Best Work-From-Home Jobs that Actually Exist

Since the advent of the Internet, working from home has become a viable employment option for millions of Americans. Today, more and more jobs can be worked from home, as online communication eliminates the need to travel to an office or report to a manager in person. If you’re looking for a flexible job, here is an overview of the best work-from-home careers today.

Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists convert audio recordings into written reports. Specifically, they transcribe the audio recordings of various healthcare professionals. They also review and edit medical documents through use of speech recognition technology. And transcriptionists often interpret medical terminology and abbreviations into lay language when preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, or other documents.

Medical transcriptionists typically need postsecondary training. A transcriptionist must have an understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, grammar, and word-processing software. Most medical transcriptionist training programs offer at-home or evening courses and will finance the education, allowing you to pay for your education after landing a job.

As of May 2012, the median annual income for a medical transcriptionist was $34,020 and is expected to rise. Transcriptionists are often able to work from home, as most communication is done through email and text and audio files can be shared online.

Call Center Representative

Got the gift of gab? You may want to consider working from home as a call center representative. Hundreds of companies employ marketers and sales agents to contact potential or existing clients to either sell services and products or gather customer feedback. Common job titles for call center reps are Direct Sales Representative, Lead Generation, Telephone Data Collector, Appointment Setter, Telesales, or Inside Sales. Regardless, the option to work from home in this capacity is quite common.

Most companies that employ work-from-home phone agents require the employee to work from the office anywhere from once a month to once a week. This allows for in-person progress updates and integration with company culture.

Annual income for phone agents can range from just under $26,000 to over $100,000. This largely depends on whether you are doing sales or support. Of course, the sales jobs have higher earning potential, but also carry the risk of working primarily on commission, if not exclusively so.

The important thing to remember when looking at call center positions as that not all employers will advertise job openings as work-from-home. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the opportunity isn’t there. Try to get the interview, and explore work-from-home options once your foot’s in the door.

Web Developer or Designer

Nearly 80% of American households have a computer with access to the Internet. That means nearly 240 million Americans are using the web. As a result, more and more businesses and individuals are in need of a web presence to share ideas, products, and services. A website is how to reach this massive audience, and developers and designers are capitalizing on this need.

Corporations recognize this and developers are in high demand. Also, web development is where most of the home-based hiring is being done. For example, Janet Cambridge, a developer and designer based in Minneapolis, offers services such as custom website design, template modification and redesigns, code updates, hosting and usability reviews. She previously worked in administrative roles in various industries and now earns more per hour than she ever has. 

Average annual income for developers and designers is $87,000 and $44,000, respectively. Also, many companies are willing to train, so long as you bring a modicum of understanding to the table.

If you don’t have the skills, have no fear. Several online and at-home training programs are available for the would-be online entrepreneur. Like other online education programs, these schools often offer in-house financing so you can pay for your education after landing a job.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketers typically work independently or in small groups and help advertisers reach online consumers. These advertising affiliates are often called publishers, as they publish the ad content for various companies to various web documents and platforms. Publishers earn commissions based on consumer interaction with their placed ads, often earning several thousand dollars a month. And publishers generally work from wherever they can access the web. All that’s needed is a laptop and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Tech Support Agent

Many tech companies today are hiring support agents to work remotely. It saves the company money on office space and infrastructure, and affords the employee flexibility. The US average income for tech support agents is $45,419. Keep in mind that many tech companies will not advertise that they are hiring for work-from-home positions. Instead, this will usually be disclosed during the interview process and leeway to work remote is granted gradually as the employee proves him or herself. It is expected that 110,000 new tech support jobs will open between now and 2020.

Writer, Editor, Blogger

Have you heard the saying, “Content is King”? If not, it refers to web content—and the fact that no amount of marketing can replace good content. As a result, companies hire content creators from all around the world. If you can write clearly and quickly, you can make a great income from home.

Companies like eLance and Odesk offer online communities where people looking to hire and people looking for work can hook up. Independent writers and bloggers can get paid per project, per hour, or per article/post. Your income will depend on your skill level and ability to market yourself. There are millions of bloggers that make absolutely nothing, while the best copywriters can earn $100s per hour.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants usually work for entrepreneurs or executives. They are tasked with handling social media updates, email, bookkeeping, online research, data entry, travel research, scheduling, and more. oDesk has over 25,000 job postings for virtual assistant and pay can be hourly or salary. If you’re comfortable with administrative type work, a virtual assistant may be the job for you.

Translator

If you can speak more than one language, and particularly if you have an understanding of the cultural differences of those speaking the languages, you have a great chance of working as a translator. Translator and interpreter jobs are expected to increase 42% between 2010 and 2020.

Median salary for translators is $43,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don't Get Duped

Finally, when looking for work-at-home opportunities, don't be fooled by online scams. Although some opportunities are more entrepreneurial in nature (like affiliate marketer or franchise owner)  and therefore exempt from the following list, most legit work-from-home jobs can be identified by:

  • The company is established.
  • Live person is available to answer questions about the position.
  • There is an application and/or interview process.
  • Clear outline of expectations.
  • Benefits like health and vacation.

Get Paid

Once you've landed your new career, you can work from the comfort of your own home—or from the coffee shop for that matter. But remember this: it is a job. So treat it like one.

Now that you're aware of just a few ways you can make money from home, all that's left to do is get started.

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