It’s that time of year again, a time for fir trees, twinkling lights – and cursing yourself for not living in a warmer climate. So why not consider getting a job that you can do from the beach?
Not only are there a ton of tourism-related jobs you can do from the beach, but thanks to modern technology, anyone with a laptop and wireless Internet access can set up shop on the beach.
And don’t underestimate the power a beautiful, relaxing setting can have on your creativity and productivity. German composer Richard Wagner apparently wrote his music in a villa overlooking Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea, Chinese sages are said to have written their poetry on island pavilions and some of the great tech minds of our time created their innovations in California’s Bay Area, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi points out in his book, “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.”
Feeling inspired? Check out these 12 Jobs You Can Do From the Beach.
By Cindy Perman
Posted 20 Dec 2010
Real estate can be done from absolutely anywhere, so why do it in a cold, windy city when you could do it wearing flip-flips and sunglasses?
Beach destinations are some of the most expensive real-estate markets in the world, from Malibu to the French Riviera. People will always want to buy real estate in these sun-drenched markets, so the work would be steady, and there’s a good chance you’ll boost your salary in the process.
On average, real-estate agents make $30,000 to $60,000, but depending on the market, you can make $100,000 or more, according to PayScale.com.
At the beach: Of course you’ll need to get licensed in that area, and you’ll need to get up from your beach chair to show properties, but your cold calls and online listings could all be managed using a cell phone and laptop.
Starting your own business requires a lot of creativity and inspiration, and what better place to get that than the beach?
Rob McGovern, the founder of CareerBuilder.com,said he came up with the idea for the company while on vacation at Bethany Beach in Delaware.
“I wrote the business plan for that company sitting on the beach – that’s when the idea came to me,” he said. “I’ve always thought my calling was to change the world – I just felt like I’d better go where I can make up the rules, then I can change the world!” he said. McGovern grew CareerBuilder into a $150 million company with 400 employees and is now on to his next venture, Jobfox.com.
At the beach: The sun and crashing waves are a great way to clear and relax your mind, and get the creative juices flowing. If you have a laptop and a phone, you can do everything from research to calling consultants, writing out your business plan and figuring out a budget. Take the flip flops off for business meetings, though, OK?
Floor traders are a dying breed – Gone are the days where you had to be on the floor or in the pits to execute a trade. Now, all you need is a laptop and an online-trading account.
Whether you’re dealing with your own money or other people’s money, trading is a high-stress job. There’s a lot at stake and you can lose it all in a heartbeat. Taking this high-wire act to a relaxing beach is a good way to dial it down and go easy on your heart.
Traders typically make $50,000 to $90,000, according to PayScale.com, but once you get going, it’s not hard to make six figures or more.
At the beach: All you really need is your laptop. You can check company earnings statements and read up on the latest news about the company or fund – everything you’ll need to determine if it’s a solid investment. Then, with your trading account, you can execute the trade and track its performance. When it comes right now to it, the only times you’d have to get up from your chair would be to get another drink or use the restroom!
Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to go to a corporate conference in the Caribbean or honeymoon in Honolulu? Well, guess what? There have to be people on the other side, physically in those destinations, to plan the event, from mini-bagel platters to AV systems.
Of course, this job isn’t without its stresses – from bridezillas to cranky corporate types and juggling all the moving parts, it’s a lot to manage. Not to mention, couples that elope last minute and expect you to make their big day special with just a few hours’ notice. The real perks are that you’re not trapped in a cubicle all day and at the end of the day, you can wash all that stress away with dinner on the beach.
Event planners typically make $30,000 to $50,000, according to PayScale.com.
At the beach: You’ll need an office, rather than a beach chair, as your home base for this job – mainly to store files and product samples as well as to take meetings. But who says you can’t have an office with a view of the beach? And stepping out for lunch just got a whole lot more interesting!
Vacation homes are great but the only problem is that while you may only be there a few times a year, the grass keeps growing the rest of the time. The roof still leaks, the washing machine goes on the fritz and the pool gets dirty.
Enter vacation home caretakers, an entire industry of people that take care of vacation homes while the owners are away. This sounds like an easy stay in paradise for people who otherwise couldn’t afford such a luxurious home. But this job requires mad skills: Caretakers need to literally take care of everything from routine maintenance to emergencies.
Home CareTakerin Palm Coast, Florida, for example, does whatever you need them to do, including grocery shopping, stocking the liquor cabinet, watering the plants, picking up fresh flowers, taking out the trash, checking mail, overseeing repairs, cleaning the house and pool, washing your car – even picking you up and dropping you off at the airport.
The salary for vacation-home caretakers varies depending on the services provided. It can be a modest per-month fee to just keep an eye on the place, a per-visit fee or an hourly fee for things like personal shopping and cleaning.
At the beach: This one isn’t so much a job you do from the beach as a job you do from a luxurious beach HOUSE. Hey, if you’re going to have to clean, shop and repair, might as well do it in style!
Data-entry clerks are always going to be in demand: Companies will always need people to input text and data, whether it’s medical records or invoices. The only requirements are that you be a fast and accurate typist. Since it’s really just you and the computer, many companies hire data-entry clerks to work from home. So, why not make your home/office at the beach?
The average salary is $10 to $13 per hour, according to PayScale.com, with some of the highest hourly rates in San Jose, Calif., Long Beach, Calif. And Miami.
At the Beach: This may be one of those jobs that’s better in an office overlooking the beach, since you may have a pile of papers or other material to be cross-referencing – stuff you don’t want blowing away!
Companies are always going to be looking to expand and that means they’re always going to want market analysis -- what’s working now, what’s not and where there’s room for growth. This type of work is particularly in demand for web sites.
“Managing a web site now has become a very analytical undertaking,” McGovern said. “Not just how many people are showing up but what are they doing when they come? Where do they abandon the process? What gender are these people? What city did they come from? What ad did they click on?”
“The people I have working for me at JobFox analyzing this data are really important,” McGovern said. “And with this particular job, there’s actually an acute shortage of those people.”
Market-research analysts can make anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 or more, according to PayScale.com.
At the beach: This is one of those jobs that can literally be done from the beach, using the Internet to do your research and programs like Excel and PowerPoint to present your findings to the company.
The media industry has taken a hit in recent years, and budget cutbacks mean news organizations, book publishers and other media are using freelancers more now than ever, so they don’t have to pay for pricey benefits or the real estate of housing another body on site.
So, if you’re going freelance, why work in a cramped apartment in a big city when you can work at the beach, an idyllic setting that helps foster creativity and concentration?
Freelance writers and editors make $25 to $50 per hour, on average, according to PayScale.com. Some companies may try to negotiate a per-project fee – the important thing there is to calculate how many hours you expect it will take, and ask whether the company is taking taxes out. If they don’t take taxes out, the IRS will get you at about a 50 percent rate, compared to the average 30 percent, so you’ll want to adjust your rate accordingly.
At the beach: This is another one that you can literally do from the beach -- All you need is a laptop, an Internet connection and a phone. If you’re receiving large files, like a manuscript, you may just want to make sure before you leave the house that your download is complete. And, every few months it’s not a bad idea to pop into the office and meet with your editors or bosses in person – Face time will help them remember you and keep you on the team!
It used to be that if you wanted to open a shop, you had to pay for pricey real estate in high-traffic areas. Now, with the Internet and the convenience of online shopping, all you need is a computer and a warehouse and you’re in business. And, those two items don’t even need to be in the same place!
In fact, by doing an online-only business, you’re saving money on overhead , not having to operate and staff physical stores.
A beach setting will help foster creativity for defining your brand, advertising and customer service.
At the beach: You’d probably want to get a warehouse inland and then take your phone and laptop to the beach – or get an office overlooking the beach. That way, you can make sure those customer-service calls are crystal clear, a sure way to keep ‘em coming back!
While some companies outsource their customer-service call-center operations to India and other overseas operations, others use companies like Alpine Accessor Arisethat uses work-from-home representatives.
Companies hire at-home reps to do everything from taking orders and reservations to providing technical support and handling “post-sale” customer service.
There’s no reason why your home couldn’t be at the beach, since you don’t have to report directly to the office. In fact, Palm Coast Dataactually requires its representatives to live in Florida! Some companies, like Hilton Hotelsand the Home Shopping Networkemploy at –home reps directly.
Customer-service representatives make about $10 to $15 an hour, according to PayScale.com. Alpine’s average rate is $9 an hour, but depends on experience and skills.
At the Beach: You’ll need a quiet location to work, since your whole job is about taking customer phone calls, so working right on the beach probably isn’t going to work. So, you get a place on or near the beach, where the view outside your window includes tropical foliage. Sure beats a grey cubical with a dying office plant!
There’s more than one way you could be a translator at the beach – not only could you literally be a translator for tourists but you could also be a freelance translator, translating documents, manuscripts, etc.
You might work for the government, law enforcement, a hospital or a private company doing business internationally. And, of course, publishers are always looking for translators to translate everything from magazines and books to web sites to broaden their audience beyond the English-speaking world.
You can search for a translator job through a regular job-listing site or through one that specializes in translators like Telelanguage.comor the American Translators Association. Translators typically earn about $13 to $25 an hour, according to PayScale.com.
At the beach: If you’re a translator for tourists, you’re going to be on the move, not planted in a beach chair, but the real perk is that your “office” is where other people go to vacation. For document or manuscript translators, all you’ll need is your laptop and a good dictionary/translation web site, just in case you need to look up a word.
Career coaches doing everything from helping people transition to a new career to coaching executives. Most of the work is done in one-on-one sessions and since CEOs and other executives keep tight schedules, career coaches do a lot of their sessions over the phone. Plus, they often do special seminars to create buzz about their business and attract new clients.
That means, there’s no reason why you couldn’t set up your home base at the beach. You just have to make sure that no matter where you are, you always have access to email and phone so that your clients can reach you.
Career coaches on average earn $100 to $150 an hour, according to the International Coaching Federation.
At the Beach: You can do your prep work from a chair on the beach, preparing questions, talking points, etc. for the executive. But, for the coaching session, you’ll probably want to take that call from an office so you don’t wind up with any unexpected, unprofessional background noise from the beach! Executives pay a lot for their career coach, and they need to know they have your undivided attention.