6-Figure Remote Jobs Are on the Rise: How To Boost Your Chances for a Top-Paying Role

Businesswoman working in office, doing a video call with digital tablet.
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Remote work grew by 159% in the 12 years between 2005 and the end of 2017, according to FlexJobs. But just as telecommuting was starting to creep into the mainstream, the pandemic closed offices around the world and made working from home the new normal overnight

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There are more remote-work opportunities in 2021 than there have ever been before, and many of them are high-paying jobs with six-figure potential that are reserved for only the most qualified candidates with the most in-demand skills.

These Work-From-Home Jobs Pay Big Bucks

According to FlexJobs, the following positions are among the highest-paying jobs that can be done remotely. Salary data comes from PayScale.

  • Research engineer: $60,000-$121,000
  • Public relations director: $49,000-$140,000
  • Privacy officer: $60,000-$143,000
  • Marketing director: $50,000-$151,000
  • Cloud architect: $71,000-$160,000
  • Finance director: $63,000-$164,000
  • Medical director: $116,000-$268,000

Applying for high-level positions like these is a little trickier than submitting an application for a regular job — and that’s without considering the nuance involved in applying for remote work specifically. Consider the following before you ask a hiring manager to take you seriously. 

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Expect To Compete With Top Talent for the Top Remote Jobs

Even as telecommuting became more popular in the years leading up to 2020, high-paying senior positions were usually reserved for people working on-site, but the pandemic changed all that.  

“The traditional office structure with anyone at a high-level position will likely go away for most organizations,” said Matthew McSpadden, CEO of WELD Recruiting, a direct-hire recruiting firm that fills IT positions. “Anyone with experience will generally want to be full-time remote, so if a company isn’t offering that, they’re going to have a harder time finding candidates. It’s a candidate’s market right now.”

First Thing’s First: Do Your Homework

Much of your success or failure will be determined by what you do before you ever sit for an interview or submit a resume. 

“When negotiating high-level pay and work-from-home arrangements, it’s always beneficial to come to the conversation prepared,” McSpadden said. “Back your request with data, past achievements, a portfolio of work. For example, showcase how you and your team have been exceeding expectations and performing while working at home during the pandemic, your contributions to the organization, benchmarks and KPIs, your technical solutions to stay integrated, etc.”

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Stress Any Remote Experience — Get Creative If You Have To

Aside from the qualifications specific to the job, it’s important to let employers know you’re not a telecommuting newbie — even if you’ve never actually worked remotely before. 

“If your goal is to land a high-paying remote job, you should include details about your previous remote experience throughout your resume and cover letter,” said Brie Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs and Remote.co. “Remote experience can include any of the following: taking classes online, earning degrees and certifications remotely, working occasionally from home, temporary remote work (like the pandemic), working most via email, phone, and online collaboration, working with people across time zones, remote volunteering and more.”

If you truly can’t come up with something, lean on anything in your background that adds value to your resume.

“If you don’t have any remote work experience, focus on highlighting the skills you have that remote jobs require, such as working independently, the ability to focus, stellar communication skills and great task management,” Reynolds said. 

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Build a Strong Online Profile Before You Invite Employers To Look at It

If you’re applying for remote work, a LinkedIn profile is a must — but for the big jobs, you’ll have to put in more effort than the average applicant.

“Having a Linkedin profile showcasing your skills is simply not enough,” said Alina Clark, growth manager and co-founder of software development company CocoDoc. “When hiring a remote employee, hiring managers would often want to go through your LinkedIn profile and not to see the profile alone. The profile, even if great, doesn’t really prove anything about your skill and knowledge. The real test is whether or not you know the trade. Creating content, and articles around your trade gives you an edge over people who simply have an optimized LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn also works great as a portfolio for past jobs. Referrals from past clients will take you over the hump when it comes to searching for remote jobs during this super-tricky period.”

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Remember, Make It About Them — Not You

If you think you’re the most qualified, most experienced and all-around best person for the job, don’t try to convince the hiring manager of the same by singing your own praises. 

“Apart from the obvious ways to sell yourself when applying for jobs, I believe there is something else that can help you really stand out, especially when applying for higher positions within an organization,” said consumer tech and digital media expert Alex Magnin. “That is to show a keen interest in the business and actually talk specifically about why you want to work there. This can really help to show the management team that is discussing all of the applications that as well as just wanting a job or more money, you have a keen interest in specifically working there. That will help you stand out from the candidates who have only discussed themselves, and why they are wonderful. Often, hiring isn’t just about finding the person with the best credentials, but actually about finding the person who will best work within your business, which is as much about attitude, personality and passion as it is about skill level.”

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Last updated: July 7, 2021

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.
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