Work-from-home careers were once the domain of ambitious housewives who wanted to make a bit of extra money by selling cosmetics or housewares while still raising their kids. Not anymore. According to latest Census Bureau figures, nearly 1 in 10 workers work from home, as both men and women, baby boomers and Generation Y, crave the flexibility. But where are the best opportunities? Which sectors have the most job openings?
AOL Jobs compiled a list of the Top 10 work-from-home jobs, as determined by the number of listings available this week on CareerBuilder.com (an AOL Jobs sponsor) -- more than 8,500 of them. Some results show broad categories, while others are specific jobs, so there may be some overlap in the number of openings. Also provided is data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on forecasts for growth in each category or field.
There's something here for everybody, regardless of age or education. Take a look and tell us: Which jobs are you interested in, and why? (Hint: To get the results we did, click on the link to the career field in which you're interested and then add "work from home" to your search query.) Happy job hunting!
A job in sales can be a rewarding career for those with the right temperament. It requires a desire to please customers and sometimes going the extra mile to ensure that clients are happy. Work-from-home sales jobs typically involve selling some type of product, such as cosmetics, toys or nutritional supplements, but also includes careers such as:
Outlook: Sales is a broad field, so it's difficult to forecast how many jobs will be created in coming years. A random sampling of sales careers posted on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website showed average to faster-than-average growth in the number of jobs through 2020.
- Number of openings: 2,683*
2. Health Care
Home-based health-care jobs typically involve caring for elderly or disabled patients or providing therapy to those with injuries in their homes. Other jobs, such as personal fitness trainer, may require working with clients at a gym, though the position itself may be based at home.
Outlook: The demand for health-care workers remains strong and is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially among skilled workers.
- Number of openings: 1,248
Advances in technology mean many more customer service jobs are making their way into peoples' homes. Once reserved mainly for call centers, many companies, including large ones, such as US Airways and Sears, have turned to virtual customer-service agents to answer customer queries about products, services and information.
Outlook: Estimates show all customer service jobs growing by 15 percent, or nearly 340,000 jobs, through 2020, according to the BLS.
- Number of openings: 1,185
Outlook: With the number of union-sponsored apprenticeships dwindling in the skilled trades, the demand for workers in these fields is outpacing demand. The need for electricians, for example, is expected to grow by 22 percent -- faster than average -- through 2020, according to BLS forecasts.
- Number of openings: 748
A home-base job involving transportation typically involves goods or people where they need to be, and includes positions such as:
As you might expect, these jobs can involve long hours on the road and possibly nights away from home.
Outlook: According to BLS forecasts, many the number of jobs involving transportation are expected to increase at an average pace through the end of the decade.
- Number of openings: 711
Hospitals and clinics are often the first places that come to mind when thinking about where nurses work. But as the large baby boomer generation ages, there's been a corresponding increase in the demand for health care professionals to work in home-based jobs such as:
Outlook: Nurses have been in high demand for several years and the need is expected to continue. The BLS says that the field is expected to grow faster or much faster than average, especially among those with more education and training, such as registered nurses.
- Number of openings: 642
Though jobs in finance are often associated with those at banks or insurance company offices, a growing number in the field are working from home. They include careers such as:
Such jobs typically require a bachelor's degree and some require state certification, but qualifications vary, depending on the job and candidates' experience.
Outlook: The BLS says jobs in finance, generally, are expected to grow faster than average through 2020.
- Number of openings: 468
Home-based clerical jobs aren't that much different from traditional office-based jobs and include duties such as typing, data entry, answering calls and transcribing records. Performing these tasks from home likely means workers must have a computer and access to the Internet. Employers typically require clerical workers to have at least a high-school diploma.
Outlook: The need for workers to perform general clerical tasks is expected to grow about as fast as average, according to the BLS.
- Number of openings: 331
Trainer is a catch-all term that includes lots of jobs in many different sectors, including:
A desire to teach and help others learn is key to being successful as a trainer, and educational requirements vary considerably, depending on the field. Becoming a fitness trainer, for example, often doesn't require a college degree, though certification may be necessary, depending on the client or company you contract with.
Outlook: Depending on the field of specialty, the BLS forecasts job growth for the broad category of trainers to range from average to much faster than average during the next seven years.
- Number of openings: 292
The job of the accountant is rather simple: to keep financial matters in order. But it's a task that lots of people aren't adept at, which is why so many of us have to rely on them, especially at tax time. There's no shortage of accountants employed at large financial firms and other corporations, but the lone accountant toiling away in his or her den is just as common.
Outlook: Accountants typically hold at least a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS, which forecasts demand in the profession to grow about on average through 2020.
- Number of openings: 289
*Note: The number of new openings in each field for work-from-home jobs during the last seven days as shown on CareerBuilder.com on Jan. 17.
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