Do you know home-based jobs that pay 50K?
January 12, 2011 8:59 PM   Subscribe

Are there any home-based jobs that pay 30K to 50K per year? Not businesses. Jobs. With steady pay, benefits etc.
posted by cst to Work & Money (22 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
This really isn't an answerable question. yes, there are jobs that real people have that they do from home. In fact, my boss works from home, though she started in an office and got permission to work from home when she moved to a new state. But this is way, way too open-ended for any of us to actually try to provide a helpful answers. I will note that the vast majority of people I know who work from home full-time don't have "jobs" but are in fact freelancers, contractors, or otherwise self-employed. Not all of them think of this as a "business" though legally it is one; for many, it's really a succession of short jobs.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:02 PM on January 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Legitimate offers and freelance from FlexJobs. Fake listings are immediately flagged, and there is excellent support tools. It's a pay site, but not expensive. I've had good luck there.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 9:17 PM on January 12, 2011 [10 favorites]

Yes, there are. At my last job, my boss worked remotely from his home a few states away. He was making at least $60k, plus benefits.
posted by decathecting at 9:19 PM on January 12, 2011

Some of my friends' parents in high school were outworkers who sewed clothes together from supplied patterns in their garage—an organiser for a larger business delivered them fabric and picked up the finished goods regularly. They were paid piecework, though, not a wage.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:22 PM on January 12, 2011

Yes, but the ones I know aren't specific fields so much as companies, which are flexible and have specific needs that mesh with someone working from home. I'm an attorney and I work from home 3 or 4 days a week, but it is really just happenstance. I in no way sought out a job that would allow me to work from home. Most people I know who work from home, started by working in an office and then were able to negotiate working from home with their employer. Sorry this isnt more helpful, but that's how I've seen it happen.
posted by whoaali at 9:25 PM on January 12, 2011

At my current company, in my division, our outside sales reps do extensive travel, but they are rarely in our office, in fact, they both live 3000 miles away. When not on the road they are home.

As for true, at-home work. There are the online gigs such as Leapforce, which pays $13.50/hr (pretty widely known fact) for whatever work you do. Typical burnout is 6 months, not to mention that you are paid as a 1099 worker, therefore you get to pay big time taxes (self-employment tax). I know some people that are data analysts and reporting gurus that are onsite anywhere between 2-10 days/month, at home doing reports the rest of the time.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:27 PM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have Technical Writer and Editor friends who work from home.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:32 PM on January 12, 2011

I'm a work-from-home computer programmer, I know several others, however getting to this point requires a skill and a track record of being able to work unsupervised. You didn't specify what skills you have, but in order for someone to pay you ~50k as an actual employee, you need to be able to do something that most other people can't do and do it so well its worth a company to facilitate you working from home.
posted by Scientifik at 9:35 PM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

N'thing whoaali. I also work from home, albeit as an education consultant, but also largely fell into my current position, which was the result of 1) working my ass off as a classroom teacher and b) getting hooked up a non-profit that was specifically looking for someone with my exact skill-set while I was still teaching and realizing I was burning out. Happenstance indeed--If you'd told me 5 years ago what I'd be doing now, I wouldn't have believed you; such jobs didn't even exist then.

So I guess my answer is have extremely high-demand skills, a damn good portfolio, and solid practical experience when you see a need in your network: that's probably the key--look to provide services that don't exist yet but are needed in your professional network.

I make a bit more than your range above, but as Mister Fabulous above points out, as an independent contractor, everything's a 1099 which despite my healthy hourly rate, means that I'm just making a wee bit more than I did in classroom when I factor in providing my own health & retirement benefits + payroll taxes (which are HORRENDOUS).

posted by smirkette at 9:44 PM on January 12, 2011

Remote call center agents for airlines, etc.
posted by iamabot at 9:55 PM on January 12, 2011

The medical coders at the hospital where I work largely work from home, and their salary is in that range.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:12 PM on January 12, 2011

I was a salaried software developer in the US. When I moved home to Canada, I stayed that way. For tax purposes I guess I was a contractor, but my company paid me the same salary (minus benefits, which I didn't really need, being Canadian). That was in the CDN$90k range.
posted by klanawa at 10:21 PM on January 12, 2011

Yes, mine :-)

I am a Linux sysadmin/Windows support tech. I do have to attend customer sites from time to time, and I have a regular Wednesday and Friday gig (4 hours Wed, and 2 hours Fri). I would be at home an average of 2.5 days per week though.

Most of the work is pretty basic user support, but it can get hairy with remote server work etc.

I just fell into this job too, I have had 20+ years of Windows/UNIX/Linux support and admin experience, so it's not for everyone. But it is pretty cool, in that I don't start until 9am which means I can drop my little one off at school every day.

The downside is that I have about another 2 hours worth of server work to do today, and it's already 9pm :-(
posted by humpy at 2:01 AM on January 13, 2011

It's very career-specific. If your question is 'Are there jobs that pay 30K to 50K plus benefits with no special skills requirements where I can work from home right from the start?', the answer is going to be 'very few, if any'. It's not unheard of in some areas of IT, particularly in companies (such as the one I work for) who employ a couple of developers to pretty much work independently. I was working for company A, doing work for client B. Company A folded, so client B asked me to continue working for them as a freelancer from home (three hours away, so travel wasn't realistic). After two years, client B put me on the payroll. However, I'm pretty sure that if it had been an advertised/interviewed position, the company would have employed someone locally and insisted on them working in their office.

Self-employment is a completely different thing though; that's what the vast majority of people I know who work from home are doing. If you can find some sort of freelance gig (in whatever field) where you are working the majority of your time for just a couple of clients, that may get you closest to what you're looking for.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:43 AM on January 13, 2011

The OP asked "are there [such jobs]?" The subtext, though, was "Can I find. . .?"
posted by megatherium at 5:28 AM on January 13, 2011

I wish you'd chime in and give some more details. What do you do? Are you asking for yourself or your spouse?

I glanced at your profile and it mentions you have kids. Most employers will require that they be out of the house during work hours, which rules out saving money on child care.
posted by PSB at 5:41 AM on January 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

//Most employers will require that they be out of the house during work hours, which rules out saving money on child care.//

I've worked from home (as an employee with benefits) for most of the last 8 years. Many of my friends also work from home. Never, ever, ever has an employer suggested this, and I'm not even sure it would be legal for them to try. You very well may need to bring in child care so that you are free to focus on your job, but that is very different than an employer trying to require you to remove the kids from the premises for 8 hours each day.

Lunch with the family every day is one of the prime benefits of working from home.
posted by COD at 6:00 AM on January 13, 2011

We have "guidelines" that you not be the sole caretaker for your child while working from home.

Similar to what others have posted, I work from home as a programmer, and pretty much everyone else on my team does as well, which includes testers and project managers. It was a pretty natural outgrowth of teams being split across the country anyways, so even in the office you weren't working with your team.

BTW, I know several people who were able to work from home yesterday during the snowstorm, via a laptop and Citrix, but who are not allowed to work from on a regular basis. So it's often not a technical thing that is stopping this.
posted by smackfu at 6:44 AM on January 13, 2011

Call centers sometimes have this type of work.
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:54 AM on January 13, 2011

Yes. I know of several IT consultants who are 100% from-home workers. They're always on call and are really busy and have lots of experience already (my stepdad was doing upwards of 20% work from home at one point - 3am calls from India and seven hours of debugging stuff on Sunday and such were regular events, and he basically disappeared for about ten hours per day on top of that.)

I also know a medical transcriptionist who does not work as a 1090 employee as far as I can tell, but does work from home, and is in your range. For at least a while I also knew someone doing chat-based tech support from home, but it was arranged through a program for people with disabilities.
posted by SMPA at 8:48 AM on January 13, 2011

At my former employer, the administrative troll under the bridge would threaten not to authorize the payroll of occasional days worked at home unless you also proved that you had child care. Whether she made good on this threat, I don't know (I don't have kids). For no apparent reason, she herself was exempt from this even though she had a special needs child, and got little accomplished when she worked from home. One of the many reasons I'm glad not to work there anymore.

At my current employer, some of the financial staff are able to work a day or two per week at home, but as many others have noted, this is a recently-negotiated change for already established staff.
posted by lily_bart at 10:01 AM on January 13, 2011

I used to work for a medical laboratory, and there were medical transcriptionists (listened to Dr's remarks over audio tape and then typed up medical reports from that), and medical coders that worked from home. I'm not entirely certain what the coders did, but I gather it had to do with billing.

My wife works from home 3 days a week as a scopist for a court reporter. She essentially takes the shorthand, phonetic type from the reporters and turns it back into plain english. She is also the primary care-giver of our 16 month old son, so not very much work gets done during the day, and she spends a lot of evenings after dinner finishing up her day's work, which is ok, because typically her deadline is a couple of days away. Just presents a stressful situation of always having to work at night after spending a day looking after the little tornado.

A lot of people in the court reporting industry work from home, aside from the times they are out on jobs taking depositions, of course.

I work as a graphic designer (both print and web) and have spent a few months at a time working from home to care for the little tornado while our family was dealing with other stuff. I work for an ad agency, but this is in no-way the norm. Like others have mentioned, I got permission to do this after having worked at the agency for 5 years and proving that I have the discipline to get work done from home. Most designers in our industry that work from home are freelancers working on a contract basis.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 7:39 AM on January 14, 2011

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