In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers must now deal with an unexpected furlough or lay off. Although coronavirus has created work in some parts of the healthcare, retail and delivery industries, the country is bracing for a record-setting number of layoffs.
Over the last few years, however, a so-called “gig economy” has emerged. These jobs involve workers making a living via contract work. With millions more on the unemployment rolls, these work-from-home jobs could see increased interest. Much of this contract work takes place online. This kind of work has applications across varied professions, so you may have the ability to perform this kind of work regardless of your background. Whether you want to earn extra money or make a full-time career decision, one of these online jobs might be just what you’re looking for.
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Prospective gig workers have a choice of numerous online jobs encompassing a diverse set of backgrounds. Although this does not provide a comprehensive list of possible online jobs, the following opportunities offer a possible avenue for the extra income or career change you might desire. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided the data on pay ranges for the given profession. Data from a related field is listed in parentheses.
2018 Pay Range: Variable
As the name implies, bloggers earn money by developing a personal weblog, often called a blog. While many involve writing, bloggers may also draw attention through video, audio or graphics.
Some work for larger media outfits to drive interest in a particular site or company. Others are self-employed in online jobs, creating a blog from scratch and building an audience. Independent bloggers often make money by selling ad space on their blogs. As the blog attracts more readers or clicks, the ad space on the blog becomes more valuable.
Blogs can be started for a relatively low cost from any web hosting site that also offers a web creation platform. How you market the blog will depend on its purpose, but if you can draw an audience, this could attract larger amounts of revenue over time.
2018 Pay Range: $25,260 to $61,650 per year
Businesses always need help watching their finances and maintaining their books. Bookkeepers can help enterprises record both payables and receivables. They may also create invoices, collect receivables or put financial reports together. Moreover, thanks to bookkeeping software and the internet, bookkeepers can take on responsibilities such as payroll, purchasing or tracking overdue bills.
Bookkeeping will require some level of college education and mathematical skills. You may also need to invest in accounting software and a website. However, maintaining a website, advertising online and networking can help you attract clients and build an income.
2018 Pay Range: $36,360 to $102,200 per year (instructional coordinators)
Course creators are the freelance version of what the BLS calls instructional coordinators. At a contractor level, this would usually be directed at the class level — or perhaps a curriculum level if you create a certificate program. Course creators evaluate requirements and suggest course materials to achieve a learning goal, often for companies looking to train their workers.
A master’s degree or relevant teaching experience would be required in a formal school environment, though some experts in this field only hold a bachelor’s degree.
2018 Pay Range: $22,460 to $48,010 per year
As the name implies, data entry technicians typically perform this online job by inputting data via a keyboard. This work may include verifying data or preparing data for printing.
People concerned about their background should know that this job typically does not require experience. Also, the duties are straightforward, for the most part. Data entry technicians can also work on a flexible schedule. Hence, it may suit your income needs as well as offer extra work.
2018 Median Pay: $31,700 to $121,670 per year
Freelance writers develop written content for numerous types of media, including ads, books, articles, blogs or scripts in either fiction or nonfiction genres. They must conduct research as well as write clear prose to convey information. They also work with editors to revise and rewrite material to refine a message.
Most who work in this profession have a bachelor’s in journalism, English or communications. Depending on which niche or area you happen to pursue, however, a background in an area such as finance or healthcare could also further your freelance writing career. Others who choose a specialty, such as grant writing, may pursue a certificate in that area.
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2018 Pay Range: $29,610 to $85,760 per year
Graphic designers engage in the creation of visual concepts. They usually create their designs on a computer — designing logos, illustrations, flyers, announcements and online images. Graphic designers also present their concepts to either art directors or sometimes directly to clients. The profession is expected to grow by 24% between 2018 and 2028, as companies seek to increase their digital presence.
Graphic designers typically pursue some level of postsecondary education where they can build a portfolio. Certification programs often happen through software vendors.
2018 Pay Range: $21,840 to $51,780 per year
Often called healthcare documentation specialists, medical transcriptionists create written reports from the voice recordings of health care professionals. They must also have familiarity with medical terminology. For this reason, health care organizations often prefer to hire someone with some postsecondary education in medical transcription or work experiences such as a nursing assistant or medical secretary.
Improvements in technology have reduced the need for some of this work. However, an aging population and an increased frequency in testing should help to increase the demand for transcription.
2018 Pay Range: Variable
Online sales is another profession well-suited as a work-from-home job. Some people may sell existing products; others may attempt to market and sell something they invented themselves. Making this kind of work succeed requires confidence in one’s product and the ability to make a product stand out among the millions of other products sold online.
Standing out requires varied skills. As an online seller, you may also have to show proficiency in marketing, writing, graphic arts skills, web design and bookkeeping. Sellers must also get a platform set up and decide what to charge. Pay hinges on how well your products sell.
2018 Pay Range: $9.54 to $36.71 per hour
Photographers produce images through technical and artistic expertise. They employ photographic and lighting equipment and often use software to edit their pictures. Technology such as digital cameras, editing software and drones have enhanced their abilities.
Since many are self-employed, they may also need to master social media, advertising, scheduling and bookkeeping. Photographers can do most editing and administrative work in a home office, though the photography will take place in other locations.
No formal education is necessary to become a photographer. Those wanting to enter the profession often take photography classes, however.
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2018 Pay Range: $23,220 to $63,080 per year
The proliferation of written online content has increased the need for proofreaders. Proofreaders both read and proof content to search for errors in grammar, typography or composition. Media outlets are one area of demand for this service. Proofreaders may also find work in the legal, scientific, technical or business support fields.
Clients typically prefer a proofreader hold a bachelor’s degree, particularly in a field such as journalism, communications or English. While the job does not require experience, a keen eye for detail is essential.
2018 Pay Range: $33,690 to $112,310 per year (public relations specialist)
Social media managers develop social media programs to communicate with followers and shape the public perception of an organization. Often considered the “voice of a company,” a social media manager might have functioned as a public relations specialist in the days before social media made it an online job. They may also perform copywriting duties, either through written words or images. Conducting research, maintaining SEO and performing customer service are among the social media manager’s other duties.
A social media manager will typically hold a bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations or a similar field.
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2018 Pay Range: $27,230 to $90,610 per year
Translators take words from an original language and make them understandable to those speaking a different language. This can involve translating written materials or acting as an interpreter for two people who do not speak the same language. Translators must also understand cultural references and slang in both languages to convey practical meanings.
Translators typically hold a bachelor’s degree and have achieved fluency in at least two different languages. However, clients do not typically require formal training or certifications.
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2018 Pay Range: $18,670 to $41,020 per year
Tutors give students additional attention — particularly one-on-one — helping to reinforce the lessons that teachers introduce. They may work with special education students or students with disabilities. Tutors work at the K-12 level, and even in postsecondary education. They may also specialize in an area such as adult literacy.
Tutoring typically requires a bachelor’s degree, and people tutoring at the post-secondary level may need a master’s degree or a Ph.D. to establish credibility. Still, with more than 76 million students in school as of 2017, tutors will likely not run short of students who need academic help.
2018 Pay Range: $31,940 to $170,040 per year
Sometimes called videographers, video editors create visual and audio content for various clients. They usually shoot video, arrange video footage, fix technical issues and collaborate with clients to create a final product. They may also submit bids, produce contracts and obtain permission to film at specific locations.
Video editors often earn a bachelor’s degree, particularly in a field such as communications or cinematography. They must also understand how to operate digital cameras and editing software.
2018 Pay Range: $24,690 to $64,230 per year (secretaries and administrative assistants)
Virtual assistants perform secretarial and administrative duties as an online job. This can involve functions ranging from answering phones to scheduling appointments and meetings to maintaining data and performing bookkeeping tasks. Because virtual assistants perform these duties on a contract basis, they may work for more than one client.
Although this job may not require significant amounts of postsecondary education, knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets and databases will help. Virtual assistants will also need to study industry terminology if they work for medical offices or legal firms.
2018 Pay Range: $10.65 to $26.59 per hour
One other type of work increasingly performed in a home is customer service via virtual call center representatives. Among the duties they perform are answering questions, handling complaints or taking down information. Some may also generate sales using this technology. Most people learn these skills on the job, though representatives in specialized areas may require more training.
Today, companies have often turned these positions into work-from-home jobs. Should you take one of these positions, be aware that they may require early morning or late-night shifts. Still, this may allow for some flexibility for when you want to work.
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2018 Pay Range: $37,930 to $124,480 per year
Web designers design and create websites. They handle both the visual and the technical aspects of the site. Web developers also create content, as well as ensure that the site can handle the needed capacity.
Requirements vary. An associate degree in web development is the most common path to enter this industry. However, back-end development may require a bachelor’s degree. Nonetheless, e-commerce continues to drive faster-than-average growth in the profession. Because designers can do the work from anywhere in the world, web design is easily adaptable to the work-from-home environment.
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Pay ranges were sourced from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.