As businesses expand globally, they need to communicate in more languages. That's great news for bilingual people who are interested in entering this flexible, fast-growing profession. From a virtual office (using Skype to join conference calls, say), people in this field participate in live conversations and translate documents and recordings. Spanish is the most in-demand tongue, followed by Japanese, Korean, Chinese and French. Deadlines are tight at times, but you are free to turn down anything. Gengo and similar agencies have a global client base—which means you can work in the middle of the night if that suits you.
What you bring to the table: The ability to read, write and fluently speak more than one language. You can find plenty of work in Spanish, French and Chinese, but the more obscure the language, the higher the demand.
Expect to earn: About $12 an hour. Translators working with technical or scientific content can earn up to $40.
How to get started: The website Translatorscafe.com contains a free online directory of translators and translation jobs. Just upload your resumé and list your rates and services. Jobs, which are posted daily, might include translating a tourism brochure or subtitling a movie. You apply directly to the hiring company. Or enlist an online agency such as the ones at gengo.com and verbalizeit.com. You select projects that fit your calendar and abilities.