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12 Legitimate Work-at-Home Jobs (and Where to Find Them)

Last updated: June 25, 2019
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Whether you are looking for a full-time job or a side hustle, work-at-home jobs are a great way to make money and still keep your schedule flexible (plus avoid a commute). There is risk involved with applying to these jobs, however.

Remote jobs often have a digital recruiting process, a digital interview process, and a digital on-boarding process. That all makes the process convenient, but it also makes it possible for scammers to set up fake companies to lure people into disclosing personal information — and sometimes even banking information — all in the hopes of landing a job that doesn’t actually exist.

In this article we’ll guide you on how to stay safe when looking for remote jobs, recommend reputable places where remote job postings are listed, and suggest some legitimate companies that are often hiring remote workers.

Finding a Work-From-Home Job

Work-from-home opportunities provide you the chance to avoid a commute, and these jobs can be a lifesaver for people with family responsibilities or those who struggle to leave the house. Many remote jobs will also allow you to set your own schedule, and bring in extra money with the type of flexibility that you can’t find in a traditional office job.

This type of work isn’t for everyone, though. Working from home requires self-discipline and a strong commitment to routine. (It’s hard to force yourself to work when your couch and Netflix are right there.) You’ll also need the tools of the trade — many remote jobs will require a strong internet connection and a working computer, and plenty need a reliable phone line as well.

Before searching for a job, make sure you’ve got an updated resume that is typo-free and clearly shows your work history, education history, and relevant experience. While cover letters should be customized for every position, having a base template laying out your strengths as a candidate can be a time-saver when following up on different job leads.

Lastly, you’re going to need to know where to look. We’ve got you covered.

Job Boards Specializing in Remote Work

Looking for a job in the right place can be the best way to ensure that you’re finding legitimate work. Craigslist, while very useful for many things, is not the most reliable job board, especially when it comes to remote work.

While no job board can root out every bad egg, reliable job boards do have built-in protections and, if multiple candidates complain about a company’s practices, will take steps to ensure that the company is removed from its listings.

When looking for jobs, online job listing sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster.com, Jobs.com, and Glassdoor are all trustworthy sites that let you search for jobs in your field, review job titles, and filter by full-time and part-time work.

They’ll also make your job search easier by letting you know which jobs will require you to pass a background check and which jobs require a college degree. When it comes to remote jobs, listings can also let you know which jobs label workers as independent contractors, which provide health insurance, and which prefer applicants to be American citizens (or allow you to work from Canada).

There are also several job sites which are built specifically for remote workers. FlexJobs, Remote.co, and Upwork are all places built by and for freelancers and virtual workers, and do a lot of the initial work for you by only listing remote jobs.

The one downfall of those sites is that they won’t list jobs near you that are office jobs, even if convenient. But if working from home is a necessity and not just an option, they’re really good depositories of job listings for remote workers.

Avoiding Work-at-Home Scams

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Online jobs can be exciting, but they can also lead people to get taken advantage of. The job application process often requires people to disclose private information such as a Social Security number and a bank account number (for setting up direct deposit) and scammers will often take advantage of this by getting people to try and apply for a job that doesn’t exist, then taking their personal information.

While looking for real work-at-home opportunities, it’s important to stay vigilant and follow some basic best practices.

1. If you can’t find evidence of the company online, that’s a major red flag. Most reputable companies will have some sort of online presence that lets customers and potential employees know who they are and what they do. If a company doesn’t seem to have much information about it online, or has an unprofessional web presence, that may be a red flag.

2. If a job listing seems higher than entry level (a management or senior position job) but the company says they require no experience in that field, that’s another classic red flag. Similarly, if a job is offering a lot more money than other companies for similar positions, watch out.

3. If a company can’t get specific about what a job’s duties entails, but seem to be moving very quickly to make you an offer, that’s another thing to watch out for.

4. If a company asks you to provide cash up front, or write them a check that they’ll reimburse, stop everything and do your research.

The golden rule is: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Still concerned? Glassdoor often has honest reviews about companies and can highlight places with bad practices. Also try the Better Business Bureau.

12 Legitimate Work from Home Jobs

While a sure way to secure stay-at-home work is just to start your own business, not all of us have that million-dollar idea kicking around in our heads. These jobs can provide steady income and are reliable.

1. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is someone who provides secretarial and organizational support remotely. For people who are highly organized and love planning, it can be a great way to provide additional income. Remote.co and FlexJobs are two good places to look for reputable companies that are hiring.

2. Social Media Manager

A social media manager is someone who works to craft a voice for a brand in non-traditional platforms. Social media managers interact with customers, push marketing initiatives, and give brands a voice on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter are two good places to search for legit jobs in this field.

3. Data Entry

Data entry jobs are more and more needed as analog, real-world data needs to be converted into clean digital files that can be analyzed and processed. People with a strong eye for detail can thrive in this field. Read our guide to data entry jobs to find reputable companies that are often hiring.

4. Transcription Work

Transcription is the act of taking audio files, medical notes, legal dictation, or really any spoken content and writing it out in clean digital copy. People who are skilled at transcribing (especially trained in a specialized field like medical transcription) can earn consistent income. TranscribeMe and Scribie are two popular companies that are hiring, but we have an entire guide to companies that are often hiring for transcription work.

5. Customer Service Representative

Customer service agents are a brand’s outward-facing representatives who can often mitigate major problems when it comes to keeping customers happy. More and more companies are happy to hire for work-from-home customer service jobs if it means getting the best talent, even promoting people to call center manager positions who work remotely if they show leadership potential. ZipRecruiter and FlexJobs often have listings for remote positions from reputable companies.

6. Freelance Writing

For people with a strong command of language, writing jobs can be a great way to bring in income, whether it’s in search engine optimized (SEO) copy, marketing copy, or journalism. Being a freelance writer can be tough, but there are companies that pay fairly for consistent workers who hit deadlines and provide clean, elegant writing. Remote.co has a strong list of virtual writing positions available, and we have our own guide to finding a job in the field as well.

7. Online Tutoring and Test Prep

If you were an excellent test-taker or just enjoy working in education, you can find consistent work preparing college students for the SAT or helping a middle schooler master math with a remote tutoring job. Tutor.com is a company owned by the Princeton Review that is often hiring, and we have a full guide to other companies that are often looking for talented tutors.

8. ESL Teaching

If you have teaching experience working with English as a Second Language (ESL) students, you can quickly start earning as an online teacher helping students around the globe master the language. VIPKID and Verbling are two reputable companies that are often hiring. We also have a guide to finding remote teaching work.

9. Search Engine Evaluator

A search engine evaluator is a job in which people help search engines generate the best results for its users. Algorithms can only do so much, and sometimes you need a person to tell you if search queries are giving people the answers you need. Glassdoor has a strong list of reputable firms hiring for the position.

10. Graphic Design

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Artists and designers can help elevate brands from professional to inspiring. Companies such as Fiverr connect designers with companies in need of logo and brand work, and FlexJobs always has a strong listing of companies that are in the market for part-time and full-time remote work.

11. Technical Support

Technical support provides guidance and fixes for problems arising from technology. People who work in the field can provide support to a company’s employees, or as a more specialized form of customer support. Indeed and ZipRecruiter both have listings of companies that hiring remote tech support.

12. Software Development

Software engineers are the architects and builders of the computer and mobile programs we use every day, and more and more companies are getting comfortable with the idea of software developers who work remotely. Remote has a strong, current list of remote development jobs that is updated daily.

Legit Jobs From Home

When looking at work-from-home job opportunities, it’s important to protect yourself and make sure the jobs you are applying to are legitimate. Scammers can ask you to pay money up front, take your personal information, and steal your identity if you aren’t careful. Be wary, use these online resources, and safely find a remote job that helps you bring in extra cash.

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