October 26, 2020

Real Work from Home Jobs: Beginner's Guide

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Working remotely is more popular than ever. Read this review to discover the best work-from-home careers available.

If you're self-motivated, an online job can provide increased flexibility, help you save money, and give you a better work-life balance. And many of these opportunities are legit, full-time careers.

Here's a list of the top work-from-home jobs and side hustles. Plus, discover the best sites for remote job listings and how to avoid scams.

Best Online Jobs

Whether you're self-employed or working for someone else, there are several real remote careers to choose from. Here are a few full- and part-time positions.

1. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants help business owners with administrative tasks, like scheduling appointments, answering emails/phone calls, and making travel arrangements.

As a virtual assistant, you'll typically communicate with your clients via Skype or Zoom, so a strong internet connection is essential.

To get started, browse job sites like Upwork and Freelancer.

Potential Earnings:

  • $12-$18/hour

Requirements:

  • Most clients require intermediate experience with Microsoft Office suite
  • Strong communication skills and attention to detail

2. Translator

If you're fluent in at least two languages, consider working as an interpreter or translator.

Translation services have tremendous job growth, especially for recent college graduates. Many companies need bilinguals to manage their translation projects.

Your pay depends on how skilled you are and which languages you know. Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Japanese are always in high demand. And make sure you're comfortable working under tight deadlines.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average rate is $26/hour

Requirements:

  • College degree

3. Online Teacher

As more schools and parents use online education to supplement or replace in-class schooling altogether, there is growing demand for remote learning.

The most desired subjects are English, science, and math. Classes are usually taught on Skype, Zoom, or are pre-recorded. If you teach K-12 online, you'll receive benefits like health insurance, retirement, and paid time off.

Since you're working with kids, you'll need to pass a background check and provide references.

If you're not a licensed teacher, you can create educational courses on platforms like Outschool, where you can earn an average of $50/hour.

More options for remote-learning jobs
With Udemy and Skillshare, you can develop your own courses and sell them online. You won't make as much on these platforms, but they can be good supplemental income.
  • Udemy course creators usually make $15-$30/hour
  • Skillshare teachers earn an average of $200/month

Potential Earnings:

  • Around $41,229/year (but salaries differ greatly between school districts)

Requirements:

  • College degree in education or the subject you wish to teach
  • Public school teachers will also need a teaching license or certificate

4. Call Center Agent

If you've got a good speaking voice and you don't mind talking to total strangers, consider working full- or part-time at a remote call center.

Agents are needed for sales, customer service, and/or telemarketing. Strong empathy and communication skills are essential to handle these calls.

The ability to speak more than one language, active listening skills, and a professional phone voice are major pluses. Many companies will offer training so you do not need prior experience.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary is $38,000 in the United States

Requirements:

  • Generally, no experience is needed, though some companies may require a high school diploma.

5. Customer Service Representative

Many big companies, such as Amazon and State Farm, hire remote customer service employees to answer customer questions, process orders or returns, and provide product info.

Successful representatives will be calm, patient, and able to deal with frustrated or angry customers. You should also be comfortable using computers.

If you don't have any experience, this role is a good start. Most companies will provide training and you'll receive a set schedule to work full- or part-time.

Potential Earnings:

  • Salaries range from $27,000 to $43,000 (median is $34,000)

Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent

Best work-from-home jobs for moms
Being a mom is a full-time job in itself. But there are remote roles that allow for flexible scheduling around childcare and pay well. Check out these positions and their salaries.
  • Customer service representative: $34,000/year
  • Data entry clerk: $30,000/year
  • Virtual assistant: Up to $18/hour
  • Virtual tutor: Up to $25/hour
  • Proofreader: $22/hour
  • Writer: $67,000/year
  • Transcriptionist: Up to $30/hour
  • Web developer: $34/hour
  • Travel agent: $35,000/year
  • Virtual nurse: Up to $87,000

6. Transcriptionist

Fast typers should look for online transcription work. Transcriptionists turn audio and video content into written text.

Check out transcription services like Rev and Scribie, and also general freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Potential Earnings:

  • Beginner transcriptionists start at $15/hour
  • Advanced transcriptionists make around $25-$30/hour

Requirements:

  • Ability to type efficiently and accurately

7. Test Proctor

When people are required to complete online tests or assessments, a remote test proctor will confirm the test taker's identity and ensure that they do not cheat during the exam.

Test proctors review students through webcam video. For equipment, you'll need a reliable internet connection, high-quality camera, and a microphone.

Potential Earnings:

  • $11/hour on average (up to $16/hour)

Requirements:

  • Some companies may require a college degree

8. Virtual Tutor

Do you enjoy teaching but prefer more flexible hours? Consider online tutoring.

You set your own hours, and there are plenty of online platforms to teach on. VIP Kid, for example, matches students with teachers to provide one-on-one personalized English lessons.

If you hold a Bachelor's in English, you can teach international students online. Keep in mind that they'll be in a different time zone, so you may have to work odd hours.

To prepare for this role, you should get the following certificates from an accredited program:

TOSEL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. You teach English to someone whose native language is not English.

TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language. You teach English in a country where English is not the primary language.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average is $21/hour and typically ranges from $15-$25/hour

Requirements:

  • High school diploma and usually a college degree
  • Teaching license might be required for certain jobs or employers
  • TOSEL or TEFL certificate to teach English to international students

9. Camp Counselor

As a virtual camp counselor, you help kids make new friends and improve academic skills from home. You might teach campers things like coding, science experiments, digital art, or even entrepreneurship over Zoom.

Employers look for strong leadership skills because counselors are role models for kids. Remote camp counselors are seasonal positions with the highest demand in summer.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary for a day camp counselor is $21,000

Requirements:

  • No specific educational requirements but camps will provide some training

10. Amazon Virtual Worker

Amazon hires thousands of remote employees across the U.S. Here's a list of the most in-demand positions:

  • Solutions architect
  • Software development
  • Project management
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Customer service

Check their Virtual Locations job board for full details. Amazon offers full-time, part-time, and seasonal work.

Potential Earnings:

  • Anywhere from minimum wage to well over $100,000/year

Requirements:

  • Depends on the role. Some positions require a technical background or fluency in a foreign language. Review the job listing carefully before applying.

11. Medical Coder

A medical coder reviews patient information, like diagnoses and treatment, and translates that information into a standardized code.

These codes are then given to hospital administrators or insurance companies to assist with billing and documentation.

Companies hire remote medical coders on contract, part-time, or full-time schedules. You need some training or certification for an entry level role.

Check out these companies offering remote medical coding jobs:

Potential Earnings:

  • Average base pay is $46,542/year
  • Salaries will generally range from $36,000 to $60,000/year

Requirements:

12. Virtual Nurse / Telehealth

Virtual nurses assist patients over the phone or the internet. They monitor vital signs, communicate with doctors, and advise patients online.

Telehealth nurses assist patients with minor health problems and will determine if they need to seek emergency care or make an in-person appointment with a physician. You can find positions on traditional hospital and health center job boards.

As a virtual nurse, you'll need a strong internet connection to communicate with patients. You may also need a web camera, good headset, or other equipment. Be sure to check the job listing before you apply.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average base pay of $66,000/year
  • Salaries usually range from $43,000 to $87,000/year

Requirements:

  • Attend nursing school (Associate's degree or college degree in nursing)
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Bedside experience
  • Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification (RN-BC)

13. Search Engine Evaluators

Search engine evaluators analyze search results and measure how useful, accurate, and relevant they are.

It's a flexible role and you don't need to deal with other people (perfect for introverts). Typical tasks include examining and reporting on ads, images, and text. The best raters possess excellent research and analytical skills.

To get started, check out Appen and Lionbridge.

Potential Earnings:

  • $14/hour on average

Requirements:

  • High school diploma is required but a college degree is preferred
  • Pass qualifications exam

14. Data Entry Clerk

If you're newer to the workforce, this is a good entry-level option. Clerks maintain databases by entering, compiling, and sorting information. You may also need to review records for accuracy. Bonus points if you're detail-oriented, good with spreadsheets, and organized.

This is a very broad role that can pivot you into different companies and industries.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary is $30,000/year

Requirements:

  • High school diploma is required
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Word and Excel

15. Insurance Claims Investigator

Insurance claims investigators protect insurance companies from fraud by validating claims made by policyholders.

You may occasionally need to conduct interviews or take pictures, so you'll need excellent communication and research skills for this role.

Types of claims you might investigate:

  • Workers' compensation
  • Personal injury
  • Property damage and theft
  • Healthcare/medical fraud

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary is $49,000/year (ranges from $34,000 to $72,000) for full-time employees

Requirements:

  • No formal education required
  • Most employers do prefer candidates with a college degree
  • Some related work experience in law enforcement, law, or insurance preferred
  • Investigators may choose to earn state licenses
  • On-the-job training and continuing education is usually available

16. Freelance Proofreader

Proofreaders examine manuscripts and other content for typos, spelling, and grammatical errors.

As a proofreader, you're your own boss and set your own hours and rates. You also work with several clients on a temporary basis.

If you want to turn your knack for grammar into a career, check out online proofreading courses and join the Editorial Freelancers Association. To find clients, advertise your services on Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average rate of $22/hour

Requirements:

  • No education required but a college degree in English or the humanities is helpful

17. Freelance Writer

Freelance writers work with several websites, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and businesses at a time. Popular types of writing gigs:

  • Grants
  • Speeches
  • Tech and medical content
  • Press releases
  • White papers
  • Screenwriting for video games

First, you'll need to build a strong portfolio to attract clients. You may even want to start a business website to showcase your writing samples.

Once you're ready to book gigs, check out FlexJobs and MediaBistro.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary for a freelance content writer is $67,000 in the United States
  • Rates depend on subject, word count, difficulty, and experience level

Requirements:

  • No education required but a college degree in English or the humanities is helpful

18. Dog/Pet Walker

If you prefer pets to people, this option is for you. You can start your own dog walking business or sign up with a website. Many apps make it easy to walk dogs, board dogs, host daycares, house sit, and more.

Animal lovers should check out these services:

Potential Earnings:

  • $20 to $30 per walk
  • Up to $41 per night for dog boarding/pet sitting
  • Keep 60% to 80% of earnings, plus 100% of tips

Requirements:

  • Pass a background check

19. Babysitter

Whether you're a teen who wants to earn extra cash or an adult looking to work full-time, babysitting is a reliable and flexible job.

Babysitters prepare and give meals, help kids get ready for school, administer medicine, and provide housework. You may also need to discipline children when necessary.

Many daycare centers are closed during the evenings and weekends, so consider offering your services during those hours. Start by asking your friends and family, or create a profile on apps like Care.com, Bambino, and UrbanSitter to find clients.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average rate is $16/hour (ranges from $12 to $20/hour depending on location)

Looking to maximize your babysitting bucks? Charge more for your services if you know CPR, provide tutoring, or watch younger children (they usually require more hands-on attention than older kids).

Requirements:

  • No educational requirement
  • First Aid and CPR courses are helpful

20. Social Media Manager

Many companies want to grow their businesses on apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. That's where social media managers come in.

Social media managers enhance a company's online presence and brand awareness by scheduling posts, running ads, responding to messages, and managing partnerships.

Some companies also like to outsource their content creation and customer engagement needs to work-from-home freelancers.

Potential Earnings:

  • Social media freelancers command rates from $15 to $120/hour depending on experience
  • Average salary for remote full-time roles are around $51,000 (ranges from $32,000 to $72,000/year)

Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in Communications or Marketing preferred
  • Build an online portfolio

21. Seamstress

Seamstresses are often contracted by dress shops to alter clothing and work on custom projects for home decor.

There are a few ways to make money by sewing at home. You can start your own Etsy store, list projects on Amazon Handmade, sell at farmer's markets, or do alterations from your home.

Potential Earnings:

  • Rates dependent on the alternation

Requirements:

  • No educational requirement
  • Must be good with a sewing machine, needle, and thread

22. Web Developer

Web developers are equally creative and technical. They create and test websites for small businesses, work with graphics and other designers, and troubleshoot website performance.

You'll need a strong online portfolio of projects to attract potential clients. Successful web developers are detail-oriented and collaborative problem-solvers.

If you want to use your eye for design, check out these job portals:

Potential Earnings:

  • Average rate is $34/hour

Requirements:

  • You can get started with a high school diploma but a college degree is needed to advance
  • Proficiency in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP
  • Experience in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is nice to have

23. Travel Agent

Got the travel bug? You can help others turn their dream vacation into a reality. Travel agents plan trip itineraries, make arrangements, and sell deals on transportation, lodging, and entertainment activities to clients.

In addition to earning commission, you also become an expert on particular types of travel, like cruises.

After 18 months of industry experience, you can apply for the Certified Travel Associate. Certificates are not required for this role, but they do help.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary is $35,000
  • Pay can increase with tips and commission

Requirements:

  • No educational requirement, but a college degree in hospitality or something similar is preferred

24. Facebook Ads Specialist

In this role, you'll develop, manage and run digital marketing campaigns with Facebook ads.

Common tasks include media buying, copywriting, graphic design, and analytics reporting. You help businesses generate sales and maintain a consistent brand voice across all paid programs.

Potential Earnings:

  • Average salary is $88,000
  • As a freelancer, your pay depends on your number of clients and length of ad campaigns

Requirements:

  • College degree preferred
  • Strong math skills and attention to detail

Side Hustles to Make Money From Home

If you're looking for more of a side hustle instead of full-time gigs, there are plenty of ways to earn extra money.

These options are great for students, stay-at-home moms, and retirees. The best part? There are no major job requirements and you can start most of them right away.

25. Blogging

Blogs are a great way to capitalize on a personal passion. Popular topics include travel, beauty/fashion, parenting, fitness, and food.

Bloggers make money with affiliate marketing, paid advertisements, sponsored posts, and selling their own digital or physical products.

And after you master the blog game, you can expand your reach to YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

GoDaddy, HostGator, WordPress, and Squarespace are good options for hosting your website.

Potential Earnings:

  • $0 to $100,000+/ month

26. Online Surveys

Surveys pay because businesses want to know what you like and attract potential customers like you.

Big brands hire a market research company to send out online surveys to the people in the right demographic (such as age, income, marital status, etc.).

Online surveys are a good way to make extra cash, but will not replace your day job.

Potential Earnings:
These are the dollar-per-hour averages for popular survey sites.

27. Microtasks

Amazon Mechanical Turk lets you perform short, easy tasks online. Businesses outsource their manual, time-consuming processes.

Assignments might include participating in surveys, content moderation, and more.

Potential Earnings

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk pays anywhere from a few pennies to a few dollars for each assignment

28. Errands and Assembly

On TaskRabbit, you can get paid to help make deliveries, move furniture, or build furniture. You can also work as a personal assistant, bartender, even staff and other roles.

Potential Earnings:

  • On TaskRabbit, you set your own rates and keep 100% of the tips, but the app takes a service fee

29. QA Test Apps & Websites

You don't need to be a computer genius to get paid to test websites and apps.

Testing websites is very similar to filling out surveys for cash. Instead of answering questions about products, you'll provide feedback on the functionality and design of a website or app.

Potential Earnings:

30. Ecommerce Store

You can set up an online shop for digital and physical products. You'll keep and manage the inventory from your home or use dropshipping to let a third party handle shipment.

You can also use sites like BigCommerce and Shopify to get your store up and running.

Potential Earnings:

  • Earnings depend on what you sell and how often you sell

31. Mock Jury

Mock jurors help lawyers prepare their evidence and arguments before a case goes to trial.

You'll participate in a simulated trial to hear a summary of both sides of a case. Then you answer a short questionnaire supplied from the lawyer.

Your feedback is invaluable and will allow them to identify strengths and weaknesses in their cases. You can sign up with OnlineVerdict to get started.

Potential Earnings:

  • $20 to $60 per case

32. Sell Clothes Online

Most of us don't wear half the outfits hanging in our closets. If your items are in good condition, you can turn old garments into quick money. Selling on apps (and setting your own prices) is a flexible and easy side hustle.

Best Places to Sell Clothes for Cash
  1. eBay
  2. Depop
  3. Tradesy
  4. thredUP
  5. Poshmark

Potential Earnings:

  • Depends on how much you sell and value of clothing

How to Find Remote Full-Time Work

Be sure to polish your resume to put your best foot forward when applying. It's relatively easy to look for full-time online positions if you know where to go. Here are the best places to find online jobs.

  1. Job boards and freelance sites: Just visit these sites and type in the role you want to pursue.

    LinkedIn
    ZipRecruiter
    We Work Remotely
    Indeed
    FlexJobs
    Upwork
    Fiverr

  2. Company websites: If there's a company you would like to work for, visit their careers page for open positions. If you want to work in a specific industry, do a quick search on which companies are hiring.

Tips for Avoiding Scams

There are tons of legitimate remote jobs, but as with all good things, you still have to look out for scams. Keep an eye out for these red flags:

  1. Do not apply to jobs that ask you to post ads online, stuff envelopes, or assemble products from your home.

  2. Research the company to make sure it's real.

  3. Never, ever shell out your own money (even if it's for "training").

  4. Job descriptions with direct sales or multilevel marketing, stock trading systems, or cashing checks/wiring money.

When you begin your work-from-home job hunt, always research the opportunity carefully before you sign on. Check its reputation on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and the Better Business Bureau. The Federal Trade Commission also keeps a list of scam companies.

Bottom Line

From remote learning to virtual call centers to telemedicine, there's no shortage of opportunities to earn money from your own home.

If you're a self-motivated individual, consider ditching your office commute and moving your career online. Average rates are comparable (and sometimes better) than in-person roles. But as with any industry and position, your pay will be better if you have experience.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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