Finding a legitimate work-from-home job can be difficult.
Searching online, you'll find several work-at-home schemes that aren't.
Multi-level marketing schemes are rampant, and I recommend avoiding them at all costs.
If you are looking for legitimate work-at-home jobs, you've come to the right place.
Additionally, you are not alone in wanting to work remotely.
According to a study by Flexjobs, between 2005 and 2017, remote work grew by 159%.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for further details.
I'll cover some of the different types of legitimate work-at-home opportunities that are out there.
And for each type of work, I'll list some of the companies that hire for legitimate work-at-home jobs.
Related: Under the Table Jobs
Work at Home Job Considerations
But first, let's talk about some things to watch for when looking for a job you can do from home, advantages/disadvantages, and what the different ways of working from home are.
What to Look for to Know if a Work From Home Job Is Legitimate
If you are looking to make money from home, you need to be alert because there are a lot of scams out there.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You shouldn't have to pay someone or be pressured by a deadline.
- If you have to pay someone before you can get a job, it is likely either a pyramid scheme/multi-level marketing scheme or an outright scam.
- While you need to respond to a job offer in a timely manner, if it feels like an artificial deadline is pushing you to make a decision, you should take a closer look.
- Be aware of fake job postings.
- Scammers sometimes post jobs that appear to be legitimate.
- However, they may be trying to get your personal information or trick you into making money for them.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
- Unfortunately, there aren't any work-at-home opportunities that are going to make you rich overnight.
- If they make claims that are out of line with other similar opportunities, it is likely not legitimate.
- Research the organization.
- You should be able to find contact/location information easily (and it should be real).
- Check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating.
- If details are missing, that should be easy to find, think twice about proceeding.
- Finally, if a company feels the need to explain on their website why they aren't a scam and are legitimate, you should run the other way.
An Example Job Posting to Avoid
A perfect example of this can be found in my American Consumer Panels review.
In short, this company appears to offer excellent pay for in-home product testers, and they have job postings on real job boards.
However, there are very sketchy details if you dig deeper. Additionally, they have the need to explain how they are legitimate on their website.
Above all, it appears American Consumer Panels is just a scheme to get people to sign up for survey sites so they can make money off of the affiliate links. And they don't properly disclose that either.
My message is to proceed with caution if you aren't familiar with the company behind the opportunity.
There are plenty of legitimate work-from-home jobs out there from reputable companies.
However, for every legitimate work from home job, there are many more scams out there.
Benefits of Working From Home
Working from home has many benefits, including:
- Unless you are required to be available during certain hours (i.e., customer service), you can likely set your own hours as long as you are getting your work done.
- Contrary to many who rave about getting up at 5 am and being ultra-productive, I find that I become most productive around 2-3 in the afternoon.
- That means I end up working later on most days, but that works for me.
- If you have kids, you can get them to school, pick them up, and be more available for any emergencies.
- You don't need to buy work clothes and can work in whatever you like.
- You can save money on gas, parking, car maintenance.
- And, depending on where you live, not having the aggravation of a daily commute, due to both weather and traffic, is priceless.
And according to the Flexjobs' study referenced earlier, remote workers are more productive, healthier, and make more money.
Are There Any Downsides?
While there are several benefits, keep in mind there can be some disadvantages:
- You need self-discipline.
- If you are a procrastinator or have problems meeting deadlines, working on your own at home may not be for you.
- It can get lonely.
- If you're an extrovert, or just need to be around people, it can be a difficult transition to work from home.
- Depending on the type of work you are doing, you could consider a co-working space or coffee shop to work from for some human interaction.
- You are on your own.
- If you need to work something out or just need to bounce an idea off of a coworker, that may not be an option.
- This can be alleviated by building a network of peers that do similar work to replace your traditional coworkers.
Legitimate Ways to Work From Home
There are three categories of working from home:
- Working for a company remotely
- Several companies, like Amazon and insurance companies, have work-from-home opportunities.
- I include gig economy side jobs here as well since they are typically working for established companies.
- Freelance work or consulting
- Providing services in your skilled area to many companies on a project-by-project basis.
- You can promote your freelance services via your own website, through networking, or by using a site like Fiverr.
- If you are a respected and experienced professional in your field, you can consult companies in your area of expertise.
- Consulting can be very lucrative, and you probably already have a network of companies that need your services.
- Providing services in your skilled area to many companies on a project-by-project basis.
- Creating your own work-from-home opportunity
- Starting a blog, eCommerce, or creating online courses fall into this bucket.
Types of Legitimate Work From Home Jobs
While I'm going to cover a large number of work-from-home jobs below, this is far from a complete list.
There are so many opportunities to work remotely, and the number continues to rise.
Keep in mind that some of the companies listed may not have positions currently available. The job market is always changing, but the companies listed do hire people in the category listed.
Working for a Company Remotely
For a lot of the positions below, other than the gig economy jobs, you'll be an employee of the company.
If you need, or want, your benefits taken care of, you want to be an employee.
Alternatively, you can become an independent contractor.
While benefits will vary from company to company for employees, as an independent contractor, you'll be responsible for all of your benefits.
Also, be aware that when companies need to cut back on expenses, contract work is one of the first things they cut.
In addition to the specific job sites listed below, you can find remote positions by searching the regular job boards (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, SimplyHired, etc.).
Just search for “remote” or “virtual” or “telecommute” and the job title you are looking for.
Bookkeepers keep the financial data of a business organized.
Bookkeeping is a vital function in a business that makes filing taxes more straightforward and makes an audit easier to deal with.
You can find both part-time and full-time positions making up to $25 per hour or $50,000 per year depending on experience.
Data and business analysts evaluate data throughout a business to help leaders make informed decisions.
While financial data is most common, other data evaluated may include safety, operational, quality, and human resource information.
Virtually every business has data and business analyst roles. So you can perform remote position searches on the generic job boards.
If you are good at grammar and spelling and know how to conform to style guides, proofreading may be an excellent fit for you.
And the good news is there is a substantial need for this type of work. Proofreaders are needed for everything like blog posts, court documents, instruction manuals, newsletters, and much more.
Proofreading is a very flexible job. Typically it is performed on a project basis. As long as it is completed by a deadline, you can perform the work around your schedule as needed.
If you are interested in proofreading, a tool like Grammarly will help catch mistakes you may have missed.
According to Glassdoor, proofreaders make, on average, around $44,000 per year.
As a freelance writer, you can write for all different types of media.
Blog posts, social media, resumes, marketing, business products, etc. The potential opportunities are endless.
Freelance writers typically make between $20 and $25 per hour, with some making much more based on experience.
Take a look around and the amount of job potential for graphic designers becomes obvious.
Whether it is designing a logo, creating book illustrations, or making web graphics, there is a ton of work available for graphic designers.
While full-time positions aren't as common as other fields, some companies need full-time employees.
Since a lot of graphic design work is on a per-project-basis, sites like Fiverr, Skyword, and Upwork are excellent places to find graphic design work. If you are looking for a full-time position, Dribble and FlexJobs are good places to look.
Because of the nature of tech jobs, they can be done virtually anywhere there is wifi.
Software engineers, architects, and developers are just a few examples of information technology jobs that can be done remotely.
You can find remote IT jobs from many major employers like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, by visiting their career sites.
Jobs in the insurance industry continue to grow, and a lot of insurance jobs can be done remotely.
Claims adjusters, underwriters, auditors, sales representatives, and appraisers are just some of the remote insurance jobs available.
Medical coding involves understanding medical services and coding them for billing.
These jobs typically require a certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Other certifications or education requirements may apply.
However, courses are available online and offline. You can then take an exam to get certified.
The certification process can take up to a year. However, if you need a degree, it is longer.
Medical coders make around $53,000 per year depending on education and experience, according to Salary.com.
Online Data Entry
Data entry jobs are typically entry-level and don't pay much.
And because of their simplicity, they are ripe for scams.
Don't follow any data entry leads that require you to pay for anything or promise unrealistic pay.
Social Media Management
Managing social media is becoming more critical every day for a lot of companies.
Whether it is developing a social media campaign for a Fortune 500 company or managing Pinterest pinning for a blog, there are a wide range of opportunities in this area.
For larger companies with full-time social media marketing positions, you'll need to use job boards or go to the individual company career sites.
Transcription jobs require you to convert video or audio files into text files.
General transcription services don't have many prerequisites other than typing skills, internet access, and appropriate software.
However, medical and legal transcription jobs typically require more specialized instruction.
Legitimate transcription work-at-home jobs are similar to the data entry positions mentioned earlier.
They are entry-level, low paying, and often the target of scammers.
Are you fluent in multiple languages? If so, a job in translation might be for you.
Translators perform many different activities, including teaching, customer service/call center jobs, work for government agencies, business translation services, and captioning services.
Do you have extensive knowledge of a particular subject and have an interest in helping others?
Becoming a tutor is a great way to make some extra cash while helping others in need of your knowledge.
Do you think you need to speak another language to teach others to speak English?
Well, you don't!
Most programs used to teach English are full immersion programs, so you don't have to know the student's native language.
Read our full VIPKid review.
Virtual Call Center Representatives
Several different types of jobs can fall under the call center umbrella.
And many major companies have multiple types of these jobs to look for.
Just about every company that provides a service or has a product requires customer service agents.
Whether it be taking orders, addressing billing issues, or helping with account issues, there are customer service jobs available all the time.
Additionally, companies affected by seasonality (Amazon, Lands End, Nordstrom, etc.) have large numbers of jobs during different times of the year (i.e., Christmas, Prime Day).
Related: Amazon Work From Home Jobs
Help Desk/Technical Support
Companies that sell software, electronics, or appliances need support desks when their customers have questions.
Airlines, car rentals, hotels, and other rental agencies need agents to take reservations and address customer concerns.
For smaller companies and solopreneurs, it is impossible to be available at all times to respond to your customer's needs.
That is where a virtual receptionist comes in.
Virtual receptionists field calls from multiple companies who use their service. This makes having customer service for small companies an economical option.
Vicky Virtual is a growing virtual receptionist service to find opportunities.
Gig Economy Jobs
Gig economy jobs are a bit different from most of the ones listed above.
While you may be working for a company, you likely aren't a company employee. You are most likely an independent contractor.
And, these aren't what you may think of as work-from-home.
These jobs typically require you to get out of your house. However, you can usually set your own hours.
Food delivery services have changed the way people eat food from restaurants, and the coronavirus pandemic accelerated this change.
The demand for food delivery drivers continues to grow.
And Instacart is a service to make money delivering groceries.
If you don't mind driving strangers around, a rideshare driver is an excellent way to make some extra money.
If you enjoy taking care of pets, you can become a pet walker and sitter.
Rover is a popular app you can use to provide these services.
Provide Home Services
Are you handy with tasks around the house?
Assembling furniture, yard work, painting, cleaning, and many more tasks are things you can do to make some extra cash.
Want to own your own delivery fleet?
Amazon has created Amazon Flex, where you can create your own delivery operation.
Related: How to Make Money with Amazon
Freelancing is an excellent option if you do work that many companies require, but that don't require full-time positions.
Many people are fearful of freelancing, but in reality, it can be more secure than a typical job.
If you lose a typical job, you have zero income coming in.
However, as a freelancer, you usually have many different jobs going on at the same time.
Losing a single job as a freelancer isn't as big of a deal.
Fiverr is a great place to start selling your services as a freelancer.
If you have a lot of professional experience, you may want to create your own consulting agency.
You can work with companies in your field, help them solve the issues they face, and make money along the way.
Create Your Own Job
Start a Blog
While starting a blog can take time and a lot of work, it can be very lucrative in the long term.
You can create and monetize a blog on just about any topic.
Create an Online Course
Do you have a skill you'd like to share with others?
Why not make some money at the same time?
Teachable is an online course platform where you can create and share an online course.
Other Ways to Make Money from Home
Amazon Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, is a site where you can perform tasks for individuals and businesses.
Tasks include things like data cleansing and verification, gathering information, and providing insights.
Surveys (aka Market Research)
You aren't going to make much money with online surveys.
However, if you have spare time where you have nothing else to do, it is an okay way to make a few extra bucks here and there.
Significant Changes During the Writing of this Article
I began writing this article at the beginning of March 2020. At that time, life in America was pretty normal. There were a few pockets of coronavirus, but it wasn't widespread.
My mother had been sick with Alzheimer's/dementia for several years, but her health had taken a significant downturn.
On March 12th, I drove halfway across the country to be with her and my family in her final days.
As I was driving, it became apparent that life in the United States was about to change drastically.
The NBA suspended its season, the NCAA tournament was canceled, and several other events were delayed or canceled. Schools were closing, and this new thing called “social distancing” became a common term.
While I was away from my blog, besides my personal loss, millions of people lost their jobs or had their hours significantly reduced.
And that was in addition to having their children out of school for many of them.
Today, a majority of people are working from home. While I don't know if this will be the new normal, I think there will be a more significant percentage of people working from home after life returns to normal.
Regardless, the information provided above is still a valuable resource for finding legitimate work from home jobs.
Some of the types of positions I discuss have been eliminated for the near term. However, a number of them are still needed (and some even more) during a time like the coronavirus pandemic.
Regardless of your situation, I hope this guide has helped answer your questions about work at home opportunities. And I hope you and your family have remained in good health.
While the idea behind this site is to create income streams of your own like blogging and passive income, finding a legitimate work from home job can be the perfect transition from regular employment to generating your own.
Are you currently looking to work from home, or have you worked from home in the past? What were your experiences? Please share in the comments below.