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Want to work from home? A hefty paycheck may be out of reach as high-wage remote jobs fade




Higher pay requires higher commitment, and that includes showing up at the office every day, according to high-paying jobs site Ladders.

After looking at more than a half-million jobs posted over the past year, Ladders found remote and hybrid jobs paying at least $250,000 annually plummeted by 95% and 60%, respectively. Only about 4% of these quarter-million-dollar jobs are fully remote, down from 10% a year ago. Less than 1% are now hybrid, down from 6% last year.

Return-to-office is a rude awakening for millions of Americans who were forced to go remote or hybrid during the pandemic and discovered the benefits of work-from-home status. Ladders declared in December 2021, “Remote work is here to stay.”

It turns out that “managers prefer in-person supervision and visibility,” said John Mullinix, Ladders director of growth marketing who led the latest research. If managers are going back, so will most everyone else who have even less say in compensation and benefits, he said.

Very remote work: More workers are living 50 miles from the office

Why do companies want employees in the office?

Reasons companies are demanding workers return to the office vary. Some say remote work hinders innovation, cohesion among workers and mentorship, Mullinix said.

On Friday, Bloomberg said Citi, HSBC and Barclays are ordering more staffers to report to company offices five days a week as regulatory changes make it trickier for Wall Street to allow employees to work from home.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an industry watchdog, is set to reinstate rules that banks monitor staff and facilitate inspections at workplaces, which would include home offices. FINRA denied that its rule requires people to work in the office five days a week.

“There are all sorts of reasons to rationalize the decision, but honestly, I think it’s people like the control, to supervise and are really attached to how things were in past,” he said.

What if I don’t want to return to the office?

You may have to find another job.

A whopping 90% of 1,000 companies surveyed by Resume Builder last August expected to return to offices by the end of this year.

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon told The Economist last July: “I completely understand why someone doesn’t want to commute an hour and a half every day, totally got it. Doesn’t mean they have to have a job here either.”

This sets up an interesting path for companies and employers, Mullinix said.

“Studies indicate employees are willing to take a pay cut for work-from-home flexibility so it’ll be interesting what smart companies do to leverage their talent pool,” he said. “Will smaller companies with smaller budgets offer remote or other bonuses to get a better candidate pool?”

High-paying jobs also require more credentials

To earn $250,000 or more annually, job seekers won’t just need to show their faces. They’ll also have to show a lot of credentials, Ladders said.

“It’s absolutely a myth that you can earn this type of job income without making some serious sacrifices to get there,” said Mullinix. “We’re talking advanced degrees, specialized residencies, certifications, and substantial experience.”

Most of the highest paying jobs require at least five to 10 years of experience and the highest require 15 or more, Ladders said.

Eight of the top 10 jobs that pay at least $250,00 a year are positions in the medical field, like primary care, medical director, dentist, surgeon, and veterinarian. These professions require some sort of medical degree, board certification or license, and years of experience, Ladders said.

The remaining two non-medical related, quarter-million-dollar jobs are:

  • Principal software engineer, coming in at number 4. This job involves high-level software development, system architecture, and can often demand a team leadership role. Requirements typically include a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer science or a related field, along with extensive experience.
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO), sixth on the list, which manages the financial actions of a company. This job typically requires an advanced degree in finance, accounting, or business, along with extensive experience.

Medora Lee is a money, markets, and personal finance reporter at USA TODAY. You can reach her at and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning.   

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