If you need extra money but don't want a staff job, freelance work may be the answer. These days, companies hire freelancers for everything from writing and design to delivery and sales.

Pros and cons: You usually don't get benefits, but can often set your own schedule and may even be able to work from home. The pay is self-employment income, and is viewed differently than normal wages by the IRS. You'll need to file specific tax forms with your annual return – and, depending on what you earn, you might need to submit quarterly tax payments. On the plus side, you can deduct many of your expenses, and may qualify for the home office deduction.

Here are three companies hiring independent contractors right now.


What they do: Provider of local online searches and directories.

Freelance opportunities available: Editor/community manager.

Requirements: Good writing skills, local media and blogger contacts, experience with social media, strong computer skills and good references.

Hours/Pay: Hours are flexible; pay depends on experience.

Other info: Community managers are currently needed in Dallas and San Diego, but new opportunities are added frequently.

Apply here.

Next Page: L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean

What they do: Retailer specializing in outdoor lifestyle products and apparel.

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Freelance opportunities available: Designers.

Requirements: Fluency in Adobe Creative Suite is essential.

Hours/Pay: Hours vary by project needs. Pay is based on skills/experience.

Other info: Project needs can include packaging design, print development and placement graphics.

Apply here.

Next Page: Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak State College

What they do: Distance learning college that provides degree programs and courses online.

Freelance opportunities available: Adjunct course developers.

Requirements: Advanced degree and experience with Web-based course design. Online teaching experience is a plus.

Hours/Pay: Hours vary depending on type of course. Developers are required to teach the course the first year after creating it, and may have the option to continue teaching it for subsequent years. Developers receive an initial payment for creating the course, plus a per-student fee for teaching it.

Other info: Charter Oak also hires freelance designers who are paid an hourly rate.

Apply here.