Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images
When it comes to work, not everyone wants the traditional 9-to-5 gig. For a free-spirited individual, working from home—or the flexibility to work anywhere, for that matter—is a tempting alternative and online jobs fit the bill perfectly. From working as a virtual assistant to online tutor, there are a plethora of fields to choose from; however, a few always seem to be in constant demand. And since all you need is an Internet connection, where and when you work is up to you.
Editing and proofreading are not services only publishing houses require. Many companies also have a need for this help, including academic institutions and foreign firms. For instance, proofreaders hired by foreign firms typically look over documents written by non-native speakers, such as medical and business reports, ensuring they translate well to an English-speaking market. Proofreaders for academic institutions usually look over academic papers, such as manuscripts and theses, noting errors and grammatical discrepancies. To get started in this field, all you need is an Internet connection and word processing software. Pay ranges from $12 to $20 per hour and having an advanced degree and editing experience is a plus.
With the advent of the Internet, tutoring is no longer a job that requires in-person contact. Students and tutors often connect in online classrooms where tutors teach lessons, answer questions and help with homework. Students and tutors also connect through file sharing, instant messaging and video chat services. To work as a virtual tutor, a bachelor’s degree is typically required. For specialized subjects, advanced degrees may also be necessary. If you work through one of the bigger staffing and education companies, such as Tutor.com or Sylvan Learning, you can expect to also go through a background check before being hired. Pay in this field averages between $10 and $15 per hour, but may be higher.
3 Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcription is a field that has been around as long as doctors have and has quickly transitioned into a job many do from home, so long as they have a computer and reliable Internet connection. In short, a medical transcriptionist translates doctor-speak. She takes a doctor’s dictated notes, which may be in a difficult accent, mumbled or slurred together, and transcribes them into a legible and easy-to-understand memo or report. Due to the demanding nature of the job, employers often require transcriptionists to understand medical terminology, have an associate’s degree or proper vocation certifications, and experience in the field. Hourly pay ranges from $10 to $20 per hour.
2 Customer Service Representative
Companies are no longer relying on call centers to field customer calls. Many have also begun to route these calls to at-home agents who answer customer questions, log complaints and place orders. If you have a computer, telephone and quiet space to work, you’re already equipped to take your first call. Customer service is a popular at-home field, with pay ranging from $8 to $15 an hour. Some jobs even provide incentives and bonus pay.
1 Virtual Assistant
In days past, being the office assistant meant working in the same office as your boss. However, with today’s technology, that’s no longer a requirement. With a computer and Internet access, you can easily work from home or the nearest coffee shop. As a virtual assistant, you would do everything traditional assistants do, from bookkeeping and scheduling appointments to writing up memos and reports. Virtual assistants typically work as independent contractors rather than employees and juggle multiple clients. Pay varies, with virtual assistants working through a staffing agency making the least, usually around $10 per hour. However, if you work directly with clients, the pay goes up tremendously, averaging between $28 and $45 per hour.