eing a parent is no easy task. There are many random things that can go wrong in a day and things sometimes get financially stressful. If you are like most parents, you want to provide the best for your family, finding ways to make extra money online is a great starting point.
Disclaimer: the internet is a big place and not everyone on it has your best interests at heart. With that said, be careful and do your due diligence to insure you are working with legitimate businesses.
Online transcribing is an easy way to earn extra cash if you are a good typist. You can find jobs like these directly from companies, most of these are hospitals and legal offices, or you can go to an aggregator who provides lists of work that you can do like online video captions, these usually pay a bit less.
Establishments in the medical and legal sectors such as hospitals and law offices provide opportunities to work with them directly (as in - they hire you directly, not through an agency or other third party). This work entails you listening to audio files from medical and legal professionals and transcribing them into a typed format. Once completed, these can become a part of a patient's official medical records or a client's files. Medical Transcription often requires one to three years of experience due to all the medical terminology. However, some companies will accept a certification. One of the most reputable online schools that you can train with, CareerStep, may even give you a voucher to pay for your certification through AHDI once you have completed the training.
There are many third party sites that offer the ability to transcribe for miscellaneous projects such as captions for online videos. Opposed to direct transcriptions which tend to pay an hourly rate of $12 to $17, these indirect jobs may pay a few cents per minute, or per project. These sites generally do not pay as much. I also want to note, users of some of these sites sometimes run into discrepancies with the hosted aggregator regarding pay or are terminated without warning, so carefully review a business before working with them. One trusted company that has been around for around 20 years is https://waywithwordsjobs.com they pay per audio minute. This means you get paid for the length of the recording, not how long it takes you to transcribe it.
Some helpful skills to strengthen in order to excel as a transcriber:
Be a fast typist
Being paid by the audio minute rather than time worked, puts it in your best interest to complete each assignment expeditiously. In terms of time management, the faster you finish your work, the quicker you will have time to start another assignment or do anything else.
Good hearing, good headphones
The job entails converting audio into written form. Companies like Way With Words Jobs pride themselves on delivering highly accurate transcriptions. Meaning, you will need to clearly hear what is being said. Subsequently, most companies and aggregators suggest using headphones to help produce more exact transcriptions.
Great assumptions, firm understanding
Sometimes you may run into some difficulties deciphering what it is you are hearing in the recordings. Here's when you will have to utilize context clues. For a more seamless workflow, it is very beneficial if you are proficient in the language that you are transcribing.
There are tons of executives, administrators, even influencers opting for virtual assistants these days. As a virtual assistant you may be responsible for various administrative tasks, including answering emails, scheduling meetings and making travel arrangements. Therefore, in order to do this job all you need to do is have a strong internet connection, and the ability to successfully navigate and use programs such as those in Microsoft Suite, and their Apple counterparts.
To be a good candidate is simple enough but if you want to stand out, employers usually look for individuals who show:
Excellent oral communication skills
Employers want to ensure that you sound competent while conducting business on their behalf. It is also important that you are aware of your tone and are adept in sounding and speaking professionally no matter your mood to ensure good customer service and relations.
Strong Writing Skills
Your writing skills are just as important as your oral communication skills. As a virtual assistant you may be tasked with responding to emails, writing up notices, communicating with clients and building rapport. Employers need to have confidence that you write concisely without errors.
Time Management & Self-Motivation
Being a virtual assistant means you will probably be alone most of the time with a substantial amount of responsibilities. You will need to have the proper work ethic which includes time management and self-motivation. It is up to you to ensure the deadlines are met and you have the drive to complete all of your tasks.
Effective Decision Making
There will be times when you have to make an executive or crucial decision. Your employer needs to be able to trust your discretion. Having a clear understanding of your employer’s values, and preferences will help with this. It may be a good idea to ask in advance for sample responses to common questions or situations that may arise.
Online Chat Agent
Many companies are expanding their customer service options to include online help in the form of instant messaging. This has created a flux of job positions that offer flexible schedules for both full time and part-time employees. Your tasks can range from answering billing questions, to processing returns, assisting customers navigate the site or placing an order.
These jobs can be found in the same places you look for other telecommunication jobs such as call centers. Some noteworthy information about being an online chat agent would be:
Some employers look for a relevant college degree. However, most just require a high school diploma, GED, or one to two years of customer service experience. In all honesty, having the experience gives you a competitive edge and makes you a stronger candidate. If you do not have experience, don't let that discourage you! There are still many opportunities for you, including those that are specifically labeled as entry level positions. The skills that they look for include:
- The ability to manage multiple conversations at once
- Having a firm grasp of the language to understand customers correctly and communicate coherently
- The ability to maintain a professional attitude with customers
- Typing speed: 35 WPM or more
(You can check your speed and practice your touch typing for free with many websites. One of our personal favorites is https://www.keybr.com/ they are extensive and show your progress through many different charts to help you meet your goal)
- Internet speed: 5Mbps of download or higher
(You can check your speed for free with google by searching "internet speed test" and clicking the blue button which reads "run test")
As an online chat agent, you can either work part-time (10 to 20 hours) or full time (35 to 40 hours). The average working wage is $13 an hour ranging from $8 an hour on the lower end to $17 an hour on the higher end. This average is the current national average reported on Glassdoor. The site also has a listing of over 600 job positions currently open as well as the ability to search by city, posting date, specific employer/company, or salary. It is important to note, if you obtain your online chat agent position by signing up with an aggregator or agency who then partners you with a company, you are likely to be considered an individual contractor. The good news is you will likely obtain a more flexible schedule and be able to work with multiple companies. A few notable agencies include Teletech, Support.com, and Needle. The downside to working through agencies would be the lack of benefits such as healthcare, 401k, paid time off, etc. However, these benefits are made available again if you are hired as an employee directly for a company. Being an employee may in return limit your schedule flexibility.
As the title states, this is a job you can do by working online. As a chat agent, you can work directly from home if you have the correct and sufficient tools as mentioned above. You can expect most of the jobs you find in this section to be remote (meaning you work outside the company) but some positions may require on-site training. Either than that you are good to go on your home computer.
If you are limited by transportation, or rather spend your day not in an office but with family, or any other reason you may have, know that there are ways for you to make a living from home. Between these three online job options there are numerous opportunities waiting to be discovered by you. At times some companies may not be hiring, or the pay may not be as high as you were expecting, but do not let that discourage you. Download our free working from home cheat sheet for a more in-depth list of job opportunities to help you get started.