I’m writing this article at home. No surprise there — writers can work anywhere, and I prefer to work right here in my sweatpants.
I know from the response to my post on companies that hire remote workers — and the popularity of job listings at The Penny Hoarder — that many of you would also love to make a living from the comfort of your home.
When you look over a list of common work-from-home opportunities, you might think you’re out of luck. You’ll see positions like medical coder, systems analyst, consultant, virtual assistant and customer service representative — and maybe they don’t fit your skills or income needs.
Don’t give up! Work-from-home jobs come in more varieties than you realize.
For example, did you know you could be a fish biologist and stay home much of the time? Or how about a full-time job as a physical education (P.E.) teacher — working from home?
Those are just two of the many surprising work-from-home jobs I found in a search of online job sites. Let’s take a look at some of the others.
This Site Lists Unusual Flexible and Work-From-Home Jobs
The job-search site FlexJobs says it will “help you find the best flexible jobs available.”
That flexibility can mean you work when you like or work only part time. It can also mean you get to work from home some or all of the time.
Searching “telecommuting” (another term that means working from home) on the site turns up some interesting results.
This is where I found the fish biologist and high school P.E. teacher jobs. The biologist has to travel, but much of the work involves “maintaining a database of statistics,” which can be done from home. The P.E. teacher gets to stay home all the time, teaching online P.E. and health classes.
Here are some of the other surprising work-from-home job titles I’ve seen on the site:
- Speech scientist.
- Sports analyst.
- Social worker.
- Beer ambassador.
- Litigation attorney.
- Regional gift advisor.
- Animal relocation manager.
When a job allows you to work from home, FlexJobs lists the degree of telecommuting ranging from “some” to “mostly” to “all telecommuting.”
The positions I’ve mentioned will likely be filled by the time you read this, but my search produced 1,400 jobs that offered at least some telecommuting, so you’ll probably still find enough variety.
You’ll have to register to view full listings on FlexJobs, which costs between $14.95 a month to $49.95 a year.
How to Find Work-From-Home Jobs on General Job Sites
You can find many surprising work-from-home jobs on other job-posting websites, too. Here are a few of the top job-search sites:
Enter specific positions into the search fields, and read through the descriptions of the resulting jobs to see if they offer the option of working from home.
Or you can simply enter keywords like these when you search:
- Work at home.
- Work from home.
- Home based.
- Home workers.
Right away you’ll see the expected results — listings for customer service reps, web developers and technical writers. To find less common work-from-home jobs, scroll through several pages of results and watch for titles that catch your attention.
For example, after searching “telecommute” at SnagAJob, I had to search through five pages of ordinary results before finding the more interesting position of fraud analyst. Your job would be to “design advanced analytical strategies that enhance fraud detection capabilities and recovery efforts.”
Play around with different ways of searching, because each website has its own idiosyncrasies.
For example, some sites — including Indeed and SnagAJob — automatically put your ZIP code in the search, which may exclude all of the available telecommuting jobs if none of those listings mentions your location. Fortunately, you can delete the ZIP code and search without it.
This Site Helps You Find Work-From-Home Government Jobs
For federal government jobs, check out USAJOBS.
A search using the keyword “work from home,” gave me 1,890 results.
Many of these positions allow you to work “from home,” but not necessarily at home. For example, they’re hiring nurses and physical therapists to work from a home base and travel to patients’ homes.
Other positions allow most of your work to be done in your home. A listing for a motor carrier safety specialist said, “This position may be a telecommute position working from home.”
Find Work-From-Home Jobs From The Penny Hoarder
Finally, don’t forget to check back right here!
The Penny Hoarder will continue to report on unusual work-from-home jobs and other opportunities to make money without leaving the house. You can keep up with the latest jobs by following The Penny Hoarder Jobs on Facebook.
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).