Occupational Wage Comparison Tool: Where can teleworkers find their best value?


The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a surge of teleworking, raising questions about its impact on specific occupations. While teleworking existed before the pandemic, permanent telework arrangements are increasingly being considered a prospect for employers. This begs the question of what occupations are most susceptible to adopting this new working style. To answer this question, researchers leveraged information from the Occupational Requirements Survey discussed in a 2021 news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here the BLS provided estimates for telework availability by occupation.

From an analysis of the BLS data, 83.6% of workers in the sales representatives for wholesalers or manufacturers of technical or scientific products occupations have the availability to telework. This is the highest representation in the dataset followed by market research analysts and software developers.

(Graph 1)

Given these findings, we can see which occupations workers can perform from the comfort of their home, but where can they obtain the most value? Using the LMI Institute’s Occupational Wage Comparison Tool, we looked at the metropolitan areas where technical or scientific manufacturer sales representatives were the highest paid on average. Those working in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA are the highest paid on average out of the U.S. metropolitan areas, earning $150,760 per year.

After adjusting for cost of living, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area ranked 45th with an adjusted annual salary of $103,421. Upon controlling for such costs, we instead found Iowa City, which was previously 3rd, to now have the highest adjusted annual salary with earnings of $141,739.

Interested in seeing the adjustment for your metro area or occupation? Contact the LMI Institute or become a member today!

The LMI Institute offers products and benefits exclusive to members. Since 2018, the Institute has published the Cost of Living (COLI) Adjusted Occupational Wage Comparison Tool. The tool provides wage estimates for various occupations across geographies all adjusted for local cost of living conditions based on C2ER’s unique measure.

LMI Institute Members can download the full dataset in the Member Area. Non-members can learn more online or contact Jennie Allison or Marty Romitti.


(Graph 2)

(Graph 3)