30 Online Jobs That Are Real
Getting sick of work, are you?
The early mornings, where you’re forced out from under the covers of your warm, comfortable bed.
The dreadful commute both ways, fighting through a crowd of motorists who somehow haven’t lost their driving privileges yet.
The unforgiving fluorescent lights beating down on you as you settle into your office chair, hot cup of cheap office swill they call “coffee” in your mug.
The flurry of emails about “touching base” and “circling back” that you drearily answer one-by-one.
The counting of the minutes on the clock until 5 hits. Sometimes working past 5 to finish that project on time.
And when you’re finally done… you get to do it all over again the next day.
Or do you? In 2019, opportunities to work from home have expanded way beyond begging your boss for work-from-home privileges one day a week. Plus, as more of society goes digital, you can expect tens of thousands more jobs to be created within the next decade or so.
However, scams are popping up everywhere, preying on your desire to break free of your cubicle and work from your kitchen table/study/bed.
Sifting the wheat from the chaff is difficult enough when you’re working 40+ hours a week and commuting/running errands for the rest of it, so we did the heavy lifting for you by gathering 30 online jobs that are real; no scams here!
Whether you’re looking to replace your dull office job or just want some extra spending money, these online jobs are real opportunities to accomplish your goals.
1.) Freelance Writing
Average pay: Beginners – between $15 and $40 per hour. More advanced – Even more than that.
Got a talent with pen and paper? Freelance writing is one of the quickest online jobs to break into, yet it can be the most lucrative if you work at it.
Plus, you’ll always be in demand as businesses, websites, and large blogs are always going to need writers.
But just because starting is easy, doesn’t mean finding good clients is easy. At the start, your only hope seems like spamming off proposals to low-paying prospects on freelance marketplaces or job boards.
These aren’t bad places to look, but the key to success is niching down. Doing so helps you develop expertise in one field, allowing you to raise your rates and rake in the cash after working at it for a few years.
The best niches will be a compromise between your passions and what’s profitable. Without passion, you might get sick of work; without profit, well, you make no money.
Average pay: $17.67 per hour
If bad grammar and incorrect spelling bug you, you could make a job or even career out of proofreading.
It might seem unrealistic to make money correcting uses of the English language, but with the heavy dependence on content marketing and massive growth in blogging, you’ll never fail to find work.
You can get started with no certifications, too, although they’re something to consider down the line if you want to sharpen your skills and raise your rates.
For now, you can get started today by asking family and friends if they know anyone needing a proofreader, listing your services on freelance marketplaces, and applying to gigs on job boards.
Average pay: $0 to $10k or more per month
Blogging is one of the most independent online jobs you can start. There are no bosses or clients to answer to; just yourself.
It’s also one of the most lucrative. Bloggers like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey pull in hundreds of thousands to millions per year either directly from their blogs or indirectly from their products with which they use their blogs to market.
Blogging isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and money, though; for every six figure blogger, there are several blogs making pennies or nothing at all. There are even more bloggers that give up early on when they don’t see the money immediately pour in.
So how can you avoid failing like the others and reach the upper echelons of blogdom?
First, pick a profitable niche that you’re passionate about. Set up your blog, work at it consistently month-over-month by producing quality, SEO-optimized content about your niche.
After a few months (or even a year) of working for free, you’ll start to gain readers. When this happens, it’s time to monetize with
- Affiliate marketing
- Guest posts
- Info products
Don’t give up; most people give up too early, when just one more month of work could’ve changed their lives.
4.) Virtual Assistant
Average pay: $15.73 per hour
Many online entrepreneurs scale their business by hiring inexpensive, overseas VAs to handle the admin tasks while they work on business growth.
While these VAs aren’t bad at what they do, many businesses are willing to pay more for a VA with the skills and knowledge to bring value to their business.
Meaning you, of course.
As a VA, you won’t get bored very fast. You’ll have a variety of tasks to complete, including but not limited to
- Answering emails
- Writing emails
- Data entry
- Social media management
- Booking travel
- Customer service
Not all clients (or employers, if you go that route) will have the same VA needs; one client/employer might have you be the go-to scheduling and travel booking person for an executive in the company, while another client/employer could make most of your job customer service and email.
Average pay: $0.20 – $0.50 per image, $3,663 per month for client work
Handy with a camera? Photography can help you pay your bills.
Budding photographers can make money one of two ways:
- Licensing photography
- Working for clients
Licensing your photography is a great way to generate passive income off your smartphone camera because businesses always need great stock photos for their website.
You can earn up to $0.50 per download per image on sites like Shutterstock and Getty Images. With that in mind, you’ll see great success by building a portfolio of stock photography and posting it all on there. If you have 30 stock photos that each get downloaded 5 times per day, that could be another $75 per day!
Then there’s client work.
People love to have special events in their life photographed for posterity. These people are your potential clients.
You could become a photographer for weddings, graduations, senior pictures, family picture, the list goes on. Of course, you’ll need the right equipment (camera, tripod, lenses, etc.) for this kind of photography. Smartphone cameras won’t cut it here.
While not passive, you can make a lot of cash per photography session. Combine a few hours a week of client work with your passive photo royalties, and you’ve got yourself a fun gig that doesn’t pay too shabby.
Average pay: $25 – $30 an hour, depending on skill
Here’s an online job you’ve never heard of. Scoping is simply editing court transcripts. See, court reporters get paid by the page instead of an hourly rate or a salary.
They scale their scoping business by outsourcing the editing to you, the scoper, to increase the number of pages they can produce per hour.
Earning potential is quite high for a job that’s basically a niche from of proofreading. You don’t need a certification either, and it doesn’t cost much to start scoping.
Here’s an idea: supplement your scoping business with some proofreading on the side. You’ll always have some proofreading and editing to do.
7.) Graphic Design
Average pay: $20 – $40 per hour, more with experience
Businesses will always need writers, but they’ll also always need excellent logos and brand artwork that’s aesthetically pleasing to customers.
Starving artists can starve no longer and even have fun by working as a graphic designer. You don’t need a real portfolio to start; just create some samples for fake brands/companies. Good clients will care less about WHO you did the work for than WHAT you can do for them, which you can display with these samples.
Study up on sales, marketing, and branding. These will help you with your own business, but because these skills are extremely valuable to businesses, you’ll be able to command much higher rates.
8.) Web Design
Average pay: $22 – $30 per hour
Businesses can no longer survive without a functioning website. As a web designer, your job is to create websites that are fast, intuitive, clean, and pleasant to look at.
You’ll work with your client through the whole process, from defining their website’s objectives, to creating the site’s information architecture, to creating wire frames, eventually designing the actual website.
If you’ve got an eye for good design, think about looking for some web design gigs.
9.) Web Development
Average pay: $30 per hour
Another type of online job involving websites is web development. Web development is a bit more on the technical side, and in many cases, could be considered the “next step” after creating the website’s design.
The heavier emphasis on technical skill is reflected in the pay: with an average pay of $30 per hour, you can create a comfortable work-from-home lifestyle as a web developer.
You can work for an employer for stability and a steady paycheck, or you can hang your own shingle and get clients if you desire more time independence and control over your income.
10.) Mobile App Creation
Average pay: $0 – six figures per year
Mobile app downloads increased from 178.1 billion in 2017 to 205.4 billion by 2018, with a predicted 258.2 downloads by 2022. By 2020, apps are expected to generate nearly $200 billion in revenue.
You can claim your slice of this pie by creating your own mobile app. You’ll have to decide which platform(s) you’ll be designing your app for, as this will determine your market reach as well as your expenses, thus affecting your earnings.
Market research is also a must. There must be a demand for your app, even if it’s not a large demand.
That’s not to say that you need a mind-blowing idea, though. Nor do you even need a paid app. Candy Crush, a simple, free game for mobile devices, raked in about $1.3 million per day solely through in-app purchases as of April 2018.
Average pay: $40+ per hour
Computer programming will probably never stop growing in importance, given our increasingly digital reality. You can make good pay starting out, but develop your expertise in a type of programming/language and your earnings will only go up.
Many computer programmers have college degrees, but it’s possible to get by without one. You will have to demonstrate your ability through showing off an app or program you built on your own.
So how do you learn it without spending a fortune?
Easy – sites like Code Academy and Khan Academy are world-renowned sources for learning how to program for free. Build your skills while contributing to real, helpful projects on GitHub.
Programming could even be considered an online travel job as well because you can do it from anywhere as long as you have a laptop!
Average pay: $25 – $40 per hour, more with experience
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how you get a website to the front page of a search engine’s result. Businesses don’t make money when they’re on the 5th page of Google, so they’ll pay you a good wage to move their site up in the search rankings.
But SEO sounds complicated. Is it?
Not really. Basic SEO stuff like keyword research and site optimization is not too hard to learn, and there are plenty of affordable courses out there that hone in more on SEO skills.
Of course, you can greatly increase your rates by learning the more technical SEO tasks like dealing with the websites code and backend structure.
13.) Lead Generation/Ads
Average pay: $25+ per hour
SEO brings in customers organically and for free by targeting certain keywords, but a good ad campaign can really kick a business’s sales into overdrive. Working as a Facebook Ads manager for clients can earn you at least $25 per hour, although you can start jacking your rates up when you can display results.
Facebook ads are quite easy to learn. A simple $12 Udemy course can teach you all you need to know about Facebook business pages, the Business Manager, ad creation, and more.
The hard part is knowing your client’s target market and crafting ad copy that will get prospects to convert in droves.
Study their market, learn their market’s pain points, then answer their pain points with the copy. Your clients will be grateful when they’re rolling in the dough.
14.) Data Entry
Average pay: $13 per hour
Despite automation trends, there are still data entry jobs everywhere out there. Not much to explain here; you’ll be following your employer’s instructions, entering data where it’s supposed to go.
Data entry isn’t the most thrilling work, but it’s simple, consistent, and the pay isn’t too bad for what you’re doing. Somebody’s got to do it.
Still, we wouldn’t recommend full-time data entry if you’re looking to make serious money. It’s better as a side gig, or maybe full-time if your living expenses are low.
Average pay: $17 – $40+ per hour
Really, does anyone actually enjoy bookkeeping? Most businesses owners hate to do it, but they can’t just skip it as bookkeeping is a critical part of keeping a business’s finances in order.
If you’re good with numbers and willing to keep the books, you can earn a pretty penny. As you build experience, you can specialize in a certain type or size of business and command a premium for your services.
Accountants have a head start here because bookkeeping is a part of their job. They can charge higher rates starting out.
Same with licensed bookkeepers.
Don’t let that discourage you, though; bookkeepers need only a high school diploma to get started. Earning a 2 year associate’s degree will put you in a good position for better clients, and obtaining some certification will help even more.
Average pay: Not much for beginners, a couple hundred to a couple thousand per year after awhile
eBooks can be a fun online job for anybody, not just writers. You can write about whatever you want, fiction or nonfiction, then self-publish it on Amazon or on your own site.
There are pros and cons to each approach.
Amazon publishing grants you instant access to Amazon’s huge audience, but they take a chunk of your earnings.
Self-publishing on your site is harder as you have to market the heck out of your work, but you get to keep everything after your expenses.
Now, we don’t want to lie to you here: it’s hard to make a living writing. Don’t expect to be traveling the world and driving fancy cars after publishing your first 2 eBooks.
That being said, it’s always possible to score moderate to great success with enough quality eBooks. You could build a blog/personal brand and use that to promote your eBooks for more sales as well.
And even if you can’t sell very well, they provide supplementary income as you work another online job.
Average pay: $0 – $10k+ per month
There’s been an explosion in online course sales as of late. Many courses are built with the very reason you’re reading this article in mind: people want to learn skills they need to land work-from-home jobs or start online businesses.
However, you can make a course on nearly anything, as long as you’re actually skilled in and/or knowledgeable on the subject.
For example, are you a great guitarist? An introductory guitar course could be a money-making option for you.
Maybe you’ve a certified dog trainer? Create a course teaching new dog owners how to train their dogs.
Like other types of online business models, courses have a huge range in terms of earning potential. At one end, you could make nothing. This usually happens if you don’t market hard enough and give up.
On the other end, you could make a full six figure income with courses. It’s not completely passive, as you may have to update courses to stay on top of industry trends; you’ll also need to add more bonuses and refine the content to draw more customers to existing courses.
Average pay: A few hundred per month – 6 figures per year
What if you could run an online store without holding inventory, maintaining warehouses, or even manufacturing your own products?
You can. It’s called dropshipping. You pick a niche, create an online store using Shopify or a similar platform, then find suppliers with good products in your niche.
You then list those products on your site at a markup. When a customer orders, you receive their money. You then buy the product from the supplier and provide them the customer shipping details.
The supplier ships off the product to the customer without their branding. You keep the markup difference as profit.
Dropshipping is the most expensive business model on this list to start, but that’s not saying much. At most, you could start with a few hundred dollars for ads, although you can SEO your way to profits if you try really hard.
19.) Call Center Customer Service
Average pay: $14.75 per hour
Employers are beginning to recognize the benefits of remote workforce, leading to the creation of an abundance of remote customer service jobs you can work right from home.
You could work part-time, seasonally, or make it full-time if you really wanted to. Run a quick internet search and you’ll see a ton of remote customer service jobs waiting to be filled.
Your tasks as a customer service agent may vary depending on the company and industry. However, you can generally expect to help customers out by answering their questions, addressing their concerns, and ensuring they have as smooth a customer service process as possible.
You’ll do this via phone, email, and live chat. The amount you use each one will also vary a bit by company and industry.
Succeeding in a customer service role requires a thick skin. You’re not going to get chewed out by customers 24/7, but angry customers are not an uncommon occurrence. Don’t let that get to you, because after all, they’re hundreds to thousands of miles away.
20.) Social Media Management
Average pay: $30 per hour
Do your friends know you as the person always tweeting, Snapchatting, or posting on Instagram? Even that can be turned into a full-time career as a social media manager.
Social media permeates society more and more by the day. The BLS predicts a 10% growth in social media management opportunities from 2016 to 2026.
Yet since businesses don’t often have time to manage their social media full-time, there’s money to be made doing it for them.
Social media managers handle basically every social media task a business has. This could include
- Researching your market
- Social media strategizing/planning
- Curating content for posts
- Writing, editing, and scheduling posts
- Reviewing analytics
- Interact with customers on social media
- Some website tasks
No need to be a master at all of these right away, though. As long as you can curate relevant content, do some basic market research, and know how to write posts and operate various social media channel, you can acquire clients as soon as this week.
21.) Thrifting and Flipping
Average pay: Varies
Here lies business at its simplest form: buying a product at one price, then reselling it at a higher price. In this case, you’ll be looking for “junk” items that are underpriced so you can resell them at a profit online using a site like eBay.
You can find junk to sell by:
- Digging up old items
- Going to garage sales
- Asking family/friends/neighbors if they have anything they don’t want
- Heading to thrift stores
It’s hard to say exactly what you’ll earn by thrifting and flipping items. Some people do it on the side to generate some fun money, but there are reports of some people earning six figure selling junk.
This is such an easy business model to break into; the trick is to buy low and sell high for maximum profits.
Average pay: $0 – six figures
You’ve read the stories: the elementary-aged kid who rakes in millions with videos of toys, the leagues of gamers making thousands or more per livestream, the makeup artists who get paid more than actors and actresses to film themselves reviewing and applying makeup.
While we can’t guarantee you’ll become rich like them, you can get your hands on some YouTube money with a bit of effort.
YouTube offers its own money-making methods for you to capitalize on:
- Ads – Display, overlay, and video ads.
- Channel memberships – Viewers make monthly payments to you in exchange for special perks like premium videos or early video access.
- Merch shelf – YouTube partnered with Teespring to make it easy for you to create, market, and sell branded merch (like t shirts) right on your channel videos. Just pick the designs and market your shirts on each video.
- Super chats – Your viewers can pay to have their chat messages pinned to the top of livestreams for certain amounts of time.
- YouTube Premium revenue – Every time a YouTube premium subscriber watches one of your videos, you earn a portion of their monthly subscription that month.
Like bloggers, YouTubers can make big money through affiliate marketing too. Post links to products you use in your video description, in pinned comments, and on your page. Inform your audience of those products and links; they’ll be happy to buy products you use while simultaneously supporting your work.
You’ve also got Patreon, which is a lot like channel memberships. Viewers can “donate” a small set amount to you and get perks in exchange. You can set different tiers of perks, charging a larger donation for more access.
Lastly, you have sponsorships. If you get large enough, companies will be willing to pay you to give a shoutout to them in your videos.
As you can see, there’s a ton of ways to earn on YouTube. It’s not easy, though – you’ve got to work hard on your channel for months, as well as learn various filming and video editing skills.
But if your niche is something you’re passionate about, the whole journey will be enjoyable.
23.) Medical Transcription
Average pay: $10 – $25 per hour
Transcription jobs are commonplace. You can earn a bit with those, but like it is with almost every other online job, your best bet is to niche down into something.
Medical transcription is one of your best options. The population is both growing and aging; healthcare services are going to be in much higher demand for the near future, which trickles all the way down to transcriptionists.
So what do medical transcriptionists do?
Traditionally, their main task has been to listen to recordings of doctors or other healthcare workers, then interpret and transcribe those recordings into patient files and other important healthcare records.
Today, with the proliferation of speech-recognition technology, they’re increasingly being tasked with reviewing speech-to-text versions of the doctor’s dictation for accuracy.
You don’t need any formal college education to become a medical transcriptionist, although it’s highly preferred by most employers. What you DO need is a certificate from a medical transcription certification program. These are usually a year long.
To boost your earnings, you can work towards a medical transcription license. The first one you’d want to go for is the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) license offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.
Once you have that, you must fulfill some work experience requirements before you can obtain the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) certification.
24.) Online Personal Training
Average pay: $26 per hour for beginners
People are super busy with work and errands, yet the population is generally becoming more health conscious at the same time. With less time to attend the gym regularly, many look to online personal training to guide them in their fitness journey.
Online personal training will work best for those who love fitness and have some experience. You usually have to obtain certification and gain experience working in a personal training role before you can move online.
If you’re a personal trainer already, moving online won’t be too hard, but there’s a bit of a learning curve. Training clients virtually is naturally a bit harder than in person, and you’ll have to pick up some tech and marketing skills involved in online business (building a website, SEO, marketing, etc.).
Client training isn’t your only source of income, though. As a personal trainer, you can create workout programs or fitness eBooks and sell them for passive income. From there, you can even up-sell workout program customers on training with you.
Put these two together and work on your business for a few years and you’ll have plenty of leverage to raise your rates.
25.) Medical Billing/Coding
Average pay: $13 – $26 per hour
Medical billing and coding is another excellent work-from-home online job in the medical field. Medicine essentially has it’s own language; as a medical coder/biller, you’re responsible for translating med-speak from patient records into the correct medical codes for various diagnoses and treatments.
These codes are used to bill the patient and their insurance accurately for whatever diagnoses or treatments they underwent.
In addition, you’ll have to interact with doctors and other healthcare professionals on a daily basis to ensure accuracy when it comes to your coding duties.
Becoming a medical coder is similar to becoming a transcriptionist. You first need a high school diploma, then you can enroll in a medical coding program. These programs last 18-24 months.
That’s all you need to land employment as a biller and coder, but like medical transcription, pursuing certification will grant you access to more job opportunities and better pay.
Average pay: $17.50 per hour
Calling all brainiacs! Make money by helping others learn school subjects and earn better grades by becoming a tutor online.
Thanks to globalization, the internet, and the boom of the online education industry, there’s an opportunity for people adept in nearly every subject to make a good income tutoring.
For example, Chegg pays their tutors $20 an hour! Chegg tutors get to pick their subjects (as long as they pass a proficiency quiz), set their own schedule (in both number of hours and when those hours are), and tutor from wherever they have computer and internet access.
Or, you could broaden your horizons literally and figuratively by teaching English to overseas students. VIPKid, one of these sites, connects you with Chinese students learning English. They provide you the curricula and course materials; just teach and get paid.
Now, many of these tutoring opportunities require a bachelor’s degree; some require you to be enrolled in a 4-year degree program. Keep that in mind before applying.
Average pay: Varies depending on role and experience
Insurance is always a booming industry it seems; almost 3 million people in the United States work for the insurance industry in some form.
There’s online opportunity for you here. You could work in a variety of roles ranging from sales to underwriting to customer service.
28.) Inside Sales
Average pay: Varies by industry and company, but huge earning potential
Inside sales is a slightly misleading term for sales that doesn’t occur face-to-face with the customer/client. Yes, that means you can work as a salesperson from the comfort of your desktop or laptop.
And yes, there are tons of businesses in every industry who are raring to hire more good salespeople. If you can sell a lot of product or service, you can stack the big bucks without walking out your front door.
You’ll never run out of work, either, as more companies will want to hire you to sell their stuff to them.
Not a natural salesperson? No matter. Pick up a few books on sales, persuasion, and psychology.
However, the skills are just one side of the equation; you should also know your market. Study each prospective company’s market and products deeply, as it’ll help you connect the market’s pain points with your client company’s product’s benefits.
Average pay: $15 – $34 per hour
There’s a reason why high school and college advisors constantly recommend learning a 2nd language: the more people you can communicate with, the more opportunities you have, including working as a translator.
Theoretically, you need a bachelor’s degree to land most translation jobs. If you go the bachelor’s degree route, you don’t need to major in a language as long as your skills are up to part, but majoring in a language is obviously of huge help.
That being said, it’s still possible to land a translator role if you can prove your proficiency in two languages, one of them being English. Just know you’re fighting an uphill battle if you go this route.
You may think that learning a ton of languages is the way to increasing your income. Although that could help, you’ll most likely end up being ok at several languages rather than excellent at 1 or 2. This is important because then you can understand the nuances of different dialects and slang in your target language.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Yep, it’s essentially niching down. Focusing on one or two languages can lead to more expertise in said languages, which of course can lead to higher rates for you.
30.) Video Editing
Average pay: $25 – $40 per hour for beginners
Rounding out our list is video editing, which is becoming more popular as an online job by the day.
And you can expect this demand to increase indefinitely; by 2022, online videos are expected to be 82% of all internet traffic. Get into video editing now, and you’ll never be short on work to do.
Not to mention that pay is pretty good for such an interesting yet accessible online job.
If you’re completely new to video editing, there are plenty of cheap and free courses on sites like Skillshare and Udemy. Poke around, read some reviews, and take some courses to get in on the wave of the future.
Real Online Jobs That Make Good Money
There you have it: 30 online jobs that are real and make real money. We’ll leave you with a few answers to common online job questions.
Where Can I Find Online Jobs?
If you’re looking for a part-time or full-time “employee” type of position, a job board is the place to go.
FlexJobs should be first on your list. They screen each company trying to post a job, effectively eliminating the chance of scam “jobs”. If you’re willing to pay for access to them, you can rest assured you won’t get scammed.
Alternatively, you can check out job boards like Indeed, Monster, or ZipRecruiter. Just keep your eyes open for scams.
How Much Can I Earn?
That all depends. Most remote workers are hired as contractors, not W2 employees. You’ll be working per hour or per project in most cases, rather than salary.
If you get better and more efficient at your job, you can earn the same amount of money in less time, leaving you opportunities to take on more paying projects.
You’ll also qualify for higher-paying positions in general.
Oh, and obviously, the job you pick matters. Data entry won’t pay as well something more skill-based like bookkeeping.
Then there’s entrepreneurial pursuits, like blogging or dropshipping. Your income is completely determined by your drive and the work you put in.
How Do I Spot a Scam?
Scams have plenty of warning signs if you know to look for them:
- Vague posting – Scams try to sound legit by listing job requirements, but they’re really vague. Plus, the description is usually short and avoids listing specific responsibilities.
- No/negative info on company online – Run a search for the company. Can’t find them? Find a ton of BBB complaints? Might be a scam.
- Pay is too good to be true – This one’s a bit subjective, but use your head. No one’s paying $50 an hour for an administrative assistant.
- They charge you – Except for select MLM companies (you aren’t actually an employee for those anyways), anyone charging you to work for them is scamming you. Turn and run.
With these in mind, go forth and land yourself an online job! Working from home is possible, and it’s great.
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