It is no secret the pandemic disrupted the workplace in 2020. And while it negatively impacted some industries, it opened up opportunities in others in that employees could work from home or a remote location instead of having to commute to a brick-and-mortar office building. Just how big was the remote work explosion? According to the U.S. Census, more than half of the labor force in major metro areas, such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and Seattle, are working from home. And many companies have committed to letting their employees continue working from home after the pandemic is over.

Top 7 Remote Jobs

However, while the working from home venue is growing overall, it is growing in some industries more rapidly than in others. The seven jobs listed below grew more than 25% between March and December 2020.

1. Marketing

People in marketing promote and educate the public on the products and services they represent for the companies hiring them. Another mission for marketers is helping potential buyers determine exactly what they need. Marketing connects with customers with products and services – and that includes federal agencies and defense contractors. They may not go by traditional marketing terms, but public affairs professionals and investor relations managers are all seeing their functions move from the corporate headquarters or agency to the home office.

2. HR/Recruiting

With the rise of applicant tracking software to source and screen candidates, recruiting functions can easily be done from anywhere. Recruiters can then schedule interviews either by phone or video conferencing, hire and do the paperwork electronically without an in-person meeting.  Working remotely as a recruiter is a great way to work from home in the defense industry.

3. Customer Service

Even though a customer may think they are contacting someone within the company, the person they reach is most likely working (maybe in their pajamas) hundreds if not thousands of miles from the actual company. Electronic services like live chat, bots and email make customer service one of the easier remote careers to enter because it is one of the less technical careers in this list.

4. Writing

Writing is a fast-growing field as companies always need the written word to communicate key objectives, whether it’s through websites, newsletters, white papers, or technical guides. Being successful does require a good grasp on spelling, grammar, and sentence construction in the language you are using. Technical writing a way to maintain DoD contract work, but complete your job at home. It takes capable writers to both draft contract proposals for the government and to win them on the contractor side. And with limited exceptions, almost all of the work can be done remotely.

5. Mortgage and Real Estate

From buying a home to getting the paperwork completed, it can all be done without ever meeting a real person directly. Real estate companies are using virtual walkthroughs in place of in-person showings and title companies do everything online now. For example, we just refinanced our house to take advantage of a lower interest rate and the whole process was accomplished without ever meeting in-person. Emails back and forth and electronically signing documents made the process go fast and smooth without ever leaving the comfort of our home.

6. Internet and Ecommerce

From working information technology or web development to managing social media, it takes web and ecommerce professionals to keep all of the other rising remote work positions going. Retain has gone virtual with Amazon, Walmart, and other big box stores expanding their ecommerce offerings and ability to provide products and services from any web-connected device. Experts expect this upward trend to continue well into the future.

7. Project Management

Project management is a wide field, but generally these professionals create requirements, budgets, and schedules for a company’s projects, working with internal and external clients along with vendors. Some project management requires an individual to be onsite, as with construction management, but many other jobs are done entirely online. For the government, PMs have always worked to bridge the gap between a government customer or agency and contract staff. With more contractors now allowed to work from home, a growing number of PMs can manage their teams remotely, as well.

Remote Work Provides More Options

Not all of these jobs are a perfect fit for professionals with an active clearance, but these trends show how functions that used to be considered a hands-on job – like buying and selling a house – are now taking place in a virtual environment. As the government looks to provide more secure technology for virtual employees, the number of positions that can be done remotely is only likely to grow. And regardless of their differences, what all of these positions require is an individual that is a self-starter, organized, and with a certain amount of technology savvy. If remote work feels like the right fit for you, these growing industries may be a good place to start.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.