The 50 Most Surprising Remote Jobs of 2020

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Surprised remote worker
AT Production /

This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.

It’s nine months into the pandemic, and workers all over the U.S. are appreciating the wide-ranging benefits of remote work.

In fact, according to FlexJobs’ annual survey, 65% of workers want to work remotely full-time post-pandemic, while 31% would like a hybrid arrangement that combines both remote and in-office work.

With so many employees wanting to continue working remotely and companies realizing how valuable remote work is to both employee satisfaction and their bottom line, employers are reconsidering the types of jobs that can be done from home.

To demonstrate the increasing range of jobs that are compatible with remote work, we wanted to take a look back to showcase the most surprising remote job titles of 2020.

Note: The 50 jobs below are either active postings or were active at some point during 2020. These positions range from entry-level to senior-level and span across a wide range of industries. For more currently active surprising jobs in a variety of career categories, FlexJobs members can check out our most surprising flexible jobs.

1. Apparel product development consultant

Young woman learning on her laptop
Have a nice day Photo /

This industry specialist provides manufacturing guidance for product-based brands looking to connect with American manufacturers.

2. Architect

Gorodenkoff /

Via virtual study groups, the freelance licensed architect will work with aspiring architects to help them study and prepare for the ARE 5.0 exams.

3. Associate scientist — climate impact and snow modeling

Data scientist
WAYHOME studio /

Working with other scientists to study climate impacts on snow processes and water resources, the associate scientist collaborates with researchers, runs simulations and analyzes data.

4. Bridge engineer

Materials engineer
Dusan Petkovic /

The certified structural design engineer takes on a variety of difficult bridge engineering projects that may involve CAE and CAD.

5. Conversation designer

Male computer programmer or software developer
antoniodiaz /

The conversation designer works with an online engagement solutions company to collaborate with enterprise brands, research intents and design conversational experiences.

6. Cosmetology practice question writer

Young businesswoman working on laptop at cafe
Friends Stock /

A licensed cosmetologist creates practice questions and answers for students taking the National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology’s Cosmetology Theory Examination.

7. Culinary arts virtual teacher

Chef adding oil to food
wavebreakmedia /

The certified culinary arts teacher will administer the curriculum based on the state standards for culinary arts and create a positive virtual learning environment for students.

8. Dental assistant or hygienist

Dental hygiene

Working in a case management capacity, the dental assistant remotely manages patients’ care plans, coordinates services, implements care strategies and initiates referrals.

9. Digital painter

Woman working from home on computer and phone
GaudiLab /

The Photoshop master and exceptional painter with a strong sense of color and lighting will work with art directors and writers to bring interactive stories to life.

10. Director of identity and freelancer fraud

Negotiating conflict in the workplace
fizkes /

This anti-fraud position creates and leads an identity strategy to ensure that freelancer accounts accurately represent the individual doing the work.

11. Electrical controls analyst

A senior electrician at work
Kekyalyaynen /

Part-time analyst provides remote machine and electrical control systems technical support for a federal government ship construction program.

12. Fertility utilization review

Syda Productions /

The registered nurse performs utilization management and review services for infertility and IVF populations, such as determining appropriate services and interacting with facilities.

13. Festival coordinator

Young woman doing video interview
fizkes /

The seasonal festival coordinator will serve as a media contact and provide project management and marketing support to promote the Sundance Film Festival.

14. Finance and banking translator

A man uses headphones for translation during an event
roibu /

A translator with English fluency and finance and banking knowledge will translate finance, legal and banking materials from German into French.

15. Fitness instructor

Lordn /

The expert virtual fitness instructor leads online fitness classes and is certified to teach multiple formats.

16. Geospatial analyst

analysts in masks practice social distancing at work
Andrey_Popov /

Using GIS software and skills, the geospatial analyst conducts research and extracts feature and terrain data to prepare mapping projects for clients.

17. Home stylist

goodluz /

An interior designer or decorator with professional experience will create designs for clients and source furnishings and decor from vendors.

18. Infectious diseases research scientist

Young man working remotely on a laptop
merzzie /

The infectious disease scientist can work from home for non-laboratory tasks, including interpreting and analyzing data and preparing research and presentations on HIV and HBV.

19. In-game chat moderation

Marcos Mesa Sam Wordly /

Responsibilities of the independent game moderators include reviewing live, in-game chats from video game players on Xbox One, PS4 and PC platforms.

20. Junior food photographer

man taking a photograph
Dean Drobot /

Working with chefs, stylists, and food experts, the junior photographer obtains appealing images, retouches photos and uploads images for distribution.

21. Lead chef instructor — pastry

dotshock /

The pastry chef instructor facilitates learning, provides education, schedules instructors and completes evaluations for culinary school staff.

22. Lead sediment design engineer

Mechanical engineer
nd3000 /

Lead engineer with sediment remediation experience performs challenging evaluations, provides technical expertise and completes studies for environmental projects.

23. Lead telehealth creative arts therapist

Young woman on videochat
Pressmaster /

Serving as the lead therapist for the Creative Forces-Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative, this position provides clinical and research support to other creative arts therapists.

24. Life coach

A woman holds her phone in one hand and crosses her fingers with the other while working at her laptop computer
GaudiLab /

The life coach for the financial sector employees conducts seminars and one-on-one sessions to provide life hacks, help with goal setting and serve as a source of motivation.

25. Menu team supervisor

Portrait of older woman working laptop computer indoors
mimagephotography /

The team supervisor provides day-to-day support to up to 15 direct reports, identifies process improvements and leads meetings.

26. Mixology and bartending instructor

bogdanhoda /

Working remotely, the bartending instructor teaches online bartending classes for a culinary experience-focused online marketplace.

27. Navy Readiness Improvement Program lead

Young businessman making big plans
GaudiLab /

The Readiness Improvement Program (RIP) lead supports operational, logistical, and material readiness requirements for Navy clients by supervising and directing a team of operational experts.

28. Northern mine geotechnical specialist

Tech guy
SpeedKingz /

The geotechnical specialist provides technical expertise and assistance to operations teams working at abandoned mines.

29. Nurse practitioner

Remote nurse
fizkes /

A board-certified nurse practitioner will provide direct telemedicine patient care by evaluating records, deciding on prescriptions and providing counseling.

30. Organic handler certification specialist

Grocery worker in a mask
Syda Productions /

The organic certification specialist reviews land history, input materials and seed and planting stock used for compliance with national organic regulations.

31. Pattern maker

Woman looking at laptop
Jacob Lund /

A technical designer and pattern maker will build out templates and generate technical packages for a custom shirt and swag company.

32. Phonetician

Black Translator
fizkes /

A translation company needs native English, French, German, Italian or Spanish speakers with linguistics backgrounds to review a text-to-speech synthesizer.

33. Project manager — custom farm builds

Vietnamese business lady pondering over ideas for new business project
Dragon Images /

Working with hydroponic farm units, the project manager sends out proposals, reviews modifications, and handles client communications.

34. Prop styling photographer

Walter Liff sculpture
James Kirkikis /

Photographers shoot original photos, including hero and inline images, for a variety of home-related articles.

35. School social worker

Happy man with phone
GaudiLab /

An online school social worker implements programs, helps families access resources and develops crisis plans for virtual school.

36. Scientist

Female lab scientist using microscope
Likoper /

The contract scientist will ensure that new pharmaceutical products are ready for production and distribution in the global marketplace.

37. Script analyst

Woman talking on the phone
Oleksii Didok /

A contract script analyst will evaluate screenplays, writing up to seven pages of feedback on how the script can be improved.

38. Senior mortgage underwriter

earning cash
Sasin Paraksa /

Using underwriting guidelines, the underwriter reviews applications to determine eligibility and analyzes applicants’ income and expenses.

39. Senior scientist — biocompatibility specialist

Oil field scientist at work
B Brown /

The scientist acts as the biocompatibility subject matter expert and provides process risk and biocompatibility material assessments for the company’s research and development group.

40. Simulation creator

Physical therapist
GagliardiImages /

A licensed occupational therapist will work to provide expertise and develop and maintain patient videos and online occupational therapy simulations.

41. Social support, COVID-19

Closeup Of Happy African American Telephone Operator with Her Colleagues
Rido /

To ensure the well-being of quarantined and isolated COVID patients and their families, the support worker helps to locate resources and manage referrals.

42. Spaceship physics developer

Andrey_Popov /

The physics developer develops simulations and writes multi-threaded code for a space simulation company.

43. Strategic partner, sports

New York City
pio3 /

A strategic talent partner acquires and onboards world-class athletes to help them connect with their fans and raise money for charity.

44. Styling team lead

woman using a whiteboard
antoniodiaz /

Directly managing 25-30 remote stylists, the team lead will hire, onboard, develop performance plans and provide coaching and encouragement.

45. Teleradiologist

Radiation therapist
adriaticfoto /

A full-time teleradiologist will work from home on nights and weekends for an award-winning company privately owned by radiologists.

46. Tissue regeneration specialist, surgical and sports medicine

Businesswoman walking out of building on her phone
Vladeep /

The specialist works as a sales representative for biologic products for surgical and injectable applications within their assigned territory.

47. Toxicologist

Data entry on a laptop
baranq /

A temporary toxicologist with risk assessment experience will evaluate product safety, oversee testing systems, and summarize and interpret data.

48. Trade book strategist

Older businessman
VGstockstudio /

An educational company seeks a trade book strategist to build and maintain relationships with publishers and develop purchasing strategies.

49. Virtual STEM camp director

woman working in a mask
technomolly /

The camp director supervises and manages campers and instructors, provides tech support and leads staff meetings for virtual STEM camp.

50. Wildlife scientist

A woman working in an animal shelter taking care of animals
Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko /

Working for the Humane Society of the United States, the wildlife scientist conducts research and outreach, and provides scientific and writing assistance to wildlife teams.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.