When the coronavirus struck earlier this year (2020), and lockdown restrictions came into effect across the world, businesses were forced to close up their offices and embrace the concept of remote working or work from home (WFH). Different types of work from home jobs have been featured in the employment market for some time, and the freelance or “gig” economy has been growing, with almost half of the Millennial population already active in this sector.
That was before COVID-19 – a phenomenon that TIME magazine recently referred to as “the world’s largest work from home experiment.”
With the global economy now squarely in WFH mode, what kind of jobs can you do from home?
We’ll be taking a look at some of the best options in this article. First, though, a note of caution.
The Treacherous Work From Home Landscape
Not all work from home opportunities were created equal. The WFH sector has a historical reputation for attracting scammers and con artists, who promise lucrative earning potential from the comfort and convenience of your own kitchen or lounge, but are actually more interested in getting you to shell out for expensive equipment and product samples or in harvesting your personal data when you apply.
Check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping circles, medical billing assignments that require you to purchase expensive computer software, and craft-making projects that ask you to pay for materials before you start are some of the classic examples of this breed of work from home “job.”
Though the perpetrators of such schemes are still very much out there, you don’t have to fall into their trap. With the online resources that you’ll need to perform your work at home activities anyway, you can conduct some thorough due diligence on the employers or opportunities that interest you. This can make all the difference between landing a job that actually fulfills and makes you money, or one that causes headaches and financial loss, so:
- Research the company or platform offering the job: Check them out with the Better Business Bureau, and do web searches for opinions and reviews.
- Ask for references: Legitimate employers should have no problem providing contact information and discrete details about their workforce and work practices.
- Treat requests for money as a red flag: Though some legitimate work from home jobs may require you to purchase or already own the materials or equipment you’ll need to get started, be wary. And ask about their returns policy if things don’t work out.
With these caveats in mind, the types of work you can do from home are numerous and varied. Some of the top jobs in this sector include the following.
Web developers are responsible for creating and designing websites or blogs for personal or commercial clients. There are various fields requiring such services, including advertisers, publishers, management consultants, and computer systems designers.
The vast majority of web developers are able to work from home or anywhere with a laptop and a reliable internet connection. Typically, an advanced degree isn’t necessary to begin working in this field. To be a successful candidate, you usually require some form of tertiary or higher education, some relevant experience, and a portfolio of sites that you’ve constructed or managed.
The 2018 edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook puts the median salary level for web developers at $73,760 per year.
Social Media Manager
Most successful businesses now have some form of social media presence, but keeping profiles updated, posting comments, and creating engaging content can impose time and labor demands that cause them to look outside their own immediate workforce for someone with familiarity and expertise on the major platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
This is where a social media manager working from home can step into the picture — and there are thousands of listings for such positions on sites like CareerBuilder.com, SimplyHired.com, and Upwork.com. Your responsibilities in this role are primarily to help the business increase its online following and expand its reach by promoting its brand, products, or services.
The median wage level for a social media manager is currently around $50,088 per annum.
Jobs That Work From Home: Virtual Assistant
As an independent contractor working from home, you can act as a virtual assistant to corporate clients, providing administrative, creative, and technical services across various industries, including health care, the legal profession, government, and finance.
The tasks you may be called upon to undertake include composing and responding to email messages, creating and distributing business-related documents, responding to media and business inquiries, or writing and creating content.
Given the diversity of industries requiring virtual assistants’ help and the wide range of tasks they must perform, the pay range for this job is quite broad. Average wages for virtual assistants are around $26,350 a year, with the top percentage making $43,000. The amount you can earn will depend on who you work for and the level of skill required for your daily tasks.
Interpreter Or Translator
If you’re fluent in at least two languages, you have the potential to work from home as a translator — although some employers require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reckons that most translators actually work from home in areas as diverse as professional, scientific, technical services, state, local, private education, health care, and government.
While translators work with written or audio documents, interpreters typically deal with spoken language or sign language.
The median annual wage for workers in this sector is around $51,830.
Jobs That Work From Home: Freelance Writer
With online and mobile communication such an integral part of today’s economy, organizations in every industry require workers who can generate content — the news, commentary, and analysis required to fill the pages of websites and blogs.
Though many of the larger sites have their own retinue of in-house writers, many organizations outsource their content generation and hire freelance writers and content creators.
If you have a computer, internet access, a portfolio of work, and the right credentials or experience. In that case, there are work from home opportunities for freelancers with writing, editing, proofreading, and fact-checking skills.
The market for freelance writers is competitive, requiring bloggers, journalists, technical writers, and editors who can create high-quality content to often tight deadlines. The median annual wage for writers is $63,200, while editors can earn $61,370 per year.
5 Best Types of Jobs That Work From Home
1. Web Developer
2. Social Media Manager
3. Virtual Assistant 4. Interpreter or Translator
5. Freelance Writer