With advances in technology and with corporate attitudes towards telecommuting turning around, there are more remote positions than ever before! In fact, according to FlexJobs' annual analysis of the top companies that hire remote workers, there was a 159% increase in the number of remote jobs from 2005 to 2017.
But just because telecommuting jobs are on the rise, doesn't mean you can slack off from doing your due diligence. The FTC estimates that ONLY one in every 55 work-at-home opportunities is legit.
There are many warning flags that an opportunity is a scam. Things like lack of contact information, vague job descriptions, hyped-up job ads, negative reviews, and poor ratings with the Better Business Bureau. But there is one warning flag that causes a lot of confusion, and that's fees associated with working from home.
You always hear people say,
“You should never have to pay for a job.”
In essence, that's true. But there are some exceptions to that rule, which I want to discuss before I move on to the legitimate work-from-home jobs with no startup fees.
With the majority of work-at-home jobs, the bare minimum you'll need to provide is a reliable computer (or laptop) and high-speed internet connection.
However, depending on which role you perform, you may also need additional office equipment like a dedicated phone line, a headset, a quiet office space free of distractions, and a printer with scanning abilities. Some legit fees you may encounter when applying for remote jobs are fees for training materials and criminal background checks (CBC).
Why Do Work-From-Home Companies Charge for These Fees?
It's primarily entry-level positions that require these sorts of fees, and the reason companies do this is they want to weed out candidates that aren't 100 percent committed to the role. The rationale is if you invest a small amount of money, you're more likely to follow through and remain with the company for an extended period. On the flip side, most telecommuting positions for professional careers, do not require fees for training or background checks.
Another reason entry-level positions come with fees is that they are so many individuals applying for these positions, that it's cost-prohibitive for these companies to pay for these items in mass.
One last thing you need to consider: Is the position a job or a business opportunity? There are lots of legit business-in-a-box, home-based franchises, and direct sales companies that require a startup fee. These sorts of fees are entirely legit when you're joining a business opportunity, but again, you need to make sure that you're dealing with reputable companies.
Don't want to invest any money at all? No problem.
Before I jump into the jobs without fees, be sure to sign-up and grab your very own Free Scam Prevention Workbook here.
30 Legit Work-From-Home Jobs No Startup Fees Required
Aha! hires remote customer success specialists and managers, engineers, and marketers from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand. Full-time positions come with benefits, and there are no startup fees associated with this company.
Amazon hires for a wide variety of virtual positions, including administrative support, customer service, business development, legal, marketing, sales, and much more. There are no fees associated with these positions.
American Express hires virtual workers for both entry-level (customer care professionals) and professional positions. You will need to have a computer, a dedicated phone line, and a quiet office space. I read on this post that American Express will pay for your connection setup and monthly costs for these services; however, you'll need to verify this information with AMEX.
Appen hires remote workers for social media evaluation, web search evaluation, transcribers, translators, and more. You must have a computer that's less than three years old and a high-speed internet connection.
Apple hires at-home advisors to answer customer questions and concerns. You'll need to provide a quiet, distraction-free workspace and high-speed internet connection; Apple will provide you with an iMac and headset to use during employment.
Belay hires remote bookkeepers and virtual assistants. You must have a Bachelor's Degree and related experience for these roles. You'll also need a PC or Mac computer with webcam, high-speed internet connection, and MS Office.
Blooms Today hires independent call agents to assist customers with purchases. Must have a dedicated phone line, high-speed internet, a headset, and quiet office space.
Cambly hires individuals to practice conversational English with their customers. In this role, you'll earn an average of $10.20 per hour! To get started, you'll need to be a native English speaker, and you'll need to have a computer with a webcam and reliable internet connection.
Cloudsource hires for customer service, technical support, and sales positions. You must have your own computer, internet connection, headset, and a productive work environment.
Contenrix hires virtual workers for sales and service, customer service, and tech support. You will need a computer less than six years old, a high-speed internet connection, a phone (landline or cell), a headset and flash drive, and quiet office space.
Dell computers hire a wide variety of work-at-home positions, such as sales managers, tech support, account managers, clinical support advisors, and more, with no fees required.
Fany Hands hires assistants to complete short tasks like internet research, data entry, and scheduling appointments. You must have a computer, high-speed internet, audio headset, and either a landline or iPhone.
Hilton hires remote reservation sales specialists and customer care coordinators. To qualify for these positions, you must have a computer, a dedicated landline, headset, high-speed internet, webcam, and dedicated office space.
HSN hires remote customer service and order specialists. Job candidates must have a computer, broadband internet, headset, and a dedicated phone line. The starting pay is $11.50-$13.25 per hour.
Liveops hires customer service professionals, licensed insurance agents, insurance claims specialists, and sales professionals for phone work. You must have your own computer, anti-virus software, telephone, telephone service, and internet connection.
Next Wave has work-at-home opportunities for telephone-based organizers and writers. Must have a quiet home office, computer, high-speed internet connection, headset, and printer.
PhoneBurner hires full-time customer support representatives to work-from-home. For this position, you'll need a distraction-free office space, high-speed internet, a PC or Mac computer, and a high-quality headset. Pay is $17-20 per hour!
Rev hires freelance transcriptionists, closed captioners, and translators. All you need is a reliable computer, headset, and broadband internet.
Smith.ai hires virtual receptionists for full and part-time positions. For this role, you'll need a computer with Google Chrome, broadband internet, a quiet workspace, and a comfortable headset. Starting pay is $10 per hour!
SYKES hires remote workers for customer service, team leads, and support positions. You can work full- or part-time hours, and training is paid.
TTEC hires at-home customer service representatives to answer in-bound calls and emails from customers. Must have a computer, anti-virus software, dedicated phone line, and internet connection.
Time Etc. hires general virtual assistants, marketing and social media assistants, writing assistants, and customer service and sales. You must have a computer, high-speed internet, Microsoft Office, Skype, headset, and a printer with paper.
U-Haul hires telecommuters for sales and reservation agent positions. You'll need to have a private work area, USB headset, and internet connection.
UnitedHealth Group hires for a wide variety of telecommuting positions, such as nurses, program directors, project managers, and customer service much more.
VaVa Virtual Assistants hires part-time workers to perform a wide variety of administrative tasks. You must have one year of experience and be familiar with products like Basecamp, Google Suite, and Slack. Starting pay is $15 per hour.
VIPKID hires individuals to teach English (as a second language) to Chinese children. You must have a Bachelor's Degree and some sort of experience working with kiddos. Teachers can earn $14-$22 per hour, and there are no startup fees. You will need a computer with a webcam and a reliable internet connection.
Westat hires home-based employees for telephone data collection work. You will need to have a computer, high-speed internet connection, and a dedicated landline phone with a headset.
Williams-Sonoma hires remote customer service agents at a starting pay rate of $12 per hour. Job candidates must have one year of experience, a PC or Mac with webcam, a USB headset, and a high-speed internet connection.
Working Solutions hires independent contractors for sales, customer service, and travel professionals. Contractors will need to pass a criminal background check (CBC) to work on this program. As far as I can tell, they don't make candidates pay for the CBC, but you will need to verify this for a fact.
Wrrk hires remote customer service professionals. In the role, you'll be a W2 employee that receives health benefits. You must have at least one year of customer service experience.
Are There Any Home-Based Business Opportunites Without Startup Fees?
If you prefer to be your own boss and make money on your own terms, there are some ways in which you can start a business for free. See the following articles for ways to do and the different opportunities available.
Do you know of another legit work-from-home job that doesn't require a fee to get started? Leave a comment below, and I may add it to the list.
Originally published December 14, 2016. Content updated March 26, 2020.
Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she's been able to figure out how to find a career path that you're truly passionate about. Holly's had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman's Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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