Working from home is a dream for many. We love it! Ditch the commute with these 34 legitimate ways to make money from home.
As I write this article, I’m making money from home. Well, technically, from Starbucks. But, still, as someone with a nearly 10-year history of working from home–sometimes full-time and sometimes part-time–I can tell you that it’s possible. The key is to find legitimate work opportunities.
Luckily, the internet abounds with amazing tools to connect far-flung teams. Because of these tools, more employers are hiring part-time and full-time employees to work remotely. Or if you’re looking for a side gig, you can do many from the comfort of your living room. (Preferably in your pajamas with a cup of coffee in hand, if you’re anything like me.)
We’ve worked to round up a huge list of legitimate work-from-home opportunities. I’ve divided them into different categories, so you can quickly click through to the ones that interest you most.
Before you jump to your favorite category, though, you might want to check out our quick disclaimers first.
The More Things Change…
First off, know that I’ve done my best to research these options and opportunities. But work-from-home options change rapidly. So do your own digging before assuming a particular hourly rate or type of work will be available.
This is also why I haven’t tried to highlight specific companies or work opportunities. Certain fields and types of jobs lend themselves well to working from home. We’ll focus on this instead of particular job opportunities. Otherwise, you’ll come back here in a month only to find the article is out of date!
This list should give you a jumping off point when it comes to looking for remote work.
You’ve Got to Put in the Work
You should also know that many of these opportunities will require hustle on your part. I’ve gone from making pennies per word to serious dollars per article as a freelance writer. But that didn’t just happen. I had to build my business over time.
Many of these opportunities are the same. They’re legitimate, but it’ll take you time to build up to a decent hourly rate.
Beware of Scams
Finally, understand that there are still plenty of scams out there. If a business opportunity requires you to put in money up front (other than standard business costs for assets that you own, like a website), beware. Some multi-level marketing opportunities can make money. But more often than not, those who start these businesses lose money.
So just be aware of all the terms and conditions of a job, opportunity, or website before you sign up!
Great Unskilled Work-From-Home Jobs
If you don’t have a huge amount of experience in any one field, you might want to start working from home with one of these types of jobs. Generally, the companies hiring in these areas will provide the training you need. So you won’t have to show major skills up front.
Note that these jobs may require you to have a certain speed of internet connection or a certain type of landline phone connection. I wouldn’t consider these scam-related asks, as long as the requirements are reasonable.
Call Center and Chat Jobs
If you can work regular hours and like to talk people through problems, a virtual call center job might work well for you. If you type quickly, multitask well, and don’t prefer talking on the phone, you can get a similar job as a chat-based customer service representative.
These jobs typically require that you have uninterrupted work-from-home time. So they’re not a good option if your goal is to work from home with your children. The hours may also be less flexible than other work-from home jobs.
With that said, this can be a good way to make decent money without having to leave home. Glassdoor puts the national average salary for at-home customer service call center representatives at just over $29,000 per year. Some companies may even hire you full-time and provide benefits.
Data Entry Jobs
Most companies looking to hire someone for at-home data entry will hire you as a contractor. This job may be considered semi-skilled. You may need to be able to accurately type a certain number of words per minute to make it work.
Scams abound with this particular type of job. If a company promises to give you work only if you purchase a certain type of non-standard software, beware. You should be able to do data entry with a solid internet connection and some basic computer software, such as Excel.
This type of job may be fairly flexible. Instead of working certain hours, you may just need to meet certain deadlines with the work you’re given. This makes it ideal as a side gig or for a work-from-home parent.
According to Indeed, data entry jobs range from $13 per hour to about $20 per hour, depending on your job description and experience.
Search Engine Evaluation
Are you great at finding things on Google and other search engines? This may be the work-from-home job you’re looking for. With this job, companies hire individuals on a contract basis to make sure search engine results are accurate and comprehensive.
For this job, you basically need to be familiar with search engines and the local language. Many of these jobs are geared towards bilingual applicants who can check results in multiple languages.
Glassdoor puts the average national salary for a search engine evaluator at just over $33,000 per year. With that said, many are hired on an hourly basis and work less than full time. You can expect to make $10+ per hour on an hourly basis, however.
Website QA Testing
One of the banes of most web developers’ lives is that you don’t always know how your code will work on various browsers. That’s why companies hire quality assurance testers for their websites. You can also get QA testing jobs for apps and even physical gadgets.
Most of these jobs are on a first-come, first-served basis. You need to know where to find the gigs and how to get them quickly to benefit. You can make a few bucks per test, and your feedback will help brands and companies do what they do better.
This is the type of flexible job that is great to pick up when you have some extra time. You won’t likely make a living doing QA testing like this. But it can put a few extra bucks in your bank account.
Social Community Manager
These jobs vary widely and normally hire independent contractors. With these jobs, you’ll moderate forums or social pages in particular topic areas. You might contract to monitor a particular company’s social media presence in various platforms, and to make sure that followers are abiding by company guidelines when commenting and interacting.
Community manager and moderator jobs are great for people who are familiar with social media already. Certain jobs may look for experience in community-related areas, as well.
It’s difficult to find consistent pay statistics on this particular work-from-home job. It’s not the same as being an actual social media manager–who is responsible for developing and deploying a brand’s strategy on social. But you can likely expect to start out at around $10 to $12 per hour.
As more and more companies move online, they’re hiring online admins, as well. These jobs normally go to independent contractors, but some companies may hire full-time work-from-home assistants.
These job listings can vary widely. Some are looking for an executive assistant with years of experience. Others give you the ability to learn on the go. These jobs are likely to include tasks like responding to emails, scheduling meetings, distributing business-related documents, and more. Some jobs may also verge into the creative and include tasks like creating content and running social media channels.
According to PayScale, virtual assistants can make anywhere from $10 per hour to $30 per hour.
Here’s another job area where scams abound. But there are plenty of legitimate mystery shopping companies around. Some require you to go to a store in person, which makes the from-home element shaky. But others are now hiring work-from-home mystery shoppers to shop or test customer service by phone or online.
Mystery shoppers are typically paid on a per-assignment basis. But some salaried positions are also available for true professionals. JobMonkey says you can expect to make $8 to $25 per hour or about $10 to $75 per assignment most of the time.
Deliveries, Errands, and Ride Sharing
These are actually all quite different, but I’m going to throw them into the same category for one major reason: they all involve driving, which is obviously outside of the home. I’m including these jobs because they meet the flexibility requirements many “work-from-home” job hunters need.
Uber and Lyft are both excellent ways to earn some money on the side. In some areas with enough demand, you may even be able to drive for these companies full time. Another option is to run deliveries for a company like Instacart or DoorDash. These involve picking up groceries or takeout, respectively, and delivering on demand.
You can also check out jobs that let you run personal shopping errands for locals. Or start your own business as a personal assistant and errand runner. This type of business could fold in some of the tasks of a virtual assistant, combined with tasks like picking up dry cleaning, purchasing groceries, or even dropping pets off at the vet.
Income from these types of jobs will vary wildly. It’ll depend on demand in your area, the types of services you offer, and whether you decide to hang your own shingle or work for an existing company.
Jobs for Word People
If you like words–writing them, editing them, translating them, whatever–you’re in luck. Because words are so easy to create and edit online, there are tons of work-from-home opportunities for people who like words. Here are many of them.
Writers like me make a living doing a variety of types of writing. I specialize in blogging about personal finance, but I also do some journalism for trade publications. I’ve also written emails and web copy for local small businesses.
Working as a freelance writer is great because it’s super flexible. I’m able to maintain a robust side gig because I am rarely tied down for specific hours of the day. Instead, I just have to meet my deadlines. It’s a great option for people with a day job and/or kids.
Finding gigs as a freelance writer can be tough. The market is competitive. But you can start with job boards, sites like Upwork, and local publications. Then build up your portfolio as you work to land higher-paying jobs.
Pay for jobs like this varies dramatically. You could make anywhere from $10 per hour to $150 per hour or more, depending on the types of writing you do and your clients.
Social Media Manager
The social media moderator jobs we mentioned above generally involve taking direction from someone else. But as a social media manager, you can help a brand execute its vision on various social media platforms.
This type of job requires a deep understanding of social media platforms and how they work. They often involve setting strategy, running ads within a certain budget, creating and scheduling posts, and monitoring metrics to ensure you’re successful.
Many companies these days are buying into the importance of social media. You may be able to find a full-time work-from-home job in this field. If not, you can always cobble together a business of your own by running social media for several smaller companies. This difference makes it hard to pin down pay, but PayScale puts the median full-time salary at $48,200.
Do you have a broader background in marketing, including creating long-term marketing strategies? In this case, you might fold in some of the tasks of a writer, editor, and social media manager into a higher-level marketing manager role.
More modern companies that run entirely or mostly online these days are hiring work-from-home employees on a full-time basis. You’re more likely to command a high salary and benefits in this case. But you can also run marketing campaigns and strategies for a variety of smaller businesses as a contractor.
The average salary of a marketing manager is about $80,000. Of course, you can turn this into a side gig that makes less or a full-time job that makes more. Or you can run your own business and make substantially more.
Public relations professionals are word people with a slightly different focus–helping individuals, campaigns, and or companies present their best face to the public. A good PR professional will help key contacts at the company present the best messaging. They’ll also draft and release press releases, and act as a go-between for the media and the company.
Like many of these other word nerd jobs, PR professionals can usually have flexible hours. But unlike many of these other jobs, they’re the go-to guys in a crisis. That can mean middle-of-the-night calls to tackle emergency public relations issues. If you’re prepared for that, though, you could have a great career that makes around $62,000 on average. Many companies contract our their PR work, making this an accessible work-from-home opportunity.
Do you like to polish other people’s words more than creating them yourself? Editing actually involves a whole different set of skills compared to writing. But it’s essential.
You can still get a full-time job as an editor. And more companies these days are willing to let you work from home, even if you’re on the payroll with benefits. But you can also look at editing as a side gig or a work-from-home business that lets you work with a variety of clients.
Again, pay varies dramatically here. You should expect to make at least $20 per hour, though. If you can boast industry-specific knowledge for jargon-heavy industries like pharmaceuticals, though, you should command a much higher hourly rate.
If you’re bilingual, you can probably find work as a translator. Some translation jobs are over the phone or via video conference and take place in real time. These jobs will require that you be available for certain hours of the day. Other jobs are on-paper translation, which will likely let you go at more of your own pace.
Good translation is tough. If you have a knack for capturing the sense of the words in both languages, though, you could make really good money. These jobs pay anywhere from $20 to $100 per hour.
I’ve recently come across loads of ads for online ESL teachers. Sometimes these jobs are as simple as talking with a non-native speaker for a certain amount of time per week. Other times, these jobs require actual teaching credentials. It all depends on who you work for and the credentials you bring to the job.
Many of these jobs are paid on an hourly basis, and you count as a contractor. Most of the time, these jobs will require you to be available for certain hours. Although you can sometimes work these jobs as a side gig. Due to time differences, some of the available hours are at odd times, like late into the evening.
How much might you make as an online ESL teacher? It depends. Many companies currently advertising are paying between $10 and $20 per hour for qualified teachers.
Do you like to write, have a passion for a particular topic, and have an entrepreneurial streak? Blogging may be for you. As a bootstrapper, you’ll likely tackle the tasks of many of the other jobs listed here, including social media manager, PR professional, and, of course, writer.
Blogging can be difficult to break into these days in such a saturated market. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Some bloggers use their blog as a way to bring in business for other ventures. For others, the blog is the money-making venture.
Whether you make just a little bit of side income or a full-time income, blogging can be a great creative outlet that also earns money.
Jobs for Tech People
Are you good with hardware or software? Or do you have training or expertise in web development? These skills are in high demand. Many companies will hire you as a contractor for specific projects, while others are looking for these employees on a full-time basis.
Increasingly, tech-related jobs are allowing for individuals to work from home on a full-time or contract basis. As a software developer, you could work on a variety of projects as a contractor. Or you could find a company who is hiring a full-time, remote developer.
It can be a good idea to have a specialty as a software developer. This might include mobile development or integration, for instance. The average software developer salary is over $78,000 per year. Even as a part-time side gig, this can be a lucrative option.
These days, many developers specialize in certain types of programming. But it’s a good idea to be able to develop a basic website from end-to-end. You can start by creating your own to advertise your expertise!
Again, some companies hire web developers to work from home full time. But you’re more likely to get contract work for this job. Many smaller companies who can’t afford a full-time developer will hire one to build their site, and then pay a monthly retainer for ongoing support. The median web developer salary is $58,000.
At one time, web developers were able to develop both websites and emails. These days, though, email coding is getting much more complicated. So email development is breaking off into a field of its own.
Most companies don’t need a full-time email developer, but agencies may hire you to work from home full-time as an email developer. Another option is to offer these services as a freelancer. Either way, you could tackle some challenging projects while managing flexible hours in an interesting field.
Again, email development as its own career is less common than web development. But the average salary for an email developer is $70,000.
CRM Administrator or Developer
Customer relationship management (CRM) softwares like Salesforce are incredibly complicated, but they’re capable of some amazing stuff. If you know a CRM software really well, you might be able to work from home as a CRM administrator or developer.
CRM consultants aren’t typically going to be doing the day-to-day management of a company’s CRM. But as a consultant, you might set up new workflows, help streamline the system, or implement new processes for a business. Then, you’ll likely help document what you’ve done and train the staff on how to use these processes.
You can find freelance gigs as a CRM administrator or developer. Or you can work for a CRM consulting company as a full-time consultant working from home. A CRM consultant’s average salary is $79,000 per year.
Jobs for Artsy People
Even with all the technology around these days, people still need old-fashioned illustrating. You might find gigs as an illustrator for books or games, or for marketing campaigns. Breaking in as a freelance illustrator can be tough, and many full-time artists market other skills, as well.
Depending on the jobs you take and your level of expertise, you could earn anywhere from $20 to $100+ per hour as a freelance illustrator.
Digital photography is a really competitive field these days. A quick Google search of your hometown will likely turn up a dozen or more family and wedding photographers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t break into this fun and rewarding field. If you have an eye for the artful, a good camera, and editing software and skills, you can do photography for local businesses and families.
Freelance photographers may also shoot work to sell professionally, or work for magazines or other publications on an ad hoc basis.
On average, freelance photographers make about $25 per hour, including the time it takes to edit photos after a shoot. But photographers can make up to $100 per hour or more.
The developers, which we talked about earlier, are the ones who make email and web design actually work. But they’re not usually the ones who make things look nice. For this, you need a web or email designer.
These designs are often built on the same platforms. So you may be able to build both into your career. Sometimes designers learn a bit of code, as well, so that they can develop, or at least troubleshoot, basic designs. As with web and email development, formal education is less important than experience and an impressive portfolio.
As with many of the creative jobs listed here, this one is likely to be paid on an hourly or per-project basis. You may be able to work whatever hours suit you best just as long as you make meetings and meet deadlines.
If you like the idea of photography but want to give it a little more life, consider getting into videography. The equipment to start may be a bit more pricey, since you have to pay for sound equipment. You should also know how to edit your own footage if you’re going to work as a freelancer.
Like photographers, videographers have a variety of available options. They can shoot weddings and other family events, or work for businesses. As social media platforms place more emphasis on video content, more businesses than ever are using video as part of their marketing efforts. This opens up the field for videographers to find gigs.
Since videography depends on having someone there to video, this job will be less flexible than some others. But you can still schedule sessions around your whims, within reason. Salaries for videographers range all the way from less than $40,000 to more than $90,000 nationwide.
If you want to design beautiful things for print or for static web images, check out graphic design. As more businesses rely on image-heavy blogs and social media, one-off gigs as a graphic designer abound. These jobs are likely to be on a per-project basis. But some companies have enough design work to hire a full-time work-from-home designer or to keep one on an ongoing contract.
Graphic designers typically use programs like the Adobe suite to create images or beautiful text for print marketing, book covers, online ads, and more. The average graphic designer salary is about $47,000.
Jobs with Specific Training
The majority of the jobs we listed above do require training. You don’t just wake up one morning knowing how to code HTML or streamline workflows in Salesforce. But the jobs in this category are a little different. They will, for the most part, require specific degrees or certifications. This is different from the jobs above where you can get a certification, but can also just make your way based on proving your experience.
Many accountants and bookkeepers work from home. In fact, this is probably one of the earlier legitimate work from home opportunities. As businesses increasingly move their accounting information and processes to the cloud, it’s easier than ever to turn this into a work from home job.
As an accountant, you could work from home for a single company, run a business doing bookkeeping for several companies, or work for an accounting firm. Regardless, you’re likely to be able to make a good living, since accountants earn an average of $50,000 per year.
This is one of those work-from-home jobs where you’re really based at home, but do much of your work elsewhere. Insurance inspectors can often work out of a home office, but they travel a lot. They help investigate insurance claims for insurance companies. Many insurance companies hire third-party companies or independent inspectors for this.
You’ll likely need to become licensed in your state to work as an insurance inspector. To get licensed, you may need a bachelor’s degree in a related area. However, “related area” can be defined fairly broadly. All that training can be worthwhile, though, for the average $58,000 salary.
Like accounting, medical transcription is one of the older work-from-home jobs. These positions are often full-time telecommuting positions. This was once a way to make a decent, steady living from home. And it still can be. But be aware that computing technology and industry changes are making it more difficult to maintain a career in this field.
Medical transcription requires specialized knowledge. That’s because transcriptionists don’t just copy down information. They actually interpret it. You’ll need to go through some postsecondary training, normally a certificate, to handle this job. The average hourly wage is about $15 per hour.
As online schools become a popular option for students, online teaching is becoming a more popular option for teachers. These jobs are available for both K-12 teachers and postsecondary teachers.
Depending on your state and the type of online school for which you’re teaching (public, private, or public charter), you may need a degree and a formal teaching license for this job. At the postsecondary level, you may need a master’s degree or higher, or years of industry experience.
Class formats also vary. Sometimes, you’ll need to work during normal school hours because you’ll do direct instruction via video or chat. Other times, you’ll moderate class discussion in a forum and grade posted assignments on your own time frame.
Often, K-12 teachers are paid a salary for this job. As an online college professor, though, you’re more likely to get paid on a per-class basis. The average salary for an online teacher is about $35,000 per year.
Like an insurance adjustor, a realtor can often work based out of a home office. But this job involves lots of driving around and interacting with people. It can be a great option for extraverts who want to have control over their own schedules. However, realtors’ schedules often revolve around their clients’ schedules, and that may mean lots of evening and weekend hours.
Training requirements for realtors vary depending on where you live. But you’ll likely need to take a pre-licensing course and a licensing exam. Then if you want to technically become a realtor–rather than just a real estate agent–you’ll need to join the National Association of Realtors and join a brokerage.
Working as a realtor can be interesting and fun. And you can make a median salary of $58,000, with the potential to earn a whole lot more.
Paralegals do research and draft documents for attorneys. They still typically work in a law office, but many now work flexible hours or even work from home full-time. That all depends on your employer. In some cases, you can even pick up temporary paralegal work that allows for telecommuting.
To become a paralegal, you’ll need an associate’s degree. The median paralegal salary in the U.S. is about $46,000 per year.
Project managers are increasingly necessary in this world where various fields collide into huge company-wide projects. These are the people responsible for keeping the whole project in line and under budget.
Some project managers get into the field on a lower level. They might specialize in analysis or coordination. These jobs put you into big projects without putting you in charge. But project managers typically wind up with a certification of some sort. Some also specialize by focusing on projects in certain fields or industries.
Project managers can often work remotely, though they may need to be on site for key meetings with stakeholders. As a project manager, you might work as a contractor for multiple businesses or work full-time for a consulting agency. Project managers make an average of $78,000 per year.
I didn’t want to leave out any of the great work-from-home jobs in this category. But they don’t fit cleanly into the others. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth pursuing!
This is not only a work-from-home job, but it also allows you to make money with your home. Whether you rent out for a single weekend every year or for several nights a month, Airbnb can be a great way to make a side income.
My own family has been renting a room in our home through Airbnb this year. And i can tell you this: more months than not, it pays the mortgage.
As an Airbnb host, you’re responsible for cleaning and maintaining the rented area and for communicating with guests. You’ll also need to follow all your local laws in regard to home sharing. But it’s a fun way to make a side income, for sure.
This is yet another field where you need to be on the lookout for scams. If a questionable company is asking you to pay a lot of money to become a travel agent, avoid them. There may be a call to pay for some education in this area, though.
But more than training, what you need to be a successful travel agent is an entrepreneurial spirit. This is really one of those jobs that is what you make of it. That’s why travel agents can make anywhere from $25,000 to $54,000 per year.
This is such a broad term that it’s difficult to define. But many people leverage their day job skills and expertise to become consultants on the side. Or you might decide to partially retire to do consulting. For some, though, consulting is a viable full-time job.
Think of it this way: As a consultant, you can help businesses who can’t afford a full-time employee with your skillset get work done. Or you can come in as a fresh set of eyes to help others in your field solve a particular problem.
Consulting can be quite lucrative, depending on your skills and experience. Since you’re getting paid on a per-project basis without the benefits of a regular employee, you can command quite a high hourly rate. But you can also work from home for a consulting company as their full-time employee.
Either way you slice it, consulting is a great way to leverage skills you already have into an even more lucrative, flexible career or side gig.