7 of the Best (and Worst) Work-at-Home Jobs in 2016

man rubbing his eyes while he works on a laptop

Man rubbing his eyes in front of a computer screen | Source: iStock

Working from home sounds like a dream job for many: you may imagine sitting inside, warm and toasty in your pajamas, sipping coffee as the snow flurries swirl past the window. For some people, this dream is a reality. There are certainly many work-at-home jobs, both full-time and part-time, that allow workers to do just that. However, some work-at-home jobs hold a different reality.

While you may be able to dress comfortably, you certainly can’t slack off in most jobs, including the ones you can do in your pajamas; you will need to keep your productivity high. You also need to expect that while some jobs pay well, others don’t; you may not be able to just quit your job and work from home, unless you have a strong plan in place, or an arrangement with your boss. Here are seven of the best and worst work-at-home jobs out there.

The Best

1. IT jobs

According to Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at PayScale.com, IT employees, and employees who can do most of their work on email or the phone, are the best fit for work-at-home jobs. Often,  IT workers don’t need to interact with other coworkers very often, so working at home is possible in many positions. Working from home can help the employee save money: employees save on work attire, and commutes. Employers can hire the

Employers can hire the best employees without worrying about where they live; they also may see more productivity and fewer absences. The median annual telecommuting salary for a Software Developer is $75,500. Computer and Information Systems Managers, Computer Systems Analysts, Software Systems Developer are just a few other possibilities.

2. Analyst positions

In addition to analysts in the IT field, there are several other analyst positions that can be a great fit for working at home. The median annual telecommuter salary for Business Intelligence Analysts is $79,200, and $74,500 for Compensation Analysts. Market Research Analysts can also work from home too. Actuaries can also easily work from home, and they too have to analyze a lot of information, and they can earn a great salary ($96,000 median annual telecommuter salary).

There are so many positions that involve analysis, and even if you don’t currently work in one of these positions (and you don’t desire to), if your job requires a lot of email, phone work, or data analysis, you might be able to turn it into a work-at-home job.

3. Executive positions

senior businessman sitting on a chair

Executive | Source: iStock

It’s untrue that most work-from-home jobs are lower-level positions. Some telecommute jobs do require time in the office, but you may be able to primarily work from home, and even live in a different state. According to flexjobs, there are actually several executive-level positions that allow high-level employees to work-at-home. The list includes Vice President of Research, Director of Professional Services Operations, Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Meeting Management, Vice President of Capital Markets, Executive Director, and many more.

Many executive jobs require a lot of travel, particularly if the company has different offices all over the country, or even around the world. If you’re going to be traveling much of the time anyway, you may be able to live where you want, and primarily work from home.

4. Writing jobs

There are so many fantastic writing jobs that can be done from home. You can write a book at home, you can writing articles at home, and you could even do technical writing from home. Sometimes these jobs can be hard to come by, but they are definitely out there; also, they are ideal for people who want to work at-home, because all you really need is a computer and some great ideas. Of course, writing jobs can also be precarious; if you are a freelancer, and you can’t find work, then you might have a hard time paying your bills. On the other hand, if you can find a steady job, such as a position as a Technical Writer or a Grant Writer, then you can earn a solid salary while working at home (the median salary for technical writers was $70,240 annually

Of course, writing jobs can also be precarious; if you are a freelancer, and you can’t find work, then you might have a hard time paying your bills. On the other hand, if you can find a steady job, such as a position as a Technical Writer or a Grant Writer, then you can earn a solid salary while working at home (the median salary for technical writers was $70,240 annually in 2015, and the median for writers and authors was $60,250).

The Worst

Source: iStock

Online scam | Source: iStock

5. Scams

Of course, in addition to the best jobs, we also have to consider the worst. There are many jobs that just sound too good to be true, and that’s because they usually are. There are several potential jobs to be wary of. According to Monster, be careful about jobs like Envelope Stuffing, At-Home Assembly Work, Medical Billing or Claim Processing, and Refund-Recovery Businesses.

Don’t go for any job that requires you to pay money upfront, but you should also be careful about any position that requires you to give sensitive information out; while most companies will need your private info to pay you, be sure to check if the business is legitimate before you give out your information.

6. Sales jobs

You know how you always see your friends posting pictures or events promoting their side business? Perhaps you know someone who sells children’s books, or makeup, or suppliments; there are so many sales positions that encourage people to sell products to get a discount or make more money. While these jobs can be a great way to earn a little extra cash, the work can be highly competitive.

Also, you may drive your friends and family crazy if you have to pressure them constantly in order to make your sales goals or get the discount that you want. Also, most of these jobs require you to shell out money up-front in order to get the product, and then if you don’t sell it, that’s your problem.

7. Day care services

Modern Family | ABC

Modern families can be a hand full | ABC

Some people love kids, and they enjoy taking care of them. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will love having an in-home daycare just because you want to stay at-home. Even for people who truly enjoy kids, having an in-home daycare means more access to germs, less privacy, few vacation days, and often, bugging parents to pay what they owe.

How much you can charge will depend on whether you become licensed, how much experience you have, and your geographical location; you may be able to make a decent amount of money, but how much you make will also depend on how many kids you have. But remember, as a daycare provider, there’s always the fear that something serious happens to a child in your care.

There are some great work-at-home jobs out there, and you may even be able to talk your current boss into letting you work from home. Just be sure to avoid the scams.

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