These are the top types work-from-jobs. You may have these demand skills to become an independent contractor right now.
Not all work-at-home jobs are for corporate employees. Many people work for firms as freelancers, choosing to form their own businesses. As noted in several instances above, companies are increasingly turning to these independent contractors to fill a variety of positions. Working from home also offers the opportunity for those who have the time and organizational skills to manage two or three jobs at once. It is not uncommon for enterprising types to eventually turn a freelance work-from-home job opportunity into a small business, even to the extent of employing others.
Here are some of the most common work-from-home options. Some are more on the unskilled/entry-level side, while others require specialized training and expertise.
Think of a virtual assistant as an off-site secretary. A traditional secretary comes with many expenses to a company, and if the company is small, it may not need a full-timer. Virtual assistants work from home, often communicating with the boss via chat, Facetime, Slack, or another real-time service. They can do most of what a traditional administrative assistant does—responding to emails, creating business documents, calling clients, scheduling appointments, handling social media, bookkeeping and data entry—but at a lower cost. Key talents for this sort of job include good communication skills and some office experience.
International companies need translators all the time. They may translate files and documents, or transcribe and translate conversations and conference calls. People who speak uncommon languages are even more in demand, and these home-based jobs are plentiful.
Call center/customer service representatives
Many companies, large and small, outsource their customer service work to home-based agents. Since some English-speaking customers may have trouble communicating with agents who speak English as a second language, or have heavy accents, a growing number of firms are seeking more call-center workers in the U.S.
Most of these types of jobs entail inbound calls, helping people with orders or account information, but some also require outbound calling. Most also come with a set work schedule—though the pay is often by the hour (or sometimes minute), while you’re on an actual call. The typical qualifications needed for this type of job are good communication and people skills, with most employers requiring a background check. An outgrowth of the traditional customer service job is that of the chat agent, who answers customer questions live via the company’s website or social media.
Data entry and transcription
Although they can be two different types of jobs, data entry and transcription jobs usually require the same skills and qualifications. Data entry involves entering facts and figures into a software program or spreadsheet. It could involve entering payroll data, catalog or inventory items, or working with a customer relationship management system.
Transcription work involves creating documents from audio files. This is typically done for businesses that need documentation of meetings, workshops, conference calls, or podcasts. In most cases, the employer provides the software and content management system needed for the work. For both jobs, employers generally look for detail-oriented people with good typing skills.
With the growth of online education, there is a growing demand for online instructors. Virtual schools are popping up everywhere, offering elementary-, high school- and college-level programs of study; faculty can typically work from anywhere.
While many online teaching jobs require teaching credentials, jobs for online tutors do not (although an educational background is often desired). Tutors for advanced subjects, such as calculus and physics, can earn a higher hourly rate. There are also opportunities to simply do standardized test scoring at home. Scoring jobs may require a teaching background or a college degree, at a minimum.