Who's Hiring Freelancers: Overflow, ACT and Brighten Communications

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If you need extra money but don't want a staff job, freelance work may be the answer. These days, companies hire freelancers for everything from writing and design to delivery and sales.

Pros and cons: You usually don't get benefits, but can often set your own schedule and may even be able to work from home. The pay is self-employment income, and is viewed differently than normal wages by the IRS. You'll need to file specific tax forms with your annual return – and, depending on what you earn, you might need to submit quarterly tax payments. On the plus side, you can deduct many of your expenses, and may qualify for the home office deduction.

Here are three companies hiring independent contractors right now.

Overflow

What they do: Provider of outsourced call center services.

Freelance opportunities available: Virtual call center agents.

Requirements: Must have good basic computer skills, high school diploma or GED and have a pleasant, professional phone manner. Also must have a high-speed Internet connection.

Hours/Pay: Agents set their own schedules and aren't required to work a minimum number of hours per week, but must set their schedule two weeks in advance. The company pays on a per-call basis. The minimum of paid calls per hour is four, so you will be paid for at least that number even if you receive fewer than that, as long as you were available to take calls. Rates vary, but the current average is $1.40 to $1.70 per call.

Other info: The company especially welcomes applicants who are veterans, disabled or housebound, but specifies that you must have "normal hearing and the use of at least one arm and hand."

Apply here.

Next Page: ACT

ACT

What they do: Provider of assessment, research and program management tools in the areas of education and workforce development. Known mainly for their ACT standardized tests taken by many college-bound high school students.

Freelance opportunities available: Test readers and question writers.

Requirements: Must have bachelor's degree and preferably have recent teaching experience, especially at the high school level.

Hours/Pay: Pay averages at least $12 an hour and is based on several factors, including speed and quality of work.

Other info: They also need freelancers to help with their workforce development tests. Experience with workforce testing is preferred, but they also welcome candidates with any specific industry experience, such as expertise in automotive, manufacturing or health care.

Apply here.

Next Page: Brighten Communications

Brighten Communications

What they do: Telemarketing firm specializing in business-to-business calls.

Freelance opportunities available: Telemarketers.

Requirements: Previous telemarketing and cold calling experience, PC with high-speed Internet access and Windows XP or Vista and a quiet working environment.

Hours/Pay: Agents work 20 to 40 hours per week. They can choose their own hours, but work must be done between 9 a.m. eastern time and 5 p.m. pacific. Starting pay is $12 an hour, but the company says many experienced agents are making $16 an hour.

Other info: The company has compiled statistics on the average number of calls sales agents should be able to make, and you will be compared to those standards. There are reward bonuses for the top-performing agents.

Apply here.

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