Would you rather drive through rush hour to get to work, or walk from your bed to your desk? Do you hate stocking up on dress shirts and shaving regularly for work? Well, then maybe it’s time you consider working from home. Just be sure that you are self-disciplined and know when to start working and, more importantly, know when to stop.
The main downside of work at home jobs is that sometimes they actually are too good to be true, with many turning out to be scams. So we’ve compiled a list of the best legitimate work from home opportunities. A few of these are just part-time jobs, but most are full-time and can potentially earn you a decent salary.
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Sit at home and plan out vacations. What could be better? Well, maybe taking your own vacation. Still, travel agents typically earn more than $30,000 their first year on the job, so work for a year and use the money you saved by not commuting and eating lunch out every day and go somewhere nice.
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Graphic designers use computer publishing tools to produce designs for a company and its products. So, let’s get this straight. You can spend your days at your computer wearing pajamas and thinking of clever designs? It’s basically college, except you get paid and the designs are on the computer, not in a notebook. Plus, the pay can be pretty good too. Graphic designers can make more than $40,000 in their first year.
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Jury duty isn’t usually considered one of the more pleasant experiences in life, but as we reported recently, more unemployed people are flocking to jury duty to pick up some extra cash. But there is another option that doesn’t involve sitting in court all day long, waiting for your number to be called. You could work as a virtual juror, or e-juror, as it’s sometimes called. Essentially, your job is to help review cases for lawyers so they can get a sense of how persuasive their argument is on the average person. The job pays approximately $10 per hour.
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Paralegals and Legal Assistants
If you’re interested in working with legal cases, consider working from home as a paralegal or legal assistant. Your responsibility would be to research cases and prepare legal documents. More firms have started to hire work-at-home paralegals in an attempt to cut costs. The position typically pays more than $40,000 in the first year and close to $60,000 with a few years experience.
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These professionals work with property owners to help boost their real estate value, find tenants and make sure the property stays in good condition. It may sound like a hands-on position, but most of it can be done over the phone and on the computer. You are essentially in charge of all the paperwork that keeps a building running smoothly. Property managers typically earn $40,000 to $50,000 annually in their first three years.
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Financial planners help families and small businesses with accounting, taxes and other general money matters. All you need is a computer and some good interpersonal skills (as well as financial acumen, of course). Like with many of these jobs, the trick to being successful working from home is networking with people online and in person so you can build your roster of clients. Assuming you’re certified, you can earn $60,000 or more in this position.
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Interpreters and Translators
You may not get to sit in on many high level diplomatic meetings, but translators are in high demand for many other professions too. Companies are always looking for freelancers and telecommuters to help translate recordings and papers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 22% of all interpreters and translators are self-employed, and many work from home. But if you’re really looking to earn your livelihood from this position, Businessweek.com recommends getting certified first. It will make you more competitive in the field. Wages vary with experience, but most earn $20-25 per hour in their first few years on the job.
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Web Software Engineers
Web software engineers help companies develop and design computer applications and software. It may sound like a nerdy job, but this is one of the highest paying work-at-home positions, with average salaries of more than $70,000. So these spectacled computer geeks can roll out the champagne and cigars every weeknight after putting in a hard day of work at home on their luxurious sofas.
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Public Relations Specialist
Most public relations tasks are done over the phone or online anyway, so it makes sense that more PR firms would start allowing employees to telecommute. (For a list of some, check here.) Alternatively, you can go it alone and start your own PR company from home. Starting salaries are approximately $40,000.
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No, you are not taking coffee requests via e-mail. Virtual assistants are actually entrepreneurs who provide support services to small businesses. They handle administrative tasks, maintain relationships with customers, and handle scheduling and bookkeeping. And there are a lot of virtual assistants out there. The Virtual Assistant Network, a popular Web site for the profession, has more than 10,000 members. The average salary is $54,000.
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These professionals transcribe recordings made by doctors and health care professionals to produce medical reports and other administrative material. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, many of them work from home. So, if your parents always wanted you to become a doctor, this could be a good way to test out the field without enduring all the blood and somber hospital wards. The average salary is $40,000, but with some experience, you can easily earn $70,000 or more. For more information about how to gain training for this position, read this.
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Tech Support Specialist
When you speak to a tech support person on the phone, you never know where they are located. Luckily, you don’t have to telecommute from India to get the job. This industry is expected to grow wildly in the coming years. Specialists make an average salary of $50,000 in their first three years on the job.
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