Obviously you’re interested in work at home opportunities or you wouldn’t be here, right? You’ve probably Googled all about it and visited a dozen forums on the subject, but here are five jobs or businesses you may not have seen mentioned.
Getting Physical in the Virtual World
If you love sports, work-at-home may be more compatible with an active lifestyle than you think. In addition to the obvious sports and fitness writing opportunities, you can work as a virtual physical education teacher as more and more online schools offer this option in addition to traditional subject matter. Or consider getting a job as a race director for events like Tough Mudder. For the business savvy, think about investing in a My House Fitness Personal Training franchise, or if you’re a certified personal trainer, why not add a virtual training option to a new or existing training service?
All the exercise gurus with fitness tapes like to pretend they are right there with you, but with a webcam and Skype, you’ll have the edge on even the most popular trainers like Jillian Michaels, because you can see your clients and give them direct feedback. You don’t have to leave your house and your clients don’t need to find babysitters.
Teaching and Tutoring
Did you know more and more companies are hiring virtual teachers and tutors? If you have your teaching certificate, you may be able to land one of these positions, offering instruction on a variety of subjects, including math, English, French, Spanish, science and more. If you aren’t certified, tutoring sites have different requirements depending on the subject matter, sometimes only requiring a four-year degree or expertise in an area.
For those industrious entrepreneurial types, consider launching your own tutoring service or online classes through a platform such as WizIQ. Membership plans start with a free level, and the site takes a 10% commission on paid classes.
If you dreamed of backpacking around the world — or actually did it — and earned your keep by getting your certification to teach ESL (English as a Second Language), more and more clients are requesting English instruction online. It sort of takes the romanticism of living on the beach in Thailand out of it, but if you have the training or are willing to get it, this could open another line of work-at-home revenue for you.
Speaking the Not-So-Universal Language
If you’re trained in a second language and you’re fluent, consider working as a virtual translator or interpreter. Translators typically handle converting documents into another language, while interpreters will translate live conversations or lectures. You can find work for translation services in a multitude of industries, such as Pacific Interpreters, which specializes in telephone translation for the medical field, or general interpreters such as LanguageLine Solutions.
Customer service positions also love to find bilingual employees, for everything from online shopping, to car rentals, to IT. Being fluent in a second language can definitely give you an edge in the hiring process, especially if that second language is Spanish.
Your Own Personal Historian
Many people have an avid interest in genealogy or in collecting stories about their families, but lack the time to do it themselves, or the technical knowledge to document it properly. That’s where personal historians come in, and you can be a part of this growing industry. Personal historians go beyond searching birth records online to interviewing family members, creating photos and videos to document a family history for a website, book, or DVD.
Depending on how talented you are in packaging your results and your clientele, you can earn up to $50 per hour, with some historians earning six-figure incomes with wealthier clients. Take that, Ancestry.com! But obviously the work will be sporadic and unreliable unless you really do a lot of marketing and generate clients with a lot of “disposable income.”
Getting Paid to Surf the Net
Working as an internet researcher ranges from poor pay for answering general questions on sites, to commanding up to $50 an hour as an independent researcher with an area of expertise such as business or legal. If you prefer to hire on with a company, check out WeRLive for chat and videochat interaction, JustAnswer, or SmallBiz Advice if you know your way around the business world.
If you want to go independent, some common places to seek clients include law offices or political action committees during election years. Also, watch for industries like insurance, healthcare, and marketing to start utilizing research services more and more on a contractor basis. The Association of Internet Researchers can give you more ideas and tips on how to get started.