions require graduate degrees, demand is high, and many positions just requiring bachelors degrees are also available. Statistician positions are slated to grow at 27% from 2012-2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much faster than the national average for job growth. The average salary for statistician positions is $75,560 per year. While most entry level positions will require work on-site, many project based analyst jobs or freelancing opportunities are available to work from home. Some of the highest paid statisticians are consultants, many of whom have their own offices or work from home.
5. Information Technology : Network and Systems Analyst
Bachelors degrees in information technology can prepare you for working in a wide array of roles, of which one of the most lucrative is network and systems analyst. Network analysts are experts who help prepare computers–usually within one organization or physical location–to function at peak capacity in some network capacity. Often responsible for assessing an organization’s needs and providing custom configurations. Unlike other positions, network analysts often wear both technical and non-technical hats, helping to identify ways in which network solutions can fit into larger business solutions, or identifying technical problem points (hopefully) preemptively. While jobs in the larger field of information technology are set to grow by as much as 45% over the coming decade, network and systems analysts positions are set to grow at about the national rate (12%). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for network analysts is $72,560.
6. Nursing : Registered Nurse
While most nurses are present for their working with patients, the growing field of telemedicine has opened up a number of nursing roles centered around doing telephone triage and advising patients on their health concerns. Common job descriptions for general nursing duties include treating sick or injured patients, offering emotional support to patients and families, taking care of paperwork, and helping other medical staff in diagnosing medical conditions as well as providing follow up care. While telemedicine positions for nurses are relatively new, and thus expectations of what type of services nurses can provide from home are still being tested, the field is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary for registered nursing positions was $69,790 in 2012.
7. Marketing : Online Marketing Consultant
While this role may be called many things–from consultant, to coach, to manager or just plain marketer–online marketing has a massive number of facets and a great deal of opportunity for workers from home. While your responsibilities as an online marketing consultant will vary based no the type of organization you’re working for, likely you’ll be involved with establishing content calenders, setting growth goals for online offerings, measuring competition, and staying on top of new marketing trends. According to CNN Money marketing consultant positions are slated to grow by over 41% from 2010-2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that median salary for marketing consultant positions was $68,700 in 2012. Though this number has risen significantly with the growth of content marketing over the last few years.
8. Accounting : Consultant, Market Research Analyst
Accounting degrees are some of the most versatile available, and thus are able to provide a wider array of telecommuting opportunities through all of the ways in which those with accounting skills can fit into organizations for which they would like to work. One of the most common degrees for those who move into C-suite level positions, accountants put the business in businesses by preparing, examining, and offering advice based on financial records. In accounting and auditing roles, they assess the financial viability of organizations in order to ensure that organizations are running efficiently. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics accounting jobs are set to increase in demand by 13% from 2012-2022, with the median salary for accountants in 2012 registered at $63,550.
9. Business : Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters are an integral part of the insurance industry who evaluate the veracity of insurance claims and help to decide whether or not, or how much an insurance company must pay out in the event of a filed claim. Common day-to-day responsibilities include Planning and scheduling work needed to process claims, interviewing claimants and witnesses, and investigating claims. Insurance adjusters must be well-organized and articulate individuals who are comfortable presenting and backing up their findings to insurance companies. Though other degrees may prepare individuals for insurance adjuster roles, business and accounting degrees are common prerequisites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics insurance adjusting positions are only set to increase by 3% from 2012-2022, but oftentimes demand far outstrips supply in times of natural disasters (this is also when the most telecommuting positions are available). Median pay for insurance adjusters for 2012 was $59,850.
10. Social Work : Social Worker
Social workers generally specialize in providing care for a subgroup of the population, such as children, the elderly, or people with mental health problems. Typical duties might include assessing, counseling, and offering services to clients, being a liaison between clients and services in the community, and managing cases for those in need. While many social workers work in a particular facility that specializes in the sub-populace that they service, social workers also often work from home offices and “meet up” with clients as needed. While a bachelors degree in social work is often a minimum requirement for practice, masters degrees have become the standard for some positions. From 2006-2016, social work positions increased by 22%, a much faster rate than jobs in general. While competition is often high for positions in urban settings, rural settings offer many opportunities for social workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median salary for social workers in 2012 was $58,410.
11. Creative Writing, English, Communications : Writers
While you may think of a writer as some sort of dreamer or dilettante, the content explosion of the last few years have made writers an invaluable part of nearly every marketing team. Infographics, click bait, research, copy for sites, there are tons of scenarios in which having a quality writer on your team can make or break your project. While brainstorming in person can certainly help to synergize creative teams, for standardized pieces of content, writers are often allowed to work from home. Many writers are also able to make a name for themselves never having worked on an office through quality online content. Common degrees for writers include English, communcations, or creative writing, though any degree with a rigorous writing component can be a good way to start. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics writing positions are only set to increase by 3% from 2012-2022, but this is probably low due to the number of other job titles in which workers are essentially writers. The median salary for writers and authors in 2012 was $55,940.
12. Education : Teacher or Tutor
As universities and even secondary schools move more of their classes online, a number of opportunities to teach from home are being developed. While some positions may require an education degree, or prior experience as a teacher, there’s also a great deal of room to move into the teaching of specialty skills or even English as a second language. Common employment opportunities for online teaching are centered around MOOCs, career-centered training, high school and college instruction, tutoring, and English as a second language offerings. Currently the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 6% increase in high school teaching positions from 2012-2022, though this rate is much higher for new online instruction methods. The median salary for high school teachers in 2012 was $55,050.
13. English, Communications, Marketing : Editors
Behind every good writer (above) there’s probably a quality editor as well. Generally responsible for establishing content calenders, keeping their eye on the pulse of the vertical they cover, offering up suggestions for keeping content up to date, and editing the work of others, talented editors are a part of most content creation teams. Oftentimes editors were initially writers who have been given a more managerial role. And –as with writers– any degree with a rigorous writing component can be good preparation for an editorial role. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there is expected to be little or no change in the number of editor positions from 2012-2022, but that doesn’t mean there is any shortage of editorial positions. The median salary for editor positions in 2012 was $53,880.
14. Communication : Business Communications
Business communications roles can vary from strategic messaging to marketing or PR positions. In many non-creative firms, a business communications expert will be the go to for all written communications sent between management and members of the staff as well as between the firm and the outside world. Particularly if you have industry-specific knowledge, business communications roles can be a great way to work for a large organization in a writing capacity. A plus side is that large organizations are more willing to allow employees to telecommute. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the growth rate for all media and communications workers is expected to grow by 4.1% from 2012-2022. The median salary for business communications positions was $51,440 in 2012.
15. Foreign Language : Translator
Translating positions can be some of the most flexible out there. Often allowing translators to travel, take on only the projects they choose, or work on retainer when needed by corporations or individuals. Generally job descriptions for translation positions involve facilitating communication between two parties who do not speak a common language. While at times this can be in person, translators often work with deliverables, translating written or recorded verbal communication. Common positions include working for school systems–who generally need translators for parents whose first language isn’t English–as well as positions at any government office who deals with those who speak other languages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the growth rate for all translators is expected to increase by close to 3% from 2012-2022. The median salary for translators in 2012 was $49,320.
16. Fine Arts, Design : Film or Video Editors
Film and video editors are a classic creative position that can be done anywhere where you have a computer. Besides meetings with clients, most film and video editors aren’t even telecommeters, but rather freelancers or small business owners who work from home all the time. Common skillsets needed for film and video editing may often be obtained through fine arts or design degrees, but may also be obtained through self-study or online tutorials. Like many skill-based creative disciplines, film and video editing positions are often some of the most cost effective career paths, allowing for established editors to make solid salaries without the need for any credentialing in the subject matter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics film or video editor positions were expected to grow by 3% from 2012-2022. The median salary for film editors in 2012 was $46,280.
17. Fine Arts, Design : Artist
Art is a classic work-from-home career, and while you don’t technically need an undergraduate degree to become a commissioned (or selling) artist, undergraduate programs often give you time to experiment, exposure to art trends, and some guidance with technique. While artists often struggle to fully support themselves on art until they have obtained some sort of notoriety, with solid positioning and the savvy creation of works of art many artists can obtain solid livings off their work. Two large categories of artists include craft artists, who generally create handmade objects meant to be functional–glassware, textiles, or pottery–and fine artists, such as painters, illustrators, or sculptors who create objects for aesthetic or artistic value rather than function. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics craft and fine art jobs were expected to increase by 3% from 2012-2022. The median salary of craft and fine artists was $44,380 in 2012.
18. Design, Fine Arts : Graphic Designer
Graphic designers help to create the visual deliverables–by hand or with computer software–meant to inspire, inform, or capture the attention of audiences, be those internal, industry-related, or the public at large. Whatever subject matter you’re interested in, chances are there are graphic designers working on supporting visual content. Many work-from-home opportunities, however, are centered around graphic design for online media, so keep that in mind when preparing for a career in graphic design. Graphic design is also a great career type for those looking to supplement income from other sources, or work part time, as work is often project based or centered around deliverables. While degrees in fine arts or design are potential starting places for graphic designers, many employers are more interested in a designers portfolio than academic credentials. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics graphic designer positions are expected to grow at a 7% rate from 2012-2022, which is about the national average. The median salary for a graphic designer in 2012 was $44,150.
19. Medical Records : Health Information Technicians
Medical records and health information technicians are responsible for responsible for organizing and maintaining the data of healthcare organizations, assuring the quality, accuracy, accesibility and security of both written and digital records. Common knowledge for health information technicians includes common coding systems used for reimbursement by insurance companies, as well as common organizational measures for patient medical and treatment history. While many health information technicians do work publicly in large medical settings, the massive growth in demand for health information technicians also allows for support work to be completed from home. Generally only a certification is needed to become a health information technician, though there are some undergraduate programs that focus on health information technician-centered skill sets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information technician positions are set to grow by 22% from 2012-2022. The median salary for health information technicians in 2012 was $34,160.
20. Fine arts : Photographer
Today there are a number of venues through which skilled photographers can make a living from home. Royalties from work you let others use online or in print, billing out your time to cover in-person events, or even selling art prints are all popular ways photographers make money. For introverts, or those looking to work from home, the good news is that there are very few photography positions that actually require photographers to be in an office. Much like fine or craft artists, many photographers use their income to supplement other earnings, or have their own small businesses centered around their trade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics photography jobs are expected to grow 4% from 2012-2022. The median salary for photographers in 2012 was $28,940.