Laura is a freelance writer living in Florida. She has a Master's degree in English.
If you have a BA or MA in English, you have probably heard many times how unemployable you are. Unless you are looking for a K-12 educational job, you might as well be flipping hamburgers. Well, I'm here to tell you that's not the case!
But, even if you're not interested specifically in teaching in a brick and mortar school or would like to make a bit of extra money in the evenings or on weekends, there are real jobs out there that pay real money!
The great thing about online work is that, for many of the jobs, you set your own schedule and you decide how much of your time to devote to the job.
I have a Masters in English and adjunct at our local, state university. The following are online jobs that I have or have had in the past. I can confirm that the companies are legitimate, and the money is real.
I'll outline what it takes to do the job and what skills they are looking for.
This job has the most potential and the highest monthly income return. It can work well as a side job. It can also replace full-time work for some—especially during the summer months.
What Is VIPKID?
VIPKID is an online educational company connecting American English speaking teachers with Chinese students in Beijing and other cities in China. This company has their own platform with pre-made lessons delivered via a PowerPoint type platform. Students and teachers can see each other via a video conferencing system.
Lessons are 25 minutes long. Teachers can set their own schedules and work as many or as few lessons as they want during a given week. Some teach lessons in the early morning before their regular jobs. Others open up as many time slots as possible during the week.
How Much Do You Make?
The amount of money you can make during a month obviously depends on the number of times you open and teach. Those that use it as their main source of income make thousands of dollars a month. As a side job, you can easily make $500 dollars or more just by working a couple of hours in the mornings or by opening up weekend slots.
Base pay varies from $7 to $9 per class (which equals $14 an hour minimum). Each class is eligible for bonuses and incentives of around $1 to $2 (making the total per hour $16–$18 minimum).
You do NOT necessarily have to have an English degree to apply. A bachelor's or higher in any profession is considered. What is needed is teaching experience—a demonstration of your ability to work with and teach children. This can be formal teaching in the classroom, homeschooling, teaching in a religious institution, leading a scout troop, etc. If you do apply, think about your experience teaching or working with children and emphasize that experience during the application process. You can apply via the VIPKID website.
2. Measurement INC
Though this is more seasonal work (usually late spring through summer), working for this company offers some extra cash for your pocket.
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What Is Measurement INC?
This company hires readers to score performance assessments such as standardized test essays. The company has physical locations in some cities. It also has an online work environment.
You set your hours based on availability and the company contacts you to work during set hours, as needs arise. Work picks up from late spring through summer as more test material needing evaluation becomes available.
How Do I Apply?
Go to the following website: http://measurementinc.com/Employment.
Enter your initial application. The process is lengthy and includes information about degrees, employment, and transcripts. If accepted, the company will contact you to complete an assessment to ensure you are qualified for the position.
After the assessment you will fill out paperwork for employment.
Pay is hourly and seems to vary based on experience. There are opportunities for pay raises based on performance.
This is a good side job, but demand wanes near the end of summer so consider it seasonal/supplemental income only.
This is a company looking for freelancers and editors to do remote work. I only worked here for about five months but I'd like to tell you a little bit about it and why it may be a good fit for you.
What Kind of People Are They Looking For?
This is a great company with good pay for editing and freelance writing. What I discovered is that, despite my degree in English, I didn't have the exacting eye of an editor. This is a must for this job. They are looking for knowledge in specific subject areas.
The company is great and the people are friendly.
This would be great for those who had a double major or who have experience in other fields as well as an exacting command of the English language.
Once you apply, you will be sent a test to see if you fit their needs.
Once you start working, you will be offered projects that you can accept or return. There are penalties for late or sub-standard work.
While this wasn't the best fit for me, this is a legitimate job, and I'm sure this would make some great, part-time work for those with the needed skill sets.
Okay, this last one isn't really a job, but it is an opportunity to earn some extra cash on the side doing something that comes easy for most English majors—writing.
What Is HubPages?
HubPages is an online platform for writers. They provide an easy-to-use shell where any writer can create a hub (article) about a variety of subjects. You can then publish it for availability on the web.
HubPages is not really a blog space. Rather, they are looking for quality articles on subjects that catch people's interest. This is something that most people with an English degree can do. You can write rich and detailed product reviews. You can write about a particular experience or problem that may be common among many people. The key is to find articles and subjects that interest people—find something that people will want to read and share.
I have been writing articles on the side for four years for HubPages. Each month I make at least a few hundred extra dollars and sometimes much more, depending on the season and the going rate for ads.
The great thing about HubPages is that once you produce a quality article, it can make money for you for many months to years after publication, without you having to do anything else. While this isn't necessarily a job, it's a great way to get your writing out there and make a little bit of money (or a lot). Who knows? You may have the next viral article, just waiting for an audience.
Finding Work in a Tough Market
It's not always easy to find work in today's economy. Some may feel that you are at a disadvantage because of your liberal arts or English degree. But work is out there. Working online allows for flexibility that other jobs just don't offer.
I can vouch for each of the companies listed above. I have made money working for or with each of them. Hopefully there is one that's a good fit for you too!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 L C David
Have a question or a comment? Feel free to post below!
L C David (author) from Florida on March 15, 2017:
Yes, a really keen eye for editing details is a must for this job. I believe they may have some freelance work, but I'm unsure.
Karen Hellier from Georgia on March 15, 2017:
These are wonderful opportunities and I thank you for sharing them. Cactus interests me but I am not a good enough editor. I do freelance though, but it seems as though you must have the editing talent as well?