10 Most Lucrative Work-From-Home Jobs

by Jane Smith - Updated June 25, 2018
Woman holding baby son in arms, looking through work on kitchen floor, laptop and digital tablet in front of her

Work-from-home jobs have a not-always deserved reputation for paying tiny sums. Many of these task-oriented jobs turn out to be scams. But whole categories of well-paid, work-at-home jobs exist that have given their practitioners a healthy bank balance and a chance at fame.

Social Media Specialists

Many freelance or work-from-home staff serve as social media specialists. Social media specialists help companies, celebrities and political figures maintain a positive online presence with their customers, fans and constituents. This rapid-response, daily interaction keeps search engine rankings, profits, donations and ticket sales high when done right. Done wrong, however, and rankings sometimes plunge as fast as they rose. Figuring out how to keep a message on point for a public figure or a brand takes time and can result in as many setbacks as it does successes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classified social media specialists with public relations specialists in 2015, but their role has expanded to include advertising, promotions and marketing. Median pay for social media specialists jumped 228 percent between 2015-to-2017, and will likely continue to rise. Back in 2015, the median salary was $56,770 or about $27.29 per hour. As an advertising, promotions or marketing manager you can expect to receive $129,380 per year or $62.20 per hour as a median income, as long as you have a bachelor's degree. Specialize in social media marketing instead of advertising or promotions, and your median income rises to $132,230.


  • content marketing specialist
  • ad campaign manager 
  • online community manager 

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Natural Language Processor

The rise of the Internet of Things and computerized assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant has created a need for natural language processors. These people program computers to understand all the nuances of pronunciation, grammar, intonation and inflection that comprise spoken human language. The BLS classifies natural language processors as computer and information research scientists.

Once available only to employees in government facilities or university research departments, this field has emerged as one of the highest-paying skills for freelance workers. If you have a master's degree or higher in computer and information research, you can expect a median salary of $114,520 per year or $55.06 per hour. This field changes almost daily, so plan to use a significant portion of your time and salary continuing your education through a Ph. D. and beyond.


  • natural language processing analyst
  • artificial intelligence/machine learning scientist
  • natural Language processing scientist
  • language engineer

Platform Celebrity

If you have ever sought viral fame on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or other social sharing platforms, your earnings can surpass your expectations or qualify you for a breadline. Honolulu-born, Cincinnati-raised Mark Edward Fischbach, known as "Let's Play" gamer Markiplier has a net worth of $10 million as of 2016. Markiplier garners $11,000 per day, for an annual revenue of $4 million from YouTube advertisements. This amount does not include his income from merchandise sales.

Taras Kulakov, known on YouTube as the CrazyRussianHacker currently lives in Waynesville, North Carolina. The Ukraine-born celebrity's net worth stands at $7 million. The controversial, Sweden-born YouTube celebrity, Pewdiepie, makes between $607,800 and $9.7 million per year, according to YouTube analytics company Social Blade. He ranks first in total subscribers and is the highest-paid YouTuber.


  • Social Blade takes a low Clicks Per Minute value of 25 cents and a high CPM value of $4.00 from numbers reported by their advertising partners and multiplies that figure by the channel's daily views to determine possible monthly and annual incomes.

Additional Categories

Content creators writing for online publications make as little as $5 per article (Fiverr), but a majority pull in $25 to $150 for every title written and submitted within the deadline (Leaf Group). These figures translate to wages between $20 per hour and $100-to-$600 per hour, assuming the ability to write four articles per hour.

Personal care providers, life coaches, motivational speakers and sales trainers also freelance. As private, independent contractors, they determine their definition of "lucrative."

About the Author

After earning a B.S. Ed. from Kent State University in 1995, Smith provided educational support in multiple Ohio school districts. Smith has managed nine employees and 86 independent adult care providers at a time. In addition, Smith has assisted two charities with successful 501 (C) 3 applications, serving on the board of one for three years. Currently, Smith serves as an independent Avon representative at Avon Beauty by Laura. Her writing chops include one published novel and close to 1500 articles in various online and offline publications.

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