As the world moves into a digital space, professionals are looking for new and creative ways to make money in this ever-changing business environment. This has led many to wonder whether earning money online is possible and, more importantly, whether the practice is actually sustainable long-term. I’m here to tell you from firsthand experience that, yes, earning money online is possible.
It is entirely possible to make money online, with many professionals working remotely full-time. As long as you have the right perspective, a few marketable skills, and a strong motivation, you can make an average of approximately $60,000 a year.
In the following sections, I’ll take you through four of the most surprising facts about earning money online, including the impressive average hourly rate of remote jobs, the increasing number of professionals transferring their services to a digital space, the effect that this type of work has on productivity, and an additional financial benefit you might enjoy when choosing to work online. Let’s get started!
1. The Average Online Job Pays $28/Hour
Given that most cultures are built around a traditional work environment, many tend to believe that online jobs serve only as a secondary stream of income or as a “last resort” type solution for struggling professionals. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Online jobs pay well, and in most cases, your earning potential is much higher than it would be in a traditional work environment.
In fact, the average online job in the US pays a little over $28/hour, which adds up to a salary of over $59,000 a year (provided you’re working a standard 40-hour week).
As with all careers, your salary will depend on your experience level, skillset, and negotiation skills; however, in most cases, the figures are in your favor.
The $59,000 a year estimate is just an average, and some professionals can easily make six figures working online.
Therefore, even though you won’t be working in a typical corporate hierarchy with possibilities of promotions, every additional experience will allow you to charge a bit extra on your next project, increasing your salary little by little until you reach your full potential.
The reason why there’s such a high financial incentive to join the digital workforce is that companies as a whole benefit from transferring their operations online. Businesses that have embraced the remote model are able to save on operational costs such as:
- Office space
- Parking space
- Cleaning services
- Maintenance services
As a result, these companies are able to offer competitive wages to their potential employees while still keeping their profits intact.
Again, I want to note that depending on your knowledge, niche, and sometimes sheer luck, your experience with online work can vary. While some can’t seem to make enough to rely solely on their online careers to secure their livelihood, others have already made millions.
Highest Paying Online Jobs
In the following table, I’ll be summarizing some of the highest paying online jobs and their respective average annual salaries:
|Profession||Average Annual Salary|
|Influencer (50,000 followers and above)||$100,000|
Making Money Online Through Passive Income
If you still prefer working in a physical office (or if you’ve already landed a position you don’t want to let go of), you can certainly use the online marketplace to look for possibilities to generate a passive income stream.
One of the advantages that online work has over its traditional counterpart is that it offers a broader range of possibilities for people with limited experience, knowledge, and resources to generate some additional income with minimal effort. If you’re interested in the practice but unsure where to start, I highly recommend checking out this article.
2. 22% of the US Workforce Is Tipped To Work Remotely by 2025
The profitability of online jobs is best proved by the ever-growing number of professionals transferring their work and services to a digital space.
According to research conducted by UpWork, one of the world’s largest work marketplaces (that serves 30% of Fortune 100 companies), it is estimated that 22% of the American workforce will work remotely by 2025.
The estimate equates to roughly 36.2 million online professionals, which speaks to an exponential growth of the digital working space (an 87% increase from pre-pandemic online work figures).
It seems that amid the struggle of the pandemic, companies and professionals alike discovered the many advantages of online work, leading to a significant portion of their operations being transferred online.
3. Online Work Can Be More Productive Than Traditional Work
The debate of whether traditional work is really more productive than its digital counterpart has been developing for several years now, and recent findings show that, in reality, online work might actually lead to much more efficient use of time.
I want to note that these findings are still relatively new, and further, larger-scale research is being conducted as we speak. Moreover, the answer to the question “Is online work more productive than traditional work?” Is by no means one-size-fits-all; however, trends do point to it being “Yes.”
According to research conducted by Barrero et al., nearly 60% of workers reported being more productive working from home than they anticipated to be. 40% reported that they felt they were notably more productive working from home than from the office, and 35% reported noticing no difference in productivity levels. In comparison, only 15% favored in-office work as far as productivity goes.
Based on these findings, it’s easy to notice a trend among employees who are starting to look at working from home as a viable, productive alternative to their traditional environment.
In fact, after a thorough analysis of the results, researchers argue that not only is remote working here to stay but also that the new arrangements can lead to a 5% overall productivity increase among US employees.
Based on the common misconceptions that had been surrounding online work up until that point, many were surprised to see that not only did employee performance not drop, but on the contrary, it started to improve.
However, if you take the time to think about it, a direct correlation between remote work and productivity makes perfect sense.
Reasons Why Online Work Is More Productive
There are several factors that, in hindsight, might have contributed to the unexpected increase in productivity, as explained below.
The main draw of online work is the flexibility it provides to busy professionals all around the world. As individuals, we don’t stay uniformly productive throughout the day, and setting an arbitrary schedule during which to work won’t make the most out of our potential.
However, when working from home, we’re able to make our own schedule, making sure we’re making the most out of our productivity.
Take a look around any company’s break room, and you’ll notice that almost half of the employees are complaining about their draining commute.
According to the Census Bureau, the average American commutes nearly an hour every day to and from work (55.2 minutes, to be exact). That’s an hour of lost time and productivity a day, which can add up to 264 lost hours a year (if you work a standard 40-hour week).
You’d be surprised how much location independence can help you improve your performance and productivity. The bright fluorescent lighting and gray office decor can wear out even the most dedicated worker.
However, working from a warm-lighted room or a pleasant coffee shop can sometimes even be enjoyable.
You can work around your schedule
This brings me to my last point. With an online job, you can work around your schedule, making the most out of every awkward time gap you might have in the day.
Have half an hour to spare before it’s time to leave for your appointment? You can squeeze in some work. Have to go away for a week? You can take your work along with you.
4. Online Work Can Help You Save Thousands of Dollars a Year
This is one of those hidden advantages of online work that you might not have even considered. Not only can online jobs earn you an impressive salary, but they can help you save too.
In fact, working remotely can help you save thousands of dollars a year, with most estimates ranging anywhere from $2000-$4000.
Of course, the actual amount you might end up saving from transferring your work online will ultimately depend on a number of variables that are impossible to take into a generalized estimate.
However, this goes to show that even the cutbacks that might seem negligible at first can add up over time, and if you didn’t know already, saving is crucial when it comes to creating a stable financial situation for you and your family.
The biggest savings you’ll make while working online include (but aren’t limited to) costs such as:
- Eating out
- Office attire
Whether you take the bus or your own car to work, there’s no doubt that transportation takes a significant chunk of your monthly budget. Therefore, I’d say that cutting back on transportation costs is one of the biggest contributions that online work can make savings-wise.
As gas prices reach all-time highs, your commute becomes pricier by the day.
Depending on where they live, US employees who drive their cars to work can spend anywhere from $2000 to $5000 a year on commute alone, which goes to show how much of a dent this seemingly routine process can make into our budgets.
What’s worse, public transportation isn’t far behind, either.
If you add the added car maintenance costs you have to cover as a direct result of the increased mileage due to your commute, the transportation-related savings become even more apparent when working from home.
Some (rightfully) might point out that these savings are somewhat off-put by the increased electricity usage, and while this is undoubtedly true, I’d argue that the increase in your electricity bill won’t be nearly as notable as the money you’ll save by forgoing your daily commute.
Even though many offices might offer a few complimentary refreshments and snacks, chances are that your food-related budget still suffers quite a bit when working in an office. Those morning coffees you get when you’re running late and those to-go lunches you buy when you forget to pack something from home can add up quicker than you’d think.
And I haven’t even gotten into the indirect effect that working from an office can have on your spending habits. Even if your office provides free lunches and snacks, your tiring day out and stressful commute will make you far less likely to cook even when you eventually get home.
Those extra dollars here and there you spend for take-out can quickly hurt not only your wallet but your health as well. On the other hand, when working online, you’re much more likely to find an extra half an hour to whip out a quick, healthy meal for you and your family.
Most workplaces have specific dress codes that prohibit you from wearing the clothes that you normally would in your day-to-day life. Therefore, many professionals (especially those who’ve just entered the workforce) find themselves having to spend a small fortune on what seems like a whole separate closet of work attire.
Not only will you have to buy multiple clothing items and accessories that keep you feeling presentable and comfortable, but you might also have to empty your wallet while doing so. If you’ve ever been shopping for professional pieces, you know that they’re anything but cheap.
The price of an average-looking suit can make your eyes water no matter where you buy it, and I’m not even considering high-end retailers here.
Luckily, when working from home, you won’t have to worry about purchasing a blazer or a pantsuit that you’ll wear once or twice a week at most. Moreover, you get to work while wearing comfortable, breathable clothing, which could end up improving your overall productivity and performance.
Earning money online isn’t only possible, but it can also be highly lucrative. Professionals who offer their services online can easily make an average of $60,000 a year while increasing their productivity and saving money on transportation, eating out, and professional attire.