• Looking for Employment Opportunities?

    1. Customer Service Representative

    How it Works: Here are some potential employers, Hilton Hotels, American Airlines and 1-800-flowers, might hire directly. Where other companies use third-party companies, whichhire home-based workers. In addition to Alpine, other virtual call centers include Convergys, LiveOps.com, Arise.com, WestatHome.com and WorkingSolutions.

    Looking for work? Sign up for a provider membership on Elance and find great clients today!

    Hours: Full time, part time and split shifts are the shifts available. Employers may require at least 20 hours a week, plus weekend slots.

    Pay Range: The hourly rate can range from $9.00 up to more than $20 an hour with incentives and bonuses. Some firms provide health, vision and dental benefits, or access to group plan rates. Paid vacation and matching 401(k) plans may be a perk, but you’ll have to put in enough hours to be eligible.

    Qualifications: Job descriptions typically call for customer care or technical support experience. Think broadly. Prior experience in a retail store, as a bank teller or in sales are equivalent.  An online test and a phone interview are required. Background, drug and credit checks are standard. Some firms charge $30 to $45 for the screens

    2. Online Juror

    How it Works: Online companies such as ejury.com, onlineverdict.com and jurytest.com will pay you to sit on mock juries to give attorneys and other jury consultants feedback on current cases. These  are virtual focus groups. To sign up with online jury companies, you fill out an online questionnaire. When a lawyer needs an online juror that matches your demographics, you’ll be contacted via e-mail.

    An attorney posts a case on a secure website for you to log-on and review. You may listen to audio, view video presentations or read material and answer questions. Then you submit a verdict. Once the minimum number of verdicts has been rendered (usually 50), the case concludes. A summary is posted later showing the results.

    The number of cases you may be asked to review will vary depending on the number of attorneys in your area who are using this service. Majority of the companies will only have occasional work for you, so sign up for a few. Read all the disclaimers and details.

    The hours: From 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on the details of the case.

    Pay range: Payments start at $10 per case and can go up to $100 per case, depending on the length of the case and trial.

    Qualifications: Same requirements as fdfor actual jury duty. In general, you can’t be a lawyer, paralegal or legal assistant, or an insurance company representative. Nor can you be associated with liability claims adjustments. You must be a U.S. citizen; be of sound mind and good moral character; be able to read and write; have never been convicted of a felony; and not be under indictment or other legal accusation of misdemeanor theft or felony theft or any felony charge. And now for those Perry Mason re-runs.

    3. Virtual Assistant

    How it Works:  With the decline in payrolls, there’s been an increase in demand from small-business to executive-level professionals to hire virtual assistants to do various administrative tasks. Duties range from making travel arrangements to sending out letters and other support services that can easily be handled remotely via e-mail and phone.

    The job can involve sitting for long periods, so take precautions to prevent eyestrain, stress and repetitive motion ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Look for openings and information at the International Virtual Assistants Association, or at virtualassistantjobs.com and teamdoubleclick.com.

    Hours: Flexible, including split shifts and part time
    Pay range: $15 to more than $30 an hour
    Qualifications: Employers increasingly demand knowledge of computer software applications, such as desktop publishing, project management, spreadsheets and database management. You should be skilled in both Microsoft Word and Excel (for financial statements). A minimum of 2 years work experience in an office administrative function is helpful.

    Virtual assistant training programs are available at many community colleges. All of them may be taken online, they also can be taken online here at VAclassroom, although traditional in-person classes are available too. While there’s currently no set standard of certification for virtual assistants, the IVAA does offer three certifications that require passing a written test: Certified Virtual Assistant, Ethics Checked Virtual Assistant and the Real Estate Virtual Assistant. Hats off to the invisible workforce.

    4. Online Tutor

    How it Works: Private online tutoring sessions with students is a growing area in the uber-competitive march to college admissions. The subjects in demand are the core curriculum: world history, physics, science, math and English. Foreign language specialties are also seeing an uptick. Then too, help with preparation for standardized tests such as the SAT, GDE and GRE is always in demand.

    An online employer like Tutor.com, which offers one-on-one help to students, is set up so that when a student needs help with homework, he or she enters their grade level and subject into their computer log-on screen. The appropriate tutor (the firm has 2,200 on board) connects to the student inside the secure online classroom. The student and tutor chat using instant messaging, draw problems on an interactive whiteboard, share a file to review essays and papers and browse resources on the Web together.

    With individual accounts, sessions are saved so that students and parents can review them at any time. Coursework ranges from kindergarten to 12th grade, college courses and adults returning to school or searching for a job. Other online tutoring firms include Kaplan and SmarThinking.com.

    You can also think to tutor on your own. You can easily set up chat sessions and send files to students, and you can develop ongoing relationships that provides steady work.

    Hours: Flexible. Companies tend to ask you to plan on at least five hours a week between Sunday and Thursday from 4 pm to 11 pm during the school year. Daytime hours are available. Vacations are easy to schedule. The typical tutoring session is about 25 minutes long.

    Pay range: Hourly rates are between $10 – $14 an hour, based on experience, subject tutored, company and grade level. Some private tutors, however, can make as much as $65 an hour. At Tutor.com, the “most active” chemistry tutors earn anywhere from $800 to $1,600 a month.

    Qualifications: A certified teacher is preferred, but not required. Professional experience opens doors. At Tutor.com, high-level math and science expertise is highly sought after. That means whizzes at chemistry, algebra and physics need apply.

    In general, you take an online test in the subject you want to in tutoring. If you pass, you will be given a mock session with an online tutor. Then you must pass a background check and final exam test. More than one subject is encouraged. Your computer must have high-speed Internet access, and be able to run the classroom software provided. Mac users may be out of luck with some companies. And don’t expect a shiny apple on your desk, either

    5. Writer/Editor

    How it Works: You don’t have to be a professional scribe to find work in this arena. You do need a clear grasp of sentence and paragraph construction, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Jobs run the gamut from copyediting to proofreading, from résumé writing to technical editing. If you have expertise in a particular field or genre, that’s all the better for opening doors.

    Copy editors, proofreaders or writers, check out sites such as CareerBuilder for a range of postings for part-time writing and editing jobs, or Journalismjobs.com. Cybereditor.com offers assignments via RésuméEdge and EssayEdge, which provides tutoring for high school students. You can also set up your own shop to provide these résumé and essay-tuning services.

    For more general writing gigs, EHow.com publishes how-to articles in a variety of categories. Other sites to consider: AssociatedContent.com, Seed.com and Helium.com. I am registered at all four and they been great for me. You might also reach out to local associations and organizations, community newsletters and other regional publications. Ask if they need an extra hand on an assignment basis for online and print articles, brochures and press releases.

    Hours: Freelance writers and editors typically set their own schedules based on deadlines.

    Pay range: Project rates may vary between $15 and $40 an hour. For creating a polished résumé for a client, you might charge a base fee of $200. Some publishers pay freelance writers by the word or by the article, and that fluctuates widely depending on your background and experience, anywhere from 50 cents to $3 a word is not out of the ordinary. If you write for an online publisher, you might be paid solely based on the number of times Web visitors view your article or if the content is licensed to other publishers.

    Qualifications: No formal training required.  For newsier publications, a grasp of the Associated Press Style or the Chicago Manual of Style might be necessary. Plus, Strunk & White’s Elements of Style

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