Working remotely is the dream for many people. No commute, no suit and tie, and no one there to micromanage every minute. It almost sounds too good to be true.
There are huge benefits for working remotely, and more workers are quitting their traditional 9-5 job and working from home. A 2017 study by Gallup found that 43% of Americans work from home at least part of the time. Those that do work from home are starting to work remotely for longer periods more often.
Luckily, there are some great jobs you can do from home. Here are some of the most popular options.
1. Customer Service
Many big companies are beginning to outsource their customer service departments to remote workers. In this position, you will often be interacting with customers on behalf of the company. You will probably be handling complaints, solving problems, or help them use the service. You likely will be required to speak with customers on the phone or through a chat service. Some times these positions are seasonal.
To work as a customer service representative, you should meet these standard requirements:
- Access to a quiet work environment
- High-speed wired internet connection
- Basic computer skills
- High school diploma or GED
- Ability to commit to a regular schedule, with possible weekend hours
Qualified candidates will likely be able to problem solve, have good communication skills, and work independently.
Companies that are hiring:
2. Writer or Editor
Freelance writers or editors will often be hired and paid per writing assignment or batch of writing assignments. A degree in journalism or English is not always necessary, but a firm grasp on the English language and grammar rules is vital.
You will also have to be self-motivated and organized to excel in this role. As a writer, you likely will be paid by the word and not by the hour, which means you must be dedicated to finishing the task at hand to make a living.
Every owner of a blog, online website, eBook, and more need online content to fill their pages. Strong research skills are also recommended, as well as some experience in the area you wish to write about online.
Some types of jobs you might be required to write about include:
- Blog posts
- Ghostwritten materials
- SEO articles
- Teaching Materials
- eCommerce Descriptions
Job boards are often an effective way to get started as a freelance writer. Here are a few of the best:
3. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is much more than just a secretary. In this role, you might be responsible for email management, blog management, graphic design, transcription, customer service, social media, and more. Anything that a client might want to outsource, you will be responsible for taking over for them.
If you decide to work on your own as a VA and not through a company, you can decide to offer different services that fit your skills. However, many virtual assistants will choose to work for a company first to gain experience before forming their own business.
These companies are frequently hiring virtual assistants:
Transcription can be a low-pay job starting out, but as you advance in the field, you can earn a full-time living.
Depending on the company, you might need training or be required to purchase equipment. Medical, legal, and general are the three major categories for transcription work. General transcribing tends to be easier to find work in, while legal and medical transcription work tends to require experience. If you want to work as a medical transcriptionist, you likely will need an AHDI-approved certificate.
To be effective at this job, you must be able to type error-free copy quickly (60+ WPM) and meet tight deadlines. Your spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills must also be above average.
Some of the equipment that you might need is a high-quality headset, a quiet place to work in, a computer with fast internet access, and specialized software. You might be required to purchase a foot pedal which can help improve your productivity.
Companies that typically hire:
5. Data Entry
Data entry jobs require no prior training, but you must have strong computer and typing skills. The ideal candidate will also be organized, have good communication skills, and broad knowledge of common programs like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Excel, and more.
Because it requires almost no skills and is easy, it means it can become extremely repetitive. You should be able to handle sitting at your desk for long periods, so it is important to have a comfortable home office, a home computer with high-speed internet access, and a number pad because you will likely be entering many numbers.
Data entry is a great way to break into the work-at-home industry, but because of that, legitimate data entry jobs can be challenging to find. The competition for these jobs is fierce, and the pay is often low. Keep in mind for these positions that the waitlist is usually extremely long.
However, here a few companies that will occasionally hire. Check their websites often to see when they post jobs.
6. Travel Agent
For those who are incredibly well-organized and love to plan vacations, you might want to consider becoming a travel agent. As a travel agent, you can choose to work independently, with an agency, or for a corporation.
Depending on what type of company you end up working for, you might be required to take phone calls or emails and be very responsive to any type of inquiries that come in. To be qualified to work as a travel agent, you likely won’t need a license or degree in travel. Instead, you should have a love of travel. However, some positions might require you to have prior experience working as a travel agent.
Some companies that are typically hiring include:
Nearly all accounting needs can be fulfilled online, and many small businesses turn towards remote bookkeepers or accountants to meet those needs. While an accountant will have a degree or certification, a bookkeeper position often does not require any special education.
A bookkeeper will be responsible for:
- Paying bills
- Collecting payments on invoices
- Creating financial reports
- Updating financial records
- Posting financial records within the computer system
- Putting debits and credits in the right accounts.
Because a bookkeeper will not be advising organizations on financial records, no previous experience is necessary. However, some companies do want to hire a bookkeeper who has experience working in accounts payable, accounts receivable, or in an administrative-type position.
Companies that often hire bookkeepers are:
8. Teacher or Tutor
Teaching English as a second language has become a popular option for many remote workers. You can choose to teach conversational or business English. The main requirement is that you are a native speaker who understands idioms and cultural phrasing.
Most companies require you to have a computer with a high-quality webcam, good lighting, noise-canceling headphones, and quick internet connection. Some additional software might be required, depending on the company.
Many companies cater mostly to children, but some companies specialize in teaching adults English. If you choose to teach English to children, you must be especially high-energy, use big hand gestures, and act out each word. To help with your classes, you might choose to use props like puppets, toys, whiteboards, flashcards, pictures, or anything else to help convey the lesson.
You likely won’t have to plan the lessons by yourself, as most companies have a set curriculum and teaching system in place. This type of job is well-suited for people who need a job outside the traditional work hours. Many ESL companies work with overseas students in China, South Korea, and Japan, meaning you might be working before the sun rises.
A university degree is not required for some companies, but, a recent law in China does require that all ESL teachers have a university degree. Most companies will require you to have TESOL, TEFL, or an equivalent certificate and ask that you commit to 10 hours a week, including weekends. Experience working with children is often encouraged.
Here are some companies that are hiring:
Those are just a few jobs you can do from home. Which will you choose?