Work-at-homers come from all walks of life. We all have different educational and professional backgrounds. We all have different reasons for wanting to work from home. We also all have our own sets of challenges and strengths.
Many of us, however, are looking to make a life change. We don’t so much care about going into the same field of work we are coming from. We are willing to try new things as we enter this next stage of our lives.
Some of us want to loosen up our finances a bit with some extra spending cash. Others want to create or replace a full-time income. No matter what, we all want to start making money from home.
If any of that sounds like you, but you aren’t quite sure how to begin, you’re in the right place! This is a great list of stay-at-home jobs for beginners. Let’s jump in!
Answering customer service and sales calls is one of the most plentiful and easy-to-attain work at home opportunities around. Not only do many online retailers contract virtual workers, there are several companies that handle the virtual call centers of several businesses.
Most of these remote jobs require high-speed internet and a landline to receive incoming calls. While this may not be your dream job, the pay is usually pretty good. That $10 to $15 per hour can certainly help pay the bills while you find the perfect side hustle.
Transcription is listening to an audio file and putting it into text. While many companies hire without experience, you will need to have excellent typing speed and accuracy. Transcription is almost always production-based, meaning you get paid by the audio minute and not how long it takes you to type it. The faster you type, the higher your hourly income.
If you’re interested in being a transcriptionist but you aren’t sure how your typing skills measure up, you can take the free typing test at TypingTest.com. There are lots of programs, software, and apps you can buy to learn how to type faster, or use the free typing course available at Typing.com to practice your new skills.
These companies offer at-home transcription work:
You may also be able to find transcription work at sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Learn more about transcription in this free 7-day series.
Usually, people who don’t want to work customer service by phone don’t mind doing it by chat. Unfortunately, that means the competition for these positions can be high. Like most independent contractor customer service positions, most of these companies only pay for the minutes you are actually servicing customers as opposed to hours logged in. That usually averages out to around $10 per hour with most companies, with some minimum wage.
Like transcription work, you need to be able to type well if you’re going to succeed as a chat agent. Aim for typing 60 words per minute to do well, though some jobs only require a minimum speed between 30 and 40 wpm.
If you want to look into becoming a Chat Agent, check out these companies:
Companies like Uber and Apple also hire at-home chat agents, so don’t overlook the opportunity to work for large companies you know and recognize. You can also search for chat agent jobs on job sites like Upwork, Indeed, and FlexJobs.
Search Engine Evaluation
Many people really enjoy evaluating search engine results and rating ads for quality. No phone is involved and the pay is pretty good, usually around $13 to $15 per hour. It’s also flexible allowing you to work around other commitments. The only complaint is usually that work isn’t as readily available as many would like. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t something you can depend on to cover all of your bills. But, it’s still a good gig to cover some.
This is another industry in which there is an endless amount of work for those with the want and right skill set. Skill set doesn’t mean a degree in journalism or English however, it simply means good grammar and research skills.
Freelance writing is also very lucrative once you break out on your own and get away from the “content mills” (sites that offer articles for sale cheap and pay their writer accordingly). If you are looking to dabble in online content writing without any commitment, check out the sites below. Just be aware that you have better options. When you are ready to commit to an awesome career, learn how to stop writing for pennies.
If you want to get an idea of other types of work that are available for freelance writers, check out these freelance writing job boards:
- All Indie Writers Freelance Job Board
- Blogger Jobs
- Funds for Writers
- Journalism Jobs
- Morning Coffee E-Newsletter
- ProBlogger Job Board
- Simply Hired
- Writers Weekly
- Freelance Writer's Den
Even though many of us have moved our conversations to private groups on Facebook and Google+, there are still plenty of booming forums out there. Those forums need moderators to keep out the spam and answer questions. Some of these gigs also carry over to social networks and even blogs.
Do be aware there is a lot of competition for these openings and the pay isn’t always great – usually around $8 to $10 per hour. However, it’s easy work and can usually be done with other activities.
- Sue on the Web (Online Community Jobs)
Most people do not consider mystery shopping much of a job nor much of working at home. It’s true that the work can be sporadic and you have to leave the house in most cases. However, it can provide a good income when done correctly.
Not all jobs require you to leave the house, and some jobs will be for the types of things you might do anyway. There is phone mystery shopping available at some companies. And, product demonstration also falls into this category. That can pay very well. Check out this post for a huge list of mystery shopping companies.
If you’re intrigued by telephone mystery shopping, you can check out these companies:
- ARC Call Performance Solutions
- Perception Strategies
- Reality Based Group
- Secret Shopper
- Yardi Matrix
This is another one with irregular work but good pay. For most of these jobs, you’ll need a working microphone and some “screen capture” software (like ScreenFlow or Camtasia). Most of these jobs require a test to be sure your technology is working right.
Providing website owners and app developers with feedback usually pays around $10 to $15 for 15 to 20 minutes of work. There’s a lot of competition for just a few gigs, so you’re not looking at a huge money-maker…probably more like some extra spending money. That said, it’s a nice intro to working from home and the online work world.
These companies are hiring for at-home user testers. Sign up with several companies and consider the earnings a little bonus when work becomes available.
- Erli Bird
- User Intelligence
Tutoring is something most of us know about doing in person, and that’s certainly always an option. If you’re skilled at something that others need to learn — anything from playing the piano to speaking a foreign language to basic high school geometry — you can start tutoring from home (or near home) and make a great hourly rate.
There’s nothing stopping you from putting up a flier and contacting the local schools, PTAs, or college departments to advertise your tutoring services. You can also post an ad on Craigslist or in community websites and publications.
Tutoring is also something you can do easily online. Quite a few online tutoring companies hire at-home tutors to give lessons on the computer using video and chat. You’ll need reliable, high-speed internet to be able to tutor from home, and most (but not all) companies have a minimum education requirement with the exception of those teaching English online who may not have a teacher's degree prerequisite.
These are some companies hiring online tutors:
- Homework Tutoring
- Reasoning Mind
Whether you have any formal graphic design training, or you just have a good eye for things, there’s a huge market for online graphic design work.
Most people think graphic design means logos, but that’s nowhere near everything that falls under graphic design. If you’re great at any of these:
- putting together brochures, handouts, and informational fliers
- making custom invitations, photo collages, or first-day-of school chalkboard printouts
- creating flashy, interesting images to use on social media (like Facebook or Twitter)
- coming up with cute designs for a blog, ebook, or printable pack
- creating “pins” to attach to blog posts on Pinterest
… great news! These are all graphic design, and these services are all in demand.
Doing graphic design at home often involves freelancing rather than working for a traditional company, but there are several sites that make it easy to find basic graphic design work:
- People Per Hour
- 99 designs
You can use these sites to get all of your work to come to you instead of you going out to find work. They make a great source of steady income, and the more work you do for them, the more visible you’ll become. Then, later, if you get really into working from home and you want to turn it into something larger than a side hustle, you can get your business established on your favorite platforms and then go off on your own when you’re ready.
These are all great stay at home jobs for getting your feet wet in the work at home world. I’d love to hear about your first virtual job.
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