The number of home-based workers increased by over 4 million people between 1997 and 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau. A growing number of people are choosing to leave the “rat race” and go into business for themselves. There is no one type of work-at-home employee. They include mothers who wish to spend more time with their young children, retirees seeking to supplement their retirement, and military families who desire the flexibility of a job that moves with them. Regardless of the reasons, studies are clear: home-based workers are becoming a formidable force in the workplace.
If you do not feel quite ready to jump into the deep end of the “work for yourself” pool, here are 10 part-time jobs that you can consider to wade in the waters of self-employment. Since there are little to no start-up costs associated with these roles, it would be relatively easy to begin your own work-at-home company to supplement your income or to grow into a full-time business.
1. Medical Transcriptionist
Despite the alarming number of scams surrounding this work-at-home position (“Send me $19.95 and I’ll tell you how to find medical transcriptionist jobs!”), this is a legitimate field. The work entails listening to medical dictation from physicians and converting it to a typed document, then returning the file to the physician. The ability to perform this job may require specialized training and coursework. The average salary for medical transcriptionists is $15 per hour.
Are you fluent in more than one language? If so, you can consider putting your skills to use as a translator and working for companies around the world. With an increasingly global economy, the outlook for work-at-home translators is growing. In this job, your responsibilities would include translating both documents and audio files into a different language, which would include accounting for language and cultural nuances. The average salary for translators is $20 per hour.
3. Web developer
One of the fastest-growing work-at-home positions is web development. Designing, creating, and maintaining websites for clients generally requires some training courses, which can typically be taken online for a minimal fee. The job may include establishing Internet security for websites, setting up shopping carts, and establishing a blog. Rates may vary based on the details of the job.
Do you have a knack for working with words? Writing can be a lucrative job. Your responsibilities may include copyediting, proofreading, content writing, ghost writing, and editing. Many companies will hire freelancers for long-term projects, or they may be hired to write only one piece. If you have expertise in a specific area, it can give you an edge in finding writing jobs. Employers generally pay by the piece or by the word.
If numbers are more your style, bookkeeping is another field that offers many work-at-home opportunities. Instead of having a full-time bookkeeper or accountant, many companies prefer to outsource the work to a part-time bookkeeper. Job responsibilities may include entering data into accounting software, creating balance sheets, and generating income statements.
6. Virtual Assistant
If you’re an organized and efficient self-starter who likes to keep other people on track, becoming a virtual assistant might be the perfect fit for you. As a virtual assistant, your duties may include scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, or project management. Due to the widespread use of communication across the Internet, virtual assistants can be located anywhere in the world. Depending on their skills and experience, virtual assistants can expect to charge anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour.
7. Virtual Teacher
In addition to facilitating online work, the growth of the Internet has allowed a booming population of students — both youth and adults — to take classes online. Formally trained teachers are needed to teach and monitor virtual classes, while experts in specific fields are needed for non-traditional classes. You can teach English to students in a foreign country or offer photography classes on a subscription basis — the possibilities are endless. The salary range is based on your education and the types of classes available.
8. Graphic Designer
Another growing field is the area of graphic design. Digital drawings, web images, custom website graphics, and more are all in high demand, and they can all be performed by work-at-home employees. Particularly among small- to medium-sized businesses, this type of work is often given to freelance workers on a piecemeal basis. Pay is largely based on skill and the intricacy of the work to be completed.
Work-at-home opportunities are only limited by one’s initiative and creativity. As corporations become more open to the idea of telecommuting, and as the availability of Internet-based work grows, we can expect this group to continue to gain momentum.