business

Three Great Work-at-Home Jobs

Working from home can offer good pay and a flexible schedule.

Work-from-home jobs promise extra income, flexible hours and the enviable dress code of slippers and sweatpants. The trick, of course, is finding legitimate, well-paid positions because there are plenty of work-at-home scams out there.

We came up with a list of the best work-from-home opportunities and identified actual companies that hire home-based workers in these fields. To weed out scammers, we also checked out companies with the Better Business Bureau or professional associations. Here are three of our top picks:

The demand for virtual assistants is growing. The job requires at least a high school education, and candidates must be able to juggle calls and multiple clients. Companies such as Zirtual, which connects busy professionals and companies with full- and part-time virtual assistants, pays its assistants $10 to $12 an hour. Full-time Zirtual assistants also qualify for benefits.

Most virtual assistants are contractors -- not employees. As such they operate out of their homes as independent businesses with several part-time clients.

If you speak at least two languages and have an Internet connection, you’re well on your way to becoming a home-based translator. Many firms are looking to hire multilingual people to freelance translations of business documents, consumer Web sites and academic papers.

Pay ranges from $15 to $28 an hour and a bachelor’s degree is required. Preference is typically give to applicants who speak in-demand languages, such as Chinese or Japanese, and have backgrounds that would help in translating technical material. Firms such as SDL and Cactus Communications hire freelance translators to work from home.

The growing popularity of e-commerce and mobile devices is fueling demand for people who can design and maintain Web sites. While many companies have full-time web developers on staff, plenty of them hire freelance developers for both one-off projects and ongoing support.

About 25% of web developers are self-employed. They’re usually paid between $21 and $41 an hour, and the preferred education level is at least an associate’s degree. Web developers can find thousands of projects listed on the freelance job site oDesk.com, and FlexJobs.com lists telecommuting jobs with companies.

Take a look at seven more legitimate work-at-home jobs. One of them might be right for you.

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