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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: Interpretation and translation services for health care clients.

Freelance opportunities available: Interpreters and translators who are fluent in one of a long list of languages, ranging from Spanish to Swahili.

Requirements: Requires at least two references who can verify your language skills. Must be able to provide first-person interpretation and translation, with no paraphrasing or omissions. Ability to meet deadlines and prioritize multiple work tasks and projects is essential.

Hours/Pay: Freelancers are not required to commit to a minimum number of hours. They log in and out of an 800-number or Web portal when working, which tracks their hours. The company says contractors earn a "competitive per minute rate."

Other info: They also need full-time workers for their Tucson, Ariz., location. These employees will earn around $10 per hour, plus benefits.

Apply here.

Next Page: CyraCom

Prestige Delivery Systems

What they do: National delivery company, specializing in same-day and next-day deliveries.

Freelance opportunities available:Drivers who are owner/operators.

Requirements: Must have your own truck or cargo van and a good driving record. Will be required to pass background check and drug test.

Hours/Pay: The company operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Rates vary depending on distance and abilities. Company provides weekly settlements with no holdbacks, so drivers receive payments quickly.

Other info: Heavy lifting may be involved. Company offers insurance programs and access to an extensive network of leasing and purchasing vendors.

Apply here.

Next Page: Prestige Delivery Systems


What they do: Research and data collection involving public records.

Freelance opportunities available: Courthouse researchers and data collectors.

Requirements: Obviously, you must live near a courthouse, and you will need reliable transportation to get there. You also need a laptop. While experience is helpful, it isn't required; the company provides online training.

Hours/Pay: Hours depend on size of territory, quantity of records involved and client needs. Work must be performed during courthouse business hours. The company says most researchers average $12 to $18 per hour, with the rate of pay based on the number of records you collect and the speed in which you collect them.

Other info: They often enlist teams of researchers who work together, so if you have a friend who is interested, have them apply, too.

Apply here.

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