Working from home has become a popular option for many reasons. Remote job opportunities are available and growing in a variety of fields.
Recently, I looked into a variety of career choices and job opportunities that allow you to earn an income completely remotely. In this article, I’ll take a look at 13 of the most promising legitimate work-from-home jobs and career fields for 2021. I’ll have some advice on how to find remote work and tips on getting hired for a work-from-home job.
Legitimate Work-From-Home Opportunities
Over the last few years, working from home was growing as an alternative to traditional office jobs. Once the COVID-19 pandemic began, remote work skyrocketed. According to statistics gathered by the remote job search site FlexJobs, remote work could make up the majority of the workforce in the future. In fact, several companies have already switched to long-term remote work since the pandemic began.
Whether you’re looking to offer your services, expertise or products by starting your own business, hoping to earn supplemental income as a freelancer or wanting to work remotely full-time, there are more ways than ever to join the work-from-home community.
Table of Contents:
- The Best Work-From-Home Jobs in 2021
- How To Find Legitimate Work-From-Home Jobs
- Tips for Applying to Work-From-Home Jobs
Below, I’ll take a close look at 13 kinds of jobs that typically let you work from home. Additionally, you’ll find links to several resources you can use to apply for legitimate work-from-home jobs including job posting sites, remote staffing agencies and companies that frequently offer remote positions.
And I’ve also included a few tips to keep in mind while applying for remote jobs including how to update your resume and how to stand out in an online video interview.
The Best Work-From-Home Jobs in 2021
Working from home has a variety of benefits. Generally speaking, people who work remotely have more flexibility. They also have the potential to be more productive without commuting or in-office distractions to worry about. It’s a win for companies too. Businesses that hire remote workers can save money on overhead costs and have a larger pool of applicants to hire from.
If you already have experience or expertise in a specific field, there’s a strong possibility you’ll be able to find or create a remote job in some capacity. If you’re looking for something completely new, there are a variety of entry-level work-from-home opportunities available as well.
Instead of part-time or full-time opportunities with one company, you may choose to work as a freelancer. This is a great way to earn money on a flexible schedule, and you basically get to pick and choose what you work on. Depending on how much work you’re willing to do, there’s no limit to how much you can earn as a remote freelancer.
This may be one reason that freelancing has become so popular in recent years. In fact, in 2017, Upwork and Freelancers Union reported that nearly 50% of millennial workers were already freelancing and that freelancers are expected to be the majority of the U.S. workforce by 2027 based on growth rates between 2016-2017. As a millennial, I can attest to this! I started freelancing in 2018, and I’ve freelanced in some capacity every year since then. If you decide to look into a freelancing job, be sure to check out these four things to know about freelancing.
Team Clark recently researched a variety of common remote work-from-home jobs to see which offer the best wages, the most employment opportunities and the highest potential for success in 2021. Here, you’ll find 13 of our top picks:
Job Title Average Hourly Base Pay
Digital Marketer $20-$30
Online Coach, Counselor or Consultant $14-$20
Coder / Programmer $29-$35
Writer / Editor $25-$30
Medical Transcriptionist $11-$15
Design Consultant $24-$31
Virtual Assistant $12-$27
Teacher / Tutor $10-$25
Customer Service Representative $9-$15
Translator / Interpreter $18-$23
Social Media Manager $17-$24
Data Entry Worker $15-$17
In addition to the average base pay reported to Indeed and Glassdoor, I’ve included information on job responsibilities and requirements from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, tips on how to get started and where to look for current job postings below.
Blogging is a broad job title and you can find (or create) a blog for almost any interest, profession or skill. If you’re looking to contribute to another person’s blog, you can find tons of writing and editing jobs that are available to remote workers, and bloggers often need help with their IT skills. Or you can build your own blog to work toward a steady stream of passive income.
Building a blog is definitely not a way to get rich quick or even to earn any money quickly. In order to monetize your blog, you’ll have to build an online presence and establish some authority in your field. This can take a while to do, which means you may not make money with your blog for the first few years. Still, if you stick it out, you could become wildly successful working from home as a blogger. A quick Google search will introduce you to people who have.
Bloggers typically earn money through affiliate marketing, advertisements through programs like Google AdSense and even sales. If you can sell a service, product, course or membership on your blog, this is a great way to boost earnings.
While it can be a little intimidating to begin with, starting a blog can be relatively cheap and easy. To get started, you’ll need to buy a domain and start writing. It might help to learn a little about search engine optimization (SEO) and other online best practices. Fortunately, there are tons of free resources online. I recommend checking out Income School on YouTube for specific tips on how to set up your blog, build an online audience and start making money.
Digital marketing is a great field to get into right now. There are thousands of companies looking to grow their presence online, and digital marketers specialize in just that.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2020 median pay for advertising, promotions and marketing managers was $68.03 hourly, which means there’s a huge potential to earn a great income with this career. The Bureau predicts a 10% increase in these jobs in the next nine years. And fortunately, many companies are hiring for digital marketing jobs as fully remote positions.
I did a quick search online for tips and courses to get started in digital marketing, and there are dozens of free resources available. Specifically, I found a few free classes on Udemy and Coursera that looked like a great starting point.
You can find job openings for remote digital marketing managers by checking out job posting sites, remote staffing agencies and the websites of companies you’d like to work for.
Of course, if you already have experience in this field, you can begin building your own brand online to offer your services and create a clientele of your own.
Either way, be sure to take the time to build a portfolio of your work and update your resume to stand out when applying for competitive remote digital marketing positions.
Online Coach, Counselor or Consultant
There are several different types of coaching, counseling and consulting, so it’s an area where there is lots of specialization. A few popular options include life coaching, career coaching, financial consulting, spiritual coaching and school counseling. These are jobs that have been around a while, but now many of them are done completely online and/or by phone.
With this type of work, it really helps to earn certification in your chosen area, so a good place to start is to look into professional programs for the type of coaching or counseling you’d like to do. Once you’ve established some credentials, you can set up your own business online and conduct virtual sessions or apply to be a remote coach for a company that already has an established clientele. I found dozens of recent remote job opportunities for life coaching on Indeed along with several recent postings for other kinds of coaching and counseling jobs.
According to the BLS, school and career counselors earned a median pay of $27.94 per hour ($58,120 annually) in 2020. And there was an 11% projected growth in this field from 2020-2030, which means counseling could be a great remote job consider.
Coder / Programmer
If you’re skilled in coding and/or programming, there are remote work opportunities for you. If you don’t know how to code or program, there are thousands of free online resources available to teach you.
Coding and programming are popular fields of work in every part of the country. You can see a breakdown of the average earnings per state of computer programmers on Indeed, but there are also plenty of remote positions. As is the case with many jobs on this list, you can decide whether you want to choose your own clients as a freelancer or work part-time or full-time remotely for a company.
According to the BLS, the median 2020 pay for computer programmers was $89,190 annually or $42.88 per hour. If you’re interested in venturing into a career related to computer systems and development, you can check out a list of similar high-paying occupations on the BLS website. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for this type of work, but again, there are tons of resources online that can help you learn the basics of coding and programming for free. To get started, check out Code.org and The Code Player.
Finally, if you have a specialty in healthcare, medical coding is a great subcategory. I found several remote positions listed on both FlexJobs and Indeed for medical coders!
Writer / Editor
If you’re a skilled writer or editor, remote jobs are available everywhere. Many companies and individuals outsource their content development, which means there’s a huge job market for freelance writers. You may choose to work part-time or full-time for a company as a remote writer or editor, or you can freelance. As a freelance writer/editor, you can choose your own clients, projects, hours and rates. If you’re can write and/or edit in more than one language, there are even more opportunities available.
According to the BLS, writers and authors as well as editors earned a similar median pay in 2020 of around $67,120 annually or $32.27 hourly. That means there’s a great opportunity to earn a sustainable full-time income, plus these jobs can be done entirely remotely.
If you’re looking to work as a remote writer or editor, the first thing you’ll want to do is build a portfolio of your latest and best work. This is a great way to stand out to potential clients and companies. From there, you can start building an online presence to promote your services to include as part of your application for jobs on websites like Upwork, Indeed and FlexJobs. As of this writing, FlexJobs reports that Cactus Communications has been hiring several remote editors in a variety of fields lately including business and finance, chemistry and engineering/technology. So that may be one company worth checking out!
Medical transcribing is a great way to earn money while working from home. According to BLS, medical transcriptionists earned median pay of $35,270 per year or $16.96 per hour in 2020. While this is a tough job market to get into based on the projected job decline, freelance and remote opportunities make it easier to find medical transcribing jobs than ever before. You may not need healthcare experience to get started. Instead, you’ll just need an understanding of basic medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, grammar and word processing, which are all things that you can learn online for free!
To see if transcribing is a good fit for you, consider freelancing on Rev. You can sign up for free to get started as a transcriptionist, captioner or translator and begin claiming projects as soon as you’re accepted. Check out our Rev review before getting started.
If you’re looking for remote work in the healthcare field outside of transcribing, there are tons of online job opportunities available. According to FlexJobs, Soliant Health and Health Information Alliance are two companies that frequently hire remote healthcare workers in several fields including speech therapy and school psychology.
If you have a creative eye, design consulting may be a great remote career choice for you. Like many other jobs on this list, you can choose to freelance, build your own business and clientele or apply to work part-time or full-time at a company.
According to BLS, interior designers earned median pay of $57,060 per year or $27.43 per hour in 2020. Of course, interior design is only one subset of design consultant work. Some similar occupations that lend themselves to working from home include art direction, fashion design, graphic design, web design and industrial design.
At the time of writing, there were 105 design consultant jobs posted on Indeed, which means job posting sites could be a great place to begin building experience and earning money quickly as a remote designer.
A virtual assistant is much like an administrative assistant or secretary. According to BLS, the median pay in 2020 for this type of work was $40,990 per year or $19.71 per hour. While there’s a slight projected decline in job prospects from 2020 to 2030 for traditional assistants and secretaries, opportunities for remote virtual assistants are rising with more and more startup companies moving toward outsourcing, freelancing and work-from-home models.
As a virtual assistant, you may be responsible for things like writing and responding to emails, writing, formatting and distributing professional documents, developing or scheduling content or scheduling calls and meetings.
At the time of writing, there were 733 jobs posted on Indeed for virtual assistants including freelance opportunities, part-time remote positions and full-time work-from-home jobs. In addition to Indeed, be sure to check out opportunities posted on FlexJobs. Finally, don’t be afraid to advertise your services independently on places like LinkedIn. This can be a great way to connect with professionals who may need a virtual assistant.
Teacher / Tutor
If you enjoy working with kids or adults who are pursuing higher education, consider teaching or tutoring online. According to the BLS, the average annual wage for tutors in 2020 was $50,390, and the number of opportunities to tutor remotely continues to increase.
If you have a specialization in a particular subject, that could be a great place to start. Alternatively, there are always companies that are looking to hire tutors for students who are learning English as a second language. When I was a teacher, several of my colleagues supplemented their incomes with programs such as VIPKid.
Other places that frequently hire online teachers and tutors for work-from-home positions include:
- Independence University
- Rasmussen College
- Achieve Test Prep
- Grand Canyon University
- Rosetta Stone
- Walden University
Customer Service Representative
Customer service is one of the most popular fields for people looking for remote work. As an entry-level position, it’s less competitive than corporate-level jobs and always in high demand.
According to BLS, the median pay in 2020 for customer service representatives was $35,830 per year or $17.23 per hour. You’ll typically need a high school diploma, but additional paid or unpaid training may be provided on the job.
To find a job as a customer support representative, visit job posting websites like Indeed and FlexJobs or sign up with an online staffing agency. Generally speaking, remote customer service representative positions are available for part-time and full-time work, but freelancing positions are also available at some companies.
Translator / Interpreter
If you’re fluent in more than one language, you can apply to work-from-home jobs as a translator or interpreter.
According to BLS, interpreters and translators earned median pay of $52,330 annually or $25.16 hourly in 2020. There was a projected job growth of 24% between 2020 and 2030, which is stronger than many other job areas. A bachelor’s degree may be required, but if you plan on freelancing, the ability to speak both languages alone may be enough to qualify you for the job.
Remote translating and interpreting may mean that you’ll rewrite documents in another language, listen to audio in one language and transcribe it into another or rate language learning material so that it can be improved. You can also sign up with Rev to be a subtitle translator and earn up to $3 per minute!
Social Media Manager
Similar to a digital marketer, a social media manager helps to establish and maintain a company’s presence online. In this role, a person may be in charge of writing and/or scheduling social media content across a variety of platforms, respond to comments and messages, launch promotional campaigns and analyze growth.
If you have experience in social media marketing, you can find remote work available on job posting websites, company websites or by reaching out directly to businesses that you’d like to work for.
I did a quick job search on Indeed at the time of writing, and I found 7,501 results for remote social media management jobs. Of course, previous experience is generally required for a management position. Before you begin applying for remote jobs, be sure to have a portfolio of your best recent work or links to social media accounts that you maintain. Including these in your job application can help you stand out.
Data Entry Worker
Whether you’re skilled in a specific field or looking for a general entry-level position, data entry is a work-from-home opportunity worth considering. According to BLS, the average annual wage for data entry keyers was $35,850 annually or $17.24 hourly in 2020.
Fortunately, data entry can be done entirely remotely for many companies, which means you’ll find no shortage of options. As long as you have good computer and typing skills, you can find success in data entry.
To start looking for work in this field, you can look for remote data entry job postings on websites such as Indeed. When I searched for remote positions, I saw postings for contract positions as well as part-time and full-time remote jobs.
How To Find Legitimate Work-From-Home Jobs
Whether you’re looking for full-time work or a part-time position, there are several ways to start making money.
If you’re going to start your own business online, you may have to find some specific ways to monetize your website such as advertisements and affiliate links. If instead you’re looking to work for a wage, whether as a freelancer or a full-time employee, there are a few ways to find legitimate job postings.
There are a lot of listings online that are not legitimate, so take care to protect your personal information and be wary of anything that doesn’t sound quite right.
Here are three good ways to look for remote job opportunities:
1. Job Posting Websites
These websites allow companies to post job opportunities and allow applicants to upload resumes, attach related documents, write cover letters and apply to jobs. You’ll find opportunities to freelance, work part-time or work full-time from home on these websites. Below are three popular job posting sites that offer legitimate work-from-home opportunities:
- Indeed: You can create a free account on Indeed to begin applying to jobs. It’s easy to filter your search to include only remote positions, and you’ll find postings in hundreds of fields.
- FlexJobs: This option isn’t free, but it’s definitely still worth checking out. FlexJobs filters out spam job postings and focuses on flexible, remote opportunities. You can pay $6.95 for a week or $14.95 for a month to try it yourself.
- Upwork: Focusing on work-from-home freelance jobs, Upwork is a great place to look for remote work. You’ll find hundreds of categories, skills and deliverables on Upwork.
Before you visit a job posting website, be sure that your resume is up-to-date. If you’re applying to a competitive position that requires relevant experience, you should also gather some of your previous work into a portfolio that you can submit online. Finally, it never hurts to have a general cover letter drafted before applying to jobs in similar industries.
2. Online Staffing Agencies
This is just like going through a traditional staffing agency, only you’ll be able to focus on work-from-home job opportunities. You’ll most likely find part-time and full-time remote jobs here, so this is a great option to consider if you’re looking to make a big shift away from the traditional setting. Here are a few online staffing agencies that may be worth exploring:
- Aerotek: Established 30 years ago, this staffing agency offers roles and positions in virtually every major industry including industrial and skilled trades, office/corporate positions, engineering and accounting.
- FlexProfessionals: This company focuses on finding part-time, flexible and remote opportunities for job seekers in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, MD, Northern Virginia and Boston. You can read more about the company on FlexJobs.
- Kelly Services: Established in 1968, Kelly Services has grown into a successful outsourcing, consulting and staffing solutions agency. In 2019, Kelly Services provided employment to more than 440,000 workers.
If you’re thinking about making a career change to online remote work, going through a staffing agency may be the right choice for you.
3. Company Websites
Applying directly to company websites is another great way to find work. With many companies shifting toward outsourcing and work-from-home models, you’ll find plenty of credible companies looking to hire remote workers directly through their websites. I found a few well-known companies that appear to post new remote positions regularly:
- Amazon: Amazon is always posting virtual work-from-home positions. In addition to part-time and full-time careers, you can also claim freelance projects with Amazon Mechanical Turk.
- Concentrix: Concentrix specializes in the work-from-home model and offers a variety of remote career opportunities. At the time of writing, there were job postings for team leaders, customer service representatives, sales advisors, recruiters, technical support advisors and more.
- GitHub: A subsidiary of Microsoft, GitHub offers remote positions in a variety of fields including business development, communications, design, engineering, finance, legal, sales and security.
- Dell: Dell was named one of the top 100 remote work companies to watch in 2020 by FlexJobs thanks to its Connected Workplace program. You’ll find full-time remote jobs as well as hybrid office/remote positions.
- Thomas Reuters: This company specializes in providing information for businesses and professionals around the world. At the time of writing, there were several remote positions open including tax preparation tester, senior project manager and sales executive.
- Appen: This company works to improve artificial intelligence by hiring people to provide feedback in a variety of ways. It was ranked #1 in 2020 by FlexJobs as a “Top 100 Company with Remote Jobs.” In addition to full-time corporate jobs, Appen also offers part-time flexible jobs including longer-term projects and micro-tasks as well as opportunities to complete surveys and collect data.
- Teemwork: Working for Teemwork is a great way to earn money online by completing projects for a variety of cutting-edge IT companies. Focusing on skills in languages and technology, Teemwork provides jobs in areas that include hardware testing, data entry, localization and translation.
The companies I’ve listed here are just a few examples of what I found while searching for work-from-home jobs. For more ideas on where to apply, check out this list of 30 companies that hire for part-time, remote work-from-home jobs that’s updated regularly by FlexJobs.
4. Social Media and Networking Events
Many startup businesses may be interested in hiring, and the only way to get some of these job opportunities is by making connections.
Working for a tech company or startup business can be a great way to find steady remote work. And that applies to nearly any job title you’d find in a traditional office. According to the BLS, in 2020 advertising sales agents earned $26.41 hourly or $54,940 annually while human resources managers earned median pay of $58.28 hourly or $121,220 annually. Additionally, training and development managers earned an average of $55.60 hourly or $115,640 annually in 2020.
Indeed also offers national average salaries for 10 jobs in startups ranging from $13.74 hourly as a customer service representative to $105,083 annually for product managers.
With so many companies moving toward work-from-home models, you’ll be able to find remote listings for each of these positions on job sites, at staffing agencies, directly on company career pages and especially by connecting with small business owners on social media and at professional networking events.
With remote working increasing so rapidly, some positions are more competitive, which means some experience is generally required and higher education or certifications may also be expected.
Tips for Applying to Work-From-Home Jobs
Once you’ve decided what type of work you’re looking for, it’s important to make sure you have everything you’ll need to fill out that online job application.
To save time during the application process and to make yourself stand out as a qualified applicant, follow these five tips before applying to work-from-home jobs:
1. Update Your Resume
You want your resume to stand out and showcase your best work in an easy-to-read way. Spend some time updating your resume with these nine tips. Note that many job applications will ask for the same information that you include on your resume such as the years of your most recent job experience and previous employers’ contact information, so having that information all in one place works as a quick reference for you too!
2. Create a Portfolio
Take the time to combine your most recent and best work into a digital portfolio. In the past, I’ve made a shareable Google Drive folder to use as my digital portfolio, but yours may be much simpler or much more creative. Including a portfolio of relevant work will help you give potential employers a better idea of what you can bring to the table.
3. Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter is another great way to stand out whether it’s required in the application or not. Since you may not meet your potential employer face-to-face and since remote positions are often highly competitive, doing anything you can to separate yourself from your competition is important. You’ll most likely be applying to jobs that are in the same field, so you may be able to write a generic cover letter and change only select words and phrases before submitting it along with each job application.
4. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn can be a great place to showcase your skills and experience (it can even double as your online portfolio!). It can also as help you connect with other professionals who have or know of job opportunities. If you’re hoping to establish an online presence or looking for people who may be interested in your remote services, LinkedIn can be a great resource. Check out these 25 best LinkedIn profile tips and tricks to update your professional networking profile.
5. Prepare for an Interview
Just like a regular job, your potential employer will most likely want to talk to you before offering you a job, whether it’s part-time, full-time or even a contract position. Now, in the age of Zoom, online video interviews are common. I recently spoke to Brie Reynolds, Career Development Manager at FlexJobs, to get some tips on how to ace your online video interview. You can check out the top seven tips here.
Ultimately, applying for a work-from-home job isn’t much different from applying for a regular job. Take the time to make your application stand out, and try to build an online presence to increase your chances of success in finding remote work.
Finding work-from-home jobs is easier now than it’s ever been with so many companies shifting toward outsourcing and remote models. Right now, there are tons of legitimate job opportunities out there for remote work; you just have to know where to look. Job posting websites, staffing agencies and the websites of legitimate companies are great places to start looking for remote jobs.
Of course, there are several work-from-home scams that have surfaced throughout the years online. Check out this video for tips on spotting a work-from-home scam:
While scams are always going to be a threat in the online world, there are plenty of legitimate work-from-home opportunities available. Between freelancing, part-time and full-time remote work, I’ve personally been working from home for several years now.
The first step to finding a remote job is deciding what type of work you’d like to do. Whether you decide to build your own online business, become a freelancer or work for a company as a remote employee, you’ll find no shortage of options when it comes to work-from-home job opportunities. And there are hundreds of free online resources for learning new skills.
Are you thinking about applying for a work-from-home job? Let us know what field you’re considering in the comments below!