Work when you want, where you want, and how you want. Work in your pajamas, never get out of bed at all, or work while you take a flight across the ocean to travel a new country. Work on your terms, with a level of flexibility that simply isn’t attainable in a traditional setting.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, it’s entirely real! Digital nomads are reshaping how work is completed in the modern world, and there’s no reason that you can’t be one.
Remote work with a flexible schedule has never been more popular, so if you’re interested in shifting your lifestyle to one that allows for far more freedom, then read on to see the sorts of professions you can explore and how much money you could make as a digital nomad.
What Is A Digital Nomad?
The name says it all—digital nomads are workers who are independent of location; they need nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection to complete their work. All of their professional communication is online correspondence, so their lives are incredibly flexible.
In an average 9-5 job, your life is ruled by work—every other plan that you make is centered around your work schedule. Digital nomads can tailor their work schedules to fit around the rest of their lives instead.
For example, if you work a traditional job and you have a friend coming into town for the weekend so you want to take off early on a Friday, you would likely need to ask permission from your boss. Someone who works as a digital nomad can simply start on their projects early in the day, or complete them the night before; there’s no set schedule so there’s no need to worry about a particular timeframe beyond meeting deadlines.
The great news is that contemporary workplaces in general are trending toward more flexibility. The statistics show that around 70% of workers telecommute at least part of the time already, and around 50% of all workers are projected to be remote by the end of 2020.
What Are Digital Nomad Jobs?
These are essentially remote jobs where you can work from anywhere and enjoy a great deal of freedom. Digital nomad jobs encourage exceptional work-life balance so that you have the ability to live the most fulfilling lifestyle possible.
If you’ve always wanted to travel the world but you haven’t had the funds, a digital nomad job makes it possible. If you just want the flexibility to move around and explore new areas before you put down roots, one of these jobs is ideal for that, too.
How Much Does A Digital Nomad Make?
Like any job, the amount that you will make as a digital nomad depends largely upon factors like your skills and experience. Another huge determining factor for your earning potential as a digital nomad is your work ethic—if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to drum up high-paying clientele, then you’re far more likely to earn a great deal of money every year.
Still, for those of you who are interested in the cold hard facts, there is an average range that provides some insight into what you could expect to make in one of these positions.
Around 22% of digital nomads make between $50,000 and $99,999 per year; 18% make more than $100,000. At the same time, 38% of digital nomads say they feel less financially stressed than they did in a traditional job, and 34% say they feel no change in terms of financial stress.
This means that more than 75% of digital nomads are at least as financially comfortable as they were working desk jobs (if not more so), plus they have the added benefit of total freedom in their lifestyle.
29+ Digital Nomad Jobs
The great thing about living in this era where technology is so prevalent is that there’s a digital nomad job that can fit almost any skill set. These 29 professions are some of the most popular (and most potentially lucrative) digital nomad jobs available today.
1. Writing services
Do you have a way with words, or a unique gift for helping brands convey precisely what they want to say? If so, you may be able to make it as a content writer, and the median pay for writers in 2019 was more than $63,000, so you can be financially comfortable while enjoying the lifestyle of your dreams.
2. SEO specialist
Search engine optimization is hugely important today; Google uses more than 200 different ranking factors, so if you can master those facets and help businesses optimize their sites, you’ll be an in-demand employee. This work requires some technical expertise and an ability to constantly adapt since Google’s algorithm is notorious for updating regularly.
3. Social media manager
Billions of people use social media every day, and brands need help managing their accounts so they appear authentic and relatable; if you have a knack for connecting with audiences in a personal way, you’ll thrive in a role like this.
It’s important that you have experience managing social media professionally if you’re hoping to take on one of these positions, or at least that you know the basics of digital marketing.
4. Virtual assistant
Everyone from high-powered executives to scatter-brained creatives can use a little extra help managing their schedules sometimes; if you’re great at keeping things organized and juggling multiple projects, you can forge a lucrative career as a virtual assistant.
These roles are especially great for burnt-out office managers and administrators who are tired of spending their days stuck behind desks when they could be just as efficient with nothing more than a laptop and a smartphone.
5. Graphic designer
If you have already mastered all of the most in-demand graphic design skills, like Photoshop and Illustrator, then you can easily find work as a graphic designer earning great money. You’ll have an easier time finding work if you have a relevant degree, but a portfolio of design samples will serve you just as effectively if you’re in the market for freelance projects.
Have you got the gift of gab? Are you especially passionate about a particular topic? Do people tell you that you’re hilarious all the time? Starting a podcast is incredibly simple and you have uncapped earning potential—all it takes is time, effort, and creative vision.
Once you start to get subscribers, things may start to snowball; before you know it, you could be earning a handsome amount money a year just to churn out one episode a week.
7. Web designer
More than 1/3 of website viewers will simply click away if a website design is lackluster or unintuitive, so businesses are willing to pay big money for solid design work. If you have an eye for aesthetics and an understanding of user experience, this is a great job for you, but most employers will want to see examples of past work to ensure that you can back up your bravado.
8. Web developer
Many coders will tell you that the most important soft skill you need in order to learn development is the ability to creatively problem-solve. From there, you can learn web development programs and start making serious money as a digital nomad.
9. Digital marketer
Lots of businesses look for employees that can wear many hats; if you understand everything from social media and content creation to PPC and SEO, then you can surely find a job as an all-around digital marketer.
More than half of all marketing professionals say video is the most important type of content, so if you can sharpen your editing skills, you’ll never have trouble finding work that pays well and you’ll be able to jump between projects with ease.
11. WordPress expert
WordPress has more than 1 billion active users, which means that there’s plenty of potential clientele out there if you can learn the ins and outs of this popular CMS; best of all, WordPress is incredibly user-friendly, so you won’t have a hard time mastering it.
12. Data Entry
If you have an analytical mind and you aren’t bothered by repetitive work, then data entry is the perfect way to unshackle yourself from a traditional 9-5 job without the need for an advanced degree or technical skills.
13. Market research analyst
Are you the naturally curious type, always trying to understand what makes people tick? If so, then you’re well-suited to work as a market research analyst. Businesses are always looking to better understand their audiences, and you can help them do just that by analyzing market research and making suggestions based on your findings.
Anyone with lightning-fast fingers and a mind to match will excel at transcribing; if you can hear something once and type it out flawlessly in real-time, you’ll make a great living in this profession. Transcribers are often paid by the audio minute, so the faster and more efficient you are, the more you will make.
15. Online teacher/tutor
One of the most common and flexible digital nomad jobs is online teaching, particularly teaching languages; this is something you can easily do at odd times while traveling because your pupils are often in other time zones, and you don’t need many particular skills outside of some education experience and a native language.
16. PPC Marketer
Businesses spend tens of billions of dollars on pay-per-click advertising every year, so if you’re great at punching up pithy one-liners to entice readers into clicking on an advertisement, you’ll excel in this field.
Accounting isn’t a new profession, but modern technology has allowed it to transition to a primarily digital format; of course, you usually need a relevant degree or bookkeeping experience to take on these roles, but if you have that, then seek out remote, flexible positions in this field.
18. Voice over
Ever wonder what it takes to get a job as someone who provides narration for audiobooks, or complete other voice work? The truth is, all you need is a clear speaking voice and a solid audio setup, then you can begin finding voice over work.
Copywriters often work for agencies that service a wide range of different brands; if you’re good at switching gears and coming up with engaging turns of phrase, then working as a copywriter is an excellent way to transition into your life as a digital nomad.
20. Customer service agent
Customer service has been trending toward remote work for a while, and it’s not hard to see why—you can just as easily answer a phone call or communicate on a live chat from home as you can from an office, so if you’re personable and good at diffusing tough situations, then this could be a great path for you.
One of the most flexible jobs of all is photography; if you have “the eye,” and the right equipment, then you can sell photos to news outlets as well as stock photo sites and earn a living without working for anyone but yourself.
22. Day trader/stock investor
In order to really make money from investing in stocks, you only need about $200 minimum to start; if you have a mind for numbers and you’re good at recognizing opportunities, you could turn small investments into major gains.
Never underestimate the value of your expertise or your encouragement; if you’re particularly experienced in a certain niche, or you’re a generally motivating person, you could forge your way as a coach or consultant.
24. App developer
Are you the sort of technically-gifted person who’s always noticing where there’s a gap in the market? If so, you may just have the hard skills and the creative mind necessary to become an app developer; even simple apps can earn you major money if they’re genuinely useful.
Believe it or not, you can easily run a dropshipping store without any physical location whatsoever; this means that if you love the idea of running a digital retail business but you don’t want to handle inventory yourself, you’ll find the best of both worlds in this profession.
If you have an advanced degree and you’re great at helping businesses solve real-world problems through mathematical equations, then you could be an excellent statistician.
27. Affiliate marketing
Those with strong social followings can capitalize on their reach with affiliate marketing; if you’re personable, trustworthy, and you like recommending products and services that will help your followers improve their lives, then you could earn thousands of dollars every single day through affiliate marketing.
Blogging takes hard work and concentration, but if you have a great deal to say about a specific topic, and you’re confident that you can contribute something meaningful to the conversation within a certain niche, then starting a blog is a great way to begin your journey as a digital nomad.
29. Conversion rate optimization
Businesses are always looking for ways to increase the number of sales that they close, so if you know how to analyze marketing and data, complete A/B testing, and read heatmaps, you can become a valuable player as a CRO.
Important Note: This is obviously not an all-encompassing list because the nature of digital nomad jobs means that they’re constantly evolving—new professions are continuously shifting to remote work, and completely unheard of careers are being born every day out of the modern landscape.
Still, this list is relatively comprehensive; chances are if you can sharpen your skills in some of these areas, then you won’t have any trouble in making the transition to a more flexible lifestyle.
Where to Find Online Jobs?
Once you’ve honed in on which types of flexible jobs are best suited to your skills and experience, it comes time to actually try and find work in that field. The good news is, there are plenty of available projects, you simply have to know where to look.
These are some of the best sites for finding digital nomad jobs of all sorts, particularly freelance work, which offers the most freedom of all.
As a freelancer on Upwork, you can make a free profile and begin searching for available projects in your industries of choice. When you find a job that appeals to you, you can offer a bid; the employer may reach out to you with more questions, or they may accept your bid outright.
Once you complete a job, you’ll receive a review from the employer. Eventually, you will have amassed enough reviews to signal to potential employers that you are trustworthy and that you complete high-quality work.
If you want to earn more jobs on Upwork, it’s a good idea to upload a professional-looking photo of yourself and to include some work samples; this will help put prospective employers at ease when it comes time to hire you.
To unlock full access to Flexjobs, you have no choice but to pay for an account, but it’s well worth it. Flexjobs vets all of the employers who post jobs on their platform, so you know that they’re quality positions.
As opposed to exclusively offering freelance or contract work, Flexjobs also posts fully remote and flexible schedule positions. Keep in mind that most of the positions on Flexjobs receive a massive amount of interest, so you should try to find creative ways to make your application stand out from the rest.
Much like Upwork, Guru is a great site to use if you’re looking for a super flexible way to earn a living. If your skills lie primarily in the development arena, then Guru is definitely where you want to invest your time—many of the projects posted on this site are geared toward developers.
One of the major draws for Guru is that you can find nearly full-time work lasting more than six months, or you can find fixed-price projects that will only take a few days; this gives you tons of flexibility to carry out the lifestyle of your dreams.
This site is the biggest online marketplace for freelance work, so it functions similarly to Upwork or Guru, just on a much larger scale. This comes with both pros and cons: you’ll have virtually limitless work to choose from, but competition will be steep. Likewise, you’ll have to wade through quite a few low-paying projects to find ones that are worth your time.
For the best luck on Freelancer, make sure that you check back regularly. New jobs are posted every minute, so don’t waste your time scrolling back through old projects—simply hit refresh. You should also be sure to leave as many past employers as happy as possible; high ratings will translate to more work in the future.
Fiverr takes a slightly different approach to the freelance marketplace model; it puts the freelancer in control of the situation by allowing you to market your services as a “seller,” and giving employers the opportunity to browse those services as a “buyer.”
When a buyer is interested in your listed service (known as a Gig), they will pay Fiverr in advance for it; once you have completed the service, the funds will be released to you.
To achieve success on Fiverr, you should structure your Gig offerings to be as clear and comprehensive as possible; offer multiple tiers of services, and be sure to meet every client’s expectations so you achieve high ratings.
These are just a few of the many venues where you can find digital nomad jobs. It’s worth noting that the sites which use a freelance marketplace structure (such as Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and Fiverr) will keep a percentage of your earnings as a sort of finder’s fee, but they’re an excellent tool for building up your clientele.
Once you have established a strong body of work as a digital nomad, you’re liable to find that you can raise your rates and boost your earning potential with time.
Just like all of the most precious things in life, it’s hard to put a price on freedom. Luckily, if you’re interested in transitioning to a more flexible lifestyle, you don’t have to assign a value to your freedom—working as a digital nomad where you complete your job remotely still allows you to earn a strong income in an industry that interests you.
Whether you’re a natural-born writer, an analytical developer, a super-organized assistant, or a patient educator, you’ll find that it’s easier than you ever imagined to find gainful employment that doesn’t require that you come into an office every day, or even stick to a strict schedule.
The whole world seems to be shifting toward a more tech-centric, nomadic lifestyle, so if you’ve always wanted more freedom and flexibility, there has never been a better time to explore a career that allows it.