Telecommuting Jobs that Make Money on the Phone

Get the skinny on what you need to succeed, top virtual call centers, and leading companies that regularly hire workers for phone-based and chat-based work!


A friendly personality and a soothing voice are all you need to start making money today. Jobs in many aspects of sales and customer service are readily available, often pay well and allow flexible hours. Many voice-based customer service jobs require only a high school diploma or GED and make excellent entry points to a telecommuting career.

What You Need to Work on the Phone:

There are a few basic things you need before you get started in a remote phone career.

• A quality landline: Your employer may have requirements about the kind of equipment you need to have. Even if they don't, you'll want a multi-line landline and a headset.

• You'll need a quiet office area. Keeping out background noise is basic professionalism. Make sure you've got a quiet place to do your job, with a solid door that remains closed.

• A good computer with Ethernet connection is vital. Your employer may have requirements about the kind of equipment you need. Even if they don't, you'll make your life, and your customers' lives easier if you have a fast, reliable machine, preferably with an Ethernet internet connection.

• A friendly, calm voice and phone presence is a must. You should like talking on the phone!

Where Do I Find Remote Phone Work?

You have two main options when looking for telecommuting phone work: getting a job with a company that allows some or all of its voice-based service employees to work from home, or signing up for a virtual call center service. Either way, many (though not all) of the options provide actual employment, complete with benefits, making voice-based customer service an excellent choice for those who would like a home-based job without sacrificing the perks of regular employment.

Let's look at some options first. Lots of major companies employ at-home workers to man their phone lines. Companies like Amazon, U-Haul, Intellicare, Xerox and many others all offer jobs that you can do from home, over the phone: customer support, sales, reservations; you name it. You're an employee like any other. You just happen to have a job you can do from home.

How do you find those jobs? The way you'd find a traditional job anywhere. Look up companies' web pages and find the careers section, or use a job search website like Indeed or Monster. Just use keywords like "telecommute" and "remote," and you should start finding options quickly. Many companies prefer to hire at-home workers near their offices so that they can provide occasional training and more efficient supervision, so pay particular attention to companies located in your area.

Virtual Call Centers

Virtual call centers are companies whose product is voice-based support: they sign up clients and staff those clients' phone lines for them. You get a few advantages with these employers. Usually, hours will be very flexible, and you'll have opportunities to serve different kinds of clients and in different kinds of roles. Hate sales? You don't have to sign up for it. Love IT support? Your virtual call center will make it easy for you to focus on it and find work. Here are some of the major players in the virtual call center world:

LiveOps is an agency that outsources different kinds of phone work for other companies. Choose what kind of job you want to do - sales, customer service, healthcare services, insurance, etc.-and get working. Details about pay and hours will be different depending on the client, but typically you'll be able to telecommute, enjoy very flexible hours, and often have opportunities to earn sales commissions.

Convergys is another outsourcing company but has the benefit of hiring you as an employee, not an independent contractor. Your hours will be a little less flexible, but what you get in exchange for that is full medical benefits, paid time off, a 401K plan, and all the goodies you'd expect with a traditional employer - but without having to leave your home. You also don't have to worry about paying for background or credit checks, which a lot of Convergys' competitors will charge to your account. You'll have a reliable schedule, be paid for hours worked rather than calls answered, and not have to juggle multiple clients.

VipDesk has an easy-to-use website and application procedure. You can browse different kinds of opportunities, create one profile to use to apply to multiple clients, and tailor the experience for yourself. VipDesk also offers other types of services: they do social media management, and even back-office support services like data entry (if you prefer some time off the phone). Most opportunities are in customer support and sales. Your job title is "Brand Ambassador"-you're bringing the personal touch to various aspects of your clients' sales, marketing, and brand identity.

NexRep's main draw is that you have a lot of control over what you want to do and the clients you want to serve - before you even apply, you can look at what kind of demand they have for different types of jobs. They also offer a wide variety of different opportunities, from your typical customer service and sales work to beauty consultants, IT support, and virtual assistants. Get a balance between autonomy and stability by working through NexRep, but curating your clients.

Great VirtualWorks has you establish your company (which involves some fees but isn't difficult). The bonus of that is great flexibility. You decide how much you work and when, how many clients you want, and so on. You're responsible for your goals and success, which means that you can push to expand your company or keep it as a casual way to earn some extra money. You're asked to put in at least 15 hours a week, but there are no other requirements.

Whatever your expertise and needs, remote phone work is an excellent way to telecommute and earn money on your terms. You get the flexibility and independence of the telecommuting lifestyle without having to hustle for jobs or spend all day clicking and typing without talking to anyone.