Jobs and the Future of Work

Remote work curbs salaries - new data

Person typing on a laptop with a stethoscope next to them.

Health practitioners dominate the highest earning jobs in the US, according to Ladders. Image: Unsplash/National Cancer Institute

Victoria Masterson
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Future of Work

  • Fewer high-paid jobs earning over $200,000 are available remotely, says careers website Ladders.
  • These fell from 37% to 12% of high-paid US job postings in 2023, according to the firm’s High Paying Jobs Competition Index.
  • In its white paper, The Rise of Global Digital Jobs, the World Economic Forum identifies the jobs most suited to global working – where recruits can work online from anywhere.

Are you looking for a high-paid job?

Then forget remote working.

To earn the biggest salaries, you need to go into the office, a new report finds. The High Paying Jobs Competition Index, from the North American careers website Ladders, analyses US jobs that pay $200,000 or more.

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Remote job postings have dropped

Listings for the highest paying jobs available remotely have fallen every quarter since the third quarter of 2022, the report finds.

Only about 12% of jobs paying $200,000 or more can be done remotely, data from the last three months of 2023 shows.

This is down from 37% in the third quarter of 2022.

Both technology and non-technology sectors clearly show this trend, Ladders says.

High Paying and Remote Job Share Shrinks
Remote jobs paying more than $200,000 have been in decline since 2022, finds a new report. Image: Ladders/Bloomberg

Hybrid jobs for top earners are also down

Hybrid jobs paying $200,000 or more that offer a mix of remote and in-person working have also dropped.

Job adverts in this range in the US have fallen from almost 16% of high-paid job listings in the first three months of 2023 to about 3% in the last three months of the year.

Tech and non-tech sectors show roughly the same decline in hybrid working over this period.

Top salaried jobs need in-person working

The highest paying jobs require in-person working and also advanced degrees, Ladders says. One contributing factor is that many of the top salaried jobs above $200,000 are for medical professionals.

In its list of the top 20 highest-paying US jobs, Ladders finds the top six roles are for doctors or dentists. A total of 12 of the 20 best-paid jobs are for healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists.

The other high-paying jobs include software engineers and tax and legal professionals.

Top 20 jobs that pay $200,000 or more
Health professionals dominate the Ladders list of the top 20 highest-paying US jobs. Image: Ladders

Applicants for these high-paying jobs face the most competition

Marketing, media & design jobs paying $200,000 or more a year are the toughest to get, based on the volume of applicants they attract, the report finds.

High-paid jobs with the most competition after this include operations & general management roles, sales & business development jobs and human resources & legal roles.

Healthcare has the lowest competition for high-paid roles – reflecting that there aren’t enough professionals available to fill these roles, Ladders says.

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Remote working isn’t going away

Many high-wage jobs are still increasingly available remotely, the World Economic Forum says. In its white paper, The Rise of Global Digital Jobs, the Forum identifies the jobs most suited to global working – where recruits can work online from anywhere.

These well-remunerated digital jobs include software developers, finance and accounting professionals, lawyers, business operations specialists, insurance underwriters and medical and health service managers.

High wage global digital jobs in 2030.
The World Economic Forum’s list of high-paid digital jobs that can be performed remotely from anywhere includes software developers and finance professionals. Image: World Economic Forum

Workers want remote working

In Davos this year at the Forum’s annual meeting, the role of the office and remote working was discussed in one of the sessions.

With remote working and a drive for workers to return to the office both happening at the same time, the session looked at how leaders can get the balance right between flexibility and productivity.

LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue told The Role of the Office Is Still TBC session audience that interest in remote working was still high among job seekers.

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But he also noted the declining trend in fully remote job listings. LinkedIn saw these work-from-home jobs fall from a peak of 20% of job listings in April 2022, to 8% in December 2023.

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