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.

Reliable Reports

What they do: Insurance inspection and reporting company.

Freelance opportunities available: Property inspectors and reporting specialists.

Requirements: Must have reliable computer and high-speed Internet. Previous related work experience is a plus. Must be able to pass a background check and have a clean driving record.

Hours/Pay: Hours are "flexible enough to meet most schedules." Pay is performance based, and depends on the workload.

Other info: This is a physically demanding job and will involve working outdoors in all types of weather conditions.

Apply here.

Next Page: UniMed Direct

UniMed Direct

What they do: Physician adviser and peer review services.

TST Recommends

Freelance opportunities available: Peer reviewers.

Requirements: Must be a board certified doctor, with all required credentials for their location/specialty.

Hours/Pay: Hours are flexible; you can take on as many assignments as you wish. Pay is based on number of reviews performed.

Other info: All specialties are needed.

Apply here.

Next Page: Prime Inc.

Prime Inc.

What they do: Transportation company specializing in refrigerated trucks, flatbeds and tanker carriers.

Freelance opportunities available: Drivers.

Requirements: Must be at least 21 years old with valid CDL, stable work history and clean driving record.

Hours/Pay: Hours are somewhat flexible. On average, a driver will go about 3,200 miles in a seven-day period. Pride says its most profitable drivers stay out three to four weeks at a time. The company offers a multi-faceted payment system, which includes numerous types of bonuses and incentives.

Other info: The company also offers medical plans at reduced rates, and offers a rider policy allowing drivers to bring a passenger or pet.

Apply here.

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