Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance
A work-from-home career is attainable for most people with a computer, mobile device, and internet access. Unfortunately, work-from-home scams are becoming more prevalent as such jobs become more common—which can make it hard to separate the legitimate opportunities from the fake ones.
When starting your search for a genuine home-based job, keep in mind that any position, working from home or not, will pay better if you have experience.
Start your search for an at-home job by looking in areas where you have some experience or education, if possible.
Virtual Call Centers
As more companies transition to a remote workforce, the number of virtual call center jobs increases. Experience in an office call center or even a retail job is often enough to land a home-based call center job. If you speak more than one language, consider getting a bilingual call center job, which tends to have more perks due to the additional knowledge needed.
Freelance Writing and Editing
Work-from-home writing jobs cover a wide range of positions, including freelancing for consumer magazines, blogging, crowdsourcing, and editing jobs. Typically, writers and editors who work from home are freelancers, but if you’re already working for a company as a writer or editor, the first step may be to convince your boss to let you telecommute.
Home transcription jobs tend to be geared toward those with a bit of experience. Typically, it takes some prior work as a transcriptionist to snag higher-paying gigs. Areas of expertise include corporate, financial, legal, and medical transcription.
There are a lot of false job listings for this industry, so be sure to look for warning signs of a scam.
Check to make sure any opportunity is safe, and get to know what a legitimate home transcription job looks like.
Online Data Entry
Data entry encompasses different job titles, but they usually include inputting data into a company’s system from written or audio files. Most legitimate companies hiring for this type of work hire people as independent contractors and not full-time employees. Data entry jobs are frequently the bait in work-from-home scams, so be sure to examine opportunities carefully, and never pay for kits or software.
Insurance is an industry that hires a lot of telecommuters, and the work-from-home jobs available are quite diverse—including underwriters, appraisers, case managers, insurance agents, as well as positions in IT and project management. While many insurance companies hire these positions directly as work-from-home jobs, others may offer flexible options for existing employees or part-time telecommuting.
Although working from home is not usually connected with the medical field, a surprising number of medical jobs can be performed from home. Occupations include medical transcription, medical coding, and virtual nursing. Even some pharmacists work from home reviewing prescriptions, overseeing transfers from one pharmacy to another, and providing counseling on the use of medications.
Many of these jobs require some form of certification, training, schooling, or previous experience.
The available online education jobs now span a wide range of qualifications in candidates; everything from highly experienced teachers with master’s degrees and teaching certificates, to college students with a knack for tutoring. Many companies, like QKids and VIPKID, hire people to teach English to children in foreign companies.
Search Engine Evaluation
Search engine evaluators work online as independent contractors and give feedback about whether search engine results are comprehensive, accurate, relevant, and timely. Search engine evaluators are the human quality-assurance check in a system run by complicated algorithms, and they must be familiar with the language and culture of the local web search engine users. Typically, these positions are bilingual, but some openings are available for English-only search evaluators.
Working With Non-English Speakers
Being bilingual opens a lot of possibilities for legitimate work-from-home opportunities, such as jobs at bilingual call centers, translation jobs, online teaching, and more. Many translation jobs are done by freelancers, but some companies hire home-based translators as employees.
Financial, Accounting, and Bookkeeping
Legitimate work-from-home jobs for accounting and financial professionals include certified public accountants (CPA), bookkeepers, and mortgage brokers. Your pay should correlate with your experience, so if you’re new to the field, be careful of any opportunity that promises big profits; it’s likely a scam.
Art and Design
Many media, marketing, and advertising companies rely on freelance artists for photography, graphic design work, illustrations, and more. You’ll likely need to show a portfolio of work related to your desired projects or gigs, so make sure to have one handy before applying. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can help connect you with these opportunities.
With the rise of social media came a need for individuals who can effectively utilize those platforms across different industries. Work-from-home jobs in social media can include strategy development, community building, social media account management, creating and scheduling posts, and evaluating content.