Work-at-Home Jobs that Really Pay

woman working from homewoman working from homeBy Daisy Chan

The Top Home-Based Professions


If you don't relish the thought of hustling to a workplace every day or you're having a hard time securing a local gig, there's never been a better time to work from home: More than 40 million Americans do it, according to the advocacy group Telework Coalition. And as the economy improves, more companies will be looking for additional staff. For most at-home jobs, you'll need a computer and an Internet connection, some basic skills and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of seven employment areas that are booming right now. Photo by Getty

The Job: Direct Salesperson

What It Pays

It depends on the company, but you typically take home 20% to 35% of sales in commissions.


Perfect For

Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, loads of energy and a love of meeting new people.


What It Is

Think Avon or Mary Kay-you organize get-togethers to sell a company's wares, whether those are bath products, gardening supplies, books or wine. Over time, you build a base of clients.


How To Get It

You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Silpada (jewelry), The Pampered Chef (kitchenware) and Dove Chocolate Discoveries. You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website at DirectSelling411.org-all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.


The Job: Corporate English Trainer


What It Pays

Around $15 an hour


Perfect For

Native English speakers with basic computer skills and an interest in other cultures who love chatting online or over the phone. Office experience is very helpful, since most students work in a corporate environment.You also need your own computer and a high-speed Internet connection. If you're bilingual, that's a plus.


What It Is

Students in countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype-sometimes at night, because you're working with students in different time zones. You need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and can work as many as 35 hours.
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How To Get It

GoFluent.com is an English training company working with 12 of the world's largest corporations. There are also jobs out there for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, which are more structured. Visit ISUS (iSpeakUSpeak.com), a placement and training company. While a degree in education or ESL is ideal, you are encouraged to apply if you are enthusiastic and articulate.


The Job: Telephone Nurse


What It Pays

Competitive with a regular nursing salary, which is $50,000 or more


Perfect For

Someone with a nursing degree.


What It Is

Health insurers or other health management companies, including Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, hire nurses remotely to perform duties like case management, treatment authorization and patient education.


How To Get It

To find the right position for you, check out the listings at major medical-job placement firms like MedicalJobsOnline.com, The Judge Group (Judge.com), and MedZilla (Medzilla.com).


The Job: Search Engine Evaluator


What It Pays

$9 to $10 an hour


Perfect For

English speakers who are up on movies and music, as well as those familiar with other cultures.


What It Is

Companies like Google and Yahoo! give you information to search for, and you tell them how closely their results matched what you were looking for. Does a search for Lady Antebellum turn up sites about the music group or links to pre-Civil War period information? If you are Latina, for example, you might be asked to search the way a Spanish speaker might perform a search in English. Jobs are usually between 10 to 25 hours a week.
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How To Get It

Most companies hire through firms like Leapforce At Home (LeapforceAtHome.com) and Appen Butler Hill (AppenButlerHill.com).

The Job: Customer Service Representative


What It Pays

$8 to $18 an hour


Perfect For

"People" people with patience to spare who are good at talking on the phone while on the computer.


What It Is

Companies are looking for workers with excellent speaking abilities and solid computer skills to help customers find a correct size, place an order or resolve a conflict. Both full- and part-time positions are available, and you are generally required to devote a four-hour block of time.


How To Get It

Customer service is the biggest work-at-home field, with companies including Spiegel, Hilton, Best Western, HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS and many others using at-home reps. Fill out an application with staffing companies such as Arise (Arise.com), Alpine Access (AlpineAccess.com), VIPdesk (VIPdesk.com), LiveOps (LiveOps.com) and Convergys (Convergys.com), all of which vet the companies who are hiring through them. If you need benefits, search through a staffing company that will hire you as an employee (Alpine Access, VIPdesk and Convergys do this) rather than an independent contractor. If you'rea contractor, you may be asked to pay a small fee (between $15 and $35) for a background check. While a fee can be a sign of a scam, independent contractors are responsible for their own expenses.


The Job: Online Teacher


What It Pays

The average salary for the first year is around $30,000; teachers of some subjects are paid more than others.


Perfect For

Teachers who don't want a typical school schedule.


What It Is

Instead of standing in a classroom, you'll teach via Skype or in a prerecorded session. There's a growing demand for teachers in all subjects, but especially core topics like English, history and science.
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How To Get It

Check out K12 (K12.com) and Connections Academy (ConnectionsAcademy.com). Both organizations offer various benefits-including health insurance, retirement savings accounts and paid time off-depending on where you live. As in any job where you work with kids, there will be a background and reference check as well as interviews. You may also need to be licensed to teach in the state where the students reside.


The Job: Virtual Tutor


What It Pays

$12 to $35 an hour


Perfect For

People who only have pockets of time to work and an extensive knowledge of or expertise in a subject, or are fluent in a foreign language.


What It Is

You work with a student who needs extra help, usually for a half-hour over the phone or Skype.


How To Get It

Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com), Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com) all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a background check before you are hired.


Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

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