Do Remote Jobs Really Pay Less?



Do Remote Jobs Really Pay Less?

There’s a widely held belief that if you work from home, you may automatically have to take a salary cut. The thinking is that a smaller salary is the inevitable trade-off that comes with the benefit of remote work. But is it really the case that remote jobs pay less?

Do remote jobs really pay less?

Increasingly, the idea that remote jobs always pay less is losing credibility. To be sure, some remote workers are willing (or are asked) to consider a smaller paycheck in exchange for working from a home office. However, in some professions, the salaries of home-based workers can be commensurate with the pay of in-office workers—or even more. For example, developers who work remotely can earn as much as 40% more than their office-based counterparts, one study found.

This could be due in part to the fact that remote work has grown faster than any other method of commuting, according to a study released by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics. Working from home is no longer being seen as a benefit or reward, but rather a legitimate way to work. Workers are demanding flexibility and employers are needing to meet that request.

From 2005 to 2015, remote work increased 115%, going from 1.8 million employees working remotely to 3.9 million. And according to the same report, “The average annual income for most telecommuters is $4,000 higher than that of non-telecommuters.”

In addition to this higher income, just about all home-based workers who factor in costs like lunches, daycare, and work or office clothing often find they can save thousands of dollars annually with a work-from-home job. Often commuting costs alone often take a huge chunk out of the paychecks of traditional workers. All of these savings puts more money back in your pocket.

What determines how much a remote job pays?

It’s important to keep in mind that pay rates for remote jobs can be determined on a few different factors. Where you live, where the company is located, and your personal level of experience can all play a factor in how companies set salaries for remote jobs. This is very similar to how any in-office job would determine a salary as well.

However, if you live in an expensive city and the company you work remotely for is located in a smaller town and bases its pay on cost of living in that particular area, you may find the salary not enough for your needs. Other companies may take your location into account, and some may look to a more national average to determine salary.

What are some remote jobs that pay well?

So how do you find a remote job that pays well? While many job listings don’t include salary information for various reasons, you can find some that do. Below are seven career categories, along with the median pay rate for a common job title. Median pay is based on information from PayScale. Click on each job title to find all of the job openings of the same title on our site. You’ll notice that many of these jobs pay more than the estimated median pay on PayScale, and some pay right in line with what you would expect to earn in a traditional office job.

Accounting & Finance

Median salary for a full charge bookkeeper:$19.91/hr

Bookkeeper: Bookkeepers typically handle accounts payable/receivable tasks, perform account reconciliations, and generate general reporting.

Customer Service

Median rate for a customer service representative: $13.68/hr

Customer Service RepresentativeCustomer service makes for a great remote job. Duties usually include assisting customers via phone, email, chat, and/or social media.

Education & Training

Median salary for a tutor: $17.57/hr

Online Tutor: Tutors who work from home use online platforms to tutor students one-on-one or in a group setting. You’ll often need expertise in certain subject areas.

Graphic Design

Median rate for a graphic designer: $16.95/hr

Graphic Designer: This role involves creating digital assets, such as website graphics, ads, landing pages, banners, and more.

HR & Recruiting

Median salary for an HR manager: $19.96/hr

Human Resources ManagerHR professionals are responsible for sourcing candidates for jobs, posting job descriptions, interviewing candidates, and onboarding new employees.

Medical & Health

Median rate for a medical coding auditor: $24.83/hr

Medical Coding AuditorRemote coding auditors review medical records to facilitate effective claims and coding practices and may also identify areas of improvement.

Software Development

Median rate for a Java developer: $40.32/hr

Java DeveloperJava developers create and maintain Java applications, often participating in all phases of development.

If you have the right skills and experience, remote jobs do not have to pay less. Seek out roles like the ones above, research the average pay for any job you’re interested in, and master your negotiation skills. FlexJobs posts new remote job openings daily, so check in often to find a high-paying remote job of your dreams.

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Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com

Originally published August 26, 2014. Updated April 11, 2017, and July 20, 2018.