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15+ Work-At-Home Job Ideas for Detail-Oriented People

Updated: December 18, 2015

There’s an annoying myth floating around that working from home is easy.

The people who are doing it successfully know, however, that it’s far from easy! Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to scam you!

And sadly, there are so many scams out there that prey on people looking for an easy, comfortable way to earn money from home. I’ve gotten — no lie — hundreds of emails from people with detailed accounts of being burned by “email processing” and “recruitment” schemes where you learn how to get $25 from people by teaching them how to get $25 from people — for selling nothing. No actual product is sold — just lame scripts and “techniques” to con people into PayPaling you $25 over and over again.

15-work-at-home-ideas-for-smart-peopleThen there’s paying to post worthless ads to get worthless traffic to people’s worthless websites. And how could I forget: getting paid $0.20 to take a survey that takes you 20 minutes.

So. much. junk. 

I’m tired of it… aren’t you?

Working from home and earning money online is HARD. To be successful at it, you need actual skills, and you have to be willing to put in some time to build skills if you don’t already have them. Otherwise you’re looking for a shortcut that just isn’t there. The fastest way to ruin your reputation with a potential employer is to say you can do something you really can’t do (yet). So save yourself the embarrassment and make sure you learn the ropes properly.

I Proofread! (Obviously)

This blog is mainly about making money proofreading because that’s my passion, but I also love helping people, and one way to do that is to just be honest — all the time — and sometimes that means telling people proofreading’s not in the cards. (If you’re not sure, take our free intro course to find out).

I’m not about to leave the non-proofreading people in the dark, though.  Here is my list of over 15 work-at-home job ideas for detail-oriented (translation: smart!) people.

Transcription (General, Legal, Medical)

Contrary to a lot of info you’ll find out there, transcription is real work and it’s not easy. You can get jobs with no experience, but you won’t earn very much and if you totally suck, you won’t get any more work. Many people who have no idea what they’re doing and just wing it give up after the first 2-3 jobs because it’s just too overwhelming. We’re a big believer that proper education makes all the difference. Rushing into something without the proper training is the fastest way to screw it up. If you take time to learn and truly hone your skills — and learn how to properly market yourself — you’re much more likely to find success as a transcriptionist.

Here are some resources to help you get started as a transcriptionist the right way.

General Transcription: Theory and Practice™: an intensive general transcription course including 60 practice files with answer keys covering a wide variety of subjects including interviews, focus groups, videos and more. **Includes tutorial videos, cheatsheets, and loads of business and marketing how-to’s as well!

Legal Transcription: Theory and Practice™: an intensive multimedia course in legal transcription. Includes 25 practice files with answer keys, extensive training in legal terminology and case process, access to the exclusive student Facebook community, student resource library, and much more. The course also covers all the ins and outs to setting up and marketing your new legal transcription business!

Check out our expert interview with Janet from TranscribeAnywhere.

Medical Transcription with CareerStep: A great option for those who enjoy working in the medical field. CareerStep is a reputable education company with loads of positive testimonials offering a robust medical transcription and editing program. They work with hundreds of medical transcription employers that have more entry-level openings than qualified applicants. The course includes a free voucher for your certification exam. While more expensive than our proofreading courses, this may be the career change you’ve been looking for.

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How This Single Mom Earned an Extra $3,000 in 10 Weeks
How This Single Mom Earned an Extra $3,000 in 10 Weeks


Did you know you can become a bookkeeper without becoming a CPA? Yep — they are two different professions, and the market is ripe for skilled bookkeepers. Ben Robinson’s course, Bookkeeper Business Launch, is the only proven system available to get you from “numbers guru” to highly skilled (and highly paid!) bookkeeper in just a few months. While I (admittedly) fail at numbers, Ben granted me access to his course and I was thoroughly impressed, especially with the extensive library of business and marketing tutorials. Getting bookkeeping clients is the last thing you’ll need to worry about with a teacher like Ben.

Click here to see an interview with Ben Robinson.

BBA training

Virtual Assistance

Because you can work in ANY market, virtual assisting is one of the best options for detail-oriented, skilled individuals looking for work-at-home job ideas.

A virtual assistant can earn up to $25 per hour!

30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success: A 30-day success course by mastermind Gina Horkey designed to get you from zero to VA hero in 30 days or less. It’s packed full of resources (including marketing help) to help you start a business as a virtual assistant. The best part is the super-supportive private Facebook group for students. You won’t be alone as you work through this course.

P.S. — Some of our students have actually added proofreading work as a service to their VA businesses. Keep this in mind if you have completed one of our proofreading courses and are looking to find a proofreading job — the two fit well together. Need proof that people actually have virtual assistants? See this post about how I have NINE virtual assistants working on my blog! And for even MORE info, check out Gina’s FREE resource of 150+ virtual assistant services you can offer.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant — Another great course (in eBook format) by Lisa Taliga with excellent resources and a heavy emphasis on marketing and building a client base. It includes lots of useful free bonuses to help you start a virtual assisting business as a full-time job or side hustle.

Freelance Writing

Writing is another arena in the work-at-home world where the sky is the limit. Every business in every niche in every part of the world needs good quality writing to communicate with their audiences. Sales video scripts, SEO articles, travel articles, resumes, eBooks — the list goes on! Excellent proofreading skills are also a plus if you get into writing.

Here are some options to learn how to get started as a work-from-home writer.

Earn More Writing: Holly Johnson earns $200,000 per year as a freelance writer, and she did it while working full-time in a mortuary! The course is the summation of everything she has learned about making some serious money writing. It is the most robust course we’ve found so far to help newbies start a freelance writing career. See our interview with Holly!

Start a Resume Writing Business: Everyone who works needs a resume — the cool part is you’ve got thousands more people entering the job market every day! If you’re great at making people look good on paper, why not earn money for it? Teena earns $500 – $800 for a resume and cover letter. Her clients willingly pay this amount for her fabulous work. And Teena teaches you how to duplicate ALL of her processes. Her course is an excellent value, and it also includes loads of free bonuses.

Publish and Sell Your eBooks: this course puts you inside the publishing industry, sharing the tricks of the trade used by traditional publishers to make sure their books are in the best position to be found by readers. You’ll learn how to target your reading audience, select bookstores, get your book distributed around the world, and even have your local library add your book to its virtual shelves.

RELATED: 3 Reasons You Should Consider Self Publishing a Book — and How to Get Started

How to Make Money Writing SEO Articles:  Yuwanda has been in the freelance writing business since 1993, and she’s helped thousands of people learn how to write SEO articles and build a clientele — all from home. See our expert interview with Yuwanda. 

Travel Writing: In this 6-week course, you’ll learn how to develop the skills of a travel writer. You’ll learn how to translate what is seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled, and felt (intuitively and physically) into publishable articles and books. You’ll understand the writing styles and methods needed to sell material in today’s competitive market so you can stand out above the rest!

Grant Writing

Grant Writing: If you’re into the nonprofit sector and love to write, grant writing may be a good option for you. This particular course is downloadable, but you can also study it live in colleges and universities across the US. There is a free intro course available as well.

A-to-Z Grant Writing Course: A budget-friendly, yet still great value option, this 6-week course will equip you with the skills and tools you need to enter the exciting field of grant writing!  You’ll learn how to raise funds by discovering how and where to look for potential funders who are a good match for your organization.  You’ll also learn how to network and develop true partnerships with a variety of funders, how to organize a successful grant writing campaign, and how to put together a complete proposal package.

Become a Grant Writing Consultant: Good grant writing consultants are always in demand. Learn how you can use a basic knowledge of grant or proposal writing to become an expert in the red-hot grant consulting field. Your instructor, Dr. Beverly Browning, is a national grant consulting veteran. In this six-week course, she will provide you with easy-to-follow instructions you can use to start your own home-based business. The best part? You’ll not only learn what services to offer, you’ll also learn how to find clients and how to set your fees.

Other Business Ideas for Detail-Oriented People

So this one is an honorable mention because you might not be able to do this from home or remotely, but you do need to be detail-oriented to succeed, especially with the marketing aspects.

How to Start a Pet-Sitting Business: Taught by Dr. Jeff Grognet, veterinarian to companion animals, this course will help you master the essentials of running a cat and dog sitting business — including how to market it.


Not sure where to look for work-at-home jobs? This job site has hundreds of options for anyone who wants to work from home.


[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.]


If you click a link in this post before enrolling in the paid version of any course on this list, send me your tuition receipt, and I’ll give you a FREE copy of my 106-page book, The Work At Home Survival Guide (a $17 value).

My Favorite? Proofreading!

Super detail-oriented with words but aren’t sure proofreading is a good fit for you? Try our 7-day introductory course to learn more about it.


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  1. 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.

    1. I agree, I wish I knew where to begin looking for an actual telecommuting job but in Oklahoma that seems nearly impossible.

    2. 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.

  2. Caitlin,
    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.
    Marilyn Barudoni

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

  3. Hello Caitlin,

    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,
    Omar Saady

    1. 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!

  4. Caitlin,
    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!

    1. 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!

  5. 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.

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