I’m not going to perpetuate the widespread myth that it’s easy to make a solid income working remotely… because it’s not! And the highest paying work-from-anywhere careers are especially challenging.
Sure, there are ways to make money from anywhere that don’t require much effort or brain power, like taking surveys or clicking ads, but if you want to build a real business using actual skills to make a sustainable income from anywhere, you’re going to have to work for it.
What if I don’t have the skills?
You don’t have to have the skills right now, don’t worry — you can learn them (and it doesn’t have to break the bank). My point is that it’s next to impossible to make good money without training to gain the skills and practice to build those skills.
If reading that makes you sad, this post isn’t for you. Stick with the low-paying gigs.
On the other hand, if knowing you can achieve just about anything by using your brain + hard work makes you EXCITED, then keep reading — I’m about to share five of the highest paying, in-demand work-from-anywhere careers out there.
High-Paying Job #1: Proofreading for Court Reporters
Hey, you’re on a proofreading blog — I can’t leave it off!
When proofreading was my sole source of business income, I earned $43,000 in a year. Now, that’s not a fortune, and I know that. But it is so much better than $2 per survey, and because working with court reporters allows you to garner repeat clients (as long as you know what you’re doing and can do excellent work), it’s much easier to build sustainable income this way.
A lot of work goes into building a proofreading business in this niche — and a lot of learning, too. Proofreading spoken word isn’t the same as proofreading a term paper or your company’s marketing materials. Grammar doesn’t matter as much as punctuation in transcript proofreading, and this can unnerve some people who consider themselves good at proofreading. It’s unnerving because this type of proofreading isn’t about just spotting errors — it’s also about fully understanding the mechanics of a transcript and how a court reporter’s job works.
NEXT STEPS Enroll in our free 7-day intro course to learn more about proofreading and breaking into the niche of court reporting.
High-Paying Job #2: Transcription (NOT Medical Transcription!)
Full-time general transcriptionists earn an average of $45,000 per year — but here’s the catch. You’re not going to make that much if you only work for the “big box” companies who pay beans for your work. You’ve got to get your own clients to make real money. You’ve got to take action — not just wait for someone to hand you work.
And there are a lot of people peddling cheap products claiming a $3 eBook or a $99 “course” about how to get work is all you need to make the big bucks as a transcriptionist… except it’s not. Transcription is more than just typing work: you actually need to know more than typing to truly make a good living — things like punctuation, software skills, networking, even bits and pieces of virtual assistance knowledge like how to prepare a PDF of show notes for a podcaster.
Transcription is a real skill. Yes, you may be able to get a couple of gigs without actually knowing what you’re doing, but you’ll likely find it frustratingly difficult to make your efforts financially worth it — and next to impossible to get work from higher paying clients. These clients need someone who actually knows their stuff. You’re there to make your clients’ lives easier. Higher paying clients are 99% of the time not going to be able to help you along, teach you the ropes, or give you extra time to finish work so you can build your speed. They want it all up front — accuracy, speed, and excellent service.
General transcription is in high demand. I even use transcriptionists for my blog posts! In fact, transcription authority blogger Janet Shaughnessy writes a powerful blog series titled People Who Use Transcriptionists where she profiles the vast array of people who use general transcriptionists to grow their businesses — from best-selling authors to wine bloggers (!!). You won’t see information like that anywhere else on the web.
NEXT STEPS Enroll in Janet’s free mini-course to learn more about what it takes to become an excellent, well-paid transcriptionist.
High-Paying Job #3: Bookkeeping
All businesses need bookkeepers — even mine! I don’t have time to manage all the people I have to pay for what, what payments have come in, nor do I have time to sort through all my receipts and attach them to my FreshBooks account as expenses.
Did you know well-trained bookkeepers can earn up to $75 per hour for their services? The key is niche marketing: don’t market to everyone; instead, narrow down your niche to orthodontists or life coaches. Become “The Life Coach Bookkeeper.”
The catch? To be successful, you have to know what you’re doing. We can’t really call that a catch, though, because if you’ve never done any bookkeeping work before and don’t know how to network properly and find your clients, it’s gonna be awfully hard to get even $7 an hour, much less $75. This is a situation where training from an expert truly pays off.
NEXT STEPS Certified Public Accountant Ben Robinson of Bookkeeper Business Academy is the guru for all things bookkeeping businesses. Check out his free 3-week course to learn more about starting your own bookkeeping business.
High-Paying Job #4: Virtual Assisting
This may surprise you, but I’ve currently got more than FIVE virtual assistants helping me run my blog and my course.
A lot of people don’t think of blogging as being a lot of work… but it is! Even running a blog in a somewhat “quieter” niche like proofreading is a ton of work. There’s so much stuff to manage: accounts payable, social media, affiliate programs, course content, grading quizzes/tests for the course, writing blog posts, creating newsletters… the list of things to do is endless!
Virtual assistants (VAs) get paid pretty well, too: for super-easy administrative tasks, pay starts around $10 per hour; for more complicated, technical stuff, the hourly rate can go to $20, $30, even $40 per hour and up. It all depends on the work performed and the VA’s skills.
The more skills you have as a virtual assistant, the higher your value is to a busy blogger/ business owner. Put in the time to increase your skills — I have fired many VAs in the past that pitch me perfectly but then can’t deliver. DO NOT attempt to become a virtual assistant without knowing what you’re doing. Just don’t do it.
NEXT STEPS To get started as a virtual assistant, I highly recommend checking out Gina Horkey’s free VA course as a precursor to her amazing 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course. It’s an excellent value and, having personally hired several virtual assistants who completed her course, I can say it definitely works.
High-Paying Job #5: Scoping for Court Reporters
A fifth high-paying career very few people have heard about is scoping. Scoping is editing transcripts for court reporters. You work inside the court reporting software to create a draft of the transcript that’s ready for proofreading.
Much more complicated than proofreading transcripts, word nerds who learn to scope are also paid quite a bit more per page than proofreaders. Proofreaders earn an average of $0.40 per page; scopists earn $1.00 or more per page. How’s that for profitable?!
Now, no one (and I mean no one) is naturally good at scoping. Skill and speed comes with time and practice. All that work can pay off though: Scopists can earn up to $60,000 per year! That rivals a court reporter’s average earnings. The advantage of a scopist — as with any of these 5 profitable careers — is the ability to work remotely. Court reporters can’t report the majority of legal proceedings remotely, which ultimately impact their overall earning potential.
A dream combo would be both scoping and proofreading — this makes you an even more valuable asset to reporters in need.
What are your next steps? Which work-from-anywhere job do you have your eye on? What challenges are you facing in your life? Share below!