Online chat jobs can take many forms. Most are related to customer service and involve sales, product advocacy, online tutorials, or technical support. Customer service online chat jobs often are offered by the same companies that provide customer care via phone or typing. Because all communication is done via the internet, these jobs frequently allow employees to work from home.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have data specific to only customer service chat jobs, but in the broader field of customer service, about 25 percent of jobs fall into the categories of business support services and retail trade, which is where customer service chat jobs would be tracked.
The field as a whole is expected to grow about 5 percent during the decade ending in 2026, and this is about average for all industries, but the majority of that growth is expected to come from telephone call centers and other forms of online customer support. Again, BLS does not specifically track chat jobs, but customer service call center jobs, which are most similar, are expected to increase by 36 percent, which is considerably greater than the average for all industries.
Pay for these jobs tend to vary significantly, but overall, pay for customer service representatives in retail trade and business support services averages about $13 per hour, as of 2017.
Most customer service chat jobs do not require any more than a high school diploma, though some jobs may require some experience or knowledge in their specific fields. For example, if it's a job providing technical support for computer software or hardware, employees will be expected to have relevant knowledge. Hours for these jobs often are available any time of the day or night since many companies offer online support 24 hours per day. Even if 24-hour support is not provided, hours still are likely to be flexible.
At-home advisers working for Apple have the same employment status and benefits as those working on-site at one of Apple's properties. This is different from many work-at-home opportunities which involve being an independent contractor.
As Apple employees, at-home advisers typically are expected to work regular schedules with fixed hours.
One former adviser reviewing the job notes that the hiring process can take a long time and there often is a lot of competition for jobs. There are multiple steps in the interview process and candidates do have to take a test to demonstrate their knowledge of Apple products.
Pay for these jobs varies based on experience.
Like at-home advisers at Apple, Convergys employees are not independent contractors. Convergys, though, is unlike Apple in that it is not specific to one brand or type of product. It contracts with other businesses to provide customer service assistance.
Many positions are available with the company, some phone-based, some chat-based, some at call centers, and some from home.
Convergys agents are paid for training and receive benefits, including paid time off.
Previously known as Expert Global Solutions, Alorica has customer service chat jobs in its call center division. Very similar to Convergys, Alorica provides customer service support to multiple clients from around the globe, and its work-from-home employees are expected to work regular schedules. Full benefits packages are available for full-time employees.
ModSquad is a bit different from other customer service chat jobs. As its name implies, part of the services it provides includes moderating social media accounts for clients. Like online chat, this may include interacting with customers and helping to maintain positive social media presences for clients.
Like Convergys and Alorica, Support.com provides customer service help for clients. As of 2018, entry-level positions pay $9 per hour during training and $10.25 per hour after training.
Many of the work-from-home jobs provide technical support to customers, but Support.com also hires for work-at-home supervisory and sales positions.
Talk 2 Rep is another call center business offering business process outsourcing (BPO) services to clients, including AT&T, Lowe's, Sears, Procter & Gamble, Comcast, and more. Online chat is among the services offered, and the skills and experience needed for those jobs depend on the needs of the client.
Many of the positions they offer require employees to work from a call center, but there are occasionally some work-from-home opportunities available.
The teleNetwork outsourcing service uses both chat and phone to provide customer service in areas including technical support, billing, desktop support, online security, general support, and more.
Their agents are required to have Windows-based computers.