By Holly Reisem Hanna
With the unemployment rate at a staggering 7.7% and companies looking for ways to save money during these difficult financial times, freelancing and telecommuting are becoming more popular than ever.
According to Rich Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer for Elance, the growth of the virtual office means that employment is no longer contingent upon where you live, which is mutually beneficial for both job seekers and employers alike.
So what are some of the top ways to work from home for 2013?
1. Tech Specialists: Do You Speak Geek?
Technology Specialists are highly skilled and trained individuals that are familiar with core technologies such as PHP, JAVA, HTML, flash, mobile application development and much more. Not only do they diagnose and repair technical issues related to various computing network operations, but many create, design and mold the technology that we use.
Here are some of the top work at home jobs in the tech sector:
- Tech Support Agents: Virtually trouble shooting customer issues and concerns, Tech Support Agents resolve customers issues using their knowledge and skills to restore computers, wireless routers and other tech devices. In this article from Kiplinger, they suggest finding tech support jobs by looking at large retailers like Best Buy or third party tech support providers like PlumChoice.
- Web Programmers: Concerned with the inner workings of a website, Web Programmers, diagnose issues, make adjustments and fix problems. Many Web Programmers are also well versed in web design, which allows them to create, redesign and modify all aspects of a website. To find freelance opportunities try looking at sites like Virtual Vocations, FlexJobs and Upwork.
- Software Developers: Managing all aspect of software development, from research and design, to testing and implementation, Software Developers create the programs and applications that we use on our computers, tablets and smart phones. Software Development positions can be readily found on major job boards, as well as the niche sites like 37 Signals, Crunch Board or Stack Overflow.
2. Healthcare Professionals: Are You Trained in the Medical Field?
Do you have specialized training in the healthcare field? With the advances in technology and the ever expanding aging population, healthcare is one of the hottest fields right now. In fact, according to this article on Forbes, even Physicians and Radiologists, can work from home.
- Registered Nurses: While requiring specialized schooling and a nurse’s license, Registered Nurses can work at home doing telephone triage, case management, clinical research, as well as teach patients important health information over the phone. Some companies that regularly hire virtual nurses are Humana, Atena, Fonemed and McKesson.
- Medical Transcriptionists: Medical Transcription is the process of transcribing recorded messages from medical professionals to written medical documents. Medical Transcriptionists must complete advanced training in courses like medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology. Companies that hire home-based Medical Transcriptionists consist of Landmark Solutions, M Modal and Precyse.
3. Online Marketing Specialists: Do You Have Good Communication Skills?
Are you well versed in all things marketing? From sending out press releases, creating newsletters, managing ad campaigns to updating social media and content creation – online marketers are in big demand.
Here are some of the top online marketing specialties available.
- Public Relations Specialists: PR Professionals help individuals and companies secure media exposure on TV, radio, newspapers, online and in magazines. A few companies that regularly hire home-based PR Professionals are Bisbee & Company, Orca Communications and Perkett PR.
- Social Media Mangers: Companies are willing to pay big bucks for social media expertise, according to Simply Hired.com, a Social Media Marketer can make an average of $82,000 a year. Having a background in advertising, marketing or business can be helpful in establishing yourself as a Social Media Expert, but probably the best testimonial you can have is the experience of building up your own online community. To find positions search sites like Mashable or Jobs in Social Media.
4. Sales: Do You Have an Outgoing Personality?
From school fundraising and daily deal sites, to direct sales companies and recruiters, companies are looking for individuals with the right personality and attitude to assist them with increasing sales and generating leads.
Here are some of the top home-based positions in sales.
- Direct Sales Consultant: With literally thousands of products and services to choose from, there is something that will appeal to every taste, budget and personality. Direct sales is the process of selling products and services face-to-face away from a retail store location. Many times this is done through in-home parties, presentations, online or through catalogs. While you’ll need to fork over a small amount of money for your startup kit, you’ll be given all the tools to run your very own business from your home. Consultants will generally make between 20% – 50% in commissions on all items sold. Check out this article for some of the best products to sell from home.
- Sales: Companies big and small are looking for sales reps to help them increase sales and generate leads, and many of them are willing to pay handsomely for your efforts. While some companies will require that you have previous sales experience, many are willing to train the right individual. Compensation will vary greatly, with some companies paying a base small salary, plus commission, while other positions will be straight commission. Sales opportunities can easily be found via major job board sites, but also check daily deal sites, and fundraising avenues for more opportunities.
- Recruiters: Often called Headhunters or Talent Scouts, Recruiters search for qualified individuals to fill various job openings. Many times Recruiters will coach the individual through the application process, as well as negotiate salaries and applicable fees. Once an individual signs on with a company, the Recruiter is paid a percentage of the candidate’s first year salary. Recruiter positions can be found through staffing and recruiting agencies.
5. Freelancers: Are You Creative?
Freelancers come in all shapes and forms, from bloggers and copywriters, to graphic designers and video producers. Working on individual projects and short assignments, freelancers work as independent contractors, or as their own boss.
Here are some of the best freelance gigs.
- Freelance Writers: From grant writing and web writing, to sales copy and blog posts, the options for freelance writers are endless. While many new freelance writers encounter content mills (sites that will only pay $5 – $10 per article), there are many sites and companies who will pay good rates for your written work. Try looking at Demand Studios, Freelance Switch and Helium.
- Graphic Designers: With the explosion of the Internet, Graphic Designers are in high demand. Creating custom logos and websites, to brochures, business cards and media kits, there's no shortage of opportunities for Graphic Designers. Freelance design work can easily be found on sites like Coroflot, AIGA Design Jobs, Smashing Magazine and Krop.
Of course there are other hot niches for work at home opportunities, such as Virtual Assistants and Virtual Call Agents. Make sure to check out our extensive list of ways to work from home, which is always being updated with new jobs and opportunities.
Need a dose of inspiration? Check out our list of 99 work at home ideas for women.
What job do you do from home?
This page includes affiliate links. Please be aware that we only promote advertising from companies that we feel we can legitimately recommend to our readers. Please see our disclosure policy for further information.