Raise your hand if you love the idea of earning extra income or ditching the office life to work from home. Well, you’re not alone. According to a 2017 telecommuting report by FlexJobs, the number of U.S. employees who worked from home at least half of the time has grown 115% in twelve years, from 1.8 million employees in 2005 to 3.9 million in 2017.
However, with online employment comes fraudulent companies who scam job seekers into signing illegitimate offers. “There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the internet — that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams,” says Christine Durst, cofounder of RatRaceRebellion.com and consultant to the FBI on internet scam.
As long as you’re aware of the red flags — like companies requesting sensitive information upfront, being vague with answering your questions, and having a high turnaround rate — then you can easily avoid scams and land that dream job.
You can find work from home positions in a variety of career fields spanning a wide level of expertise and experience. And whether you’re looking to join a startup or work remotely for a top earning company like Amazon and Dell, there’s a remote job out there for you.
Here are some of the best jobs you can do from home, according to experts.
1. Airbnb Host
Have an extra room in the house? Try renting it out on Airbnb.com. According to Smart Asset, you can pay up to 81% of your rent by listing one room in a two-bedroom home. If you’re really looking to ring in the cash, renting out a private home or apartment is the way to go. According to Smart Asset’s findings, rates for full apartments are significantly higher than those for just rooms, with annual profits ranging from $15,000 to $31,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
If you love kids, sign up for Care.com or SitterCity to spend a few hours a week babysitting. These websites verify both babysitters and those seeking sitters with background checks, so you can ensure you’re conversing with a reliable source. Babysitting rates vary based on years of experience, number of children, and hours per week. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for a babysitter is $28. Use Care.com’s calculator to plug in your experience and find out how much your should be making an hour as a babysitter.
Who knew you could be paid to listen to music? Slicethepie is the largest paid review site on the internet that pays you to listen to music and write detailed reviews. How much you’ll earn per review varies by the quality of your review. A.k.a. the more detailed and constructive, the better. The minimum payment is $10, so once you’ve reviewed enough songs to earn at least $10, your money will be sent to you via a direct payments on PayPal.
4. Customer-Service Rep
Some companies like 1-800flowers.com outsource customer-service operations to third-party companies who then hire home-based workers or “agents” to take calls and orders. When you call 1-800-flowers, you may be speaking with Rebecca Dooley, a retired police officer and employee of Alpine Access, a major call-center service. When you dialed the number to 1-800-flowers, your call was automatically routed to Rebecca’s spare bedroom in Colorado.
Alpine Access currently employs more than 5,000 work-at-home customer-service agents who take in-bound calls (there’s no outbound or cold calling) for dozens of companies. “This works perfectly for me because I can set up my hours around my family’s busy lifestyle,” says Dooley, who usually works 20 to 32 hours a week, depending on her schedule.
While the typical rate is $9-10 per hour, Alpine Access agents who work more than 20 hours a week are eligible for benefits plus a 401k program when they have worked for over 1,000 hours. Although, some companies consider their staff independent contractors and do not provide benefits. Some other companies that hire virtual call agents include:
To qualify for this job, it’s best to be a skillful communicator, well-organized, and have customer service experience. Some companies outsource their cold-calling campaigns to third parties who hire home-based workers to place the calls.
Telemarketers are typically paid by the hour, and they may earn incentives and commission based on performance. Companies hiring home-based workers include Intrep.com and Indeed. Keep in mind that a legitimate company will typically not require you to pay a fee to get information or leads.
6. Online Juror
Companies will pay you to virtually sit on mock juries to give attorneys and other jury consultants feedback on cases they are currently handling. Think of these as focus groups. The cases are real, but your verdict will do little more than give those involved a prediction of how things might go when it’s time to go to court. You can earn fees ranging from $5 to $60. Be sure to read all the disclaimers and details. If this sounds interesting go to eJury.com or OnlineVerdict.com to find a case.
7. Survey Taker
There are plenty of opportunities for scams in this industry, so you have to be careful. Avoid giving companies your sensitive information or paying upfront fees, as they’re likely to be fraudulent.
There are, however, opportunities to make money at home by taking job surveys from legitimate companies. Elementary school substitute teacher Andrea Spain and her mother Bonnie Alcala take online surveys for two hours a week, ringing in around $100 a month in cash, gift cards, and other prizes.
If you’ve got a little spare time and want to save up for a family vacation, try any of these green light websites:
8. Writer, Editor, or Proofreader
Everyone says you’re a fantastic writer, so isn’t it about time you got paid? According to Durst, Good writing is in demand, especially for online content. Good freelance writing websites to find job listings include JournalismJobs.com, upwork.com, and MediaBistro.com. If you have experience as a copy editor, writer, or proofreader, go to editfast.com to find freelance opportunities in these areas. Rates average at $32, $28, and $26 an hour for remote writing, editing, and proofreading jobs, respectively.
If you’re a crafter, the internet is your showcase — and not only at auction sites like eBay. DeWitt Young of ObviousFront.etsy.com has had success turning her crafts into cash online. She has a booth at Etsy.com’s Craft Mall, an amazing place where thousands of artisans and crafters offer their goods for sale. DeWitt turns salvaged parts from old TVs and VCRs into artsy necklaces, earrings, and figures. Colleen Jordan of wearableplanter uses 3D printing to create her necklaces called wearable planters.
If you need a little help kicking off your projects, Shapeways is a 3D printing company with simple apps to help you customize your own designs, anything from a wedding band in rose gold, a vase in ceramic, or your own bobble head printed in full color. All for the purpose of generating sales.
10. Online Guide or Expert
If your friends look to you for advice on things you’re passionate about, such as how to choose the best car, repair appliances, or make a killer cheesecake, listen up: No matter what your area of expertise is, consider becoming an online expert guide.
Guides are freelancers with an ability to communicate well. At JustAnswer.com, users agree to pay for the answers to their questions from trusted sources like vets, lawyers, doctors, and more. As a guide, you’ll be paid a percentage of the pre-negotiated price per answer and for the number of answers you provide.
11. Virtual Assistant
Many small business owners and mid- to executive-level professionals need personal assistants, but may not be able to afford a permanent position on the payroll. The solution: Hire people from remote locations to do their administrative work.
Virtual assistants handle all kinds of administrative projects, including travel arrangements, event planning, correspondence and other support services that can be done remotely via e-mail and phone.
According to Lynne Norris of NorrisBusinessSolutions.com, who works out of her home in Pennsylvania as a virtual assistant, the rates for VAs run about $25 to $75 or more an hour, though ZipRecruiter calculates the average hourly rate at $19. According to Norris, the startup costs of this work from home job can range from about $500 to $1,000, assuming you have an up-to-date computer and printer.
If you have children, virtual assistant positions are highly flexible. “My children are happy that I don’t miss the important things in their lives,” Norris says. Check out the International Virtual Assistants Association, virtualassistantjobs.com, and teamdoubleclick.com for more information.
12. Online Tutor
If you have a college degree and the skills to tutor students online in math, science, English, or language, this is a perfect fit. Go to Tutor.com — tutors who work for the company and have passed their probationary period can earn $10 to $14 an hour.
According to Durst, “Skype and other web interface tools are bringing English language instructors face-to-face with students from around the world.” Plus, as a virtual tutor, you can chose your own schedule — so if you want to get in a quick session while the kids are napping, by all means.
Maybe you’ve already secured your stay at home job and are looking for a way to make even more money. Well, if you consider your neighbors like family and they trust you enough to help them out while they’re at work, sign up up for eNeighbr.
The site allows you to accept and hold shipments for your neighbors when they’re away, so items don’t get stolen. Every eNeighbr is verified and each package is insured up to $300, so they can relax knowing that your belongings are in good hands.
14. Cooking Host
Sites like Cookening, EatWith, and MealSharing are to restaurants what Airbnb is to hotels. Sign up as a host to earn dough by cooking and serving meals to guests in your home. It’s up to you what you want to cook and how many people you can accommodate. Cooks are paid directly through the site, so no cash ever changes hands. The earning potential for becoming a cooking host is $50-$100 per meal.
15. Data Entry Clerk
Sign up with sites like Clickworker and The Smart Crowd to complete virtual jobs like data research, data entry, translation, and testing. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for this position is $19.
DogVacay, Rover, and Petsit match dog sitters with people who need someone to watch their fur babies while they’re out of town. Sitters set their own rates and hours, and can choose to watch the pups in their own home or at the owner’s place. According to Pettsitter.com, most pet sitters earn between $14 and $19 an hour.
17. Creative Service Provider
If you have a marketable skill, no matter how small or obscure, you can likely sell it for $5 at creative marketplaces like Fiverrr. Members offer everything from cover letter writing services to psychic readings to video game coaching. Most listings start at $5 per hour.
18. Car Rental Provider
Getaround is the sharing economy’s answer to rental agencies. The company allows you to rent out your car on an hourly or daily basis, starting at $5 an hour. Depending on your vehicle’s market value, you set the price per hour, and Getaround takes a 40% cut to cover 24/7 roadside assistance and driver insurance. According to the Getaround, earning potential for renting your car when you’re not using it is up to $1,000 a year.
Head over to TranscribeMe to earn up to $22 per audio hour for transcribing files, with top monthly earnings reaching $2,200. Competitors like Scribie pay about $5 to $25 per hour, and some Fiverrr members offer medical transcription services for $30 per audio hour.
20. Website or App Tester
Virtual workers visit and explore new websites, perform various simple tasks on the site, and provide feedback and critiques. UserTesting, for instance, pays you $10 via PayPal for everyone 20-minute round of testing you complete. You can earn up to $60 per test, and it’s up to you how much work you’d like to take on each month.
How to Avoid Work From Home Scams
It’s not always easy to figure out if a company is legitimate, especially when some are professional scammers. Use these five essential tips from the Attorney General of the State of New York to stay safe:
1. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if your company is legitimate.
2. Ask specific questions about the job tasks you’ll have to perform, how you’ll be paid, and who will be pay you.
3. Be cautious about overstated claims of product effectiveness, exaggerated claims of potential earnings, and demands that require you to pay for something before instructions or products are provided.
4. Be wary of personal testimonials that fail to identify the person by name, so you can’t investigate further.
5. Contact your state Attorney General’s consumer help line if you believe you’ve been victimized by a work-from-home scheme.