For the untold millions of nine-to-fivers who have to fight commuter crowds and rush-hour traffic twice a day, working from home sounds like a dream. Even though many work-from-home careers are freelance in nature and take time to build, it’s tough to beat the rewards they offer. Most telecommuters enjoy far more flexibility and control over their work schedules. They can also save themselves piles of time and stress.
Working from home requires a lot of self-discipline. If you’re going to make the jump, you might have to adjust your habits to maintain productivity. However, if you’re able to make the change and become a telecommuter, you may never go back. To that end, here are ten great work-from-home jobs for modern times.
If you’re looking for a work-from-home job that delivers fantastic pay along with flexibility, it’s hard to beat computer programming. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers earned median salaries north of $84,000 in 2018. While a computer science degree or a professional certification will certainly help, they aren’t strictly needed. Formal credentials are less important than your demonstrated proficiency with common programming languages.
A large and growing percentage of computer programmers work offsite. However, if you’re hired for a full-time position, you should expect the job to put the same demands on your time as a traditional on-site job would. Programmers routinely exceed the standard 40 hours of the regular work week.
Web developers design, format, and code websites. The most common jobs are for businesses and commercial clients. Like computer programming, web development is a job that offers excellent work-from-home opportunities. Some positions allow partial offsite work arrangements, while others are 100% remote.
If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, you have multiple developmental avenues to follow. The first includes formal schooling. You can also take advantage of self-directed tutorials and learning opportunities that lead to recognized industry certifications. Web developers are also very well-paid. They typically with salaries starting around $60,000 a year and rising substantially from there with experience.
While the majority of certified accounting professionals still hold traditional office jobs, the field has started slowly migrating. There are now plenty of work-from-home opportunities in this field. If you’re looking to train for a financial services career relatively quickly, you may want to consider bookkeeping as an alternative. Bookkeepers usually work for small businesses, keeping tabs on their basic accounting needs. You need specialized training but most employers don’t require degrees for entry-level positions.
Other financial services professions with offsite work options include mortgage brokers and financial planners. However, if you’ll be dealing one-on-one with clients, remember that you’ll need to maintain a high level of professionalism in your work environment.
Insurance Underwriting, Appraising, and Case Management
Insurance was among the first traditional industries to adopt work-from-home practices. As a result, it offers one of the widest and most diverse range of flexible and offsite career opportunities of any legacy profession. Most appraising and underwriting work can be performed remotely. Case management doesn’t require heading to an office every day, either. Many insurance agent or sales positions can also be partially carried out from home. You’ll probably still need to make regular office visits or meet with clients in their homes. However, you might find that more appealing than being at the same cubicle for 40 hours a week.
Virtual Call Center Representative
A growing number of large companies have adopted innovative models by outsourcing their customer service operations. As a result, many CSRs now work from home using company-provided equipment (or their own computers and phones).
Pay tends to start around the $14 per hour mark, but you don’t need specialized education to get started. In fact, many new customer service reps have no direct previous experience. If you have a pleasant demeanor, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and a keen eye for detail, you meet the core requirements companies are seeking.
Freelance Copywriting or Editing
The internet is the greatest information repository in human history. So it should come as no surprise that editorial services top many lists of legit work-from-home jobs. Every piece of content you read online was created by a writer and probably edited by a second person. With the internet continuing its rampant growth, demand for capable copywriters and editors has exploded.
If you have a way with words, hundreds of businesses are looking for your services. Common career paths include SEO copywriting, website copywriting, proofreading, and copyediting. Employers are less interested in your educational credentials than they are in your ability to deliver. So focus on generating a portfolio of solid samples in a specific niche to boost your chances of landing the entry-level jobs that often lead to higher-paying opportunities.
Medical transcriptionists turn doctors’ spoken notes about patient consultations into written records. This in-demand work from home specialization requires some formal training. You’ll be expected to handle advanced, technical terminology and medical shorthand without missing a beat. If you’re seeking an easier path to a work-from-home job, nontechnical transcription positions in other industries are also widely available. However, they tend to pay less.
Another healthcare-specific option is working from home as a medical billing and coding agent. These professionals process medical bills in preparation for insurance filings. All you need to get started is a relatively short community college training course.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO professionals perform detailed research that gives clients insights into critical terms called keywords. Those clients need to rank for those keywords to attract traffic to their websites. An SEO specialist will orchestrate comprehensive campaigns designed to help a business improve its web presence. Some larger companies even maintain in-house SEO staffs to continuously refresh and upgrade digital assets. The profession also includes evaluation specialists, who manually review and improve algorithmically generated strategy queries.
Getting started as an SEO professional won’t require years of schooling, either. You can complete a reputable training program in only a few months. Keep in mind that you’ll have to constantly upgrade your skills to keep pace in this fast-changing industry. If you land a full-time gig — even a work-from-home one — your employer may agree to send you to training courses to keep your skills current.
Social Media Management
Pretty much every successful company now maintains a significant presence on websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They need professionals with proven social media savvy to take full advantage of these powerful promotional platforms. If you’ve got the goods, you can build a flexible career working on a freelance or contract basis. In this role, you’ll direct and curate the client’s social media presence, write and publish posts, moderate and respond to user comments, and offer strategic insights.
A Final Word of Advice
If you spend some time poking around the internet in search of work-from-home opportunities, you’ll inevitably notice a lot of wild claims that sound too good to be true. Most of them are. A common scam is to dupe unsuspecting job seekers into paying for training, access to job boards, and other questionable digital assets. Unfortunately, that money won’t deliver anything of value. If you have a feeling you’ve stumbled onto a swindle, trust your instincts. At the very least, do some digging to see what other people who have used that platform or service have to say about it.
Freelancing is certainly an option these days too. It’s possible to earn a decent living by juggling a bunch of side-gigs and temporary assignments. However, some people prefer to start their work-from-home career with a well-known, well-established company. To that end, Forbes offers this list of the top 100 companies for offsite workers in 2019. It’s a great jumping-off point for your job search. Good luck!