How to Make Money

16 Solid Companies That Let You Work From Home and Set Your Own Schedule

Updated July 20, 2016
by Dana Sitar
Contributor

Whether you want to make extra money on the side of a full-time job, work around your kids’ busy days or build a full-time career on your own terms, opportunities abound.

But not all are created equal.

You shouldn’t have to settle for sketchy, scammy or sub-par work-from-home companies to get the flexibility you want in a job. We’ve weeded through the junk for you and found 16 legit work-from-home opportunities.

These companies offer full-time, part-time or contract work — and even let you set your own schedule. And to ensure they’re legit, each has a B+ rating or higher from the Better Business Bureau.

1. QuickThoughts

BBB rating: A+

This fun smartphone app pays you to act like a secret agent!

In addition to paid surveys, this app will give you tasks based on your location. QuickThoughts uses your phone’s GPS to prompt you to take location– and event-based surveys.

You might even get location-specific “missions” — reporting on customer service at a particular store or snapping a picture of a seasonal retail display.

2. RentAFriend

BBB rating: A+

Did you know your friendship alone could be worth up to $2,000 a week to the right buyer?

Members use RentAFriend to find people like you to hang out with. They might be new to town and want you to show them around, or maybe they’re learning a language and want to practice with a native speaker.

Maybe they just don’t want to go to a bar alone.

You can “work” as a friend whenever you want, so it makes a great flexible full-time or side gig. The site suggests charging between $20 and $50 per hour and says you could earn up to $500 — even if you only work weekends!

3. Ipsos Panel

BBB rating: A+

Do you have strong feelings about this year’s election? You could get paid to share them!

Ipsos Panel, an opinion– and market-research firm, is looking for new people to participate in polls. You’ll earn points you can cash out for gift cards to Amazon or iTunes, or even cash via PayPal.

Surveys cover a variety of topics, take 10-15 minutes to complete and pay about $1-$2 each. That’s around $10/hour just to share your opinion.

4. Quicktate

BBB rating: A+

If you want to launch your work-from-home career as a transcriptionist, Quicktate is a good place to start.

The company hires new transcriptionists, as long as you pass a skills test.

This a smart place to start, because the files you’ll transcribe are simple. Most of them will be short voicemail messages — instead of lengthy conversations or lectures — where you can hone your chops.

Once you have some experience, you could be promoted to sister company iDictate, which pays about twice as much for more challenging transcription work.

In general, transcriptionists earn $15-$25 per hour, and even more if you learn to specialize in a medical or legal field.

5. Swagbucks Video

BBB rating: A+

You could earn up to $2,400 per year just watching videos in your idle moments.

Think: monetizing your time standing in line, riding the train, waiting for a bus, etc.

Swagbucks offers you the opportunity to earn points (SBs) by watching shows on its video channel. And they’re not just ads!

Swagbucks will pay you to watch cooking shows, DIY tutorials, travel shows and more, so you should have no problem finding something entertaining.

About 100 SBs turn into $1 on a gift card of your choice — including PayPal, which is practically the same as cash — and you can cash out whenever you want.

6. K12, Inc.

BBB rating: A+

K12 provides online education resources for K-12 students.

If you’re a teacher but want an option more flexible than working in a school district, you could use the platform to work with students from anywhere.

You’ll work with homeschooled kids, military families, advanced learners, traveling performers and other students who prefer a non-traditional K-12 education.

K12 offers many traditional workplace benefits like paid time off and medical coverage, in addition to the telecommuting option and flexible schedule.

7. Bookkeeper Business Academy

BBB rating: A-

Want a work-from-home job that lets you earn up to $60 per hour — without a degree or a ton of experience?

Virtual bookkeeping could be your calling.

The main skills you’ll need are attention to detail and people skills. Your job will be to help business owners tackle day-to-day issues, so you should also enjoy problem solving!

If you have the passion, you can learn the nitty gritty of the tools and business of being a bookkeeper through a free training series from Bookkeeper Business Academy.

8. Alorica at Home

BBB rating: A+

Be an at-home agent for customer service agency Alorica at Home, and build a flexible full-time career or a part-time job to make extra money while you go to school, work another job or raise a family.

As an Alorica at Home agent, you’ll answer customer calls for various clients. You may offer technical assistance, book reservations or answer customer inquiries.

9. iQor

BBB rating: A+

No interview necessary to join the iQor team!

Just fill out the online application and aptitude test.

iQor offers call center positions in-house at locations around the world, as well as at-home positions. Both boast flexible schedules, so you could set your own hours from home or in the office.

10. Amazon

BBB rating: A+

Retail giant Amazon offers a plethora of money-making opportunities for the creative side-hustler.

From reselling used products through Fulfillment by Amazon to publishing a book to list in the Kindle Store, you could earn a living on this marketplace alone.

Or, if you just want to earn some extra cash completing simple tasks, you can sign up for Mechanical Turk.

Turkers select quick tasks — or “HITs” — that users submit. Complete HITs like transcription, internet research, surveys or writing assignments, and earn money per task. Some are quick and pay just a few dollars, while some more in-depth tasks can pay over $100.

Realistically, users expect to earn $6-$10 per hour completing MTurk tasks, around $50 a week.

11. About.com

BBB rating: A+

Are you a quick writer and adept at researching just about anything?

You could become an About.com “expert.”

The information website is “looking for experienced online freelance writers who are credible authorities in their fields and capable of conveying information to users in a friendly, enthusiastic, and compelling way.”

If you have a passion and a knack for teaching people, ahem, about it… this is a great way to earn money from it.

12. Grand Canyon University

BBB rating: A+

Grand Canyon University hires part-time and full-time adjunct faculty for online courses or on-campus positions.

This institution integrates a Christian worldview into its curriculum, so it’s a great fit for anyone looking for flexible faith-based work.

13. Rev

BBB rating: B+

If you have a little more experience as a transcriptionist, consider Rev.

You can work as much or little as you like, and pay works out to about $24-$39 per audio hour.

14. Care.com

BBB rating: A-

Help out your neighbors with housekeeping or caring for children, adults or pets.

Care.com connects you with people who want to hire a caretaker.

On the site, you’ll create a profile, which can include a background check and references. Browse job listings in your area and apply. Care.com can take care of pay through Direct Deposit.

Caretaking and housekeeping can be demanding work. But this company helps you find the right match so you can create a schedule that works for you.

15. WyzAnt

BBB rating: A+

If you have expertise in a subject and enjoy working with children, you could earn money as an online tutor.

WyzAnt is a popular online tutoring agency that connects you with students who are homeschooled or looking for extra-curricular help.

You’ll apply and connect directly with students, create lesson plans and support students through video and audio lessons, plus live chat and a shared whiteboard hosted on the platform.

Pay is per lesson, so you can earn as much or little as you have time for. You’ll report tutoring hours to WyzAnt, and the company will collect your pay from students and pay you twice a month.

16. ToursbyLocals

BBB rating: A+

Aside from a few cities that require licenses, anyone can become a local tour guide!

This is a fun, flexible way to make extra money in your area.

You should be knowledgeable and passionate about your region’s landmarks, history and hotspots. Then, the sky’s the limit.

ToursByLocals will connect you with tourists or transplants looking to learn more about the area. You’ll craft your own tours and set your own availability based on customer requests.

Your Turn: What creative ways have you found to work from home?

Advertiser Disclosure: We are paid for some of our opinions in the post and some links may redirect to an affiliate partner. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

Carissa Richetti, an editorial intern at The Penny Hoarder, contributed research to this post.

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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