The Best Jobs for Working From Home

Staying in your PJs, sipping a latté, avoiding the rush-hour commute — these are just a few of the great things about working from home. It might surprise you to find out you don’t have to go into the office every day to have a thriving career. With the right focus and skillset, you can make a good living with remote online jobs in a variety of industries. If you want the stability of a traditional job, but with some flexibility, you’re in luck — many employers embrace flexible work environments to keep their workers happy and healthy. Intrigued? Read our tips for working from home.

How to Find Legitimate Work From Home Opportunities

There are so many work from home opportunities out there, it can be hard to know which ones are the real deal. One good way to weed out work-from-home scams is this saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Does the job description seem vague, offer high pay for little work, or ask you to pay the employer anything? Just use your common sense to guide your judgement.

The good news is, improvements in technology and the popularity of social media have created a whole new way of working. Platforms like Upwork let talent connect with employers around the globe — and everyone from stay at home moms to freelance professionals are finding work that pays. Freelance platforms typically charge workers a small percentage of their earnings in exchange for access, so be sure to keep that in mind.

What Kind of Work Can You Do From Home?

The digital age is changing the way we work — one estimate predicts the majority of the U.S. workforce will freelance within the next decade. We've highlighted a variety of work-from-home jobs — from the best jobs for parents to the highest paying opportunities. Take a look and explore your options!

The Top 10 Work from Home Jobs

  1. Companies want to reach customers around the world — and to do that, they need to speak their languages. Translators are fluent in at least two languages, and usually work with written documents. This gives the company access to native speakers who can translate quickly and accurately. Translators set their own hours, so it makes a great stay at home job.

    Average pay: $49,000

    How to get started: Know at least two languages (like French and English) by heart — not just grammatically, but with cultural context. Most translators have a college education as well. Hone your writing skills, because that will be a major part of the job. You can connect with translation agencies to have work funneled to your laptop.

  2. Dream of being paid to travel? Travel agents often work from home, because the internet has made it easier than ever to connect with potential clients. Experienced travel agents help travelers save time and money (and avoid the stress of choosing flights and hotels). Since hours depend on your goals, it can be a good option for moms who want to work from home part time.

    Average pay: $38,700

    How to get started: You’ll need a solid business plan to get to your goals as a travel agent. Set your working hours, create a business website, and find out licensing requirements in your state. You don’t need a college education to be a travel agent, but you may need specialized training.

  3. Writing is a versatile profession that’s perfect for working from home. While some do still write books, there’s so much more to the industry today. Writers are paid to create content for advertising, feature articles, social media posts, blogs and more. The best part is you can set your own hours (as long as you meet your deadlines).

    Average pay: $62,000

    How to get started: Most writers have at least a bachelor’s degree. You’ll need to build a solid portfolio of work to attract clients. Check out freelance networks like Upwork to find projects, or volunteer to write for a local charitable organization. Then start advertising your services with a website and social media.

  4. Businesses today need a solid social media presence — both to build a positive brand presence and to reach customers. Social media managers guide communication strategy on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. Since social media is “always on,” you may need to respond to a crisis in the wee hours of the morning, so keep that in mind.

    Average pay: $56,000

    How to get started: You’ll need more than an Instagram following to be successful in this role. Social Media Managers typically have a college degree, knowledge of data analytics tools and excellent communication skills. Build a track record with a marketing agency or corporate communications department before you go freelance.

  5. Bookkeepers help businesses keep financial records in order by preparing invoices, recording payments, and balancing the general ledger. These are no longer done by hand — today’s bookkeepers use accounting programs like QuickBooks to maintain records and help prepare compliance filings such as sales tax returns and W-2s.

    Average pay: $40,000

    How to get started: You might be surprised to learn that you don’t have to be a CPA to do this job — you may not even need a college degree. Bookkeepers need a keen eye for detail, a high level of organization and solid math skills. You can seek out bookkeeping at your local community college or online to get started.

  6. Graphic designers help a business present their image to the world. They create designs for websites, logos, brochures, advertisements and more. Graphic designers have an eye for the artistic, and the ability to translate ideas into visuals based on what their client needs.

    Average pay: $50,000

    How to get started: Graphic designers need to work well with clients, and be skilled with programs like Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign. Most also have a college degree or certification in graphic design, and experience with an advertising agency or corporate marketing department.

  7. The internet allows children to learn from anywhere. Online public schools are booming, and offer students access to state-certified teachers for grades K-12. Online teachers connect with students through email, live chats through Skype, and video or audio lectures along with downloadable materials. Many colleges also offer online learning programs and even fully virtual degrees, so there is high demand for teachers who can provide instruction online.

    Average pay: $56,000

    How to get started: You’ll need a college education and a teaching license to be an online teacher. College instructors have the potential for much higher earnings, but require at least a master’s degree. Seek out training for online educators, and make sure you have a computer with a good webcam.

  8. Virtual Assistants act as off-site secretaries to their business clients. They are self-employed and work from home to manage emails, arrange meetings, help with event management, and assist with social media. They provide essential services to businesses to help keep things running smoothly.

    Average pay: $38,000

    How to get started: It helps to have experience as an administrative assistant to build your credibility. You’ll need a high school education, good communication skills, impeccable organization and access to the internet. Check online job boards for virtual assistant listings to get started.

  9. Web Developers make the web work. They have a unique mix of graphic design and technical programming skills that make webpages function — with embedded code like HTML and JavaScript, interactive features like animations, and designing for secure online payments. Their job is to make web pages visually appealing and user-friendly while running smoothly.

    Average pay: $69,000

    How to get started: You’ll need an associate’s degree to advance in this field. While specialized certifications aren’t necessary, you will need to be skilled at coding languages and web design. The workday generally follows a typical business schedule, though you’ll need to be available if the site crashes or your client needs an urgent update.

  10. Ever wonder where that customer service rep you’re talking to lives? They could be anywhere. Many businesses have virtual call centers where calls are answered by representatives who work in their homes rather than an office. This allows employers flexibility to staff up during peak seasons (like Christmas for retailers) and gives you the chance to work from home, often on your own schedule.

    Average pay: $34,000

    How to get started: Check online job boards for virtual customer service representative opportunities. You’ll need a quiet place to work online (so callers can’t hear barking dogs or giggling kids), a dedicated phone line, a computer with internet service — and a great attitude!

Work from Home Jobs for Parents

Being a parent is a full-time job. You’re cooking, cleaning, running the kids to and from practices, and managing everyone’s appointments. If you want to earn a little cash, here’s a list of legitimate jobs that busy moms can do from home full time or part time, no scams or fees.

Job Title
Average Pay
Customer Service Representative
$34,000
Proofreader
$41,000
Travel Agent
$38,700
Writer
$62,000
Graphic Designer
$50,000
Medical Transcriptionist
$34,000
Data Entry
$32,000
Translator
$49,000
Social Media Manager
$56,000
Medical Records Technician
$40,000

9 of the Highest Paying Work From Home Jobs

Experienced workers who want to pursue a high-paying career don’t need to be chained to an office. With the right mix of skills and expertise, you can find work-from-home and online jobs that pay very well.

Senior Medical Writer

Salary Range: $110,000-$115,000

Related Job Titles: Technical Writer, Principal Medical Writer, Medical Editor, Regulatory Medical Writer

UX Designer

Salary Range: $62,000-$130,000

Related Job Titles: User Experience Designer, UI/UX Designer, UX/Product Designer, UX Design Manager

Senior Software Engineer

Salary Range: $94,000-$166,000

Related Job Titles: Software Developer, Software Developer (Full Stack), Senior Network Engineer

Business Development Manager

Salary Range: $49,000-$118,000

Related Job Titles: Territory Manager, Sales Manager, Regional Sales Manager, Account Director

Major Gifts Officer

Salary Range: up to $90,000

Related Job Titles: Development Director, Fundraising Director, Planned Giving Officer, Director of Development, Major Gift Fundraising Manager

Research Biologist

Salary Range: $93,000-$157,000

Related Job Titles: Computational Biologist, Molecular Biologist, Scientist

Public Relations Manager

Salary Range: $68,000-$114,000

Related Job Titles: Public Relations Director, Communications Director, PR Manager, Marketing Communications Manager

Computer Systems Analyst

Salary Range: $75,000-$120,000

Related Job Titles: IT Specialist, Senior Systems Analyst, Network Administrator, Network Architect

Actuary

Salary Range: $80,000-$104,000

Related Job Titles: Accountant, Insurance Underwriter, Economist, Cost Estimator, Statistician

10 Work from Home Jobs that Don’t Require a College Degree

If you want to work from home but you don’t have a college degree, check out this list.

Customer Service Representative

Job description: Answer customer questions, resolve or assist with complaints, help with customer billing inquiries, handle refunds and exchanges.

Skills needed: Verbal communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, positive attitude

Virtual Assistant

Job description: manage emails, arrange meetings, help with event management, assist with social media, perform administrative tasks.

Skills needed: Verbal and written communication, internet access, attention to detail

Medical Coder

Job description: Review and analyze medical record to accurately assign billing codes.

Skills needed: Attention to detail, knowledge of coding and compliance guidelines, may require specialized certifications

Payroll Support Services

Job description: Process payroll, follow balancing procedures to ensure accuracy, ensure compliance with government regulations.

Skills needed: Knowledge of payroll software, basic accounting abilities, data entry

Telemarketing

Job description: Call prospective clients to sell products or services.

Skills needed: Tenacity, excellent communication skills, negotiation

Data Entry

Job description: Type and submit data by computer quickly and accurately.

Skills needed: Organization, dedication, computer typing, accuracy

Fitness Coach

Job description: Inspire clients to reach fitness goals online.

Skills needed: Love of fitness, drive for success, ability to use social media and web platforms.

Blogger

Job description: Write inspiring content that attracts readers for your own blog (or as a guest-blogger).

Skills needed: Writing and grammar, organization, tenacity, research, web and social media

Childcare Provider

Job description: Care and activities for children while parents are away.

Skills needed: Patience, love of children, creativity, organization

Crafter

Job description: Make crafts and sell them via online shops like Etsy or eBay.

Skills needed: Creativity, web savvy, internet access

Are you ready to follow your entrepreneurial dreams? No matter which path you choose, you can make it happen — the main thing is to stay at it. For even more tips about working from home and setting up your own home office, check out the Secrets of Solo Entrepreneurs and Ultimate Post-Move Checklist.