It may seem like a dream job: Getting paid big bucks by tech companies to sit at home and play video games all day. Furthermore, there are online sites that say it’s entirely possible:
But is it really that easy to find a job, and make money, as a video game tester?
The harsh reality of video gaming
It may seem like sitting home all day and playing all kinds of cool video games would be a dream come true. However, most video gamers don’t last very long, and here are three big reasons why:
You are doing the same task repeatedly. Imagine watching your favorite movie, but instead of watching it from start to finish, you must watch the same 30 seconds of it over and over and over. Why? Because your job depends upon you finding bugs or errors. Should you spot some kind of issue with your video game at level 3, for example, you will need to reproduce that error and catalog where/how/when it occurs. Some bugs don’t always repeat, which can be maddening when you’re trying to prove they exist.
You won’t get paid a lot, if ever. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average salary earned by professional video gamers is about $50K/year. That sounds great, in theory…until you realize that these gamers have been gaming for years and years. Also, many gamers are programmers by trade, so they can not only spot a bug, but fix it.
In contrast, contracting and beginner video gamers earn $8-$10/hour. If they stick around a few years and prove their worth, their pay gets bumped up to about $14/hour.
You’ll rarely get to pick your gig. If you think you’ll be playing in-demand games like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty, think again. Sure, it’s not an impossibility, but games like that are usually handed off to senior beta testers who can quickly run through the game objectives and even fix the errors as they pop up. You, meanwhile, may end up testing a children’s puzzle game.
Crunch time means having no life. In the product launch world, there is a period of time, right before launch, called “crunch time.” This period of time is characterized by developers and testers putting in 18 hour days, getting little sleep, and barely seeing their families. As a tester, you might be asked to run through several different scenarios or to catch X amount of bugs…and all before Tuesday. Get really comfortable with your couch or office chair because you won’t be leaving it for a while.
With those disclaimers aside, it can be really fun and exciting to be a part of the video game testing world. Sometimes, you’ll score free games on top of getting paid for your efforts. You’ll also have the chance to connect with developers, programmers, and other gaming enthusiasts.
So, which companies can you sign up with to increase your odds of becoming a video game tester?
This rather promising company offers off-site gamers the opportunity to play top-notch games that have huge budgets and tight deadlines via its Global Beta Test Network. New GBTN jobs are posted weekly, and the only real requirements for applying are that you are at least 18 years of age and own one or several game consoles.
Akin to sites like Monster or CareerBuilder, Volt is a recruiting firm that matches applicants with suitable jobs. However, Volt goes one step further and also helps you polish up your resume and submission materials. You can also just post your resume on this site and receive notifications of jobs that match your qualifications and experience.
Its job board is free to peruse, and the site often lists video game tester positions that are available for weekly (or longer) terms.
You might assume that this site is only for freelance writing gigs, but Upwork also offers a good amount of game testing jobs. A quick search of the site using the terms ‘game testing’ pulled up the following results:
These freelance jobs are a good way to find out if you enjoy being a gamer, or if you might like other aspects of gaming, such as writing the product specs, generating content, or even marketing the games.
This agency often works with developers to test games- which means that it occasionally needs off-site game testers. Check the site’s gaming area for more information.
A final note about scams…
Because at-home video gamer jobs appear to be the ideal way to make money by doing nothing, various scam sites have latched onto them as easy bait. As a result, if you do a Google search for video game tester jobs, prepare to be inundated with “opportunities,” like the one featured above. Such websites promise you up to $100/hour for playing video games, while other scam sites try to charge you money to “teach” you how to find such jobs. However, unless you locate a site that teaches you programming or debugging skills, it is a waste of your time and money.
Can you believe you can get paid to listen to music? It’s like earning money even in your leisure time!
Just by signing up on the following websites or downloading applications on your smartphone, you can start making money for submitting reviews, providing detailed feedback to new artists, transcribing lyrics, or simply playing music on a specific site.
Read on, sign up for all of them, wear your headphones, and start earning!
14 Companies That Pay You to Listen to Music
It’s going to be a little challenging to simply throw on some tunes and rake in the cash (well, with the exception of #1 on this list who will pay you to do exactly that) but for the true musicophile, there are quite a few options below that will have you listening to music and earning money at the same time.
This website pays you not only for listening to the radio, but also for completing surveys, viewing videos, and completing online offers.
What’s especially beneficial with Earnably is that the site pays you bonuses and increases your payout options as you advance on the site. It takes just $2 in collected earnings before you can request a payout through PayPal or a gift card.
This site features up-and-coming musical artists who want feedback on their compositions. You get paid by listening to their music and writing honest, constructive feedback.
After you sign up on the site, you’ll be asked to listen to songs for at least 90 seconds, after which you’ll be asked to complete a review.
Slicethepie prefers high-quality, detailed reviews. Be honest about what you liked or disliked, comment on the specifics of the track (e.g., melody, lyrics, hook, vocals, instruments, etc.), and be as descriptive as you can.
If you put in a good-faith effort on your review, you won’t have any trouble making money with this site. Payment ranges from 2-20 cents per accepted review, with the minimum payout being $10 to your PayPal account.
Maximize your earnings by giving the site your full attention (running Slicethepie in the background reduces your payout), start writing the review as soon as the song starts to play, and try to stick to a formula so you can write the reviews quickly and you can earn more in less time.
You can also earn more by referring others to the site. For every review that your referred member writes, you’ll get a commission.
Want to help out artists while getting paid to listen to music fresh off the press?
With HitPredictor, you get to provide valuable feedback on new tracks before they’re released. Once your feedback is submitted and accepted, you’ll earn points that you can exchange for cash.
Your feedback is made available to the song’s artists, music producers, radio stations, record companies, record executives, etc. All the feedback is then used to make critical decisions about the artists’ careers.
You make 3 points for every song you review. Once you’ve collected enough points, you can trade them in for Amazon electronic gift cards, prizes in their prize store, and raffle tickets to sweepstakes where you can win more points or items from the Prize Store.
Also, for every 15 songs you rate in a 7-day period, you’ll earn an extra 15 points.
RadioEarn works as an internet radio that pays you to listen.
RadioEarn is funded by ads, and you will hear a couple every few minutes. Instead of keeping all of the ad revenue for themselves, they have chosen to give a portion back to their listeners.
Every 15 minutes, you will accumulate points that can then be redeemed for Amazon gift cards, Bitcoin, or cash sent to you via wire transfer to your bank.
If you have a website with a decent amount of traffic, you can place this radio on your website and invite visitors to listen. You get to earn points for these “listens” even if it’s not really you who’s listening.
Best of all, RadioEarn operates worldwide and allows people from all over the world to join and listen to their broadcasts.
On this site, you can get paid to listen to music via internet radio, as well as perform all sorts of online tasks, such as answering surveys, visiting websites, shopping, and even reading emails.
If you decide to listen to internet radio, you’ll earn money every time you enter the site’s CAPTCHA, displayed every 30 minutes. In the USA, you’ll be rewarded 3 cents per CAPTCHA fill; in Canada and the UK, the payment is 1 cent. Payout occurs once you reach a threshold of $20.
You’ll need to have the latest versions of your browser as well as Adobe Flash Player.
If you’re fluent in English and at least one more major language, RWS Moravia may have a job opening for you.
RWS Moravia is a division of RWS that specializes in delivering localized products and content to various companies worldwide.
They’re looking for song lyrics transcribers who will transcribe songs in their second language while adhering to certain style guides.
Their current openings are for those who are English speakers who are also fluent (as in native speaker-level fluent) in German or Japanese, but check back on their careers page to check if they’re hiring transcribers for your language.
You can get paid to listen to music through Current, a free music player app.
Listen to music from over 100,000 radio stations playing the world’s favorite songs and earn points that you can exchange for gift cards to various stores (e.g., Amazon, iTunes, Google Play Store, as well as retail stores such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Sephora, and many more) or for actual products.
Turning on the Homescreen Media Player also allows you to earn points. What it does is play music even when your screen is locked.
Other ways to earn points through the app include sharing your music preferences, completing surveys, and referring friends.
They claim you can make up to $600 a year just by listening to music, and while I can’t say if that’s true, this app is definitely worth downloading and checking out.
Cash4minutes is a website that pays its users to call a phone number and listen to a radio broadcast using their unused minutes on their phone plan.
You’re rewarded for every minute you’re connected to the selected radio broadcast. These rewards can go into PayPal, Amazon gift card, Bitcoin, direct deposit to your bank account, and even to charity.
The responsibility of making sure you’re using your free minutes rests on you, though. Make a test call first to see if you still have free minutes.
Cash4minutes pays roughly 8 cents per free minute you use to call and listen to radio broadcasts.
You can also earn from referring friends and acquaintances to sign up.
If you have playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube Music that people actually follow, Playlist Push wants to pay you for your opinion.
Playlist Push will pay you to listen to songs by indie artists, review these songs thoughtfully, and add them to your public playlists.
This way, you can get paid to discover new music for you and your followers, plus you get to help the next big indie artist get more exposure
The amount paid per song is based on the number of followers your playlist has and how active you are on the website. These are quantified in your Reputation Score. Depending on your Reputation Score, you can get paid anywhere from $1.25 up to $15 per song.
Other Ways To Get Paid to Listen to Music
Aside from these sites, here are a couple of other ideas for you to get paid to listen to music.
13. Become a music curator.
If you’re a music fan who has a diverse taste in music, love making your own playlists, and know or at least willing to learn how to use digital music software, being a music curator might be a great fit for you.
A music curator is someone who will listen, categorize, and organize music from different genres, artists, bands, labels, etc.
Essentially, you spend the whole day listening to music while getting paid for it.
If you become an in-house curator for a streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music, you’re expected to create playlists that have a common theme aimed to increase engagement and subscriptions to these streaming services.
On the other hand, if you’re curating for a radio station, you get to choose and schedule playlists based on the station’s format and its target listeners.
It may seem like you need to choose between promoting good music and popular music, but you actually have the power to help good music be popular.
To find music curator jobs, look no further than FlexJobs. They vet the companies that post job openings with them, so you can rest assured that you’re not applying to a sketchy company.
14. Become a music blogger.
Writing about music is yet another possibility if you want to earn while listening to music.
There are a number of ways you can blog about music; you can report on the artists, write about music trends, give the scoop on the latest music industry news, and many more.
But reviewing the music you want on your blog is probably the best way for you to get paid to listen to music.
Of course, aside from the writing and research skills to write high-quality content, you’ll also need to have some knowledge about music theory so you can critically analyze a song, an EP, or an album.
Final Thoughts on Making Money From Listening to Music
Let’s be frank: You won’t become a millionaire by signing up for any of these websites.
In fact, you probably won’t be able to make a living wage off them.
So don’t quit your day job just yet. Instead, treat these gigs as extra cash that you can make on the side.
To get the most bang for your listening buck, sign up for more than one, if not all the sites listed, especially those that ask for reviews. This way, you can listen to just one song and review it multiple times on different sites. Remember to change your actual review text as you hop from site to site.
Being a member of all these recommended sites will also provide you with a steady stream of gigs because not all sites have available reviews at all times.
Ever sat down on the couch (or lay down in bed, who are we kidding?) for a Netflix binge and wondered how those captions got there?
Nope, not magic. It’s someone’s job.
Traditional TV might be on the decline, but as streaming services and digital video content grow, closed captioning jobs will continue to be in demand in the foreseeable future.
Today, you’ll learn what closed captioning is, its requirements, and where to look for closed captioning jobs you can do from home.
What is closed captioning?
In the broadcasting industry, closed captioning is the practice of placing text on television programs that are occurring either offline or in real-time.
With offline captioning, pre-recorded programs, like movies and series, have their dialog broken up by frames and fitted into so-called time codes. These time codes enable the captions to sync with the frame dialog.
With real-time captioning, captions must be typed quickly and appear within two seconds of the words being spoken.
As such, captioners must be more adept at listening to dialog and typing exactly what they hear.
Such work, because it is more challenging, is also paid a higher rate.
In fact, closed captioning and subtitling are often used interchangeably.
Before I reveal closed captioning jobs from a number of legit companies, let me first clarify the distinction between closed captions and subtitles.
Subtitles are the exact words from the video’s dialogue in written form. They’re the written text of what characters, narrators, and other people participating in a particular video clip are saying. With subtitles, the transcriber assumes that a person reading the subtitle can hear the audio, but need help in following fast dialogue or understanding a foreign-language movie.
Closed Captions (CCs) also include all the dialogue word by word, just like subtitles. However, in closed captions, other supplemental parts are either described or written in text form.
With closed captions, the transcriber assumes the person reading the CCs cannot hear any part of the audio, which is why additional descriptions of the audio are needed.
These include background noise, coughing, a ringing phone, and other sounds heard on the audio. Even a character’s change in emotion or heavy breathing is detailed in closed captions, and sometimes even the background music.
Closed captions are typically used to accommodate an audience with hearing impairments, or if only a text format can describe the picture as a whole.
Real-time closed captioning is where you transcribe live videos or audio as it happens, more specifically around 2 to 3 seconds after the live version.
A good example of real-time closed captioning is how court cases and trials are officially documented.
Offline captioning is more relaxed because you don’t have to get it right seconds after you’ve heard the audio.
Requirements for Applying to Closed Captioning Jobs
If you’re trying to land a CART provider position, you’d have to be an experienced court reporter with extensive knowledge of CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) technology.
In the past, this position was exclusively office-based, but the internet has paved the way for doing this job remotely.
Generally, as a closed captioner, you must have:
Typing and stenographic skills – You do need to type fast and be accustomed to the stenographic shorthand (since it is used for live captioning equipment).
Listening skills – This is a must-have, particularly for live captioning since you only have a couple of seconds after the original audio was said to transcribe a text version.
Flexibility – Conversations are never 100% grammatically correct, so you have to be open-minded enough to leave the text as is and NOT correct grammar as you type.
In most cases, the company you work for will be providing software for closed captioning.
However, you do need to provide your own computer and reliable internet connection.
You may need an extra monitor (or TV), if your job requires you to watch live programs, read lips, or get another “look” while captioning.
It may help you to invest in a decent noise-canceling headset so you hear words more clearly and aren’t bothering your roommates or spouse with program noise.
A separate monitor helps too, enabling you to watch the action on-screen (and maybe even read lips, as needed).
It is rare to have work-from-home live captioning positions, but if you find one, you might need to buy your own steno equipment and other computer add-ons like voice silencer.
How Much do Captioners Make?
Glassdoor reports that the average base pay of a captioner is $14 per hour.
It’s important you know this as a beginner, so your expectations aren’t too high.
This rate gets better as your deliverable improves and you work more quickly.
Make some extra cash:
If you want to make some quick money on the side, the following three websites are all looking for new members to help shape future products:
Sign up with all three and you’ll be able to pull in some extra cash during your downtime.
This company hires offline and real-time closed captioners as independent contractors.
At least one year of prior closed captioning experience is required.
If you wish to perform real-time closed captioning, you’ll also be required to possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Court and Conference Reporting. NCRA certification as a Certified Broadcast Captioner (or equivalent) may also be needed to perform real-time captioning.
The pay rate with Captionmax is fairly good, at least according to data published by Glassdoor; caption editors earn $13.39/hour and proofers make $15-$18/hour.
Note that closed captioning jobs offered here are office-based, so apply only if you’re in the Minneapolis, MN area.
This company offers closed/real-time captioning, scripting, and foreign subtitles for movies and other programming, including the programming provided through big-name channels such as A&E, Big Fish Entertainment, PBS, and The History Channel.
Depending on the work involved, the pay rate goes as high as $140/hour (according to jobs listed on the company website).
Basic and starting captioners make $8/hour (according to Glassdoor).
To apply, fill out the contact form and express your interest in a job as a captioner.
You’ll need to fill out a form when sending your application, then wait for someone to contact you.
There’s no information about rates, but you’re guaranteed a legitimate position since Vanan Captioning has been offering voiceover, translation, transcription, subtitling, and closed captioning services since 2011.
This company offers captioning services for well-known clients such as Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Lifetime, and BBC America.
Because of its clientele, Vitac requires its offline captioners to have a bachelor’s degree and real-time captioners to possess a typing speed of 225 WPM.
The company offers a one-week paid training program that must be completed on-site at its Pennsylvania location.
In 2017, VITAC acquired Caption Colorado (a well-known closed captioning service provider), which used to pay freelancers around $11.25 to $30.00 per hour “based on speed and accuracy,” plus 401(k) plans, medical/dental/vision/life/disability insurance and health savings accounts for office-based, full-time employees.
National Capitol Contracting (NCC) specializes in high-quality, specialized communications and information products and services to companies in the public and private sector and has been providing real-time remote captioning for almost two decades.
The position is not on their Careers page; however, you can still apply and indicate your interest in the Remote Broadcast Live Captioner position.
CrowdSurf is consistently hiring new transcribers and closed captioners to turn audio into text and make online media more accessible for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. You get paid per task, and so the more you work, the more you earn.
To get started, you’d need to register with Work Market to take an assessment. When you’ve passed the assessment, you’ll be registered on the CrowdSurfWork platform, where you’ll post your work.
CaptionCall phones are optimized for individuals with hearing loss who need to read text to follow a conversation. The unit displays the text being spoken through voice-to-text technology, assisted by captioning agents.
They are currently looking to hire English-speaking and Spanish-speaking captioning agents to transcribe telephone conversations such that a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing can read what their caller is saying.
You can work in one of their 11 call centers or remotely.
How would you like to write greeting cards and get paid to do so?
Are you a pro at delivering just the right sentiment at the right time in written form?
Do you take photos or create images that are so gorgeous your friends often claim them as their own?
If yes, then you may have the necessary skills to make money as a greeting card writer, photographer, and/or designer.
Most freelancers don’t consider greeting card companies as a place where they can find online work. However, opportunities are definitely available.
Also, because there are many companies out there, you have a good likelihood of finding a fit between your talents and sentimental outlook, as well as the mission of the company.
While you’ll be hard-pressed to find out how much money you can get for accepted submissions, know that most greeting card companies offer compensation ranging from $25 to $300 per accepted submission.
How to Work for Hallmark
There isn’t a bigger name in the greeting card industry than Hallmark.
Unfortunately, they do not accept outside or freelance greeting card submissions. They hire in-office at their corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.
Comstock MarketPlace is an adult humor greeting card company, and they expect submissions to fall in that category.
You can submit artwork or photos via post or through email. The fee for each artist or photographer is negotiated separately.
For gag lines and ideas, they are best submitted on a 3 x 5 index card with a SASE to return your submission via post. They also accept email submissions as long as there are no attachments. The fee for gag lines is $50 per idea.
Leanin’ Tree accepts art submissions year-round for upcoming holidays.
This greeting card company offers in-depth information on submitting artwork for various holidays and other festive occasions, as well as the full schedule of upcoming deadlines on their art submission page.
Warner Press is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana that publishes various non-denominational Christian products, including greeting cards.
There are pretty specific guidelines before your submission can be considered, so make sure to adhere to their submission guidelines.
Where Else to find Greeting Card Companies To Work With
The Greeting Card Association is a trade association serving the greeting card industry and promoting the tradition of sending and receiving greeting cards.
They have an extensive member directory where the websites and addresses are included.
How to Successfully Get Paid for Your Art and Writing
The first skill you need to have is the research skills to look at the existing stock of greeting cards that each company offers. Look at the visual elements, design, writing, even the font they normally use.
Next, you’ll have to be able to decide whether your art or writing is a good fit for the companies you’re looking at.
Perhaps the most important skill that you need to learn when dealing with greeting card companies is reading and following instructions.
With few exceptions, companies who do work with submissions have specific guidelines: from the format to the content to where it is to be sent.
You may be a great artist and your work may look like a good fit, but if you don’t follow instructions, you might find it hard to find companies willing to work with you.
Lastly, you’ll need patience. Larger companies process hundreds to thousands of submissions, and even smaller, independent ones process dozens. It may take weeks before anyone gets back to you, if at all.
The Bottom Line
You’re not going to get rich writing or designing greeting cards, but it can be a fun hobby to earn some extra cash in your spare time.
If writing for greeting card companies doesn’t feel like a good fit, there are plenty of other ways to get paid to write.
And as for visual artists and illustrators, there are other freelance jobs that pay you for your creativity.
Does working with greeting card companies sound like something you’re interested to do? Which company above do you feel is the best fit for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!