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Work From Home Without A Degree!

"Just another scam," you may well be thinking. And why not? After all, for decades, online opportunists have circled like vultures over unsuspecting prey, offering "jobs" like mystery shopping and check-cashing schemes. You might have found and sensibly trashed "work" that required you to buy expensive computer software, training packets, or other "necessary materials" before you could get started.

The scams aren't the whole story, though. Employers are increasingly aware that allowing and even encouraging at-home work reduces facilities cost and increases employee satisfaction and productivity.[1] More and more at-home jobs are becoming available, many of them for entirely reputable employers offering competitive salaries and benefits. Once you learn how to find and apply for the legitimate ones, you can start your new career as a self-employed entrepreneur. Best of all, many of the jobs now becoming available do not require a college degree.

The Benefits
There are credible employers out there who will pay well above minimum wage for you to work from home without a degree. Doing your job at home also makes it a lot easier to stretch your money. You won't have to deal with commuting expenses or fork out dollars on an office wardrobe or regular dry cleaning. No more spending money on your lunch break. You save on meals by cooking at home, and you're not the slave of a 9 to 5 schedule.

So, live in your yoga pants, hit the gym, spend quality time with your kids, and choose your hours!

The Bare Necessities
I won't lie. You have to have some good tools and skills before you write your ticket for a dream job. The two indispensable elements for online employment are:

a computer you know how to use

a reliable internet connection

Most laptops have Wi-Fi capabilities, but desktops may not, so it's a good idea to ask around before you buy. Your local mall can provide you with the professional advice you need to help you choose the computer that will best fit your skill level and the kind of job you hope to get.

As for internet connection, Ethernet cable or home Wi-Fi capabilities are usually the most reliable, but technology has come a long way in the cellular department. Most smartphones have mobile hotspot capacity, also known as "tethering," which allows you to link your computer to the internet with a single touch.

The Opportunities
All right, so you're armed with a mouse, keyboard, and a homemade PB&J, and you're poised to take on the world in your most comfortable apparel. Now what? Well, let's take a look at what's out there. You have quite a few options, the three big ones being data entry, financial and medical transcription, and customer service.

Data Entry
Whether it's tracking inventory or shipments, creating business plans, or measuring performance, many companies need workers to enter data into their systems. A computer and typing skills are all you need. Watch out for companies that want you to pay them $50 or so to set up a PayPal account when you can create your own for free. Companies like Dion Data Solutions, Capital Typing, and Working Solutions, along with many others, hire remote data entry workers. Many companies test typing speed and have a minimum typing speed standard. If you need to brush up your typing skills, look up any of the many free online typing courses and get your skills up! Many data entry specialists also look for freelance opportunities on sites like UpWork and Amazon Mechanical Turk. According to the BLS, data entry workers earned a national median wage of $28,470 in 2013.[2] However, the top 10% earned more like $42,120.

Transcription
They talk, you type, right? Technically, yes!

Transcription involves transcribing recorded dictation so that a computer, desk, and earpiece are the only requirements. You'll receive an audio recording, and all you've got to do is listen and type. Be warned: Some scammers get you to do free "samples," then never contact you again. Transcribing can get a little tricky at times, as you might be listening to thick accents, garbled audio files, or even somebody having a snack while talking! The job requires total focus, so you can't do it accurately if you're trying to watch your kids at the same time. Companies like Scribie, TranscribeMe, AccuTran and many others hire home-based transcribers. If you like transcription and do well at it, consider training in more specialized roles such as medical transcription. Certified medical transcriptionists earned a national median wage of $34,890 in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[3] That means you could be making $16.77 an hour out of your home!

Voice-Based Customer Service
Businesses need customer service representatives who can answer the phone at all hours to assist customers, process orders, deal with returns, and manage accounts. With most businesses now having an online presence, a growing number of these jobs are going to people who work at home. That's you! If you've got a great phone voice, patience, and a pleasant manner, you should be in demand, especially if you have any data entry or retail experience.

Keep in mind that being an at-home, voice-based, customer service representative may require specific computer software or other equipment. Check with potential employers to see if they'll provide you with what you need. A substantial demand exists for people to fill these positions. Companies like Kelly Services, Convergys, and LiveOps provide call center services to multiple clients, while companies like Amazon, U-Haul, and Intellicare allow their in-house customer service agents to work from home. Get online, look around, and review the options!

Avoid the Sharks
There are many real, credible companies hiring at-home workers, but the scams are still out there. Research is your friend. Any real, credible opportunity will have an online presence and some internet "buzz." Look for discussions on internet forums, reviews on job discussion boards, and other evidence that other people are out there doing the job. Don't be deterred if not all workers had positive experiences. There's no job in the world that everybody likes! Most opportunities will have both positive and negative reviews. As long as they aren't saying the company is an outright scam, it's best to keep an open mind and focus on the positive!

If a potential employer asks you to hand over money for job-required equipment or training, it's best to walk away.

All of these jobs are available right now, and all of them are available to applicants without college degrees. If you're starting without experience, you may find you'll have to spend some time working for a relatively small wage, but once you have experience under your belt, that can change.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find your dream at-home job, and make this your year to improve your life.