You’ve probably seen the ads hanging up at your local supermarket or posted in a Facebook group: “Work from home and make $100,000 a year!” or “WFH jobs no experience!” While some of these ads may not be legitimate, plenty are. Indeed, you can earn some serious money with these work from home jobs — if you know what to look for and what to avoid.
Remote work has increased more than 5-fold since the pandemic, accounting for 28% of work days in the US, up from around 5% before the pandemic, according to top remote work expert Nicholas Bloom and team. “It has recently plateaued and seems to be here to stay,” says Julia Pollak, the chief economist at job-finding site ZipRecruiter. “On ZipRecruiter, remote jobs account for about 13% of jobs posted so far this year, up from around 3% before the pandemic.”
Want to jump into the work-from-home world? Here are seven options that will have you earning money from home in no time.
1. Teach students around the world
You may think you need a degree to teach, but there are companies all over the world that are looking for English-speaking people to teach adults and children English as a Second Language skills. Companies such as Babbel, Verbling, Berlitz and Live Lingua make it simple to get started tutoring since they provide the platform, training and students.
It worked for me: “I earn up to $11,000 a month teaching online!”
When her husband’s company had layoffs, 40-year-old Megan Hardy admits they were struggling to make ends meet. “I was a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my kids partly via Outschool, a platform where kids (homeschooled or not) can take live, online classes. When I discovered I could offer my own classes, I knew it’d be a great way to make money,” she recalls.
“Getting started was easy. I sent in an application and did an interview with Outschool’s staff. You don’t need a teaching degree, but they look for people who like working with kids and have fun, innovative ideas for classes, even if it’s teaching basic math or reading skills. I had to come up with educational goals for the class and a lesson plan. They gave me a lot of feedback, and once I was approved, I went through a training session to learn how to use the technology.
“I teach classes that focus on logic, math, problem-solving skills and teamwork centered around the Dungeons & Dragons theme. My classes run for six weeks, and I teach about 40 90-minute live group classes a week via Zoom. My classes are interactive, so kids can write on the screen and use the chat feature.
“Outschool handles a lot of the marketing, but I promote the classes on my Facebook page too. I love teaching. It’s so creative and fun, but I also earn $45 per student and make up to $11,000 a month. After nine months, I was making enough money to support my family, so my husband could go back to school!”
2. Put your keyboard to good use doing data entry
While many forms and applications are digital, there’s still plenty of paperwork still out there. Data-entry jobs require you to transfer paper-based or email-based information into a larger database. Jobs like this require solid typing skills and attention to detail. In addition, you’ll need to be comfortable working alone and independently. Try searching “remote data entry jobs” where you’ll find hundreds of jobs from companies such as HireMatch and staffing firms such as Adecco.
3. Keep someone else’s balls in the air as a virtual assistant
With so many people working remotely, the need for virtual assistants has skyrocketed. In this role you will schedule meetings, manage phone calls and do other administrative tasks for one or more people who are too busy to handle them on their own. You can find your own clients on job sites such as Upwork, keeping in mind that you will set your own rates and be responsible for the entire hiring process. You can also search job boards such as ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn and Indeed.
It worked for me: “I make $1,200 a month as a virtual assistant!”
Beth Beutler started working as a virtual assistant soon after she and her husband became empty nesters. “I had been working for a large church, and when my job ended, a parishioner I knew asked me to help him and his law firm as a virtual assistant. Since I was looking to start a new chapter, I knew it would be the perfect gig. Then I won a ticket to a conference for entrepreneurs, where I learned more about the field and met a few people who became my clients. After that, word of mouth grew my business.
“I do everything from research to handling social media to editing blog posts for my clients. One executive who travels a lot hired me to help him with tasks for his personal life: getting quotes to repair windows, make his haircut appointments, manage his calendar, book flights and set up hotel reservations. I was working between 10 and 15 hours a week, making about $30 an hour, or $1,000 to $1,200 a month.”
4. Provide customer service from your couch
Right now, a search for “remote customer service jobs” on Google brings back hundreds of options from companies such as Amazon, Hyatt Hotels and Insomnia Cookies. And, as Amazon’s ad says, “No experience requited, hiring immediately, apply now. This position is a work from home position. You will not need to come into the office. No Experience Needed. Benefits: Health Insurance, 401K, Vacation & PTO.” These types of positions will require you to have a computer and reliable telephone to answer calls and help customers in need.
5. Give your opinion and get paid for taking surveys
While you won’t make six figures taking surveys, if you’re looking for a little mad money — and something interesting to do — you can sign up to take surveys on your own time. Surveys on Better Business Bureau-rated sites such as Swagbucks and Survey Junkie or survey apps such as Google Opinion Rewards often ask participants to chime in about products and services or how they feel about a topic. These surveys can take as little as a few minutes or as long as an hour to complete. Keep in mind that you should never pay to take a survey, and that sites like MyPoints pay in gift cards rather than cash.
6. Use your typing skills as a transcriptionist
Media companies, corporations and doctor offices often record conversations and interviews, uploading them to be transcribed via artificial intelligence (AI). However, AI has its limitations when it comes to jargon, accents or crosstalk. You can earn money as a transcriptionist, fact-checking artificial intelligence so transcripts are close to perfect. People who type quickly and accurately and who have a good grasp of spelling and grammar will do best at this job. AI transcription site Rev.com says its average transcriptionist earns $245 a month, with top earners bringing in $1,495. Check out TranscribeMe!, Casting Words and Transcription Hub, too, as well as dozens of other options.
It worked for me: “I bring home $485 a week transcribing!”
When medical transcriptionist Sandra Drake was looking for a job she could do from home while caring for her daughter and her mother, she heard that CLK Transcription a local company that offers transcription services for journalists, authors, educators and researchers, was hiring.
“While I did have experience in the field, their only requirement was to have good grammar, spelling and accuracy,” says Sandra. “I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about new topics while working from home and making my own hours. So I emailed the owner to express my interest, and I was almost immediately hired.
“When I start a new project, I receive an audio or video file that I download. I then transcribe the speaker’s words into a Word document. I’ve transcribed so many interesting things from interviews for magazine and newspaper articles, books, documentaries, podcasts and even TV shows. I also transcribe files from roundtable discussions, conferences, market research studies and for college professors and students.
“I enjoy this work because every day is different, and I’m constantly learning something new. I also like that it’s flexible—I work between 15 and 40 hours a week, depending on my schedule, and can make as much as $485 a week. The income I earn goes toward paying the bills and for extras like my daughter’s volleyball fees.”
7. Sell clothing, toys and household goods online
You may be sitting on lots of cash and you don’t even know it. Selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Mercari and Poshmark make it simple to take a few photos of your own discarded items, put them online and make money once they sell. Clothing is always a big draw, but things like toys, books, costume jewelry and outdoor items are also desirable. These sites allow you to select a prepaid postage option so that all you need to do once your items sell is print out a label, put it on a box or bag and drop it at the post office. Tips to ensure your items sell faster: Include crisp, bright photos and take time ‘staging’ them, or setting them up to look their best in the hopes of speedier sales, say, by ironing clothing, folding it neatly or hanging items in a neat row.
It worked for me: “I earn up to $600 a month selling on Poshmark!”
“About five years ago, I was looking to change over my wardrobe and purge clothes that no longer suited my style,” recalls Dani Mackey, 57, of Reston Virginia. “I saw an ad for Poshmark and I decided to give it a try. I listed items I knew I wouldn’t miss, and when they sold, I was thrilled. I realized it could be an easy way to make cash.
“I signed up and came up with a creative name for my closet (@fancyflea). I then played around with different ways to take pictures of the items so they would look appealing. After some time, I invested in a mannequin to display the clothes. I wrote the descriptions, included measurements, posted photos and shared the items in my closet. I also searched the platform and Google to determine the best prices for the items. I sell dresses, jeans, workout clothes, handbags and shoes, as well as my husband’s clothes and items I find in thrift stores and even in retail stores.
“Today, I have 70,000 followers! I love making money on Poshmark because people get to enjoy the items I have loved, and it’s a great way to recycle. Each month varies, but I can make up to $600 a month—money that pays for extras like gifts and takeout. It also feeds my blacksmithing hobby: I make decorative hooks, handles, key chains and knives and give them to friends and family!”
How to avoid WFH scams
Once you find a good job prospect, Amber Clayton, senior director of Knowledge Center Operations for the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) says it’s important to vet the job poster and the company completely as a precaution. “Do your homework. This would include making sure the website is legitimate — making sure the website in the job posting matches the company website and researching the organization with websites like Glassdoor or even the Federal Trade Commission,” she says.
Clayton also suggests search for the recruiter on LinkedIn to make sure they are legitimate and reaching out to current employees on LinkedIn to ask about the company and job posting. Never give personal information to anyone who can’t verify their identity, she says, and be cautious of any company that asks you to purchase equipment. “Most work-from-home jobs will provide company-issued equipment or even provide a stipend for you to purchase those items. Also, ask to conduct interviews via video call. If an interview is taking place via text only, it’s likely a red flag.”
Always listen to your gut before taking a job, agrees ZipRecruiter’s Pollak. “Jobs that require you to receive funds into your bank account and transfer them to other accounts may be money-laundering scams. Jobs that require you to receive packages at your home, rebox them and mail them on to other addresses may involve stolen goods. And telemarketing jobs with scripts requiring you to put pressure on customers and threaten horrible consequences should they fail to sign up for some service right away may involve scam services.”
Finally, it’s a good idea to check all businesses on the Better Business Bureau to make sure they’re trustworthy.
Looking for more ways to make money. at home? Check out these ideas:
Make Money With Your Hobby: Earn Thousands While Spending Time Outdoors
3 Easy Ways to Make Money By Posting Photos and Videos on Social Media
You Can Make Money Helping Others Get Healthy