6 Work-from-Home Tech Jobs You've Never Considered

young male working at home desk on computer  

What's the best job around? The one you can do from anywhere, of course! And if you’re a tech guru, you’ve got more options than you think.

Whether you’re traveling to the east coast for Christmas, busy feeding Cheerios to a three-year-old in your pajamas or merely looking for a way to keep a simplified schedule while earning extra cash, telecommuting tech jobs certainly have a plethora of perks.

More and more people are looking to sip coffee on their porch while writing code or developing apps, as working from home has grown by nearly 80 percent in the United States between 2005 and 2012, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Many telecommuters are needed and will remain in-demand for everything from IT support to computer engineering to web development. Technology is here to stay, folks, and so are these up-and-coming careers.

Now that we have your attention, let’s take a deeper look at a few of these work-from-home tech jobs. We broke down six of these careers using a combination of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data and expert insight. Browse through the list below to find the perfect fit for you!

1. Computer programmer

Median annual salary*: $74,280

Projected growth (2012 – 2022): 8%

Computer programmers write and review code, examine and investigate issues that computer users experience and administer experimental trials of new programs, apps, and software.

“From the 'writing code' perspective, working at home has many benefits,” says Mike Scanlin, CEO of Born to Sell. “By far the number one [benefit] is quiet, concentrated time [that is] not interrupted by chatter or other office noise.” He says working in a quiet space is helpful when writing code and working through complicated, intricate computer matters.

2. Computer user support specialist

Median annual salary: $48,900

Projected growth (2012 - 2022): 17%

A computer user support specialist is the friendly person who helps you diagnose your technology issue and aids in solving the problem. He or she may download new software onto your computer, assist with technical confusion or simply walk you through steps in a certain program. As more and more of the world leans heavily on technology, support to help users with the shift is more than necessary.

You’ve probably become accustomed to helping others since you’ve become a parent. Assisting your own children with everything from getting dressed to solving math problems has given you tremendous patience, which is instrumental in this position. Working from home as a user support specialist will give you the opportunity to help others from afar while still being available to help those closest to you—it‘s a win-win situation!

3. IT consultant

Median annual salary (2013): $79,680 

Projected growth (2012 - 2022): 25%

The knowledge of an IT consultant must cover a wide spectrum of skills in the world of technology. He or she must also have excellent interpersonal skills as they work directly with clients, advising and recommending certain programs and strategies to resolve problems and reach goals. If you’re tech knowledge runs the gamut and you enjoy solving puzzles, working with people and maximizing a company’s assets, then IT consultation from your kitchen table may be the ideal career path for you.

“‘I've telecommuted for general consulting jobs, training development and online training,” explains John Hedtke, an independent IT consultant. “[I’ve] done technical marketing writing for a client in Belgium and written close to 200 magazine articles…for companies and people that I have usually not met.”

Other benefits for remote IT consultants: no stressful morning commute, stellar coffee and the opportunity to help solve corporate problems while balancing a three-year-old on your knee.

4. IT project managers

Median annual salary (2013): $120,950

Projected growth: 15%

An IT project manager makes sure the job gets done when a large technological project arises at a company. He or she monitors the project’s progress, oversees technological decisions and helps the company from a bird’s-eye point of view by managing a team of people.

“A virtual manager must master all the skills of generalized management but overcome the challenges of operational oversight, providing motivation for workers and the facilitation of communication among team members,” says Matthew Reischer, Chief Operations Manager of virtual league marketing firm LegalAdvice.com. “This skill will continue to be in demand in the future as the world becomes more globalized and team members work in disparate locations.”

5. Software applications developer

Median annual salary (2013): $93,350

Projected growth (2012 - 2022): 22%

Computers, tablets and smartphones aren’t nearly as much fun or helpful without the programs they host. A software applications developer maps the ideas for creative new applications, writes the code that creates the software and tests it to ensure it runs properly. He or she may also alter current apps to upgrade them to meet user needs.

“Being a software developer requires a lot of problem solving, a high tolerance for frustration and the occasional bit of self-teaching, so teleworking in your own environment with uninterrupted flow time is ideal for a lot of developers,” explains Adam Cooke of aTech Media. He explains that working from his home office helps him remain productive and avoid rush hour traffic.

6. Web developers

Median annual salary: $62,500

Projected growth (2012 - 2022): 20%

Just as the name suggests, web developers develop the World Wide Web, building and supporting the many applications that websites utilize. While some may focus strictly on backend development such as HTML and CSS, other developers may be tasked with creating a beautifully developed and designed website that works well as a whole.

“Growth is steady but competition in many genres is fierce,” says Alan Canton, managing partner at NewMedia Website Design. He explains that web development is becoming an ideal career for tech gurus because it involves creative aspects and offers the ability to work from home.

Ready to become a telecommuting tech pro?

More and more people are ditching the suit, cubicle and stressful commute for the flexible lifestyle of working remotely. This modality is perfect for parents in particular who want to work but also want to be present in their children’s lives. There’s no reason a successful career should come at the expense of your family time.

If you think telecommuting to one of these up and coming careers is right up your alley, learn how a degree in technology degree can help you gain the skills you need to succeed in a stay-at-home tech job!

*Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.
**Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook,  www.bls.gov/ooh/

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Lauren Elrick

Lauren is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She enjoys helping current and potential students choose the path that helps them achieve their educational goals.

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