When you’ve got kids—especially little ones that are still at home—leaving the house to go to work can be a job in itself. But what if “going to work” was simply opening up your laptop or walking to another room? Telecommuting has increased more than 115% since 2005, according to Flexjobs.com, with more jobs opening up for moms and dads who want to keep their work life closer to home. So whether you want to dog-sit on weekends or teach English at nights, keep reading for our list of the best work-from-home jobs.
photo: a.a.sabnis via Flickr
1. Miss talking to grown-ups? Be a Customer Service Agent for Amazon.
Last year, Amazon announced plans to hire more than 5,000 remote customer service positions worldwide—and the site has an entire “work from home” category in its jobs database. From the looks of current job descriptions, customer service agent hours average about 20-29 hours per week; more during the holiday season.
What it pays: Starting rate of $10 per hour; increases to $13.50 an hour according to current listings.
Apply here: amazon.jobs
2. Are you really good at something? Be a Just Answer Expert and spread your knowledge to the world!
Are you a doctor? Got a business degree? Know your way around the legal system? Use your varied expertise to answer questions from the masses! Categories include health, cars, home improvement, law, tech, health, homework and “general.” Anyone can apply to be an expert—it’s up to the person who asks the question to decide whose answer gets the dough.
What it pays: According to the JustAnswer pay calculator, you can make anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour (but that’s, of course, only if you’re giving the “best” answers … and lots of them).
Apply here: justanswer.com
3. Are you an elementary or high school teacher? Teach kids online!
If you have a teaching degree and gave up teaching full-time so you could raise your kids at home, you can have the best of both worlds by becoming a teacher for online elementary and high schools. These are full-time teaching jobs, which means you’ll still need to find someone to take care of your kids while you’re at “work,” but no more pesky commutes to and from anywhere.
What you’ll do: Teach various subjects using e-mail, chat, and video conferencing.
What it pays: At least $36,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.com.
4. Just want to help a kid out? Be an online tutor.
Are you a former Mathlete? A science buff? Use your academic prowess to help kids who need a little extra help grasping the concepts. Online tutors
What you’ll do: Online tutors help kids grasp abstract concepts of subjects including algebra, chemistry, physics, geometry, etc. All you need is some hefty knowledge of your chosen subject, a high-speed internet connection (with a webcam) and a few hours of time (Tutor.com’s job site says you can work as little as 5 hours to as many as 29 hours per week).
What it pays: $12 to $35 an hour to tutor; $10 to $20 for teaching English.
Apply here: tutor.com/apply
5. Teach English online.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Mandarin, French, German—or any other language, for that matter. When you sign up to teach English to kids online, you just need to know… English. Most companies provide complete lesson plans, which makes it easy for you to log on and instantly connect with kids from around the world. Another bonus? Since you’re teaching kids from the other side of the globe, chances are your littles will be fast asleep during your whole work shift.
What it pays: $10 to $20 an hour, according to The Work at Home Wife.
photo: Andrew Sorensen via Flickr
6. Love To Google? Be a search engine evaluator.
You know how you can type in “Great Kids Museums” and you’ll get a whole list of perfectly-matched results? Well, a lot of work went into those results. Sure, most of it is a computer algorithm that takes a millisecond to perform; but there are always glitches. Search Engine Evaluators test search engines to make sure the results match the queries appropriately. Most positions are flexible, part-time, and require a college degree and a high-speed internet connection.
What it pays: $10-$15 an hour, according to Glassdoor.
7. Got a few minutes? Test websites.
Ever get to a website only to become frustrated when the navigation buttons don’t work or your coveted items don’t properly add to your shopping cart? There’s help for that! Web analytics companies employ testers to visit websites and report back on what works and what doesn’t. Usually, the job entails visiting a website and performing a variety of tasks (add a few items to your shopping cart, for example). Testers can take on as much or as few as they want—which means you can work as little as 10 minutes a day if that’s all you have available.
photo: Gilloute via Flickr
8. Love dogs? Take care of other people’s pooches with Rover.com
For lovers of all things cute and furry, this job’s an easy sell. Get yourself listed on Rover.com and you’ll automatically be up for grabs for anyone who needs a place for their pup to crash in your neighborhood (this job can be particularly profitable if you live near a major tourist destination like Disneyland or Six Flags, where people can’t bring their dogs).
What it pays: It depends on your availability and your chosen rate (you list what you want to get paid), but Glassdoor says dog-sitters average about $20 per hour. And, according to thesimpledollar.com, “sitters that treat Rover like a part-time job and take two or three dogs for two weeks out of the month earn an average of $1,000 per month.”
Apply here: rover.com
9. Want a job your kids will wish they had? Test new mobile device games for PlayTestCloud.com.
If you’re a candy crush addict or always playing Words With Friends when you think you’re kids aren’t watching, now’s your chance to get in some easy gaming minutes without feeling like you’re totally wasting your time. Playtesters get paid (not much, admittedly, but something) to test games so that game developers can fix any glitches and hone their game. Basically, your screen will be recorded while you play and narrate your playtime. All you need is a smartphone, a headset, and a Paypal account.
What it pays: $9 per test; tests run 15 to 30 minutes each.
Apply here: playtestcloud.com
10. Got style? Be a stylist for Stitch Fix.
If you’re one of those stylish mamas who hasn’t ditched the high heels and still carries a brand-name purse instead of a dirty diaper bag—Stitch Fix might be the perfect work-from-home job for you. Don’t know it? Stitch Fix is a clothing delivery company that sends you personalized wardrobe choices based on your preferences, lifestyle and price point (you fill out a questionnaire to determine these bits). You get five outfits in a box; pay only for what you keep (which can be everything or nothing).
Behind this service, of course, is a team of work-from-home stylists who pull together the outfits, client by client. Stylists get a rundown of the customer, then scramble to find something fabulous. Stylists must commit to working 15 to 30 hours per week and be available for an on-site training session in their city. Currently, Stitch Fix needs stylists in Austin, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco.
What it pays: $15 per hour according to Glassdoor.
Apply here: Stitchfix.com/careers/styling
11. Get typing as a transcriptionist.
Got lightning-fast fingers? Use them to transcribe audio clips for companies such as Transcribe Me or Speakwrite.com. It’s monotonous work, but great if you’ve only got an hour or two free (most of these companies allow you to work as little or as much as you want).
What it pays: $12-20 per hour.
12. Be an at-home advisor for Apple.
If you’ve ever been on one side of a “Help! My phone isn’t working!” conversation, you know it probably takes a lot of patience to deal with such complaints day after day. But if you’re up for the challenge and want a job with great benefits, Apple is looking for at-home advisors to help customers with its products and services via chat and phone. This is a full-time job, with Apple providing all the materials you’ll need (including an iMac). The job also comes with “competitive pay, great benefits, stock opportunities, time off, an employee discount, and dedicated resources to support your ongoing growth and development.”
Note: This job requires “a quiet, distraction-free workspace with a door you can shut.”
What it pays: Undisclosed; rumored to be in the teens.
Apply here: Apple.
photo: Classic Film via Flickr
13. Sell, sell sell! For the direct marketing company of your choosing
Whether it’s anti-aging elixirs from Rodin and Fields, essential oils from doTERRA, or toys from Discovery Toys, you’ve surely seen some kind of direct marketing (DM) item on your social media feeds. In fact, you probably have a few friends who are “consultants” in their spare time. And why not? The gig sounds like a dream: Flexible hours; an awesome work/life balance; and an excuse to throw wine-paired “Product Parties” to show off your wares and hang with friends.
But enter at your own risk. Direct selling may be a $36 billion market according to the Direct Selling Association; but the average seller’s salary is less than $750 per year before expenses, according to this eye-opening Parents Magazine article about the biz (starting your “business” usually requires a small startup fee or the purchase of additional items to help sell your products—like sample kits and product vials).
What it pays: Our guess is as good as yours.
Apply here: A few of our faves: Discovery Toys (toys & games), Rodan and Fields (skin care), doTERRA (essential oils), LuLaRoe (clothing); Beauty Counter (“safe” skin care and cosmetics); Pampered Chef (kitchenware).