Amazon sent out a news release that they are planning to add 5000 new part time work at home jobs in their Virtual Customer Service program over the next year. They’ve hired people to work at home for the past five years, and this is a big expansion of that program.

One of the great parts about Amazon’s part time jobs is that they come with benefits if you work at least 20 hours a week. This includes paying 95% of college tuition costs for in-demand fields, even if they aren’t fields you would use at Amazon. Such employees also get the usual life, vision and dental coverage, plus funding toward health coverage. That’s a pretty wonderful deal for a part time job, since many don’t offer benefits to part timers.

Amazon has a focus on hiring military veterans and spouses, and of course the jobs are great for college students and stay at home moms and dads.

To keep an eye out for work at home positions at amazon, visit their jobs page and find the “Work at Home” link in the hourly positions section. The jobs currently available will come up. Sometimes they need people who speak a second language, such as German, Italian or Japanese. Some jobs are geared specifically toward college students in certain states. Others may be seasonal.

The jobs I see as of this writing require that you live in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin or Virginia. I assume that requirement will continue, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out in other states in case they expand it. The news release has a quote from an employee who moved from California to Washington state, neither of which are listed in the ads I checked, so I hope there will be broader openings.

Amazon’s current usual pay rate for customer service jobs is $10 an hour. Expect things to be busy… very busy, in fact, from November through mid-January, as that’s their peak season. You probably know how much people shop at that time of year, so be prepared for a lot of work at that time of year.