17 Work at Home Job Ideas (for Detail-Oriented People)
[Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a commission if you purchase something through one of the links above! Affiliate commission is one of the ways we keep the lights on here at PA — it also helps us provide tons of useful free content and 100% free proofreader referral services.]
As proofreaders and work-from-home experts, we know that there are a lot of work-at-home job ideas out there, but is it actually possible to reach a monthly full-time income of $30,000–$60,000 without a college degree as some websites claim?
In this article, we’re going to give you the info and resources you need to start your remote work journey — including job ideas, worthwhile job sites, where to look for clients, and pointers on getting started.
Best of all, this article includes tips and ideas from professionals who are living the dream and working full-time from home.
Work From Home Job Opportunities: Freelance
There are plenty of opportunities to be a freelancer in this digital age. In 2020, 36% of American workers considered themselves full-time freelancers, and together they made $1.2 trillion. The gig economy has been steadily growing for several years, and 2023 Statistica predictions estimate that an all-time high of 90.1 million people will be freelancing in 2028.
So, why is freelancing such an attractive option for so many workers?
The flexibility of freelancing can be perfect for professionals that are tired of 9–5 office life, stay-at-home moms, retirees with extra time, people with disabilities that prevent them from working traditional office jobs, and digital nomads who want to be able to make a living while exploring the world.
After all, freelance jobs only need a stable internet connection and the determination to market your home-based business.
We scoured the web to find steadily growing freelance industries so we can explain how to build a career that provides you with a steady income, a flexible schedule, mental stimulation, and more time for the things that matter.
Even if you lack a traditional education, confidence, time, or if you just don’t know where to start — here are some job ideas and resources to send you on your career journey.
Proofreader: $18–$35/hour (median salary $43,940)
Do you find yourself catching errors in newspapers, emails, Facebook posts, and other forms of media? Just like our founder, you may have been born to be a proofreader.
As you may have read from our previous blogs, proofreading is the last step of the editing process before a piece goes live.
As a proofreader, you need to have a strong grasp of technical details like grammar, punctuation, formatting, and writing mechanics. You don’t need to be a native English speaker, but you need to understand grammar much better than most.
Besides checking for grammar and punctuation, proofreaders may also conduct fact-checking.
Proofreaders may ask questions like:
- Is the data cited properly?
- Are the links working?
- Are there inconsistencies?
- Is the spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation, and formatting correct?
- Does the piece contain appropriate SEO keywords?
Like all freelancing careers, how much proofreaders make mostly depends on the client. Some proofreading jobs are paid by the hour, and others by the word.
When you’re first starting out, you may be willing to accept lower-paying jobs to gain experience, but it’s important to know your preferred rates and be respectful of your own time.
To learn the skills to start your proofreading hustle and find out if it’s the right career for you, check out our FREE workshop.
Virtual Assistant: $10–$30/hour (median salary $39,913)
Working at home as a virtual assistant (VA) might be for you if you are used to taking on tasks and helping whenever a project gets too large for your friends or family.
This career is also perfect if your past professional experiences included managing projects, doing general desk work, or being the right hand to any co-workers or managers.
A VA is the extra two hands and a brain that nearly every business person needs. Virtual assistants take the pressure off of other professionals by completing administrative tasks like drafting emails, rearranging schedules, and updating data sheets.
VAs can also help with content, marketing, and sales needs like writing and editing blog posts, researching leads and trends, making social media posts, replying to comments and DMs, managing shipments, or grading papers — depending on the industry.
You’ll make a good virtual assistant if you’re good at:
- Project management
- Managing payment systems
- Social media management
- Worksheet design
- Lead generation
- Client communications
Skills that’ll help you compete in today’s market include the ability to draft effective materials like cold emails and socials, a basic understanding of SEO (search engine optimization), publishing with WordPress, and experience with software like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Microsoft Office.
Don’t worry if you don’t have these skills yet. If the job sounds like a good fit, you can learn how to make money as a virtual assistant with our article, or you can jumpstart your career with an online course — like this VA course from a real virtual assistant expert.
Social Media Manager: $15–$60/hour (median salary $70,326)
If you spend a good chunk of your day on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or TikTok and have good people skills, put your social media addictions to work as a social media manager!
Social media advertising and influencer marketing are the leading strategies in helping companies grow, but effective social media management involves more than just uploading a pretty product shot every day.
A good social media manager creates strategies to expand reach, develops and runs campaigns, stays on top of trends, and watches data to see what is — or isn’t — working. You need to post consistently with winning captions, hooks, and calls to action. You should also engage or follow up with your audience via DMs and comments.
Pick up some trade skills by learning how to write headlines that stick, study up on social platform analytics and rules, and keep your eye on social media marketing trends predictions.
Transcription Jobs: $15–$22/hour (median salary $44,030)
Calling all grammar-lovers, organizers, and typists: if you enjoy typing or have great listening skills, this job is perfect for you!
Transcriptionists help to deliver video and audio communications to a wider audience by transcribing them into written text, this makes the media accessible to people with hearing impairments or who aren’t fluent in a certain language.
General, legal, and medical industries also depend on transcribers to help make their communications more accessible and easier to parse.
We have even used general transcriptionists to help write down blog ideas and posts in a time crunch.
To be a good transcriptionist, you must listen to people speaking, understand both the words and essence of the message, and translate it for others into a well-organized text. You’ll need a working knowledge of grammar and punctuation and a peaceful place where you can focus without missing a beat.
We have a specific article on how to become a transcriptionist, and our friends at TranscribeAnywhere have an incredible course offered to help you start your career.
Bookkeeper: $15–$27/hour (median salary $41,228)
If you are good with numbers, track all of your payments, or have experience balancing your checkbook every month, bookkeeping could be a great fit. Bookkeepers use accounting software to report financial transactions and help clients improve their businesses.
While many bookkeeping apps do a decent job of running numbers, it’s up to bookkeepers to interpret the data, combine it with current knowledge of business trends and strategies, and translate it into strategic takeaways that help clients grow their businesses.
As a work-from-home bookkeeper for entrepreneurs, you don’t need to be a certified personal accountant (CPA) however, working for accounting agencies may require more qualifications.
You should choose a cloud-based bookkeeping software with high-grade security, like QuickBooks, Xero, Zoho Books, or Sage 50, and get certified by the platform so you can offer the platform’s services to your clients efficiently and effectively.
Learn how to be a bookkeeper and check out this interview about how this mom of 2 makes $60/hour as a bookkeeper.
Freelance Writing: $100–$400 per article (median salary $61,189)
Book lovers, creative minds, and aspiring authors can all find success and joy in a career as a freelance writer.
Just as language morphs depending on the people and cultures who use it, written media is evolving as it becomes more and more web-based. With the need for constant and current content, writers are more in-demand than ever.
Writing gigs demand a high proficiency in English, great research skills, and a thorough understanding of the writing medium being used (e.g. social media, email, blogs, online periodicals, books and ebooks, white papers, data, and software).
Some common online writing jobs include
- Personal blogging
- Product reviews
- Editing college apps, resumés, essays, and white papers
- Technical writing
When starting out in the writing space, writers often publish to a personal blog, contribute to publications like Medium and Thrive Global, and keep a portfolio of everything that’s been written.
Clients can be found by posting on job boards, applying to jobs on recruitment platforms, writing pitches, and doing networking and outreach on sites like LinkedIn.
Specializing in a niche can help you earn more money, improve your writing, and save time and energy when researching.
Courses like Earn More Writing can also provide resources and skills to help you start your writing career.
Editor: $25–$60/hour (median salary $63,494)
People with an interest in grammar, quality, and writing can find a lot of satisfaction in editing.
Editors generally complete the first revisions of all kinds of writing including manuscripts, blog posts, and newspaper articles. This step in the editing process is often the broadest — including changes in organization, tone, style, and content.
You could say the editor looks at the big picture, but also pays attention to the small stuff. For example, even small punctuation edits can make a big difference in the story because punctuation contributes to tone.
An editor needs to be an advocate for the quality and success of a piece. The editor must also be willing to pick apart every aspect and work through extensive drafting and revision processes.
To learn more about editing, you can check out our blog post about the difference between copyediting and proofreading.
Graphic Designer: $15–$150/hour (median salary $50,710)
If you spent your high school or college years filling the margins of notebooks or textbooks with extensive doodles, graphic design may be your calling. Graphic design is a staple of today’s marketing industry and influences the success of businesses around the world.
Graphic designers work on corporate and personal branding, promotions, and various other types of marketing and design campaigns.
In this position, you will need to complement your passion for art and visuals with a working knowledge of design software and the graphic design trends that relate to your project.
Designing also involves psychology as many projects involve influencing people. Your mission as a designer in the marketing and business world is to create brand awareness and make the company appealing and personal to its audience.
To find out more about graphic design, check out Dribbble to find tutorials, trend updates, inspiration, and industry news.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) $15–$35/hour (median salary $72,754)
You may have heard about SEO from your Twitter-obsessed nephew, but this job can be perfect for people with a passion for data and analysis. SEO professionals create and optimize content to improve its ranking on search engines like Google.
As an SEO expert, you’ll find yourself:
- Researching keywords
- Analyzing competitors
- Strategizing on-page SEO
- Link-building and managing media outreach
SEO freelancers also look for guest post opportunities, to build relationships between different websites or clients, and write posts using strategic language that endorses a product or company.
Some platforms to get familiar with before becoming an at-home SEO expert include:
- Google Search Console — Free if you have a website
- SEMrush — Plans are priced according to professional and business use. The platform includes capabilities for SEO, competitor research, content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, and social media marketing
- KWFinder — Pricing ranges from basic to agency plans. This is a go-to keyword and analysis machine
- MOZ Pro — Offers a free plan for the first 30 days. The platform offers several capabilities, including keyword research, rank tracking, and backlink analysis
Businesses of all sizes use SEO to improve their audience reach and make their content more appealing. Even small bloggers can use these tactics to grow their sites.
To stay competitive, you’ll need to keep yourself updated on analytical trends and continually tinker with content to keep your clients ranking high in results.
Digital Marketing: $20–$50/hour (median salary $63,920)
If you have an interest in psychology and helping people find what they need, digital marketing is right up your alley. As the freelancing industry grows, jobs in marketing are following suit and going digital.
Successful digital marketers study what people think and talk about, what they struggle with, and what they need. These professionals use this information to create ads and content that appeal to customers and encourage them to interact with a specific product or brand.
As a work-from-home digital marketer, you can specialize in search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SEM), graphic design, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), email marketing, digital analytics, all things e-commerce, or just the public relations aspect of a marketing team.
For many people interested in freelancing, finding clients sounds intimidating — if not outright awful. New freelancers can grow their client list according to their at-home business’s needs by staying active on job boards and networking with new and existing clients.
Here are some of the top online marketplaces for freelancers of any specialty:
Jooble is an international job board and recruitment website that includes 69 countries and 25 working languages. You can search for remote-based jobs and filter jobs based on the topic.
Upwork is a marketplace for rising independent talents including freelancers and remote workers in marketing, writing, editing, design, programming, and more. You can post a job or send a proposal to an independent contractor or agency, continue project collaboration and communication, and manage payments and taxes all on the platform.
Projects include hourly and by-the-project pay and can be short-term or ongoing.
Fiverr is a talent marketplace similar to Upwork, and it’s best known for offering small gigs with short turnaround times of around 72 hours. Fiverr is perfect for finding short-term jobs that can build experience and a diverse portfolio.
FlexJobs includes freelance and freelance hybrid jobs of all specialties and is touted for its real-person reviews to ensure every job post is legitimate. This site is great for people who don’t want to create long introductory profiles and are looking to work with verified companies.
Companies Looking for Remote Work
While freelancing can provide freedom and flexibility, the job can also be stressful and require a lot of self-management with no traditional job benefits. In the past few years, more and more companies are switching to remote and hybrid work models that provide the flexibility of a freelance job and the stability of an office job.
Here are some of the most common remote positions that companies are looking to hire:
Data Entry Specialist (median salary $33,954)
For introverts who prefer jobs that don’t require talking or collaborating much with others, data entry provides an almost meditative workflow.
Data entry specialists take data from outside sources and compile it into software or documents that make the information more accessible and easy to understand. Data entry positions exist within many industries including medical, educational, technology, and entertainment.
This position includes tasks like
- Entering data from physical papers and documents into spreadsheets with specific guidelines
- Organizing data to make it easier to access and use
- Reviewing data and statistics for accuracy and completeness
- Answering questions and providing data for various projects
Project Management (median salary $86,829)
As many stay-at-home moms oversee projects from all around the house and in all aspects of family life, project management was made for parents!
Project managers are in charge of making sure that team members are on-task, in line with the project goals, and have the resources everyone needs to complete each step of the project.
Having experience in problem-solving and solution implementations can help improve your chances of employment.
Depending on your background, you might be helping teams in a variety of fields like healthcare, construction, marketing, and software.
Freelance project management roles are typically scheduled for 2 to 3 months and some positions require a current Project Management Professional Certification (PMP).
Computer Science Jobs (median salary $93,000)
Computer science is a vast field with growing opportunities. If you’ve ever dabbled in coding, web design, or even making your own themed Myspace profile, you may be able to earn a high salary in the computer science industry.
As a computer scientist working from home, you could teach virtual robotics and software classes online, give startups a hand by leading machine construction projects, or use your coding skills to work as a programmer or technical writer for a software company.
Customer Service Representative (median salary $36,083)
If you manage conflict and problem resolution well, you may be suited as a customer service representative.
The main job of these representatives is to manage customer expectations. You may be in charge of incoming customer requests to solve problems or answer questions, or you could be in charge of reaching out to customers for surveys and testimonials.
You’ll need a good phone or internet service to work as a customer service representative from home. If you live outside of the US, it’s important to consider time zones when applying for certain representative jobs.
Start Your Own Business
If freelancing for clients or working for companies doesn’t fit your schedule or your career goals, owning your own business could be the best solution.
The best way to start your own business is to be willing to do the work, persistent, and ready to ask for help from a wide variety of sources. Networking is one of the best ways to find and expand your resources as you gain skills and grow your business. The most important step is to conduct your own thorough research to make sure you can offer a quality service and be compensated for what it’s worth.
There’s no magic formula to building a successful business, and the amount of money you can make varies based on your chosen industry, ability, experience, and other factors.
You can always continue to improve your business by researching industry standards, keeping up with changing technology, getting the training you need to master your skills, and marketing yourself.
Remember, you’re never too old to learn something new.
Start Your Own Blog
Everyone has a story to tell and starting your own blog can help you figure out what you enjoy and are good at. People enjoy connecting with others and reading about other opinions, ideas, and lifestyles. If you are the type of person that doesn’t mind being honest and vulnerable, you could create a wonderful community of readers and supporters.
Consider writing reviews on places, products, or services, opinions on art or politics, or lifestyle blogging. There are millions of niches to choose from — the point is to get your opinion out there, practice something new, and see where it leads.
Don’t forget to choose your niche and promote your blog to that audience (typically via social media).
Writing your own blog could generate an income through affiliate marketing, or grow into a completely different business. After all, ProofreadAnywhere was created as a blog and has grown into a leading provider of educational courses and a multi-million dollar business.
Start a Childcare Business
For parents that are looking to start a business while still taking care of their own children, childcare can fit in perfectly with family goals.
Remember that starting a childcare business comes with several regulations and standards to abide by, depending on where you work and live. Websites like Care.com can provide opportunities for finding clients while still being safe and legal.
For retirees or professionals that have been in an industry for a long time, career coaching can provide an outlet for social networking and a way to pass on years of career and life experience.
As industries evolve and new professions start trending, people from all educational backgrounds have a lot more options and may need advice.
Career coaching is a great business to start from home if you’re interested in sharing your expertise in the field as well as learning indispensable technology, marketing, and management practices along the way.
Looking for More?
As leading experts in freelancing and working from home, ProofreadAnywhere has a wealth of resources for anyone looking to work remotely.
Our blog is full of useful information like this article on how to find balance between work and life for solopreneurs.
Make sure to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram for tips, tricks, & related content.
If you’re ready to hit the books and need a jumpstart, take our free Transcript Proofreading 7-day intro course to get unstuck and start building a career that you love.
I think this should be titled Home based business rather than work at home jobs. Almost everything you described is someone working for themselves and owning their own business. This is not the same as a work at home job. A job working from home, or telecommuting for a company is much different then having your own business etc. And in my opinion much easier as well. There are hundreds of companies hiring people to telecommute now. Plus many employers will allow you to work from home if you just ask. I consider that to be more work at home jobs. That’s just my opinion though.
I agree, I wish I knew where to begin looking for an actual telecommuting job but in Oklahoma that seems nearly impossible.
I think it’s both. If you’re at home, working, then you have a work-at-home job whether you’ve hired yourself to do it or someone else did.
I have a corporation, and I’m an employee of my own corporation.
Starting your own gig is tough, I’ll admit, but I think it’s worth it… there is so much more freedom, plus the earning potential isn’t limited by your location, someone else, budget cuts or whatever. Working for yourself means you are in total control of your earnings (and success)… it is the new job security these days. Companies have little reason to be loyal to their employees nowadays. Working for someone else automatically gives them quite a bit of control over your success potential.
I am a 76 year old ex-business woman who lost everything in the 2008-09 real estate recession. Now I need to supplement my Social Security. For a person in my situation and advanced age …..although still plenty sharp… Which of your excellent courses would you recommend to get me working and making money quickly? (I already enjoyed your 7 day course a few weeks ago.
Thank you for your help.
Hi, Marilyn. I think that really depends on your skill and interest more than your age. (Check out this great post from Bonnie about starting her new career at 69!) Anything you choose will take some time to acquire training build your business, though, especially if you’re starting something totally new. Maybe look at the skills you have and see where they fit in with the suggestions in this post.
Marilyn, my heart goes out to you. While I am only 55, I experienced the same as you, losing everything in the real estate bust in 2008-2009. I had to sell my home, and I lost my rental property in my bankruptcy. Although I am a very skilled salesperson, I would often be passed over for jobs because of my age. Why hire a middle-aged, slightly overweight woman when they could hire a cute young thing for less money? I am currently working as a nanny, which I love, but it doesn’t challenge me mentally, and it barely pays my bills. $10-12 and hour doesn’t compare to a six-figure income! My ex-husband is a court reporter, and I often proofread his transcripts. While I do have experience, I really think that this program will put me miles ahead. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before to pursue this as a full-time job! The good thing is that it is something that I can do, even if I decide to continue babysitting. I often have 4-5 hours during the day when my baby is asleep, and at the moment, I watch movies on Netflix. I am taking this course now while I am “at work.” Whatever you decide, I wish you the best! We are never too old to learn!
Nice sharing stuff here,
There are hundreds of ways and ideas to work at home. One thing remains constant among all those things, however. You need to work hard. There is no magic pill to get success. Just like any kind of business opportunity, it takes effort and time to make good money working at home.
Thanks a lot,
That’s exactly right, Omar! It takes a lot of hard work to be successful. No one’s going to do the work for you!
Tears came out when I read Marilyn Barudoni’s comment… Hers is EXACTLY my story. After climbing the corporate ladder, now that I’m 71, I must come out of retirement and look for work. Being the hard worker I’ve always been, I’m ready, once again, to give my all to a new endeavor, however, I want to do it from my home office, but don’t know where to start. Not only can I proofread, but I can do it in English and in Spanish! I can also translate beautifully and accurately. –Hopefully your post will help me find something –soon!
Hi, Nellie! It seems like you have many talents, and you certainly have what sounds like a great attitude and work ethic. I hope you find what you need from the post as well as our wonderful community. Good luck to you!
Although I am not yet through the PA course, I already trust guidance from Caitlin. Why? Because of the contrast of other work from home adds. I’ve clicked on one for writing and I’m astounded at the pure length of their newsletters/ads to get me to take their super expensive courses. The length of their ads is like reading a short story, that says the same thing over and over and eventually gets to the punchline. Their many words do not make it more legit, they appear desperate! Caitlin gets to the point and respects you enough to know you don’t need to hear it twenty different ways. Therefore, I respect any service she recommends.