It comes as no surprise that millennials are big on work-from-home jobs. But older workers can find just as many potential employment opportunities online, if you know where to look.
First, a word of warning
As with anything you find online, some opportunities are better than others.
Sadly, there are plenty of work-from-home scams out there, so keep an eye out for the following red flags:
- They ask for personal information, like your Social Security number or bank account information.
- They ask you to pay. Legitimate job offers will never require payment to apply, purchase inventory, attend training, etc.
- They don’t mention a specific pay rate, or they make vaguely worded promises like, “You can earn up to $30 an hour!”
- They are not listed on the Better Business Bureau website (if they claim to represent a larger company) or have a large number of dubious reviews.
- The only physical location you find for the company is a P.O. box (if it’s local).
- They offer you an advance on your pay.
If a position meets one or more of the criteria listed above, chances are it might not be on the up and up, so you’re best to keep searching.
* * The top 10 online jobs for retirees * *
1. Customer service representative
What you’d do: Answer customer questions, troubleshoot problems, and take and track orders. Depending on the company, you may be communicating over the phone, via online chat or both.
Good if you: Are a people person, can multitask, have a decent typing speed and have a quiet place to work.
Average pay*: $12.06-$14.11/hour
2. Virtual assistant
What you’d do: Everything a traditional administrative assistant might do: composing correspondence, calendar management, making travel arrangements, data entry.
Good if you: Already have experience working in an office, are organized, have good time-management skills, and are proficient in basic word processing and spreadsheet software.
Average pay: $16.20/hour
Where to look: This list
What you’d do: Typing out, verbatim, what you hear on audio files. You may be captioning a video, capturing the words in a court presentation or taking down a written record of a dialogue between two or more people.
Good if you: Are a quick typer, have good hearing, can identify speakers by voice, are able to understand sometimes thick accents and can pass a transcription test.
Average pay: $13.80/hour
Where to look: This list
4. Brand advocate
What you’d do: Chat online with visitors to your favorite brand’s website, offer advice and recommendations, and answer questions about products.
Good if you: Consider yourself an expert on a particular brand or product, love sharing your favorite finds with others, and always dreamed of being a personal shopper.
Average pay: $9-$12/hour, plus you’ll earn points you can redeem for products.
Where to look: Needle.com
What you’d do: Share your knowledge with students of all ages. You may compose lessons, grade tests and papers, or help review material in preparation for a standardized test, like the SATs.
Good if you: Are knowledgeable in a certain subject (teacher certifications are nice but not necessary; real world experience counts), can pass an online exam in that subject, and have a knack for explaining things to people.
Average pay: $22/hour, according to a review of current openings.
6. Subject matter expert
What you’d do: Answer a wide variety of questions from customers and businesses on a subject you’re knowledgeable about.
Good if you: Have lots of real-world or academic experience in a particular field.
Average pay: $10-$15/accepted answer
Where to look: Just Answer
7. Online juror
What you’d do: Serve as a mock juror for attorneys who want to see how their cases will fare if taken to trial. You’ll listen to testimony, weigh evidence and render your verdict just like a juror in a real court case.
Good if you: Are analytical, enjoy processing large (and often conflicting) amounts of evidence, like giving your opinion and have a clean record.
Average pay: $5-$50 per case, according to a review of current openings; some extensive cases can pay $100-$120.
What you’d do: Anything from proofreading to writing articles for online publications. This is a huge field, and if you’ve got the chops for it, you can find a wide range of opportunities.
Good if you: Have a way with words, have strong grammar and punctuation skills, and are an expert in a particular field.
Average pay: $16.55-$30.09/hour
9. Website tester
What you’d do: Review and critique websites to shine a light on what users really think of them. Since these critiques are meant to give companies a true understanding of how the average person interacts with their sites, you don’t need to be a tech pro or a layout guru; you just need to be able to articulate your thoughts and feelings in real time.
Good if you: Know what you like and don’t like (and WHY you like it or or don’t), are comfortable thinking out loud, and can follow basic written instructions.
Average pay: $12/hour
Where to look: Leapforce
What you’d do: Translate documents and provide interpretation over the phone or by video.
Good if you: Are fluent in another language.
Average pay: $19.71 – $20.02
* Unless otherwise indicated, average pay is based on Indeed.com estimates at the time of writing.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.