One of the most commonly asked questions about the travel lifestyle is what kind of digital nomad careers are even out there.
And, look, let’s get one thing straight out of the box:
There are many paths to living the location independent life, and finding a traditional job as a digital nomad is just one of them. Many nomads actually prefer to start freelancing since it can be a smoother transition versus having a remote job. Others go the online entrepreneur route.
But I personally went the remote worker route and got a full-time remote job to fund my travels.
To help you find your perfect remote career, I wrote up a list of the best digital nomad job boards, and then I pulled together this epic guide covering 23 of the most popular careers for digital nomads traveling the world:
23 Digital Nomad Careers You Can Pursue While Traveling
1. Online English Teacher
Teaching English is a popular way to travel the world. Even though you can do this in-person in countries like Thailand and South Korea, you can also do this online.
An online English teacher has more flexibility to travel to different parts of the world.
One super popular platform is VIPKid, where you teach English to Chinese students using the video learning platform. Apply today and you could be earning a remote income a week from now!
👉 Wondering Where to Find These Digital Nomad Gigs? Then check out our list of the best websites to find digital nomad and travel-friendly work. You can even search companies hiring remote workers for full time jobs right now!
2. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is one of the most popular ways to get started as a digital nomad. It’s usually a freelance position that does various business tasks.
Some examples of virtual assistant tasks include:
- Inbox management
- Schedule meetings
- Social media management
- Preparing reports
- Database entry
- Project management
A virtual assistant helps with any administrative work, so the business owner can have more time to do other tasks.
3. Copywriting & Content Writing
First, let’s clarify what I mean by copywriting vs content writing.
Copywriting is content written to make a sale.
Remote copywriting jobs often include writing marketing material like landing pages, emails, website copy, advertisements, and brochures.
Basically, if it ends with “Buy now” it’s copywriting.
Content writing focuses on inspiring and educating an audience and not necessarily making a sale. Content writing includes blog posts and social media captions.
Both forms of writing are useful, and every business needs copywriters and content writers.
If you know how to write, there are TONS of remote opportunities these days.
4. Social Media Management
Social media management is another popular choice. You could manage business accounts across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Every business has slightly different needs, but primary job responsibilities include:
- Creating content like images and captions
- Scheduling content
- Analytics reporting
- Content calendars
- Responding to messages and comments
- Hashtag research
It’s also a fun way to build a community online, which is a valuable part of any business.
Do you know more than one language fluently? Become a translator and travel full time while you’re at it!
You might have more success with translation work if you focus on one or two niches. (For example, legal documents or medical translation).
You could also be a proofreader and ensure that translations are accurate.
6. Graphic Design
Competition in this area is fierce. If you want to stand out from a crowd, then you should make a portfolio of your best work. (I talk more about portfolios later in this post.)
Graphic designers can make documents like advertisements, infographics, ebooks, logos, and social media graphics.
Programming requires a lot of technical skills and can take some time to learn, but there are a lot of different ways that programming can start digital nomad careers and it may be the single best skill you can acquire to ensure your long-term employ-ability as a remote worker.
Some programming jobs include:
- Web Developer
- Software Engineer
- App Developer
- AI/Machine Learning Engineer
- Cloud Engineer
There are lots of digital nomad bloggers out there.
With blogging you can earn income through ads, brand collaborations, and affiliate marketing.
Starting a travel blog seems like the most popular option, but you could also start blogging in other niches like food, fashion, tech, or whatever topic you find interesting.
You only need to invest in a website, hosting, and a domain name to get started.
Earning an income from blogging is a long-term strategy, as it can take some time to build an audience. I wouldn’t count on it as a great source of income in the beginning.
9. Web Design
Web design is slightly different than web development. Web design may involve only creating the design and strategy. Web development usually focuses on only building the website.
However, a lot of web designers do both. They design and build your website on platforms like Squarespace or WordPress.
You may or may not know how to code as a web designer. Squarespace websites don’t need coding, and there are a lot of drag-and-drop website builders on WordPress.
10. Customer Service Representative
Digital nomad careers in customer service is an excellent way to start your journey. Remote customer service representatives are becoming an increasingly popular job with companies.
You could help customers via phone, email, or chat. Some duties include troubleshooting tech problems, resolving customer complaints, answering customer inquiries, and selling products.
11. SEO Specialist
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of getting websites ranked on the first page of search engines like Google or Bing.
SEO is an exciting world since the rules are always changing. Google is continuously making updates that SEO specialists will need to stay informed about these changes.
Companies are willing to pay you for SEO expertise since having their website on the first page of Google or Bing will lead to increased traffic, which could ultimately lead to more sales. Out in the nomad world, you’ll find lots of SEOs who travel full time.
12. Online Ads Specialist (PPC/Facebook Ads)
Another lucrative option is online advertising. If you know how to run ads on platforms like Google, Facebook, or Instagram, then you have a valuable skill for many businesses.
You could find work in this area, or you could take it one step further and create an ad agency.
13. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a popular option for influencers, bloggers, and content creates. You promote a product on your blog or social media channels, and if a person buys it, then you get a commission.
It’s a passive income option, but it’s a hard one to accomplish. You need to create a large audience first. It takes time to build a brand, or to rank an affiliate site on Google, and it is a lot of effort over the long term.
So don’t expect becoming an influencer to be a get-rich-quick scheme.
14. Email Marketing
Another popular marketing niche is email marketing.
Businesses need help with many email marketing tasks like:
- Segmenting email lists
- Newsletter creation
- Making email funnels
- Increasing their opening rates
Popular email marketing software includes MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and MailerLite. Learning how to use the software and creating email campaigns can make you a successful email marketing specialist.
A business consultant is another remote work option. A consultant analyzes a business, seeks room for improvement, and create action steps to help companies to perform better.
A consultant can specialize in a lot of different fields like:
- Environmental issues
Consulting is a job where it’s easier to find work if you specialize in one field. The possibilities for consulting are seemingly endless
eCommerce is an online store. There are a lot of ways to set-up an online store and make money from it.
Some popular eCommerce examples include:
- Dropshipping (You sell products on your website, but the inventory is kept and shipped from a manufacturer’s warehouse)
- Sell products on platforms like Etsy
- Print-on-demand shop
- Amazon FBA Seller
Dropshipping stores and Amazon FBA seem to be the most popular location independent jobs in the eCommerce world.
17. Podcast Manager
It almost seems like every business has a podcast these days. It’s good news if you have the skills to produce and manage a podcast. A podcast manager could end up with any of the following responsibilities:
- Audio editing
- Writing show notes
- Podcast script writing
- Finding guests for the podcast
- Managing the editorial calendar
- Designing show graphics
- Promoting the podcast
- Forming brand sponsorships
There’s a lot of work involved in getting a podcast out into the world, and if you have the right equipment, you can take it on the road with you.
You could offer your services as a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions for a business.
It’s a little different than an accountant. Accountants usually interpret and analyze financial data.
Both of these jobs can become remote work if you have the skillset for it.
Similar to consulting, there are a lot of different coaches out there. Coaching is different from consulting. Coaching involves mentoring someone in a specific field for that person to achieve a personal or professional goal.
Some popular coaching niches include:
- Life/Personal Development
Pretty much any industry can have a coaching job. There are even video game coaches.
If you specialize in something, then consider becoming a coach and helping others become better people or professionals
20. Travel Agent
Travel agents can sometimes work for agencies, but they can also freelance and find their clients. They can even travel full time!
Travel agents can help clients plan their vacation and assist in buying tickets, hotels, and tours.
A lot of travel agents find success by niching their expertise to a specific geographic area.
21. Course Creator
Creating online courses is one of the popular remote jobs that you can do. It takes a lot of time to create a class, but it can make you a lot of passive income.
There are two ways to publish your course. You can post in places like Udemy, or you can host your class on your website.
Udemy has a broad audience already, so it doesn’t take much work to find people interested in your course.
You could earn more money by hosting your course, but it could take a lot of time and effort to build an audience on your own.
22. Community Manager
Community management is like a blend of customer service and social media management, but it deserves its spot on this list.
A community manager is responsible for engaging with a business’s online community. It can either be in Facebook groups or responding to comments on social media channels.
There are a lot of different remote jobs that involve editing. Some examples include:
- Video editing
- Audio editing
- Copy editing
If you have a keen eye for detail and can give constructive feedback, then you might enjoy this type of job.
Where to Find Digital Nomad Gigs
One of the biggest struggles with becoming location-independent is where to find digital nomad jobs. There are a few ways of accomplishing this, and it all depends on what will work best for you.
Here are my four tips on finding your desired gig:
1. Use Remote Job Websites
You can always find a job the good old-fashioned way and look at job boards. You might find success in familiar online job boards like Monster or CareerBuilder. I managed to get a remote job from a listing on Indeed. However, you might have more success by focusing on job boards that are solely focused on digital nomad jobs. It’s a lot easier to find remote jobs this way.
I wrote a full list of 25 Digital Nomad Job Boards worth checking out, but here are our top 3 favorite sites:
FlexJobs is our top pick for finding remote work. They investigate every role that gets posted to ensure that it’s a legitimate job and not a scam.
👉 Pro Tip: If you want an in-depth look into FlexJobs, check out our full FlexJobs review.
FlexJobs is also way more than just a job board. There are also services like:
- Career tips
- Weekly Q&A Coaching
- Resume Review
- Email notification on new jobs
FlexJobs even finds job opportunities from countries outside the USA, which makes it internationally-friendly.
Jobspresso makes our list because it’s free to sign-up. You can find digital nomad-friendly empowers here in different industries, including marketing, customer service, project management, writing, sales, and more.
There’s also an option to upload your resume so employers can find you. It’s simple to use Jobspresso and find something that works for you.
We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely claims they are the largest remote work community in the world. It’s the ultimate source for remote jobs, and you can find a lot of high-quality full time digital nomads jobs here.
The downside is that jobs on We Work Remotely may get competitive. It’s not unheard of for a job listing to get over 100 applications on the first day.
2. Ask Your Current Employer If You Can Work Remotely
You might be in a situation where you love your job, but you hate being stuck in a cubicle every day. You could ask your employer about the possibility of taking your job remotely.
It won’t work for every job position, and it may depend on your company culture if you can pull this off.
It wouldn’t hurt to ask either way. The worst your employer can say is no.
You should present a strong case. Here are some questions that your employer might ask and you should have answers for them:
- How will you stay in contact with your team? (Email? Conference calls? What will work for you in the long-term?)
- What are the benefits to the company if you work remotely? (Some studies suggest productivity boosts when working from home)
- Could we do a trial period? (Your employer might be more open to letting you work-from-home one day a week instead of for months on end. Start slow and then increase your remote working days as you prove that you can still be productive)
Networking is a tried and true method for finding a new job. One survey said 85% of employment used networking to fill positions.
The same goes for finding location independent jobs. People are more likely to hire someone they know to fill remote positions.
So how can you use networking to find digital nomad jobs?
These are a couple of tips on how to network:
First, start with who you already know.
Do you have any former employers or co-workers who are working remotely? Or maybe you have a family member who seems to know everyone in the industry.
Get in contact with these people and let them know you are looking to work remotely. They might be willing to help you with finding digital nomad jobs.
Next, remember the goal of networking is to form relationships.
If you start a conversation by asking for a job, you might be doing it wrong. Get to know a person and their career, connect with them on LinkedIn, and follow-up occasionally.
In the long run, this person could remember you when it’s time to hire a new employee.
Tips for How to Start a Digital Nomad Career
So you found a digital nomad job that is perfect for you. Yet remote jobs are far more competitive compared to traditional employment.
How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
Here are a few of my tips on how to get hired:
Create a Portfolio
Depending on your field, a portfolio is a great way to differentiate yourself from everyone else. Even if an employer doesn’t ask for it, send it anyway.
I have a writing portfolio that has gotten me multiple interviews. I’ve had people tell me that my portfolio is what got me the interview.
Select some of your best work and compile it. You can create a website to showcase it or put it all together on a PDF.
If you don’t have any work to make a portfolio, then start making mock-ups. If you want to be a web designer, create a few example website pages to put in your portfolio.
It does help a potential employer see what you are capable of doing.
Work That Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short and sweet speech about who you are and your skills.
It should be 20-30 seconds long. Don’t make the mistake of giving your whole life story because no one cares (Sorry, it’s true). It should provide a brief overview of how your unique skills can benefit a company.
Every interview has the question, “Tell me about yourself,” and an effective elevator pitch can help you showcase why an employer should hire you.
Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter
When it comes to your resume, it may be overkill to customize it for every job opportunity. It’s especially true if the job has similar skills.
However, it can be helpful to tweak it occasionally. You should focus on how the job needs your specific skill set.
Some employers use an applicant tracking system that filters for keywords. It may be beneficial to edit your resume to use the same keywords that that job description uses. It can help you get your application noticed.
Cover letters should always be unique to the company.
Take the time to learn about the company’s mission and values and address that in your cover letter. You should also showcase the results that you’ve gotten for past employers to help you stand out.
Full time jobs that let you travel full time are competitive but attainable with effort!
Prepare for a Video Interview
More often than not, your interview will happen over video. Employers like to know you are a real person, and seeing a face helps with establishing a connection.
Sometimes it’s a phone call, but you should prepare for a video interview. It means that you should check that your internet connection is strong enough to handle video streaming, and your microphone is working.
The good news is that you only need to look professional from the waist up. (Hello, sweatpants.)
FAQs About Working as a Digital Nomad
How Can I Tell If a Remote Job Is a Scam?
Unfortunately, some remote job postings are scams designed to get money or personal information from you. Here are some things to look out for before applying:
- Research the company. If you can’t find any information on the company (like social media channels or reviews), then it’s probably not legitimate.
- They offer ridiculously high pay for little work
- The job description is vague
- Check their website URL. Sometimes scammers have convincing knock-off websites of well-known companies, so you should verify that you are looking at the official website.
- You may be asked for personal information too early in the job interview process (Like your social security number, date of birth, bank account number, etc.)
- They may ask for payment to cover expenses like background checks, training, or software. A legitimate job covers these expenses themselves.
What Companies Pay You to Work Remotely?
There are hundreds of companies that have a remote team.
FlexJobs has a massive database of companies that hire remote employees before. It’s worth checking out since FlexJobs has spent years researching companies.
They also categorize their database by job category. It makes it easier to search for companies that might need your specific job skills.
Some companies are well-known for having remote teams like:
The best way to figure out if a company hires remotely is to research them online. Resources like Glassdoor can show if digital nomad jobs are possible with that company.
What Is It Like to Be a Digital Nomad?
A lot of people idealize being a nomad as working by the beach every day with a pina colada nearby.
It isn’t true though. You still have a job, and you can end up chained to your laptop to finish a project and meet your deadline
Many nomads do not do the “full time travel’ thing.
But if you can indeed work from home, home can be anywhere in the world. It’s the biggest perk of location-independence.
Using technology has enabled people to have a more nomadic lifestyle. For the first time in modern history, people can do their jobs from foreign countries, coffee shops, or the comfort of their homes.
Being nomadic can be liberating for some people, but it’s not always for everyone.
For example, some people struggle with being away from friends and family. It’s something to consider before becoming a digital nomad.
Pro Tip: Do you need help being productive as a digital nomad? Check out our blog post “Productivity Tips for Digital Nomads” to learn our tips.
How Much Do Digital Nomads Earn?
Digital nomads can make as little as $10 per hour to making more than $100,000 per year. In fact, one in five digital nomads makes more than $100,000 per year.
Nomad jobs are just like traditional jobs where the salary can range. It depends on what you do and how many years of experience you have.
In the FlexJobs survey, they reported that 60% of digital nomads make less than $50,000 per year.
If you work in a country like Indonesia or Thailand, your living expenses are lower than living in Western countries. You might have more disposable income as a remote worker in a foreign country, even if you are making below $50,000.
What Are the Highest Paying Digital Nomad Jobs?
You can make any digital nomad job into a six-figure career. The more skills and experience you have, the more money you can earn.
I know some writers who make less than $10 per hour and other writers who earn $100+ per hour. It honestly depends on what your skills can do for a company.
Some jobs may pay higher though. Here are some high paying digital nomad jobs to consider:
- Software Development
- Web Development
- Digital Marketing
- Web Designer
Do Digital Nomads Pay Tax?
Taxes for digital nomads are tricky. Each person has a unique situation depending on their citizenship and where they stayed during their travels.
You can’t avoid taxes just by moving to a different country, especially if you are a US citizen. The US is unique as they have a citizen-based tax system. You need to file for taxes every year, even if you don’t live in America full-time.
Each country is different, and you would need to talk to someone who specializes in taxes from your home country.
Can I Really Work Anywhere in the World With a Remote Job?
Yes, you can really work anywhere in the world with a remote job. However, you should carefully research if there any restrictions before taking on a remote position.
For example, some companies want you to work within specific time zones.
If a company wants you available during business hours in New York, then you are going to really struggle to work from Southeast Asia. (Although it may be perfect if you plan on traveling in Central and South America.)
Make sure you and your employer are on the same page about time zone expectations to avoid any problems.
Are You Ready to Start Your Digital Nomad Career?
Digital nomad jobs can take some time to find, but they are well worth the effort.
A FlexJobs survey scovered that 88% of digital nomads say that their lifestyle has made a considerable improvement or positive impact on their lives.
The first step to finding digital nomad jobs is to start looking for them.
We think FlexJobs is a great place to start. Sign up now and save 30% on your subscription using the code “SAVE30”
That’s it for our epic guide to digital nomad jobs!
Want to know more about becoming a digital nomad? Check out these other posts:
- Nomad Cruise Review: Is It Legit?
- Why Georgia is the Next Big Digital Nomad Destination
- How to Stay Eco-Friendly as a Digital Nomad