10 Highest Paying Work-at-Home Careers

By John Persinos
December 10, 2010

In a previous article, I discussed stay-at-home work opportunities to help you generate some extra cash. As a follow-up, here are 10 ideas that you could develop into full-fledged stay-at-home careers.

Some of these jobs require extra schooling or accreditation, but the tuition or fees could be tax deductible. Plus, your investment in self-improvement would pay dividends in the form of income and lifestyle flexibility for years to come.

These positions are among the most feasible and popular in today's problematic economy. For the purposes of this article, I've spoken with career search counselors who've provided me with approximate annual salary ranges for each position.

Salaries will differ, based on your geographic region and your particular circumstances, but the ballpark estimates listed below roughly correspond with what you could expect, as far as gross income is concerned. Whether you negotiate a deal whereby your employer pays your payroll taxes, or whether you pay taxes as an independent contractor, is contingent on what you're able to negotiate.

10) Travel Agent
You don't have to work out of an office or be affiliated with an established travel agency to perform these functions yourself. You could set up your own web site and offer your services to individuals and companies as a travel arranger and booker of ai and train travel, hotel rooms, package tours, and rental cars. The more clients you get, the greater discounts you'll be able to wrangle from airlines, hotels and rental car agencies, because of the volume of business that you provide to them. Annual Salary: $20,000-$30,000

9) Property Manager
You don't have to live on-site or own a property, to tackle the administrative responsibilities of a property manager, which is a fancy word for "landlord." Real estate management companies, apartment buildings, office parks, and condo complexes all need an administrator to keep the trains running on time. The filing, bookkeeping, phone calling, tax management, and all the other related functions are capably handled from a home office. If you possess good organizational and managerial skills, this one's worth considering. Annual Salary: $30,000-$40,000

8) Technical Writer
The position of technical writer is a perfect fit for someone with expertise in a certain area who has been laid off, wants a more leisurely pace or is semi-retired.  You'll need writing skills, of course, but if you market yourself as an expert in a certain niche, you can find publication or web site titles that cater to that niche. Your best bet is to get placed on ai masthead as a permanent contributor, for a regular flat stipend, instead of getting paid by the word or story. This is a great work-at-home opportunity for, say, retired engineers or scientists with a facility for language. Annual Salary: $30,000-$40,000

7) Telemarketing and Telesales
Many companies are hungry to find articulate people willing to work the phones as a sales or marketing rep. They'll supply you with a list of contacts to phone and you'll methodically work your way down the list, persuading and pitching them to purchase products, services and advertising. If you're articulate with a winning personality and you like people, this job is for you. Annual Salary: $40,000-$50,000

6) Interpreter or Translator
American schools don't teach foreign languages as diligently as in previous generations. In fact, it seems that many native-born Americans can't even master English very well. That spells enormous opportunities for anyone who is bi-lingual. Whatever the language, companies, individuals and students are willing to pay an interpreter or translator big bucks for their services. Annual Salary: $40,000-$50,000

5) Graphic Designer
As the Internet continues to explode with growth and traffic, a multitude of new web sites, in every conceivable niche, are being born daily. Someone needs to design these sites. The skills of a graphic designer are especially coveted, when print publications transition to the web and go completely online.

Online newspapers and magazines need to be laid out in colorful, eye-catching, reader-friendly ways -- and these publications don't design themselves. If you don't have design skills and want a second career, consider attending the many affordable design schools that are springing up in communities everywhere. Annual Salary: $50,000-$60,000

#-ad_banner_2-#4) Public Relations Professional
PR has become a "catch-all" profession, as a career segue for former journalists or industry veterans. It's common to find semi-retired or laid-off experts in a certain field become a communications and PR spokesman for a company that operates in their area of expertise. This is the sort of work that can be done at home: writing press releases, arranging and hosting teleconferences, setting up press events, reaching out to reporters, etc. Annual Salary: $50,000-$60,000

3) Financial Planner
A financial planner helps individuals, families and companies better plan their finances and investments. These advisers help their clients on such matters as higher education costs, cash flow management, retirement and insurance, estates, taxes, etc.

Problem here is that the term "financial planner" is rather amorphous; virtually anyone, whether qualified or not, can hang out their shingle and call themselves a financial planner. This fact has lead to many incidents of fraud and malpractice.

The most reputable financial planners, and accordingly those with the best chance of success, are Certified Financial Planners, an accreditation that is earned by successfully completing the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards' initial and continuing certification requirements. Annual Salary: $60,000-$70,000

2) Web-based Software Engineer
This is a person whose task is to design, develop, test, and evaluate the software and systems that enable computers to perform their applications. This job is one of the fastest-growing professions in the country -- and you can do it, from your home. Qualifications include a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in computer science. Annual Salary: $60,000-$70,000

1) Medical Claims Processing/Coding
Healthcare is a $2.4 trillion-a-year industry in the United States, accounting for 16% of the economy. Experts estimate that up to $600 billion of that figure is taken up with administrative work and claims processing. Astonishing figures, but sadly true.

This paperwork entails insurance and government forms, red tape, and "coding" for the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs. Doctors and hospitals must fill out reams of paperwork, to get reimbursed by insurance companies or Uncle Sam. One of the fastest-growing professions -- indeed, one that has proven to be recession proof -- is that of medical claims processor and/or "coder."

The Medicare and Medicaid programs insist that healthcare providers use a set of proscribed codes to get reimbursed. The formulas that are used to pay providers are complex and seem to change weekly, which creates an enormous need for assistants who can master those codes. Claims processors and coders have become the new "gatekeepers" for medical care and they can ply their trade from home. Many health associations provide training in this area; once you're certificated, physicians and hospitals will become deeply reliant on your skills. Annual Salary: $70,000-$80,000