13 Best Work From Home Jobs

Man working from home office

Getty ImagesIvanko_Brnjakovic

In this increasingly digital world, there has never been a better time to work from home. At-home jobs are a great work alternative, whether you are struggling to secure a local gig, need to stay home for your own health or to care for a loved one, or simply don’t relish the thought of hustling to a workplace every day.

More than 40 million Americans work remotely, according to the advocacy group Telework Coalition, even if it’s just a part-time side hustle to supplement their income. And as the economy improves, more companies will be looking for additional staff to telecommute. For remote jobs, you’ll need a computer and an Internet connection, some basic skills, and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of employment areas that are booming right now, plus find even more ways to make money from home.

The Job: Airbnb Host

What It Pays: $924 per month on average

Perfect For: Someone with spare space who loves meeting new people and knows all the hot spots in town.

What It Is: Short-term rental sites allow you to list your property for guests vacationing in your area to book. If you keep a clean house and love to host, consider putting your guest room (or guest house!) up on the site.

How to Get It: Visit Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway to get started.

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The Job: Petsitting

What It Pays: Potentially $1,000 per month

Perfect For: Dog lovers with plenty of love (and snuggles) to give.

What It Is: Watch people’s pups—and get paid for it! Easier than babysitting, petsitting for out-of-town dog owners can be a fun, therapeutic way to make money on the side. Set your own rates and choose whether they come to your house or you go to theirs. Plus, you’ll get a workout chasing your new four-legged friends around!

How to Get It: Sign up to become a sitter at DogVacay and Rover or a dog-walker at Wag.

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The Job: Virtual Assistant

What It Pays: Around $10 to $15 an hour

Perfect for: Someone who is very organized with the ability to multitask.

What It Is: Many companies hire self-employed virtual assistants to save employment costs. You will perform typical office duties from home such as replying to emails, managing calendars, entering data, and assisting with social media.

How to Get It: Start with websites like Upwork.com, FlexJobs.com, and PeoplePerHour.com to find freelance opportunities related to virtual assisting.

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The Job: Transcriptionist

What It Pays: Up to $25 per hour or more

Perfect For: Someone looking for a flexible job that requires little to no prior experience.

What It Is: Transcription essentially involves you listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. Easy enough, right? Companies usually hire transcriptionists without much experience, so some job postings might only require you to have a computer and keyboard to get started. Transcription jobs can vary from transcribing a college lecture to a doctor’s medical dictation, while most companies allow you to make your own schedule.

How to Get It: As a beginner, you can find entry-level transcription jobs on TranscribeAnywhere.com, TranscribeMe.com, and Quicktate.com. Most employers give out a short writing test to measure your typing accuracy and attention to detail before you receive any official tasks.

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The Job: Customer Service Representative

What It Pays: $8 to $18 an hour

Perfect For: “People” people with patience to spare who are good at talking on the phone while on the computer.

What It Is: Companies are looking for workers with excellent speaking abilities and solid computer skills to help customers find a correct size, place an order or resolve a conflict. Both full- and part-time positions are available, and you are generally required to devote a four-hour block of time.

How to Get It: Customer service is the biggest work-at-home field, with companies including Spiegel, Hilton, Best Western, HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS and many others using at-home reps. Fill out an application with staffing companies such as Arise, Alpine Access, VIPdesk, LiveOps, and Convergys, all of which vet the companies who are hiring through them. If you need benefits, search through a staffing company that will hire you as an employee (Alpine Access, VIPdesk and Convergys do this) rather than an independent contractor. If you’re a contractor, you may be asked to pay a small fee (between $15 and $35) for a background check. While a fee can be a sign of a scam, independent contractors are responsible for their own expenses.

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The Job: Survey Taker

What It Pays: $1 to $50 per survey, depending on how much time is required

Perfect For: The person who always has an opinion.

What It Is: You might take an opinion poll, answer questions about shopping habits or review a product. You’re generally paid in cash (PayPal or mailed check) or with points that can be redeemed for gift cards.

How to Get It: Visit companies such as DarwinsData.com, PineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search “surveys” on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment.

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The Job: Website Tester

What It Pays: $10 to $15 per test

Perfect For: The detail-oriented web-surfer.

What It Is: Many companies pay online testers to make sure websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. “You basically follow the instructions you’re given to check out the website,” says Anna Thurman, founder of RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com, a site that has reviewed more than 500 online work opportunities. “It usually only takes about 15 minutes per test.” Thurman recommends registering with 10 to 12 different companies since the opportunities to test these sites are doled out first come, first served. “There are people who make $100 to $200 a month by staying on top of those tests,” Thurman says.

How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com, and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you’re in the system, you’ll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you’re one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren’t expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.

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The Job: The Job: Vlogger (Film and Post How-To Videos)

What It Pays: $1 to $2 per 1,000 hits; Payment depends on how many people click on your video. Views on popular YouTube tutorials range from 20,000 to 300,000 and higher.

Perfect For: The self-taught creative genius.

What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? “Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy,” says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. “These can easily be turned into profits.” Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you’re more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) “Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program,” Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. “The key is to put a unique spin on your video,” says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.

How to Get It:If you shot the video with your phone, open the YouTube app and hit “send.” If you’re uploading from a computer, visit YouTube, and click the “upload” button in the upper right corner of the screen. You’ll see a place to drag your video file. To enroll in the partner program, click on YouTube settings, check the circle next to “Allow Advertisements,” then click on “View Additional Features.” On the YouTube monetization page, opt in. Generally, you must earn a minimum before you get paid, and YouTube pays monthly—if you don’t earn enough in one month, the balance rolls over.

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The Job: Corporate English Trainer

What It Pays: Around $15 an hour

Perfect For: Native English speakers with basic computer skills and an interest in other cultures who love chatting online or over the phone. Office experience is very helpful, since most students work in a corporate environment.You also need your own computer and a high-speed Internet connection. If you’re bilingual, that’s a plus.

What It Is: Students in countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype—sometimes at night, because you’re working with students in different time zones. You need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and can work as many as 35 hours.

How to Get It: GoFluent.com is an English training company working with 12 of the world’s largest corporations. There are also jobs out there for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, which are more structured. Visit ISUS (iSpeakUSpeak.com), a placement and training company. While a degree in education or ESL is ideal, you are encouraged to apply if you are enthusiastic and articulate.

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The Job: Telephone Nurse

What It Pays: Competitive with a regular nursing salary, which is $50,000 or more

Perfect For: Someone with a nursing degree.

What It Is: Health insurers or other health management companies, including Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, hire nurses remotely to perform duties like case management, treatment authorization and patient education.

How to Get It: To find the right position for you, check out the listings at major medical-job placement firms like MedicalJobsOnline.com, The Judge Group (Judge.com), and MedZilla (Medzilla.com).

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The Job: Search Engine Evaluator

What It Pays: $9 to $10 an hour

Perfect For: English speakers who are up on movies and music, as well as those familiar with other cultures.

What It Is: Companies like Google and Yahoo! give you information to search for, and you tell them how closely their results matched what you were looking for. Does a search for Lady Antebellum turn up sites about the music group or links to pre–Civil War period information? If you are Latina, for example, you might be asked to search the way a Spanish speaker might perform a search in English. Jobs are usually between 10 to 25 hours a week.

How to Get It: Most companies hire through firms like Leapforce At Home and Appen Butler Hill.

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The Job: Online Teacher

What It Pays: The average salary for the first year is around $30,000; teachers of some subjects are paid more than others.

Perfect For: Teachers who don’t want a typical school schedule.

What It Is: Instead of standing in a classroom, you’ll teach via Skype or in a prerecorded session. There’s a growing demand for teachers in all subjects, but especially core topics like English, history and science.

How to Get It: Check out K12 (K12.com) and Connections Academy (ConnectionsAcademy.com). Both organizations offer various benefits—including health insurance, retirement savings accounts and paid time off—depending on where you live. As in any job where you work with kids, there will be a background and reference check as well as interviews. You may also need to be licensed to teach in the state where the students reside.

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The Job: Virtual Tutor

What It Pays: $12 to $35 an hour

Perfect For: People who only have pockets of time to work and an extensive knowledge of or expertise in a subject, or are fluent in a foreign language.

What It Is: You work with a student who needs extra help, usually for a half-hour over the phone or Skype.

How to Get It: Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com), Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com) all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a background check before you are hired.

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How to Know if You’re Getting Scammed

Watch for these red flags when you look for online moneymaking opportunities.

•The website has no contact information. A legitimate business has a way for you to reach them. Look for an “About” page that offers information on the company or CEO, along with a phone number, address or contact email. (Try calling the number to see if anyone answers.) A website with only a contact form and no other way to get in touch with an actual human is suspicious.

•It sounds too good to be true. The promise that you’ll make thousands of dollars a week at home is never the reality.

•There are complaints online. Do a quick Internet search: Type in the website’s name and “scam” and see what pops up. If people have been taken for a ride, they’ll usually have posted about it.

•There’s a fee. Most legitimate sites won’t charge you to sign up. There are a few exceptions—such as membership to a legitimate job board, like FlexJobs.com, which posts freelance and telecommuting positions—but if you’re not sure why you’re paying a fee, look elsewhere.

Sources: Christine Durst, cofounder, RatRaceRebellion.com; Holly Hanna, founder of TheWorkAtHomeWoman.com blog; Amy Robinson, chief marketing officer, Direct Selling Association; Lois Greisman, associate director, division of marketing, FTC.

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