Work from home jobs are on the rise.
According to the most recent U.S. census figures, 13.4 million Americans work from home—an increase of 4.2 million workers since the previous census. In other countries, the story is much the same. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, there were 4.2 million home-based workers in the UK in the first quarter of 2014. No matter where you live, online jobs from home are on the rise.
There are basically two types of work from home jobs. There are those where you function as a consultant (or freelancer) and work from project to project. For these jobs you are self-employed. There are also online jobs from home where your employer allows you to perform your job from your home as a telecommuter.
In this article, we include jobs that can be done as either a telecommuter or as one who is self-employed. So which careers are more likely to allow you to work from home? Let’s take a look at the top ten work from home jobs.
Top Online Work from Home Jobs
Jobs that can be done from home usually don't require face-to-face customer interaction. Home-based jobs also tend to go to individuals with more education or specialized training. If you have the right skills, you should be able to find an employer or client who allows you to work from home.
To prepare yourself for a work at home job, focus on developing the right skills for the job you want. If you're a creative who wants to work from home, it's also helpful if you have a portfolio that showcases samples of your work. You can find online portfolio themes on our ThemeForest marketplace to help you put a showcase up on the web quickly. Also, be sure to keep your resume up to date. You can find guidelines for creating a good resume and cover letter in our category on Career Development.
Here is our list of ten careers that are often done from home:
1. Web Designer or Web Developer
Web designers creates and maintains websites. A web developer handles the coding and back-end of the website. They must be familiar with how to optimize a site and deal with any problems that may occur.
For both of these positions, demand is expected to grow faster than average over the next few years. Web developer pay varies with experience and skill level, but the median pay for a web developer is about $30 an hour.
Web developers often have an Associate’s degree. It’s important for web designers and web developers to continue learning since these fields change often.
2. Writer or Editor
With the growth of the web, the need for writers has also grown. Writers still write for traditional publications such as newspapers and magazines. But now writers also create content for blogs and websites. Many also work as editors, correcting and checking the work of other writers. Technical writers are responsible for technical manuals and guides as well as online help systems.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects strong competition for most writers, so these jobs may be hard to find. Demand is expected to grow more quickly for those in the technical writing field. The median pay for a writer is $28.30 per hour. Editors average about $31.00 an hour. Technical writers earn more, with a median pay of $33.19 per hour.
Writers frequently have a college degree, often in a field related to writing such as journalism. Technical writers may have added training.
If you're interested in learning more about writing, check out our tutorial from Leo Babauta on getting started as a freelance blogger:
3. Customer Support and Customer Service
Customer support personnel often work for IT companies to offer technical assistance for computer programs or computer hardware over the phone. Customer service staffers deal with non-IT related customer questions. This work is easily done from a home office with a telephone and computer.
This growing field pays well. The median salary for a customer support specialist is $24.22 hour. Customer service specialists usually earn $15.00 an hour.
Customer service positions typically require a high school diploma. The requirements to become a customer support specialist vary. Sometimes extra technical training is required.
4. Software Developers
Software developers create anything from computer programs to run on your desktop to apps for your mobile devices. The popularity of the web and growth in the use of mobile devices means there are a lot of opportunities for software developers.
Software development is a growing field with higher than average pay. The median pay for a software developer is $47.11 an hour.
Most software developers have college degrees, but this field changes rapidly so ongoing education is important. Keep your skills sharp and up to date with our training courses in coding.
5. Online Teacher or Tutor
Many schools and other organizations hire professional teachers for online courses. Opportunities are available at every level, from elementary school tutors all the way up to online college courses. There are also many organizations that offer an online teacher the opportunity to create courses to teach a particular skill.
Online schools and courses are increasingly popular. They provide non-traditional students with the opportunity to get an education from the comfort of their own home. They often have flexible class hours, so that a student can work a full or part-time job and still attend classes.
This field is fairly new, so it is not included separately in the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As might be expected, the pay for this type of work varies widely depending on how many courses are taught and what level. Tutors are often paid a lower, hourly rate. A full-time teacher, especially for an online public school, may expect to earn close to what his or her peers would earn in a traditional setting.
Public school teachers and college professors, in particular, are expected to have a teaching degree or a degree in the field that they teach.
We hire instructors to create our tutorials and courses remotely as well. Learn about teaching for Envato Tuts+ from your home.
6. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants perform administrative tasks that include research, answering email or phone calls. They also handle many other routine tasks. Companies or individuals hire virtual assistants to handle time-consuming routine tasks so that they can spend more time on income-producing tasks.
There are no educational requirements for a virtual assistant. Some specialized virtual assistants may have training in a specific area. That's why, for a virtual assistant, experience and reputation are important.
The amount a virtual assistant earns varies based on their skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep data for this field. According to this helpful guide from Hope Kumor in the Huffington Post Business section, U.S. based virtual assistants charge about $15.00 an hour. Keep in mind that if they work for an agency, the actual amount a virtual assistant receives may be less.
7. Translator or Interpreter
As businesses become more global the need for communicating with clients in more than one language is increasing. For those who are fluent in multiple languages, global business has led to expanding opportunity.
Interpreters and translators accurately change documents and other information from one language to another. The median pay for this type of work is $20.96 an hour.
Most translators are educated, with at least a bachelor's degree. Language fluency is the most important factor in getting this type of work. If you’re bilingual, then translation could be a great opportunity.
Sales people persuade consumers to buy a wide variety of products and services, ranging from real estate property to consumer products and more. Many sales people work from home and contact clients by phone, although some sales positions require face-to-face meetings.
Sales professionals often receive a base pay and commission based on how much they sell. For that reason, compensation varies. Average pay can range from $35,000 a year for travel agents to more than $58,000 a year for wholesale sales representatives.
The educational requirements to become a sales person vary greatly. Some positions require a college degree, but for many the requirement is a high school diploma.
To find out if you have what it takes to become a sales person read this Envato Tuts+ post will get you started:
9. Graphic Designer
If you're artistic or have a flair for design, there are lots of work opportunities for you. Graphic designers create anything from corporate logos to posters and advertisements.
The median hourly wage for a graphic designer is about $22.00 an hour. Many graphic designers have specialized training in design. Competition is fierce for this type of work, so if this is your field make sure that you have a strong portfolio.
To learn more about a career in graphic design read these Envato Tuts+ articles from Mary Winkler, from our learning guide on Careers in Design & Illustration:
- CareersSo You Want to Be a Freelance Graphic Designer?Mary Winkler
- CareersSo You Want to Be an In-House Graphic Designer?Mary Winkler
Photographers take photographs for a wide variety of uses. Clients can include corporations who may use the photographs for their website or advertising. Clients may also include individuals who want a portrait.
While many photographers maintain a studio in their homes, they are often called upon to travel to work sites.
There is no educational requirement to become a photographer, but a photographer must be able to effectively use equipment to take high-quality images or video. Most photographers own several cameras and video devices, which may be expensive to get and maintain.
The median pay for a photographer is just over $14 an hour though there are opportunities to earn more. We have many Envato Tuts+ courses for photography to learn more about the career and craft.
Source: Unless otherwise noted, statistics and job growth projections are from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median pay figures include those working in traditional jobs since the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep separate data for home-based workers.
Where to Find Work from Home Jobs
Where can you find a work from home job?
As more and more organizations include flexible and remote work options, online jobs from home are easier to find than they used to be. Also, the freelance market is growing so there are lots of freelance opportunities for work at home jobs.
To find a work from home job use the following general tips that work with many job search engines and other job sites:
- To find a telecommuting job, include the words "work from home," "remote," or "telecommute" in your job search parameters.
- To find work as a freelancer or consultant, try the words "contract," "freelance," or "temporary" in the parameters.
When looking for a work from home job it's important to do your own research. While some sites screen job listings to ensure that the job posting is legitimate, others do not. Scams targeting those who want to work from home do exist. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if a job sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't a real job.
Here is a high-level overview of the types of sites you can use to find work at home jobs with examples of each type. Since the job placement field is very competitive, keep in mind that there is a lot of overlap between what the various types of sites offers.
Job Search Engine
A job search engine allows you to search listed positions based on a set of parameters. You can recognize this type of site because the main screen resembles a search engine. Here are some examples of popular job search engines:
- CareerBuilder. CareerBuilder is a job search site with a global presence. Use a variety of filters to find the type of job you are looking for.
- Indeed. Indeed is a job search site with a worldwide presence. Under location choose between remote, work at home, home based, or field positions to find a work at home job.
- LinkUp. LinkUp is a newer job search engine that has attracted some well-known clients as well as some positive press.
Classified ads appear in publications and online. With a classified ad site, the employer or client pays to have an advertisement for their position listed. Most classified ads include more than just jobs. An example of a classified ad site is Craigslist. This site posts all types of online classified ads. Be cautious when answering a classified ad. If an employer or client wants to meet, always choose a public location.
Rather than a listing of jobs, an online marketplace is a listing of professionals. An example of this type of site is EnvatoStudio. Creative professional post their profiles, work samples, and fees. Clients hire them based on their profile. EnvatoStudio collects your fee up front when you accept a project and pays you once your work is accepted—eliminating collection and billing issues. Envato Tuts+ is part of the Envato creative network, which also includes Envato Studio.
A job screening site brings together job listings from other sites. The site may hire researchers to ensure that the jobs they share with their clients meet certain criteria. There may be a fee to use the advanced features. Two examples of this type of site are:
- FlexJobs. This service sorts through other job search resources to find jobs with a flexible option. The site's researchers also review each job to make sure it is legitimate. Set up a profile and post your resume to receive regular updates with possible job matches.
- VirtualVocations. Like the name implies, this website is for telecommuting jobs. The site's researchers screen and compile job listings from various sources. The site’s researchers also screen jobs to verify that the jobs are legitimate.
Social Media Sites
Many social media sites also contain job listings. LinkedIn is perhaps the best known for its job listings. Recruiters often use the site, making it a good place to have an online presence. While LinkedIn may be well-known for job listings, other social media sites have job listings as well.
There are many other types of job sites that don’t fit neatly into a category. Here are two examples of other places to look for work from home jobs:
- We Work Remotely. This searchable listing of remote jobs can be a great resource for creatives and freelance professionals. The site is sponsored by the book, Remote, from Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.
- WFH.io. This job board focuses on digital and technical work from home jobs. Jobs are posted regularly and job searchers can browse through them. Subscribe to their mailing list to receive weekly emails from selected job categories.
Whether you're just starting your career or want to make a switch, consider looking for an online job that allows you to work from home. To get started use one of the sites above to find an online work from home job today. And make sure your resume and personal site are up to date. We offer resources to assist you with resume templates and site themes from Envato Market.
Do you work from home? Tell us about your work from home job and how you got started in the comments below.