Wouldn't it be nice to wake up in the morning and not have to rush? You could make yourself breakfast and a cup of coffee, get the kids' lunch packed and walk the dog without so much as a glance at the clock to make sure you're on time. You wouldn't have to fight rush-hour traffic or the crowds on the subway. Nor would you have to explain your 10-minute tardiness to your snaky boss who sits at your desk until you arrive. Sounds like bliss, doesn't it?
This dream can be achieved; the key to reaching it is to find a job that allows you to work from home. The number of U.S. employees who worked remotely at least one day per month increased 39 percent during the past two years, from approximately 12.4 million in 2006 to 17.2 million in 2008, according to a 2009 survey by WorldatWork. Additionally, the total sum of all teleworkers -- employees, contractors and business owners -- has risen 17 percent from 28.7 million in 2006 to 33.7 million in 2008.
Believe it or not, working at home is not limited to entrepreneurs or contractors. Fortunately, more and more employers are open to the option of telecommuting at least one day per week, if not two or more.
If you're interested in setting up a home office, here are 10 jobs whose duties are favorable to working from home.*
1. Advertising sales agents sell or solicit advertising space in print and online publications, custom-made signs, or TV and radio advertising spots. Advancements in technology allow agents to work from home or on the road.
Education: On-the-job training is sufficient, though some employers prefer a college degree.
Mean annual salary: $52,290
2. Book editors review proposals for books and decide whether to buy the publication rights from the author. They also suggest revisions and work with the author and publisher to arrange purchase, publication date, royalties and the number of copies to be printed. Many editors are able to work from home as they review and edit manuscripts.
Education: A college degree in liberal arts, communication, journalism or English is generally required for an editor position.
Mean annual salary: $47,329
3. Computer systems analysts help organizations solve computer problems and use new technology to meet the needs of the company. They may design and develop new computer systems by selecting and configuring hardware and software. They are able to telecommute by using company computers from remote locations.
Education: Employers generally prefer applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems.
Mean annual salary: $75,890
4. Copy editors mostly review and edit a writer's copy for accuracy, content, grammar, style, readability and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions and fact-check details, dates and statistics for online and print publications, much of which can be done in their home.
Education: A college degree in liberal arts, communication, journalism or English is generally required for a copy editor position.
Mean annual salary: $43,795
5. Court reporters produce word-for-word transcripts of speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings and other events. While they must be present for the time of the event they are reporting, they are able to prepare final transcripts at home.
Education: The amount of training required to become a court reporter varies with the type of reporting chosen.
Mean annual salary: $48,380
6. Desktop publishers use computer software to format and combine text, images, charts and other visual elements to produce publication-ready material. They also write and edit text, create graphics, convert photos and drawings into digital images, design page layouts and develop presentations. Since most of the job is done in front of a computer monitor, many desktop publishers have the option of working from home.
Education: Generally, there are no educational requirements; however, an associate's or bachelor's degree in graphic arts is helpful.
Mean annual salary: $37,470
7. Massage therapists manipulate the soft tissues of the body to treat painful ailments, tired and overworked muscles, reduce stress, repair sports injuries and promote general health. Many massage therapists are self-employed and work out of their own homes, setting up a relaxing environment in a spare area of the house.
Education: Training standards and requirements for massage therapists vary greatly by state and locality.
Mean annual salary: $40,330
8. Medical transcriptionists copy recordings made by physicians or other health-care professionals into medical reports, correspondence or other materials. Because they usually listen to recordings on a headset and use a foot pedal to pause the recording when necessary, many can telecommute from home-based offices.
Education: Employers prefer to hire transcriptionists who have completed postsecondary training in medical transcription offered by many vocational schools, community colleges and distance-learning programs.
Mean annual salary: $32,120
9. Psychiatrists' main focus is to assess and treat a person's mental health through psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, hospitalization and medication. While they can be employed by an organization, they often work for themselves. It's not uncommon for them to use an area of their home as their "office" or to visit with patients, rather than renting out a office space.
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology, biology or a related field, followed by medical school and completion of an internship and a residency program.
Mean annual salary: $155,339
10. Translators read written materials and translate them from one language into another. Almost all translations can be done on computers, and most assignments are received and submitted electronically. This allows translators to work from almost anywhere -- their home included.
Education: Fluency in at least two languages is required; educational backgrounds vary, but typically, a bachelor's degree is required.
Mean annual salary: $41,690
*Description, education and salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.