Updated October 2009
By Molly Hallman, Payscale.com
Can you imagine how simple your life would be if you never had to drive to work? If you have the self-discipline to work from home, the right opportunity could help you get back those commute hours and gain some extra time each day to do whatever you want. If you're wondering where you can find such a job in a waning economy, here are seven companies hiring for work from home right now.
1. Alpine Access
Job Title: Customer care professional
This forward thinking company plans to hire 1200 new employees in the first three months of 2009, with starting salaries ranging from $8-14 per hour. "We look for people who are self-motivated, self-reliant problem solvers who have a strong work ethic," says Remi Killeen, Recruitment Manager at Alpine Access. Besides offering the flexibility to work from home, Alpine Access, a virtual call center, provides healthcare benefits, 401K, flexible work schedules and opportunities to grow. Each worker is an actual company employee with regular work hours and assignments.
HireMyMom.com is a web-based job service designed especially for professional working mothers. Founder and President, Lesley Spencer Pyle, says the two most popular positions HireMyMom.com fills are professional blogger and virtual assistant. Bloggers write about their employer's company, products, or services, often in response to user inquiries or industry discussion. They use specific "keywords" in their responses to get favorable web search engine rankings. A virtual assistant is a professional office administrative assistant who works from home.
Job Title: On-line certified teacher
Do you have experience teaching but aren't interested in managing an entire classroom? Sylvan Online may work for you. It's a web-based tutoring service that seeks certified teachers to tutor various subjects and levels. Job requirements include a current teaching certificate, a Windows-based PC and high speed internet access. Sylvan offers paid training on-line and opportunities range from 8 to 29 hours per week.
4. National Shopping Service
Job Title: Mystery shopper/researcher
Do you love to shop? Do you like to share your opinion? You can make money doing both. A mystery shopper earns perks or a paycheck for helping companies learn about their products and customer service. Paycheck amounts range from "$5.00 to $25.00 for a fifteen to sixty minute engagement," says Matt Wozniak, President & CEO of National Shopping Service. "The vast majority of mystery shoppers do not mystery shop for a living, although we have had a few earning over $40,000 a year. It's a great way to pick up a free pizza on your way to get the kids from soccer or get some free gasoline."
Job Title: Various professionals
If you have experience in software development, web design, language translation and other computer-based careers, your skills may be in demand for work at home. Recently featured on Good Morning America, oDesk lets job seekers apply for contract jobs, large and small. Job seekers search jobs listings which include the job requirements, pay and estimated time commitments. "Our business has three components -- hire, manage and pay," says Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. Plus, you don't have to submit invoices for your contract work, which saves time.
Are you a speedy and accurate typist? You might be interested in a contract position as a transcriptionist, someone who types down information from a recording, live reading or conversation. Established in 1996, Working Solutions hires independent contract agents for various transcription and customer service assignments. You can earn up to $30 an hour if you have the right skill-set and experience.
7. Language Lab
The best way to learn a language is to go someplace where you can practice with native speakers. "English Town" is such a place, minus the expensive travel and time away from work. Using a computer and internet connection, at-home students visit a virtual city where teachers help them learn English as a second language. Language Lab is looking for English teachers to participate in this fun teaching environment. Shiv Rajendran, Director of Operations at Languagelab.com says, "Teachers need to be native English speakers, Celta or Delta certified with five years of teaching experience." Celta and Delta certifications are not college degrees, but post-high school certifications. The company also plans to hire actors and part-time customer service reps.