It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. At least, not according to careers website Glassdoor.
For those looking for remote jobs that pay six figures, there are numerous options. But there’s a catch: Many of these high-paying roles require advanced degrees, such as in computer science, or medicine, or require years of experience.
MarketWatch worked with San Francisco–based Glassdoor, a job-ratings website, to identify companies that offer a median salary of $100,000 and more, and are likely to be fully remote. The company also filtered out certain high-paying jobs, such as C-suite executives, since those roles required some in-person interaction.
The top-paying fully remote role is a quantitative researcher, according to the company, which pays a median salary of $175,000 a year. Technology managers, technical program managers, and infrastructure architects follow, with a median salary of $150,000 to $160,000.
So what makes these jobs worth six figures? Aaron Terrazas, chief economist at Glassdoor, told MarketWatch that the level of education required plays a role, as does whether the job requires judgment, discretion, and/or personal risk. Alternatively, the job may be in a very popular field.
If workers are amenable to being in the office full-time, jobs including chief revenue officer, physician advisor, anesthesiologist and more would help them earn $200,000 or more per year, Glassdoor’s data reveals.
In the meantime, here are Glassdoor’s five top-paying jobs that are fully remote:
Salary: $175,000 per year
Job description: A qualitative researcher carries out market research and collects data, studies trends and solves problems, Zip Recruiter said. This is aimed to develop strategic models and help upper-level managers make financial decisions.
Educational requirements: Likely a degree in economics, mathematics, statistics, or a related field.
Salary: $160,000 per year
Job description: The job of a technology manager is to supervise or monitor other workers and manage technical projects, as well as troubleshooting issues that come up with hardware and software, Zip Recruiter said.
Educational requirements: Likely a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.
Technical program manager
Salary: $157,000 per year
Job description: A technical program manager is similar to that of a technology manager, as the person would oversee a company’s technical projects, and implement new systems, or even develop new products, Zip Recruiter said. This role may also include having to supervise teams, and keep track of products, as well as deliver reports to more senior staff.
Educational requirements: Likely a bachelor’s degree in business or in management.
Salary: $152,500 per year
Job description: An infrastructure architect figures out a company’s computer system, identifies solutions to possible problems, and/or reviews existing code for possible issues, errors, or improvements, Indeed said. This could also mean that the architect can oversee and train others.
Educational requirements: Likely a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in computer science, engineering, IT, or something related, Glassdoor said.
Salary: $150,000 per year
Job description: The job of a database architect is to design, build, and maintain a company’s database, the way they store data, as well as to set the standards of how the data is operated, programmed, and kept secure, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Educational requirements: Likely a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology, or engineering, or something related.
To be clear, there are other jobs that pay six figures that can be done remotely, such as that of a creative director of a company, patent attorney, or even an economist.
But it’s unclear if companies will continue to offer employees the ability to work indefinitely. Before the pandemic, those who worked remotely were more senior and more experienced, Terrazas noted, which made them valuable to the company. But most other employees were in the office in person.
Meanwhile, in this recent post-COVID world, returning to the office doesn’t necessarily mean employees have to choose between being in person at the office full time or being remote all the time, Terrazas stressed. “We have to recognize that remote is not a binary — there’s a whole spectrum of all types of work in between,” he explained, including being hybrid and going into the office a few times a week.
Roles in law may obviously require workers to show up in a courtroom periodically. Meanwhile, sales roles may require meeting clients face-to-face here and there, but can still be done mostly remotely, Glassdoor said.
Remote work can also be pulled back when companies find the job market “soft” or if they don’t have an urgent need to hire, Terrazas added. “Like all benefits, we should expect it to ebb and flow with the business cycle,” he explained. “When the labor market tightens, we’ll see more and more companies being open and offering remote work as a sweetener to attract talent.”