Earn a steady paycheck without ever leaving your house. These easy work-at-home job ideas will have you earning cash in no time.
If you don’t relish the thought of hustling to a workplace every day or you’re having a hard time securing a local gig, there’s never been a better time to work from home: More than 40 million Americans do it, according to the advocacy group Telework Coalition. And as the economy improves, more companies will be looking for additional staff. For most at-home jobs, you’ll need a computer and an Internet connection, some basic skills and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of 12 employment areas that are booming right now.
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.
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.
What It Pays: $1 to $50 per survey, depending on how much time is required
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.
What It Pays: $10 to $15 per test
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. It usually only takes about 15 minutes per test. Regisgter with 10 to 12 different companies since the opportunities to test these sites are doled out first come, first served.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
What It Pays: It depends on the company, but you typically take home 20% to 35% of sales in commissions.
Perfect For: Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, loads of energy and a love of meeting new people.
What It Is: Think Avon or Mary Kay—you organize get-togethers to sell a company’s wares, whether those are bath products, gardening supplies, books or wine. Over time, you build a base of clients.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Pampered Chef (kitchenware), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more) and Avon (cosmetics; which only has a $25 startup fee). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website at DirectSelling411.org—all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
Digital Altitude is an online direct selling company. See links below.
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.
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.
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.com, AlpineAccess.com, VIPdesk.com, LiveOps.com, and Convergys.com, 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.
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.
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.