Finding a remote job is all the rage these days. With a remote job, you have the freedom to work from home or wherever suits you best. You could even make the leap to being a digital nomad and start globetrotting while making money from your laptop.
The information technology sector is one of the hottest job markets to find remote job opportunities. IT companies are at the forefront of the remote working movement and have plenty of openings for skilled workers looking to make big bucks.
If you’re interested in finding a remote IT job, we’ve organized everything you need to know to get started. We’ll go over different types of remote IT jobs you can have, the skills you’ll need, and where you can find remote jobs online.
What’s So Great About Remote IT Jobs?
Remote IT jobs are readily available for skilled workers. If you have what it takes, you can have your pick of the litter when it comes to finding a job.
IT companies seem to always be hiring remote workers as the nature of the work lends itself perfectly to a remote working environment. Much of your work is done independently with occasional meetings to collaborate with your team members.
As a remote employee, you get to enjoy all of the perks of remote work. One of those being that you can usually work from anywhere in the United States, across any time zone. You could even decide to pick up and travel the world. It’s all up to you.
Since the demand for many IT skills is high, these positions tend to pay well. You’ll also get to work with cutting edge remote companies who are building amazing products.
But what does an IT job look like exactly? Let’s look at a few different types of IT jobs.
Types of Remote IT Jobs
There are plenty of remote IT job opportunities out there across several different functions. To make your life easy, we focused on three popular job titles you might come across during your job search.
Software Engineer or Software Developer
Software engineers and software developers use computer programming and engineering to create software, computer games, online applications, and backend computer networks. Pretty much all of the consumer-facing technology that you’ve encountered was built on the blood, sweat, and tears of a software engineer.
In many cases, the terms software engineer and developer are used interchangeably. These two job titles are in fact very closely aligned and can mean the same thing for many companies.
If you really get into the weeds with the actual definition of each, an engineer tends to apply an engineering mindset and scientific methodology to the software development process. On the other hand, developers are more creative and apply practices and patterns they’ve learned on the job through experimentation and self-discovery.
Software engineers possess a deep understanding of computer languages and design principles. They also need to interact with a variety of team members like project managers, graphic designers, marketers, and customer success managers.
There are two different types of software engineers: applications software developers and systems software developers.
Applications Software Developer
An applications software developer creates software that is consumer and client facing. In other words, people will be able to leverage the application in a useful way once it’s complete.
These applications can run on any type of operating system, like iOS, Windows, Linux, or Android. An example of something an applications developer might create would be Microsoft Excel or a collaboration tool like Slack.
Systems Software Developer
Systems software developers are the ones who design everything that’s behind the scenes. Systems developers create the infrastructure that software needs to operate and communicate properly.
Without a back-end engineer, applications wouldn’t be able to function properly. Think of a systems developer as the mechanic who tinkers with the motor and makes sure everything is running smoothly. On the other hand, an applications developer is like the exterior designer who dreamed up all of the sleek curves and lines on your fancy new ride.
A product manager is essentially a project manager who is in charge of the development process of software applications and web development. Their job is to plan each step of the development process, make sure developers, designers, and marketers are working together, and manage the entire lifecycle of product development.
Product managers are organized, accountable, and have the technical chops to hang with the best of them. As the liaison between the development team, client, and other stakeholders, product managers don’t necessarily need to be able to develop themselves, but they must have a thorough understanding of the process and much-needed project management skills.
Web developers create the websites you see whenever you surf the web. Web development is a combination of engineering and design rolled into one. There are two aspects of every website that create two types of developers — front-end and back-end — with some developers possessing the ability to do both.
Front-end developers create the visual elements that you see on a website. This includes the overall framework, layout, imagery, colors, typography, and much more. A front-end developer possesses a deep understanding of creative design principles and is able to take a vision and implement it onto a live site.
User experience and user interface designers — or UX designers and UI designers — are two subcategories of front-end developers that design and implement wireframes to create a smooth user experience for visitors.
A back-end developer is another behind the scenes role that helps websites function properly. While a front-end developer makes everything look shiny and pretty, a back-end developer instills logical functions and ensures the website is able to communicate across servers, databases, and applications. Without a solid back-end, the front-end cannot exist.
Back-end developers deal with the coding and technology that powers websites. This requires a deep understanding of one or more computer languages, like PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, or SQL.
Full-stack developers are like a one-stop-shop for all your web development needs. Full-stack developers are capable of handling both front-end and back-end design. The advantage of being a full-stack developer is that you can handle the entire development process from start to finish. This is a huge help when applying for jobs. A company may be more inclined to hire one developer who is capable of doing the entire job.
Becoming a full-stack developer will require much more training and an advanced skill set, but if you’re willing to put in the time to perfect your craft, it will be worth it in the long run. You’ll be more marketable and have a better chance of landing a higher paying job.
Skills You Need
With all the job types and job descriptions out there, you’ll need to know exactly which skills are required before starting your remote IT job search. To find a remote IT job, you’ll need to have an understanding of at least a few of the following programming languages and skills.
- HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is the standard computer language websites are built on. This should be your starting point.
- CSS: Cascading Style Sheets is a front-end language that tells HTML how elements should be stylized and designed on the site. Think colors, fonts, and most other visual elements.
- Ruby: This easy to read programming language is a general-purpose solution for designing the structure of a website. You can also move on to Ruby on Rails which is a full-stack addition of the language.
- PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is another web development language that adds additional functionalities to a website.
- Python: A multi-purpose language that can be used for back-end development, data analysis, and computations.
- Agile: This one isn’t a language, but rather a structured development process. Agile helps teams stay on track, hit deadlines, and increase the speed of the overall development process.
While you don’t need every single one of these skills to succeed in a remote IT role, you will need to be familiar with a few of them. It all depends on the software or site you’re working on. Each project will have a different set of languages it works with.
Think you have what it takes? Let’s see where can you find a remote IT job online.
Where Can You Find Remote IT Jobs?
There are many places you can find remote IT jobs online. Among them are remote job boards and freelance sites. It will depend on your personal preference as to which route you take. You can either decide to pursue full-time or part-time remote work with a company or take the freelance route as an independent contractor.
Here are a few work-from-home job boards for job seekers to get started:
If you’d like to see more job postings, make sure to click the links to our extensive list of remote job boards and popular freelance sites.
Find a Remote Position in IT
Your new job in IT could be right around the corner. The first step will be obtaining the skills you need to land your dream telecommuting job. If you already have the skills you need, then you can hit the job boards and start browsing roles that fit you.
Maybe it’s a senior software developer or perhaps it’s a front-end user experience strategist. Whatever it may be, there are plenty of jobs out there waiting for you to apply. Good luck finding your perfect job in IT.