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Best Jobs for Telecommuting

Top occupations and work activities that can be done from home


A great many jobs can be done from home -- in fact, the WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009 study reports that 38% of U.S. employees who are not currently telecommuting hold jobs that they believe could be done remotely (this is in addition to the 33.7 million U.S. adults who telecommuted at least once per month in 2008). The kinds of jobs that can be done remotely vary greatly, from engineering to writing to brokering stocks.

Job Activities That Cannot Be Done From Home

Although, essentially, telework eligibility is determined at each company on a case-by-case basis according to the employee's tasks, position, and work history, there are only a few types of job activities that can not be done remotely. These are the activities the Office of Personnel Management lists in their Telework Guide as eliminating the telework eligibility for employees in the Federal government:

  • Face-to-face personal contact (e.g., counseling, medical assessment, some sales)
  • Hands-on operation of equipment, vehicles, or other on-site assets
  • Direct handling of secure materials that can't be handled remotely
  • Activities dependent on a physical presence (e.g., security guard, forest ranger)

Basic Job Types for Working from Home

Rules of thumb for jobs that are suitable for telecommuting include: if your job involves a lot of solo work, can be done as a home-based business, and/or is mostly computer-based.

Examples of Occupations That Are Ideal for Telecommuting

  • Accountant, bookkeeper
  • Administrative assistant
  • Auditor, financial analyst
  • Computer programmer, software engineer
  • Data entry clerk
  • Database administrator
  • Engineer
  • Graphic designer, illustrator, desktop publisher
  • Insurance agent
  • Marketing planner, media buyer
  • Medical transcriptionist, medical reviewer
  • Paralegal
  • Public relations professional, speechwriter
  • Researcher, market research analyst
  • Sales rep, customer service rep, travel agent
  • Stockbroker
  • Telemarketer, telephone order taker
  • Translator
  • Webmaster, website designer
  • Writer, reporter, editor

More: Determine if your job is suitable for remote work - a "how to" written by this site's former Guide, Catherine Roseberry

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