Do you dream of giving up the daily commute and working in your pajama pants? Or simply want to stay at home with the kids to avoid child care costs? The world of work at home (WAH) job opportunities may sound like a dream come true, but to succeed, not only will you need self-discipline and a dedicated work space, but you need to find the right job. The age old adage of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” holds true with many misleading work at home job listings. But here are five great WAH opportunities you should check out, and only two of the five require specialized expertise.
Many companies hire customer service representatives that can work from home, including cable TV and florist services. You can either apply directly to the company, such as Amazon fulfillment jobs, or apply with a company such as LiveOps that subcontract workers for companies that need work at home customer service phone representatives. These jobs generally have very few requirements, except you will need to have a landline phone, a quiet work environment, and good people skills. If you’re processing payments, you might have to pass a credit check, as well.
Do you have a knack for putting words down on paper? Try your hand at freelance writing. This work at home job has the most flexibility, but it also tends to be less reliable as a source of income than some other opportunities. While this is certainly no “get rich overnight” career path, you can build up clients and climb the literary ladder to better paying jobs if you’re willing to take on a few lower paying gigs to build up your resume and portfolio. From writing content for bloggers to creating advertising copy for large corporations, you’ll find a wealth of information on writing jobs, content creator websites, and Facebook groups that will help you get started. Also invest in a good AP Stylebook, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the voice-to-text software Dragon NaturallySpeaking can become your best friend.
If you’re tech savvy, providing technical support from home is a great way to make a good income without venturing out in the daylight. Of course, any work at home job tends to make one a little reclusive, but the computer nerds tend to find that is more of a positive than a negative. Bankrate.com reports that jobs for computer support specialist — whether they work on site or from home — are expected to increase by 18 percent until the year 2000, which is much faster than the average for other occupations.
Another great work at home job is transcription of audio files into typed text. If you’re an excellent typist, you can make between $12–15 dollars an hour as a general transcriptionist. However, if you really want to make a good living during transcription, it’s worthwhile to seek additional training to become a medical transcriptionist, working with physicians who often call into recording services for their notes on visits or to record a patient medical history. You can expect to spend anywhere from six to 12 months to train for medical transcription, and HomeWithTheKids.com has an excellent resource page for anyone interested in medical transcription, as that’s how the blog owner started her work at home career.
If you have a background in nursing, you have some work at home options that don’t require any face-to-face or hands-on care for patients. Registered nurses now have an option of working for insurance companies providing nurse hotline services for emergencies and afterhours advice. Most nurse hotlines subcontract out their services to companies who provide phone nurses for multiple insurance clients, so you will be working with many different insurance companies in many different programs. If that sounds overwhelming, rest assured that the computer software pulls up the instructions for each insurance company so you have it at hand when speaking with the client, as well as questions and protocols to assess a patient and make a recommendation.
Because of the nature of the information being exchanged, this work at home job requires you have a dedicated room for work that has a lockable door, even if you live alone. This is because of HIPAA laws that require any materials in your workspace be lockable to ensure that patient data remain secure. You also need your own phone line, and depending on the company you work for, you may need your own dedicated IP address.
A similar job to working for a nurse hotline is doing after-hours telephone triage, where you take calls for a home health or hospice company and help talk patients them through any issues that arise. If you’re unable to talk through the problem on the phone, you dispatch whatever nurse is on call to make a visit.
Working at home sounds like a dream — and it can be — if you find the right job and treat it with the same dedication you would for a standard office job. With practice, you can learn to avoid the distractions and be productive, earning a living from the comfort of your home and having more time to spend with family.
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