Real Jobs To Earn Online From Home11 min read

Real Jobs To Earn Online From Home

For most of college, I had jobs that required me to be in a physical location. My post office job required me to be in the mailroom, while my English department assistant job required me to be in the department office.

Starting my sophomore year, however, I got my first taste of online jobs when I started writing for this website. While it would take a few more years for that to turn into my main job, I was forever hooked on the flexibility that online work offers.

In an effort to help you enjoy some of the same benefits, I’ve put together a list of the best online jobs for college students. You don’t need a degree to get any of these jobs, and you already have the skills to do many of them (or can learn the skills in a few afternoons).

If you really interested in making money online then read this article.

So if you’re ready to trade working in an office for working from the comfort of your laptop, then keep reading.

Freelance Writer
I’ll start with the first freelance gig I ever got: freelance writing. If you know how to write, there are all kinds of opportunities for you to earn money online. You could write articles like this one, but you could also write scripts for videos or even material for web pages.

Here’s a real-world example: Thomas Frank (who got his start by building this very blog as a college student) was hired to write the script for this video on the How to Adult channel:

What it pays:

You can easily charge $50 for a 1,500-word article when you’re starting out.
More experienced writers can charge $150 (or more) for a 1,500-word article.
How to get the job:

Start your own blog and write articles for it. You’ll get tons of writing experience, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to publish what you write. You can use our comprehensive website building guide to get started – once you’ve built a site, it’s easy to add a blog in seconds.
Then, use those articles to put together a portfolio. If you need inspiration, check out our showcase of more than 50 portfolio examples.
Finally, start pitching your work to websites – use contact forms to reach out, or build relationships with editors and bloggers on Twitter. For more on this step, listen to our podcast interview with Aja Frost, who built a thriving freelance writing business while she was still in college.
For step-by-step help starting your freelance writing career, check out this course my friends Kristin and Alex created. It covers everything from building your portfolio to finding your first clients.
Freelance Editor
In addition to writing work, I’ve also done a fair amount of freelance editing. This category is quite broad, including everything from editing short articles to full-length books. Beyond that, you could choose to specialize in a particular topic (like my friend James Ranson does with business books).

What it pays:

As an inexperienced editor, I was able to charge between $350 and $500 for editing a short book.
But you can charge a lot more once you have experience, or if you work out a retainer deal where a client pays you to edit a set number of articles per month.
How to get the job:

When you’re in college, the easiest way to get started is editing work for your friends.
Getting into other positions where you can edit is also helpful (such as the campus newspaper or literary magazine).
Brand yourself as an editor. Again, build a portfolio – and let people know you’re an editor in your social media profiles, too.
Also, meet as many professional editors as you can. Editing is a niche world, but if you can get into it, you’ll find editor friends sending you work they don’t have time for.
Freelance Graphic Designer
A few examples of our graphic designer’s work.
A few examples of our graphic designer’s work.
Graphic design is another time-honored field for freelancing. You can do something as simple as a logo or as complex as an entire brochure. You can even do fun illustrations for blog posts, such as Ashley does for us here at College Info Geek.

What it pays:

According to PayScale, the average hourly rate for a freelance graphic designer is $30.
However, you can often make more than that if you bill by the project instead of by the hour.
For instance, if you charge $150 for a logo that only takes you 2 hours to make, then your effective hourly rate is now $75.
How to get the job:

You don’t need to be studying graphic design, but you do need graphic design skills, which you can learn quickly online. I’d recommend starting with this course on the core principles of graphic design (something most people don’t have a good grasp of), or this course on the ins and outs of Adobe Illustrator.
Once you have some designs, you can put them in a portfolio on your website.
Look for gigs in your local area, on social media, and through sites like Upwork.
Freelance Web Developer
Web development is a field that continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down. If you have the skills to build a website, you can start charging someone for it today.

You don’t even need advanced skills — being able to build a basic WordPress site is enough for many projects. And if you do have more advanced web development abilities, then you can earn a very healthy side income.

What it pays:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly pay for a freelance web developer is around $36.
But your hourly rate could be much higher in practice.
For instance, if you charge $1,000 to build a basic website that takes you 5 hours to build, then your effective hourly rate is $200.
When our head developer Martin Boehme was still in college, he was paid $5,000 to build a custom website. That’s more than a full semester’s worth of earnings at a typical part-time job.
How to get the job:

You don’t need to be a computer science major, but you do need web development skills.
To learn web development, check out this full course on Skillshare., You could also pair what you learn in that course (or any other) with the hands-on exercises at CodeCademy.
After you have some basic skills, build some free websites for friends to use in your portfolio.
From there, you can use your portfolio to get paying gigs.
Online Surveys
If you want a way to make a few extra bucks in your spare time, then online surveys are a great method. They require no skills except the ability to use the internet.

And while you won’t get rich taking surveys, they can provide a more productive way to spend random moments between classes.

What it pays:

Most surveys pay between $1 and $3 each.
Surveys usually take a few minutes to complete, and you’re often limited to a certain number per day
So in effect, you’re looking at some extra spending money, not replacing your income.
Also, know that many survey sites have a minimum payout amount. For instance, Survey Junkie requires you to have $10 in your account before you can cash it out.
How to get the job:

First, sign up for a survey site such as Survey Junkie.
Next, answer a few questions about yourself.
You’ll then be eligible to start taking surveys.
Audio Transcription
Computers continue to get better at recognizing and interpreting human speech, but they aren’t perfect.

Because of this, there’s still a demand for people who can listen to audio and turn that audio into written words. This is the skill of audio transcription, and it can be a flexible way to earn extra money from your computer.

What it pays:

One of the largest audio transcription companies, Rev, starts freelancers at $0.36 per minute of audio transcribed.
Assuming you can transcribe 10 hours of audio per week, that works out to $216 a week ($864 per month).
Transcriptionists with more experience can earn double that. Transcription Outsourcing, which specializes in areas such as legal and medical transcription, pays anywhere from $0.80 – $1.10/minute.
How to get the job:

All you need are great listening skills and the ability to type.
The easiest way to get started is to apply at a site like Rev or Transcription Outsourcing.
You’ll then take a transcription assessment.
If you pass the assessment, you’ll be eligible to start doing work.
Video Captioning
An example of closed captioning in a video
Every day, hundreds of videos are uploaded to the internet that need captions.
While audio transcriptionists turn recorded phone calls or interviews into text, video captioners turn the audio from a video into a written form.

They also sync the audio with the video and convey any sounds from the video using text. This requires a bit more skill than audio transcription, so the pay tends to be a bit higher.

What it pays:

Captioners for Rev start at $0.45 per minute of video captioned.
If you can transcribe 10 hours of video per week, that works out to $270 per week ($1,080 per month).
More experienced captioners can earn up to $0.75 per video minute.
How to get the job:

Typing and listening/watching skills are all you need.
You can sign up at a site like Rev.
You’ll then take a captioning assessment.
If you pass that, you can start receiving work.
Voiceover Work
While computers are getting better at imitating the human voice, it’s still fairly easy to tell a synthesized voice from a real one.

Therefore, there’s a demand for people who can provide quality narration for instructional videos and other media. If you have audio recording equipment and a good speaking voice, you can do this job.

What it pays:

A friend of mine who does this part-time makes around $25 per voiceover she records.
Considering that the whole process of recording the audio and uploading it takes (at the most) an hour, this is a well-paying side gig
How to get the job:

You’ll need headphones, a basic microphone, and audio recording software (you can just use whatever program comes with your computer).
Once you have the equipment, I recommend posting your voiceover services on a freelance marketplace like Fiverr.
Video Editing
Video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro
Do you really think this goober is editing his own videos? Absolutely not – someone else (our editor Tony) is getting paid good money to do it.
Video has emerged as one of the internet’s largest (and most profitable) forms of content. People can’t get enough, which means there’s a high demand for skilled video editors.

Plus, you can learn the necessary skills on your own (no degree required).

What it pays:

According to data from Upwork, beginner video editors can charge between $20 and $45 per hour.
Once you have more experience, you can easily charge $50 or even $75 per hour.
How to get the job:

First, you need to learn the basics of video editing with a course like this one.
You’ll also need access to quality video editing software such as Adobe Premiere. Students can get access to Premiere for as little as $19.99 per month.
Next, you’ll need to put together a video editing portfolio. You can do this with free work for friends and family, or your own short film projects.
Finally, you can start pitching your services to clients.
While video may be the hottest form of media at the moment, photography isn’t going away. There’s still a high demand for skilled photographers, both for taking photos of subjects and editing those photos into a finished product.

And with the quality of today’s phone cameras, you may have all the equipment you need to get started.

What it pays:

A typical photographer can charge around $25 per hour, according to PayScale.
However, what you can charge depends on how skilled you are, as well as how much editing/post-production you can do.
How to get the job:

First, learn how to take great photos with a course like this one.
Next, start taking photos. If you can afford it, getting a professional camera will help a lot. You can learn more about how to choose one here.
You can then put together a portfolio of your photos on your website.
To go freelance, start with small gigs for friends and family. Then, expand from there as your portfolio grows.
Teaching English
English is an in-demand language across the world, and you can make money teaching it.

You don’t even need to be a professional teacher or speak another language. Many platforms just require you to be able to speak fluent English in order to get the job.

What it pays:

Without formal teaching qualifications, you can expect to earn anywhere from $12 to $25 per hour.
How to get the job:

To get started quickly, I recommend looking at a site such as VIPKID (in which you teach English to Chinese children).
I also recommend looking into iTalki, a website that connects students with language teachers.

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