One question I get asked a lot is, “Every company seems to want previous telecommuting experience, so how can I work from home with no experience?”
When you are new to working at home, seeing that phrase on a job listing is a huge bummer. But you do have a few options for getting your foot in the door and finally landing your first work-at-home job!
Get an Entry-Level Job at Home
There are quite a few companies and industries as a whole that don’t care if you have had a remote job in the past. With some, you may find the work isn’t consistent or maybe not the best-paying, but they will provide you with some work experience to put on your résumé when applying to your dream remote work gig.
Here are a few companies that often hire folks with no prior experience:
Customer Service Jobs That Don’t Require Experience
This line of work doesn’t need much explanation. In most positions, you are assisting customers by phone. Some companies hiring for this position are more interested in your skill set than whether you have worked remotely before. They are looking for great customer service skills, no background noise, and the ability to take direction. They also usually have tech requirements including a landline phone and high-speed Internet access.
Accolade Support hires independent contractors for a variety of work-from-home jobs including outbound sales telemarketers and customer service agents. Workers must have excellent customer service and communication skills as well as a U.S.-based accent. Technical requirements for this job require an up-to-date PC with a cable modem and a quiet working space without background noise.
Accolade Support hires independent contractors for a variety of work-from-home positions including outbound sales telemarketers and customer service agents. Workers must have excellent customer service and communication skills as well as a U.S.-based accent. Technical requirements for this job require an up-to-date PC with a cable modem and a quiet working space without background noise.
Aspira seeks work-from-home call center agents in multiple U.S states to assist customers with camping reservations as well as hunting and fishing licenses. There are no outbound calls or sales requirements. Aspira pays hourly and payment is issued bi-weekly, W2 is provided so you will be an employee, not an independent contractor. Employees must have their own landline and high-speed internet. Training for this position is paid and you can work from the comfort of your own home.
NextWave Advocacy hires independent contractors for both calling and writing jobs regarding current political issues. Workers can enjoy a variety of tasks, as each project is different. The hours are flexible and differ by project but evening and Saturday hours are typically offered. Workers for NextWave Advocacy are independent contractors but will work with a team of experienced leaders who are always available to help. Pay starts at $12 per hour and payments are issued on a weekly basis. Workers can work from home or anywhere in a quiet work environment.
OnPoint Advocacy offers at-home workers rewarding and varied work as work-from-home phone advocacy coordinators. No sales or fundraising calls are required and all calls are outbound so you don’t have to sit by the phone waiting for potential leads. Workers must have a PC computer with a USB headset and high-speed internet. A minimum of 25 hours per week is requested and most projects last between 2-12 weeks. Payment is issued weekly.
Conduent -Conduent is looking for Tier 1 Tech support advisors to provide troubleshooting for their customers. They’re keen to find people who are good at figuring out how technology works and multitasking across various programs. They’re interested in providing their customers with a top-flight customer service experience, so they want troubleshooters who are also friendly and engaging with the self-discipline to remain professional while working from home. They do want their prospective advisors to have 6 months of experience in customer service – but that experience can come from previously working via phone, chat, or in person. Pretty much all of us have that these days, especially if you’ve ever worked retail! Schedules are flexible, falling between 7 AM CST and 11 PM CST. This is a full-time, work-at-home position with benefits.
Brighten Communications – With this company, you’ll be performing telemarketing calls from home – all business to business, focusing on lead generation. You can work flexible hours – available shifts fall between 8 AM EST to 5 PM PST (note the different time zones there). The days run from Monday to Thursday. Their clients work in industries from finance to technology, and all you need to work with them is a professional phone demeanor and access to a computer with an Internet connection at home. They advertise their hourly wage as being up to $18.
NexRep – If you’re friendly and good on the phone, NexRep may be a good choice for you. They’re hiring independent contractors to provide customer service for their clients via email, inbound calls, and outbound calls. Their clients include companies from automotive and As Seen On TV infomercials to GrubHub, Priceline, music streaming, and more. You can work flexible hours with room to grow, and hourly pay reportedly averages between $15 to $25.
Alorica@Home – Working for Alorica is another job that’ll keep you on the phone, and is great for outgoing, productive people working from home. Alorica provides outsourced communication solutions to companies across a vast array of industries – according to their website, you might help with insurance billing in one call, provide technical assistance on another, to the reservation and booking questions on the next. If your job search is primarily focusing on entry-level jobs, this could be a great opportunity. They provide paid training and offer some medical benefits, while hourly payment is guaranteed to meet your local minimum wage.
Sykes – Sykes provides companies with outsourced customer service solutions, and they do this globally. Right now, they’re looking for full-time customer service representatives to work for them from home. Their customer service reps field calls from many different industries – from healthcare providers to cable companies – and they spend their time processing transactions, resolving customer concerns, answering questions, and more. They need empathetic, outgoing people who are good on the phone, especially if those people have customer service expertise! You must have a Windows PC with a high-speed Internet connection, and headsets. This position includes benefits and hourly pay reportedly averages between $9 and $10.
Vicky Virtual – Vicky Virtual is looking for virtual assistants who can handle small businesses’ phone calls and provide excellent customer service. Virtual assistant jobs include inbound calls, receptionist duties, and booking appointments, among others. You must have a home computer and a good Internet connection, and be able to take calls via your computer with a headset. Vicky Virtual has clients across many different industries and is a growing company, so you must be able to multitask and have an upbeat, engaging persona. You must be able to type at 50 WPM or higher, take accurate notes, and enter data into various programs as required. Payment is a $10 hourly wage.
Pleio – Pleio is a unique opportunity! They’re looking for GoodStart Mentors who can help people who are just starting a new medication get into a good routine for taking it. They’d like you to have customer service experience, but work-at-home experience isn’t required. You should also have excellent reading comprehension, pay close attention to detail, be computer-savvy, and be patient and courteous. It’s important to note that you are NOT eligible to be a GoodStart Mentor if you are a licensed or registered doctor or nurse, or a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Otherwise, they just have some technical requirements: landline telephone, Windows PC running Windows 7 or higher, and either a DSL or cable Internet connection. They give you a script to follow and have you call customers who’ve opted into the program – absolutely no sales – and advise them how to take their new prescription. On average, they pay between $14 and $18 an hour.
Direct Interactions – Direct Interactions is looking for independent agents to both make and receive customer calls via telephone. The basic requirements state you must be 18 or older, and you should have a high school diploma or equivalent. That’s it. They’re not hiring in HI, MA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, or Washington D.C. To qualify for the position, make sure you have a home landline telephone, a PC (running Windows 7.8 or 10) with high-speed Internet access, and a USB headset. You should also be very responsible, self-motivated, a great communicator, and be able to both quickly identify problems and quickly offer solutions. Pay is between $10 – $12 hourly, and most only hire part-time. Payment is made via direct deposit twice a month.
Sitel – Sitel seeks at-home employees in many U.S states to assist with customers’ calls regarding things like billing inquiries, product or service orders, and installation scheduling. Many benefits are provided for Sitel employees such as paid training, medical, 401k, and vacation time. Both part-time and full-time work is available. Technical specifications require employees to have a PC desktop or laptop, high-speed wired internet, and an approved USB headset.
Working Solutions – Working Solutions hires at-home call agents to help with customer experiences. Workers have more flexibility and are able to choose their own hours and work as little or as much as they want. Payment varies per project but workers can earn anywhere between $9 to $30 USD per hour. Working Solutions provides flexible schedules and allows both part-time and full-time work. Workers must provide an up-to-date computer, landline phone, and USB headsets.
Yardi Matrix – Yardi Matrix seeks at-home workers to conduct surveys regarding commercial real estate. Work hours are offered between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM within surveyed time zones. Workers will be paid a base rate per hour with bonus pay for each call. High-speed internet access and long-distance telephone service are required. No selling is required and workers must display good telephone etiquette.
Non-Phone Jobs That Don’t Require Experience
Fancy Hands offers virtual assistant roles to at-home workers. The work is varied and will include tasks like scheduling appointments, price tracking, data entries, and finding hotels. Workers should have a reliable computer and high-speed internet connection, and an audio headset. Workers are paid by the task, tasks are worth anything between $3-7 USD. Payments are made every other week via Dwolla.
ModSquad hires at-home workers who are pros in moderating forums, chatting with customers, and using social media. Workers can work from any quiet location anytime! Workers can work from many countries around the world and being bilingual is a plus! A computer, high-speed internet access, as well as a private workspace, is required. Payment varies per assignment and moderators with technical skills and different native languages can be paid extra.
At-home workers can be paid to transcribe audio clips at Rev.com. Workers can choose the projects they would like to complete so the work is varied and interesting. You can work as much or as little as preferred! Transcriptionists are paid every Monday via PayPal. The work can be completed from anywhere with high-speed internet and computer access.
Writers can make money completely online and from home with Textbroker. The work can be done in your free time and you can choose your own hours and projects. Textbroker pays workers weekly and offers several payment options. Workers are offered feedback to help improve and refine writing skills as well as resources with grammar tips and tutorials.
Time Etc. seeks virtual assistants for part-time at-home work. Virtual assistants will complete tasks like scheduling and document editing. Most hours are offered Monday-Friday during the daytime. Applicants with 2-3 years of experience as an assistant are preferred. Workers should commit at least three hours per week and have their own computer and high-speed internet.
TranscribeMe gives at-home workers an opportunity to make money as a transcriptionist. There are many different types of projects workers can choose to complete including audio and video files. Workers for TranscribeMe can work from anywhere in the world as long as they have an up-to-date computer and high-speed internet. Bilingual candidates will have even more opportunities! TranscribeMe pay currently starts at $15 per audio hour with opportunities for even higher rates.
Verblio hires skilled workers who are familiar with SEO-paid writing opportunities! With over 1300 clients in 40 different industries, workers are sure to find a project they are interested in. Jobs range from 300 words to 3000 words. New writers will complete short-form jobs to get started and once you earn 5-star reviews you’ll have access to higher-paying jobs. Verblio workers can make money anywhere in the world where there is a steady internet connection.
WriteScore hires at-home workers as professional scorers. Scorers will help teachers and students by assessing students’ written responses. WriteScore has positions available throughout the year. A two-year college degree is required. As an independent contractor, you can enjoy the benefit of choosing your own schedule as well as working from anywhere you like!
If you’re interested in getting your feet wet with freelance writing, BKA Content may be a good entry-level fit for you. They’re looking for creative, passionate writers to add to their team of content producers. They’re keen on fostering a team mentality with their independent contractors, to keep them motivated and producing. Beyond focusing on motivation online, they also sponsor community events, throw a BBQ every year, and often run writer initiatives like blog competitions and photo contests. Requirements include having access to Microsoft Word and the Internet, along with a Gmail address and a Paypal account. Also, BKA Content hires only US citizens currently. Pay periods are every 2 weeks, and freelancers average between $8 and $14 per hour.
From March through June, Measurement Incorporated hires Reader/Evaluators to score tests in subjects like English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and so forth. No experience is required, but you must have a Bachelor’s degree in any field. They also require a writing sample before they interview you; they’ll also ask for references. Measurement Incorporate provides paid training during set hours, and then Reader/Evaluators work Monday through Friday. Confidentiality is important in this position, and you must have a secure place to do the work. You’ll also need a home computer with high-speed Internet access.
Berlitz – If you enjoy teaching or learning languages, you’ve probably heard of Berlitz. They’re a renowned language-instruction company with locations all over the world. They also have a Virtual Classroom environment where teachers can instruct students anywhere over the Internet. Berlitz considers instructors who have not had any previous teaching experience – generally, you should be fluent in the language you’d like to teach (for example, to teach English, English should be your first language) and have great customer service skills.
Cambly – Cambly is looking for tutors to help ESL students with their English studies. They say no experience is necessary, apart from being a native English speaker. They have students from all over the world looking to video chat with their tutors. Tutors set their own hours, and work as much as they want. Pay is $0.17 per minute, which works out to $10.20 per hour. Cambly pays via Paypal on a weekly basis.
Appen – Appen is a company providing speech and technology services globally – they’re proud to offer services in more than 150 languages. They’re looking for web search evaluators, social media evaluators, language consultants, and more. Web search evaluators work to improve search results, and work a flexible schedule – on average, 4 hours per day. Their hourly pay reportedly averages $12.99. Social media evaluators have a more variable workload and pay, depending on the social media projects – the hourly pay for that position reportedly averages around $13. Requirements include a computer less than 3 years old with high-speed Internet access, and basic competency with installing and troubleshooting applications.
ICUC – ICUC is a social content moderation company; by monitoring and moderating online content on social media platforms, ICUC’s Content Specialists can help protect the brands of ICUC’s clients. That means enforcing the online communities’ safety and usage guidelines, monitoring responses to posts on clients’ social media profiles, developing and posting interactive content to their social streams, identifying problematic behaviors and trends in the online community, and more. No previous WAH experience is required, but you should be highly proficient in the use of social media, be fluent in English, must be interested in the brand you’re supporting, have excellent communication skills, etc.
Way with Words – Way with Words is looking for transcribers in the US! No transcribing experience is required; they’ll just have you do both an online and an offline assessment. You should have excellent hearing and a good understanding of US English to perform this job, along with a wide vocabulary and extensive general knowledge. They also expect their transcribers to hit their deadlines. Pay starts out at $0.40 per audio minute, and they state their best transcribers make up to $1.38 per audio minute.
Focus Forward – This is another transcription company often looking for independent contractors! They don’t list experience as a requirement; instead, you must take and pass a test in order to be considered as a transcriber. If you pass the test, you can set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want. (They advertise themselves as pretty busy, stating they “have a virtually unlimited supply of projects!”) Payment is bi-monthly via Paypal. It generally takes them about 2 business days to process your test. Once you start transcribing with them, you can expect to make $0.40 per audio minute at first, but that rate may increase with your experience, depending on the project.
Find Your Own Gig
You may know a few home business proprietors or small business owners personally. Reach out to these people and ask if they have anything you can do remotely to gain experience. If offering your time at no charge in an intern-type relationship, make sure you are clear about how many hours you are able to work each week and how long your internship will last. I would be hesitant to commit to anything more than a few hours per week – that way, you still have plenty of time to seek out and apply for paying jobs.
Another great option – perhaps an even better option – is bartering. Maybe the business owner can offer you something from their product or service lines in exchange for your work.
Getting the Job Without Experience
Play Up the Strengths Employers are Looking For
As we heard in a recent interview, “I want to work from home” is not a qualifier for a job. When employers are looking for prior telecommuting experience, it’s usually because they are trying to avoid turnover and want someone who will commit to the job and the company. A few things you may want to play up on your application and résumé:
- Time Management Skills
- Ability to Follow Directions
Think Outside the Box
Maybe you do have some work-at-home experience you are overlooking. Maybe you have been a direct sales consultant. Perhaps you have owned a home business of another kind. Both qualify as experiences you could highlight. And make sure you mention the important tasks and personal skills required to run your business that is relevant to the job you’d like to land.
Whatever direction you take – maybe all three mentioned above – I don’t want you to give up hope. Remember, every single one of us working from home successfully today started out with no experience. The greatest thing you can do to increase your chances of getting a work-at-home job is to apply to those jobs you want – and then apply some more!
One of my favorite places to find entry-level work-at-home jobs is FlexJobs. Membership is required, but it’s inexpensive and you can cancel at any time. Once signed up, head over to the Advanced Search tab and click Telecommuting Level 100% > Career Level Entry-Level to serve up new leads.
Now, what are you waiting for? You’ve now got a big list of work-at-home job leads requiring no experience plus all those tips I gave you above. Get out there and make a living! You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas to do it – although I generally recommend that you do! (Fuzzy slippers are always fine, though.) Don’t forget to hit the comments and share any good, no-experience-required online jobs we might have missed.
Originally published in April 2017. Updated November 2022.