The ratio of scams to real online paid jobs in 2009 was approximately 57 to 1, according to Christine Durst, CEO of The Rat Race Rebellion. Lots of people look for virtual employment opportunities using the Internet. Unfortunately, an even larger number of people prey on gullible job seekers using a wide range of scam techniques. Prospective applicants can avoid many pitfalls by using common sense and taking the time to verify whether an advertised position is legitimate or not. Thankfully, myriad legitimate options exist for those who know where to look.
Experienced writers can find a vast number of paid opportunities online. The print publishing industry may be on the decline, but many companies continue to employ writers who create website content for them in a broad variety of niches. Writers can find clients on their own or through freelance web services, such as Elance.com. Alternatively, aspiring writers may opt to build a portfolio and earn revenue-sharing payments with prominent web publishing platforms, such as Associated Content, Helium, Squidoo and Suite 101.
Online Call Center Representative
Another common Internet job is that of the online call center representative. More and more companies have begun to outsource their customer service jobs to home-based independent contractors. These jobs typically involve technical support, order-taking or sales, though other niches also exist. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 14 percent increase in employment of both on-site and remote computer support specialists between 2008 to 2018, which is much greater than the national average for all occupations. Liz Pulliam Weston of MSN Money recommends a couple of online call centers that hire home-based workers, including Alpine Access and LiveOps.
Online transcription jobs offer skilled typists a chance to make money by listening to audio recordings and transcribing everything on the recordings into word processing documents. Transcribing jobs are particularly prominent in the legal and medical fields. This type of work often requires special transcribing software that allows typists to play back recordings at a pace that lets them write as they listen, and you may have to pay for the software yourself. Aside from mastering the software and honing the ear to pick up minute details, these jobs are fairly straightforward.
Distance learning has emerged as a popular educational platform, thanks in large part to advancements in collaborative multimedia software. Schools and educational companies now use the Internet to connect remote instructors to students around the globe in virtual classrooms. Companies hire online tutors for nearly every subject imaginable. Of course, individuals with formal teaching credentials hold a significant advantage when it comes to finding work. Melissa Ezarik of Yahoo! Finance suggests using GetEducated.com as a resource for landing online teaching jobs. Similarly, Jacqueline Chinappi of Bright Hub mentions several well-known employers in this sector, which include Connections Academy, Kaplan Virtual Education and eSylvan Learning.
2016 Salary Information for Computer Support Specialists
Computer support specialists earned a median annual salary of $52,550 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, computer support specialists earned a 25th percentile salary of $40,120, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $68,210, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 835,400 people were employed in the U.S. as computer support specialists.
- MSN Money: Real Work-at-Home Jobs
- Yahoo! Finance: 10 Best (and Real) Work-at-Home Jobs
- Bright Hub: Virtual Teaching -- Where to Find an Online Job Teaching K-12
- US Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- Computer Support Specialists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Support Specialists
- Career Trend: Computer Support Specialists
David Thyberg began his writing career in 2007. He is a professional writer, editor and translator. Thyberg has been published in various newspapers, websites and magazines. He enjoys writing about social issues, travel, music and sports. Thyberg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a certificate in Spanish and Latin American studies.