If you already feel confident enough to try your hand at a homebased job, here are a few types of work at home opportunities for retirees that you may want to seek out.
Customer Care Representative
Customer Support jobs are already being outsourced to other countries with citizens who don’t have English as their primary language. However, the low manpower cost encourages many company to relocate the jobs abroad. It is not surprising for some employers to look for home-based Americans who are willing to do the job for almost for lower rates.
Nature of the Job. Customer Care Representatives receive phone calls of customers for a company. Customer’s concern may be about billing, questions, complains, or even sales. The technology already allows hotlines to be rerouted to different numbers. If you become a CCR, some configuration will be made so that calls may be redirected to your numbers.
Companies usually have a prepared script that addresses all kinds of customer concerns. You will go through training before you receive actual or live calls.
Requirements. There are only a couple of things you need, if you want to try your hand as a home-based Customer Care Representative: People Skills, and the Necessary Equipment.
For People Skills, there is a good chance that retirees have already acquired it through years of employment. Employers who choose home-based workers can’t be expected to provide comprehensive training for this skillset. They will provide system-specific training but employees are expected to know the basics of knowing how to deal with customers.
As for equipment, a home-based CCR needs a decent broadband Internet connection. You need a connected that can handle online voice and videoconferences without lag or disconnection, a mic/headphone set, and a place that is quiet enough to avoid any background while you talk with clients or customers. Some employers also require a webcam during interviews even if it’s not going to be used in the job.
Pay. Newbies, naturally, receive far less. There are companies that pay $5 per hour but as you gain experience, you can get as much as $30 per hour.
Online Juror for Mock Trials
Online Jurors for Mock Trials are a fairly new type of job opportunity. Being an online juror means you have to go through the process of being a juror, only without the hassle of actually going to court and waiting around for long hours. The cases are also not going to be real ones, but mock trials used by law firms to help them research and study their strategy based on a panel of real people. It’s basically like a research study in which the online jurors and the law firm’s lawyers are the test subjects.
To qualify, you need to:
- be a US citizen
- be over the age of 18
- pass a background screening where your educational and professional background will be considered
Some sites (such as OnlineVerdict.com) want to categorize online jurors based on demographic, as it will help law firms make useful assessments on the results of their mock trials.
Not all home-based job opportunities for retirees require you to sit in front of a computer all day, and there are still certain types of work that are more traditional and can be done even by people who are not tech savvy. Case in point, Babysitting.
Nature of the Job. This is self-explanatory. Babysitting services can be advertised through the net or through friends and family. In fact, chances are, your first clients will probably be next door neighbors or relatives. There is one thing that you need to keep in mind when it comes to babysitting, though: the kid you’re going to watch over.
Requirements. One of the first things that you usually have to sacrifice to old age is mobility, and it may be hard to keep up with toddlers who are in the age where they constantly dash around and explore their surroundings. If you already have problems moving around, you may want to limit the kids you’re going to babysit to babies that can’t move on their own yet (or at least, can’t move fast enough on their own), or kids that are old enough that they can do certain things on their own without requiring adult supervision.
Pay. $5 - $15 per hour.
Writers and Editors
If you have a knack for writing and editing, there are a lot of home-based opportunities available on the net. It’s perfect for retirees as writing is not a physically demanding work. There are a lot website owners with niche target market who are looking for people who have extensive experience on certain fields.
Nature of the Job. There are different kinds of writing opportunities online. There are bloggers who are writing for ghostwriters, websites looking for someone to write copies for their corporate websites, ebooks, and even actual advertising and marketing materials. You have an advantage if you are a specialist in a specific field and you find an assignment that is looking for your expertise, you are most likely to get paid high.
Requirements. You need to be familiar with word processors, office suites, and the different ways on how to send documents over the net. Writing skill alone is not enough, as you need to be computer-literate enough to use the PC and the net for coordinating and collaborating with the employer.
More importantly, you need to know a certain field or certain fields well enough for you to write on it. You also need to know how to research well online. This kind of job also requires a little bit more of your schedule, since deadlines and revisions are almost always required.
Pay. Some employers pay per word and some pay per hour. Native English speakers get paid more. While some non-native English speakers would settle for $1 per hour, native English speakers won’t usually go lower than $10 per hour.
It’s a lot harder (or impossible) to break into, if you don’t already have the required skillset, since graphic design is not something that you can learn over the week and is not something that you learn from an unrelated previous job. On the other hand, this specialization means that the pay is almost always better.
Nature of the Job. Requirements can be for a website design, poster design, ad design, magazine layout, logo design, t-shirt design and other materials that require some visual art. If you’re lucky, you might spot some big companies looking for a comic book illustrator or book illustrator. There are some big advertising agencies looking to job out some layout requirements.
Requirements. As for equipment, graphic design requires a fairly powerful computer. You should already have one if you already did graphic design work in the past. Gaming computers are also usually powerful enough for graphic designing jobs. You also need a decent broadband connection. Image files are significantly larger than text documents and can’t be transmitted over the net through a weak or capped ISP.
Pay. Your biggest competitors will be the guys from Asia where a lot of creative outsourcing is already being done. Hollywood movie studios are already shifting a huge portion of their animation requirements to Asia. Some Asian freelancers would settle for $5 per hour. However, you may also charge per project. Just consider that most employers online don’t have the same budget as other big companies.
Online Tutorial may require very basic skillsets, similar to Babysitting, depending on what kind of tutoring you are going to do.
Nature of the Job. It is no different from actual tutoring but you forego the physical interaction. This means you need to make your teaching materials and teaching strategies will have to customized to a non-personal teaching situation.
Requirements. There are employers who require extensive teaching experience, as the subjects that are going to be taught tend to be difficult, but there are also those who only require you to have proficiency in the subject you are tutoring, since there are students who just need more opportunity for one-on-one tutorials to improve.
There are also language tutorial jobs (particularly ESL) that only require above average oral communication skills, since all you’re going to do is provide exercises or practice opportunities for people who need to practice conversational skills with another person.
Pay. $20 - $50 per hour.