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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: Provider of call center outsourcing services.

Freelance opportunities available: Call center agents.

Requirements: Previous call center and/or customer service experience preferred.

Hours/Pay: Agents choose their own schedules and can work as much or as little as they want. Pay rate/structure varies by client. Some pay by the minute (with an average rate of 25 cents per minute), while others pay a base rate plus commissions. The company says the average agent in 2009 received four calls per 30-minute block, at a rate of $1.57 per call, including sales incentives.

Other info: Applicants must pay $50 to cover the cost of a background check.

Apply here.

Next Page: University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix

What they do: Provider of college courses and degree programs, consisting mainly of online programs.

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Freelance opportunities available: Faculty members.

Requirements: Must have an advanced degree in the subject(s) you wish to teach.

Hours/Pay: Generally involves a commitment of 10 to 15 hours per week. Courses start every week and usually run for five to six weeks. They have a pay scale that is based on credentials and years of experience at University of Phoenix, but pay is generally in the $20 an hour range.

Other info: They currently need faculty to teach classes in a wide range of subjects, ranging from forensics to geography. Most positions are work-from-home, but they also need faculty members to work on-site at their various campus locations.

Apply here.

Next Page: Davaco


What they do: Large provider of retail services, specializing in resets and setting up new stores.

Freelance opportunities available: Merchandisers and crew leaders.

Requirements: Previous merchandising experience preferred. Must be able to read plan-o-grams and floor maps.

Hours/Pay: Hours vary by project, but the job often involves working late nights and/or weekends. Pay varies, but most of their current projects pay a rate of $110 per night.

Other info: Must pass a background check and drug test and have a valid driver's license. Jobs in certain areas may require overnight travel.

Apply here.

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