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 jobs have increased more than 115% since 2005, according to Flexjobs.com, with more and more moms and dads opting to work from home instead of schlepping to an office. Ready? Read on to find out some of the best work-from-home jobs available now.
Be a Community Moderator for BabyCenter
If you're one of the millions of moms who promptly joined a "birth club" milliseconds after conceiving their little ones, you're probably familiar with the bulletin board format of Babycenter's online community forums. If you're not, you should know that Babycenter's community boards are a simple way to connect with other like-minded moms (there are bulletin boards for everything from "cloth diaper users" to mothers "trying to conceive after termination for medical reasons."
To keep the peace in often heated discussions, BabyCenter hires "community moderators" to patrol the boards for violations (using boards to advertise services, for example) and to encourage friendly discussion. To qualify for the job, you've got to have strong interpersonal skills, excellent written communication skills, and strong attention to details. Bonus points if you're an experienced BabyCenter Community member.
Note: This is a full-time job.
What it pays: About $50,000 a year according to Paysa.com.
Apply here: babycenter.com
Be a Restaurant Worker From Home
If you spent your high school or college years working at a restaurant and miss the bustling hubbub of the service industry, use your experience to be a "virtual server" for Restaurant Revolution, a company that provides remote reservation and takeout help to restaurants chains across the country. Working from the comforts of home, you'll take customer calls and handle food orders so that on-site staff can focus on their customers instead of fielding phone calls.
Note: Because this is, after all, a restaurant job, servers are most needed on busy nights and weekends.
What it pays: $9 per hour with a pay increase to $10 per hour after completing the first 90 days.
Apply here: rrtusa.com/careers
Join the Reservations Crew at JetBlue
Do you like talking on the phone? Want to help people make airline reservations and field complaints from those who need their air travel woes fixed? JetBlue is one of several airlines that allows its reservation crew to work from home. You'll need at least two years of customer service experience as well as the ability to be in Salt Lake City (its home base) for an initial training period.
What it pays: $8-15 per hour according to Glassdoor.
Apply here: work-here.jetblue.com (under keyword search, type "reservations crew")
Work for Amazon
Love Amazon so much you want to work for them? There's a job for that. The media giant has an entire “work from home” category in its jobs database. Many of the jobs are customer service based (meaning you'll field calls, e-mails and messages from customers) and 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
Be An Online Public School Teacher
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. As an online teacher, you'll use e-mail, chat and video conferencing to teach traditional public school subjects.
Note: 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."
What it pays: At least $37,000 per year, according to glassdoor.com.
Get Paid for Your Expertise
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
Be An Online Tutor
Are you a former Mathlete? A history buff? Use your academic prowess to remotely help kids who need a little extra help grasping the concepts.
What you’ll do: Online tutors help kids get an edge up on various subjects including algebra, chemistry, physics, geometry, etc. All you need is a hefty knowledge of your chosen subject, a high-speed internet connection (with a webcam) and a few hours of time (job site says you can work as little as five 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
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: About $18 an hour according to Glassdoor.
Be a Search Engine Evaluator
You know how you can type “easy packing hacks” into Google and instantly get a whole slew 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. To make sure your searches are seamless, 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: $14 an hour, according to Glassdoor.
Be a Website Tester
Ever get to a website only to become frustrated when the navigation buttons don’t work or your 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.
What it pays: $10-15 per test. Each test takes about 10-20 minutes.
Take Care of Other People's Pets
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). Care.com also has a section for pet-sitters if you want to sign up to care for only four-legged babies.
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
Play Games for Cash
If you’re a Candy Crush addict or always playing Words With Friends when you think your kids aren’t watching, now’s your chance to get in some easy gaming minutes without feeling like you’re totally wasting your time. Game testers (called "Playtesters") get paid 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. Admittedly, it doesn't pay much—but it's better than playing for nothing.
What it pays: $9 per test; tests run 15 to 30 minutes each.
Apply here: playtestcloud.com
Be a Stylist for Stitchfix
If you’re one of those 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
Be 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, according to Glassdoor.
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: $10-23 per hour according to Glassdoor.
Apply here: Apple