(Updated for 2017)
I work in my ultra-soft Billionaire Boys Club drawstring shorts most days.
But before you make fun of me for spending $110 on a pair of shorts, adjust your mind a little.
Most business people (attorneys, sales directors) drop “thousands” annually for their work uniforms, why wouldn’t I invest in the comfiest, work-from-home shorts in the world?
Besides, I make more money than most attorneys and I work from anywhere 😉
This post will help you get on that level. The digital economy has been kind to us, and you should be paying attention.
Part 1: ranks the top 25 work from home jobs
Part 2: dives deeper into work from home trends
Without further ramble, here are the top 25 work from home jobs according to your probability of success, projected income and projected growth:
25. Internet or telephone sales
Telephone sales? I know, 1998 called and wants his job back. You’d be surprised. As more companies move away from storefront (car dealerships, in-home care etc), this will only get bigger. With companies offering signing bonuses of $5,000 and annual average earnings at $60K and higher (1), more and more people are jumping on board.
But don’t think talking on the phone all day with a grip of potential customers—some satisfied but most of them pissed—will be easy. Thick skin required.
24. Organization specialist
Minimalism is trending. With hoarders and homemakers in need, professional organizers—or “clutter consultants”—are in demand.
A professional organizer helps people and businesses to reduce clutter and organize space, time, and life. It’s like having a personal trainer for living. They delve into client’s personal lives, possessions, and spaces and help bring the clutter down a notch. And what’s more, organization specialists can bill $90 per hour or more (2).
23. Fashion consultant
You don’t have to live in Manhattan or Paris to work in fashion. People are looking for help with clothes, accessories, hairstyles, cosmetic products and so on. You’ve probably seen some of these consultants on YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram.
You have to have a knack for recognizing trends and obviously a flair for fashion. You gotta love this stuff, too. It will show through if you’re faking it for the money.
$53K a year is the national average salary for a fashion consultant – and this could all be pumped out through a MacBook Air with some travel, too. (3)
22. Personal trainer
“Personal trainers work at gyms, not at home”, you’re thinking. But YOU decide when to work and YOU can have them come to you. Elite trainers make a killing, and the elite ones almost always have a baller digital presence.
Translation: 1) over-deliver with value on your website or social media with training tips 2) offer traditional personal training or a “digital product” version of your services .
My buddies trainer in New York gets a minimum of $150 an hour and drives a Jag. Sure, that’s Manhattan, but trainers nationally average up to almost $70K a year (4).
Comes with some baggage: You should get certified before you train, and you’d want to look into getting liability insurance (about $25/mo)—in case a client gets hurt.
21. Online teacher or virtual tutor
Education is getting so disrupted right now. You’ve seen the online courses – they’re everywhere. This is only going to get trendier.
From public to private school, kindergarten to university, more and more institutes of learning are offering courses online. The money is meh, though: K-12 online teachers average about $40K per year; online college professors average around $60k (5, 6).
20. Real estate agent
We all know what real estate agents do. The profession has been around a long time, and unlike some of the others on this list, your earnings are only limited by your ability.
Although the average salary is between $39K and $50K a year (7), we all also know that good real estate agents can make a lot more than that. The ones that build empires—think Barbara Corcoran—earn tens of millions of dollars.
Getting there will require you to become a licensed agent, and the gig requires significant time and effort to get the ball rolling.
Helpful info: best digital course that helps real estate businesses.
19. Financial advisor
Not only can you be your own boss as a financial advisor, but it’s also the most popular “second career” on our list. In fact, one poll shows that 52% of financial advisors report that they worked a different job first (8).
Why so popular? Everyone has the first-hand experience to be a financial advisor. If you’ve saved for a home, purchased a car, financed college, or watched a parent save for retirement, you’ve already got the empathy and understanding you need.
The drag: Certification is a hack-job: a course of study, a two-day exam, and three years of work experience.
But you can make money hand over fist. Even trainees make $3,000 to $8,000 a month. Top advisors at institutions like Wells Fargo can earn $350,000 a year and more (9).
18. Travel consultant (blogger)
Airbnb RIP’d most of the travel agent industry.
That’s true. But there is still good money to be made in the industry, and thats through partnerships with tourist companies, resorts and even country governments.
How to get there? Start traveling and blogging about your experiences, but be sure to optimize your content for your partnerships. I see so many broke travel bloggers out there, and its cause they’re just blogging and using Google Adsense for monetization. If you write a post on “yoga retreats in Costa Rica” and then partnered to promote a $3,000 yoga retreat, they would have little problem kicking you back $500 per sale.
The math gets good with big-ticket offers.
17. Medical biller
A medical biller, also called a health information technician, serves as a critical go-between for physicians and insurance companies. They process and bill for a variety of services given to medical patients. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can do it. And the business is booming.
By 2022, the medical billing job market is predicted to grow by 22%, much faster compared to other industries. And the pay’s nothing to turn your nose up at: the top 10% of medical billers earn more than $56,200 (10).
16. Music teacher
Do you rip the frets of a Stratocaster like nobody’s business? If you have a talent for music and instruments, teaching music could be the perfect work from home job for you.
This can be done by providing training at your home, or you can provide a digital product (perhaps a video vault), a membership club, etc as well.
Building your brand won’t be easy, but if you’re passionate (and good) at music, people will see that you’re keeping it 100. Super rewarding, and somewhat lucrative, too: At-home music teachers make an average of $30 to $150 an hour (11).
15. Pet care provider
A buddy of mine started as a dog walker—he needed the extra money while he chased his dreams of becoming a professional actor. The dream didn’t work out, but he was able to grow a business walking dogs into one of his areas most successful mobile pet care companies. Now he doesn’t work at all.
If you like animals, as a mobile pet care provider, you can feed your passion and make some money while you’re at it.
Demand is getting juicy. By 2019, the pet care industry is expected to top almost $92 billion in sales (12).
As a bonus, pair this with a mobile grooming truck. They’re a big hit right now:
14. House flipper
If you have talent for the real estate market and are decent with a set of tools, buying and flipping houses can be the ultimate gig.
The concept is simple (but not necessarily easy): buy a less-than-perfect home, refurbish it, and sell it for profit.
Flipping does require some significant start-up capital—or at least good credit—but you can make it work with a few “partnerships”. There’s more risk involved than other jobs on this list, but it’s also bigger rewards. Some flippers make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single flip (13).
13. Event or wedding planner
Many event planners, wedding planners, and event managers work from home. It keeps overhead down and can maximize productivity. And an event planner is a pretty fun job.
They do just what the name implies: coordinate all aspects of an event including selecting and acquiring venues, transportation, entertainment, food and beverage, and other details.
Depending on the clients, event planners can earn quite a lot. Corporate event planners average around $70K a year, while private planners—like wedding planners—can rake in an annual average of about $40K (14).
12. Niche photographer
We all know there are a lot of broke photographers.
That’s not a knock, just stating the obvious. But its still a skillset in high-demand, if you’re amazing at what you do and understand how to attract your customers (hint: not just Instagram – you’d wanna blog and create partnerships in your community)
Skilled photographers can earn upwards of $90K a year at the top end (15), and all you need is a quality camera package, some photo editing software, and your first few clients.
Get innovative, too. Don’t just be “another photographer” – become a master at one thing, like this guy did with his mobile headshot studio that serves NY and LA. Homeboy kills it.
11. Project manager
Project managers are the people that make sure collaborative work gets done efficiently.
A lot of project manager jobs are available in the marketing industry. For example, a marketing manager helps brands and ad agencies ensure projects get done on budget and on time. A public relations manager oversees the public image of clients. Both spend most of their time on the phone and online, making it the perfect telework gig.
You’ll need to become proficient with project management tools like Trello or Basecamp.
The average telecommuting marketing manager earns almost $72K a year (16).
10. Graphic designer
Probably the most chill job on the list. Graphic designers, like developers, are some of the best suited for working from home.
Whether you’re creating logos or websites, the work is highly rewarding and for those with a passion for design, and a little technical know-how.
Artsist platforms like 99 Designs and Fiverr (ouch) have probably brought graphic designer prices down overall, but the baller ones still clean up.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows graphic designers at the top of their game can earn about $78K and up a year (17).
A “vlogger”, short for video blogger, is one who records videos meant specifically for social media or a blog. Like photographers and graphic designers, all you need is talent, editing software, and a camera.
You also need a knack for spotting trends and for determining what’s likely to make videos go viral.
You could vlog yourself, or provide video services for internet personalities, celebrities, etc.
The downside of vlogging is that it’s a make-it-or-break-it business. Could take years of consistency or a couple viral videos. Staging “viral” is difficult. But the ones who pull it off over and over are money-makers. The top YouTube vlogger of 2015 pulled in $12 million pre-tax (18).
8. Social media influencer
Like vloggers, successful social media influencers have to have a strong sense of what will be popular (read: shared) across the Internet. Social media influencers are online personalities with a big following whom companies will pay—a lot, in some cases—to advocate for their brand.
Popular influencer Danielle Bernstein, the creator behind the Instagram channel WeWoreWhat, says that she charges brands between $5,000 and $15,000 to expose her 1.4 million followers to just one sponsored Instagram post (19).
Using Instagram as an example, Yahoo has estimated the value of a sponsored post to be around $700 to $900 for over 100,000 followers, $2,000 to $3,000 for at least 500,000 followers, and over $50,000 per big-brand collaboration for Instagrammers with 1 million followers or more (20).
7. Network Marketer
“Jeremy, doesn’t your blog Multiple Streams pretty much make fun of network marketing?”
Yes it does. Good point. But I’d still rock network marketing before most 9-to-5s. And, as sleazy as the industry is, thousands of network marketers have pulled off a “work from home” lifestyle.
This is what I’d do:
1) Join a product-centric MLM that has a product that I already buy every month anyways so I can speak on it from personal experience (in my case, protein powder or something like that)
2) Use the internet (blogging, Facebook ads, social media) to attract people
There would be no hitting up family and friends (shameless), 3-way calls with my “Gold-level sponsor” (tacky) or cold prospecting well-dressed people at Wal-mart (shameless, tacky).
Still, there are much better ways to kill your day job than network marketing, and this blog has consistently proven that over the last 2 years with our private coaching.
6. Business consultant/analyst
These are good gigs, but 99% of you are unqualified. If you have expertise in any particular business (think 1%), or if you’re good with research and data, consulting is an ultimate work from home gig. You could ink six-figure deals using Skype calls as your mode of communication.
Basically, you provide counsel that will provide insanely more value than what you charge your clients.
Crunch numbers? If you can take complex research data and turn it into something business leaders can understand and use, you might want to try working as an analyst. Although working as an analyst can primarily occur at home, you will need to put in face time with your clients. A good business analyst can pull down an average of almost $80K per year (23).
5. Employment recruiter
Nowhere is the trend toward remote work more evident than in the recruiting business. Sometimes called “virtual recruiters,” their job is to seek out and hire the best person for any given position a client requires.
You’ll need to be a great networker and you’ll probably spend 10 hours a day on Linkedin lol, but there’s a lot of money to be made.
While the average annual salary of a virtual recruiter is about $51K (24), it’s the commissions where you make bank. I know one virtual recruiter—she specializes in recruiting doctors for hospitals—who comfortably supports a family of five while working from home.
4. e-Commerce store owner
If you know how to make things—jewelry, clothes, art, etc.—the world can be your office. Or, even better, if you know how to sale someone else’s stuff, your business can be automated and the world can be your office.
From Amazon to eBay to Etsy or a simple Shopify website, you can build multiple internet income streams for years to come using e-commerce.
This skillset will only become in more demand: Online shopping in the U.S. is predicted to increase by 45% in 2016 (25)
Pro tip: stack SEO with this skillset for a huge competitive advantage.
3. Content writer
This could be the most in-demand service on the internet right now.
Content marketing makes companies $. Simple as that. But good content is super tough to outsource.
(It’s easily the biggest pain-point of my business of building out internet companies, so I know this lol)
Of course, it’s not an easy skill that can be crafted over time, but I feel like its one of those things where you either “have it” or you don’t. I’ve seen a lot of content “pretenders”, and its not a pretty thing.
It’s sometimes stressful but rarely dull, and after you’ve built a reputation, the pay is pretty darn good.
You can charge up to $5,000 for some long-form content or $200+ an hour consulting with companies on how to tell their stories better. On average, however, freelance writers make anywhere between about $30 and $70 an hour (26).
2. Web or software developer
“Code is the new literacy”, some experts say.
Developers—the folks that write the code for our favorite websites, apps, and software—can work years without ever having to meet face-to-face with anyone. Skype, Facetime and Google Hangouts allow conversations and screensharing so anybody can follow along. I’ve met so many digital nomads who just code for companies on the side.
And the money can be nice, too: like senior software engineers that can make up to $160K annually (27).
1. Online lead-provider for local businesses
If a loved one came to me and said, “Jeremy, I am willing to do whatever it takes to work from home, gimme the best option” I’d tell them (without hesitation) to learn how to generate leads on the internet.
True, this is what I do, but tell me a work from home gig that is more automated, scalable and has a higher probability of success by the vast majority of the population and I’ll Paypal you $1,000. Scout’s honor.
I make my digital money in 2 ways, mostly:
1) Blogs that make money from affiliate sales and partnerships (like this Huffington Post reporter revealed about my blog)
2) Websites that I rent out to local businesses
Renting websites to businesses (like this Boise lawn care site) is the bread and butter because the competition is nearly non-existant. It’s almost cheating.
How does it work?
Step 1) You build out simple content websites (ex: a pest control website for Tucson, Arizona residents) and optimize the website to capture leads.
Step 2) You give these leads to local businesses. You can use a cost per lead model (charge a flat rate for each lead) or you can use a cost per acquisition model (get a percentage of each deal that you refer).
Almost all businesses say yes to more leads, especially a cost per acquisition model that only requires them to give you money when you refer them business.
Think about it: Most local businesses don’t have the time to become marketers. They’re too busy doing pest control, or plumbing or landscaping yards or whatever.
This is a huge trend and it will be a long time before this gets saturated. There are thousands of markets (and thousands of industries) to optimize this skillset. It’s not going anywhere, unless the internet goes away. Or people stop using iPhones to find local businesses.
It works, I’ve seen dozens – yes dozens – of people in our private coaching group transition from corporate jobs to work-from-home schedules using this skillset over the last 2 years.
Part 2: Work from home trends
Short story: the research is finding that 1)work from home jobs will only increase over time and 2) work from jobs lead to more happiness.
Work from home jobs increasing over time:
- The number of teleworkers in the U.S. has quadrupled in the last decade (29)
- 3.3 million full-time U.S. professionals say they work primarily from home (30)
- Half of the U.S. workforce has jobs that could be done from home (31)
Work from home jobs increase happiness/lower stress:
- Most people can get 260 hours of their lives back by not commuting to and from work (32)
- 82% of telework professionals lowered their stress levels by working remotely. 80% have improved morale, 70% increase productivity, and 69% miss fewer days from work (33)
- Remote workers get 45% more sleep, eat healthier by 42%, and get more exercise (34)
- When comparing office employees and telecommuters, 45% of telecommuters love their job, compared to only 25% of office workers (35)
Other helpful resources:
As a final thought, if you can make the move to work from home, you really should.
We only got a 100 years on this life, so putting it off another year will only make you regret it later.
Ask yourself these uncomfortable questions:
Am I pretending to like this crappy 9 to 5 job because of social pressures? Because of my wife/husband? Am I choosing to live fearful because I choose fear over uncertainty?
Our coaching only accepts 1/3 of the applications, but it’s the best work from home “incubator” and it teaches the #1 skillset on this list. You can start here.
Either way, hope this guide has over-delivered. Whatever you choose, you better crush it 😉