Finding work from home jobs is a challenge. It’s a matter of finding employers who hire people with your skills, and then hoping that you catch them hiring. Few people find this a simple process, as jobs are scarce while scams aren’t.

But what if you need more skills to get a work at home job? Should you pay on your own for work at home job training?

Honestly, that depends on your skills and the kind of job you’re looking for. If you want to be a medical transcriptionist and haven’t done that work before, then yes, you need to get some training… and a good look at the industry so you know where it’s headed. On the other hand, if you simply need to improve your typing speed, there are ways to do that for free.

Simply put, quality training that you pay for on your own may absolutely be worth it. Some jobs effectively require it, or at least some proof that you know what you claim to know. Other times, training yourself at home is absolutely acceptable.

Don’t Employers Train You?

Of course, there are jobs out there where the company will handle your training… up to a point. Most companies don’t train you completely from scratch, no qualifications necessary. They train people who are capable of the basics, maybe even have experience in the area or a similar one. The more qualifications you have, the better off you are. That’s true whether you work at home or outside of it.

Consider a customer service work at home job. Of course they’re going to train you to work for the particular assignment, as well as with the equipment and software you’ll be using with them. But they still prefer people who have worked in customer service positions before. It’s easier to train people who know the basics of the work, if not the specifics of the job.

Think about it this way. If you wanted to become a computer programmer, would you balk at the notion that you might need a college education or some other quality technical training for the job? Admittedly, that’s a much more demanding job in terms of education than many, but the principle applies. It’s  not unreasonable for employers to expect a certain degree of knowledge from their employees, if they so choose.

What Is Unreasonable?

That doesn’t mean anything a work at home employer expects in terms of training is reasonable. Certainly they shouldn’t tell you to pay for your own training. If you’re an employee rather than an independent contractor (a very important distinction to make), they should offer paid training. How this goes with independent contractors may vary, and is something you should consider when looking at home based work.

If an employer wants to to pay for your own training, you should have some options in the matter. If not, it’s a huge red flag for a scam. If the training is specifically for the company, you shouldn’t be paying for it, but going back to the medical transcription example, if you’re learning to do the type of work in general, you may have to get it on your own before legitimate employers will even consider hiring you. Training on the specific equipment and software used by a company shouldn’t cost you anything and you may even get paid training.

If something about the training situation in a work at home job feels wrong, check things out carefully. How you get trained can be a part of a work at home scam. There are companies out there which expect you to work for them as a part of your training, and will only pay you when the quality of your work meets their “standards” which of course never happens. Any legitimate employer will pay you for the work you do, even if it’s to see if you’re capable of the work.

In short, pay careful attention to the need for training when applying for a work at home job. How it’s handled is a good way to determine whether or not a job is likely to be legitmate or if you need to do further research.