30 Best Digital Nomad Jobs – How to Work and Travel
Imagine never having to put in for holidays at work again. Instead, packing up and going where your heart desires. Working in cafes in Paris, under an umbrella on a beach in Thailand or living out of a van while travelling across Australia. If you work as a digital nomad the list is endless. In our internet-driven era, the list of jobs you can do is also endless. I’ve teamed up with a group of successful online workers to share the best digital nomad jobs so you can make money and travel the world.
Although you might think you need to be specially gifted to make the laptop lifestyle work for you, It’s really no big secret. The trick is finding a job that you’re passionate about and like everything else be willing to put in the hard work.
Finding this online world was something I worked towards for a long time and now found something I love doing and can’t wait to help you discover this lifestyle too.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on my disclaimer click here.
What is a digital nomad
If you noticed in the intro paragraph I used many words in place of “digital nomad”, that’s because everyone calls it something different. Whether you’re living the laptop lifestyle, a remote worker, location independent worker, working traveller or as I like to say a digital nomad. It all means you have the ability to work online while travelling.
If you’re a long term traveller, I bet you’ve bet so many people who have made this lifestyle a reality and know it’s a possibility. Although if you’re yet to leave the comforts of your home than it’s likely becoming a digital nomad seems like a dream for a select few. Or that work and travel doesn’t go hand in hand.
I’ve been a long term traveller for over 10 years, but I mostly held physical location jobs like ski instructing, working as a yacht stew and volunteering with Workaway and Worldpackers. Jobs like these are great if you want to stay in the one place longer and build a community, but if you’d prefer to be on the move and see more of the world a remote job is more your style.
Who’s cut out to become a digital nomad?
Let me ask you these questions:
- Do you want more time to travel?
- Do you wish you could live large portions of the year abroad?
- Have you previously quit a job to travel? (This was me!)
- Are you on a extended trip/gap or year abroad and wish you didn’t have to go home?
If you answered yes to any of the above finding a job as a digital nomad is something you should serioulsy consider.
It’s no walk in the park
Although getting paid to work and travel sounds like the dream life and with Instagram being the highlight reel of many travellers it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking every day will be full of sightseeing and adventuring. Although it’s important to remember you will still be working full time (or enough hours to support yourself).
To make enough income to travel without dipping into your savings you’ll likely be working at least 30 hour weeks. This means you need to set aside work hours as the weeks get by pretty quickly otherwise. Travel days often end up being longer than planned and the few hours you imagined you’d work fly by without realising and it’s the end of the day before you know it.
My biggest tip is to plan your work days and hours and travel around them rather than the other way around.
Best Digital Nomad Jobs with Expert Advice
1. Graphic Designer
What is a graphic designer
I’m sure everyone has heard of a graphic designer. It’s the perfect job if you’ve got a creative mindset. As online graphic creation is becoming more popular. Think social media graphics and ebooks there are plenty of jobs available for people without degrees. My favourite resource for creating basic graphics like these is Canva. It’s user friendly and has opened the world of digital graphics up to the everyday person. Graphic designers usually work on a freelance basis to make money but can run their own agencies or work for a bigger company remotely and full time.
Becki our graphic designer from Meet Me In Departures says,
Graphic design has always been a great option for digital nomads, more so now with businesses having to take their trade online due to the pandemic.
Traditionally graphic designers were mostly working on things like logos, flyers, posters as well as any other items for print. The industry has now diversified and I can be working on anything from ‘traditional’ design work to Pinterest designs, headers for Facebook Groups, stop-frame animations and illustrations for eBooks.
Most of the work is completed on a freelance basis, meaning that you are never guaranteed a set wage or hours. Sometimes I can be working flat out, and other times next to nothing. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork are great for starting out, but generally, I find that the rate is very low. So it’s best to use these platforms to build relationships with clients and get your foot in the door. I did this before launching my own graphic design company. You can also find work through Facebook and LinkedIn, small businesses are frequently asking for graphic design work to be completed. Ideally, you don’t want to undersell yourself, set a minimum you are willing to work for and stick to it!
To get into the industry naturally you’ll need to have some sort of creative flair. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree, there are many self-taught illustrators, designers and artists out there, but you will need to have more than just Canva under your belt. Some programmes to get savvy in are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and PremierePro if you want to go down the video route. You’ll also have to have pretty thick skin; if you take criticism personally, graphic design won’t be for you. Being diplomatic and patient are also good traits, clients are notorious for changing their mind which can be incredibly frustrating.
2. Virtual Assistant (The best digital nomad job – in my opinion 😉 )
What is a virtual assistant
A virtual assistant (VA) is a HUGE umbrella term for so many digital nomad jobs. Being a VA means you’ll be working with clients to help them with the online aspects of their business. You get paid either by the hour or per project, choose your own hours and the jobs you do – amazing
The jobs VA’s do range from general admin, social media and basic graphic creation through to more specialised skills like online business management, digital marketing, copywriting, Facebook ads manager and anything else you can imagine needs to be worked on in the online space.
I have written a comprehensive article on how to become a virtual assistant. I love so many things about being a VA, but what I love most is that I run my own business. I have the say about who I work with and how much to charge clients.
A new virtual assistant can expect to make around $20 USD/hour but the more specialised you become the more money you can charge. I know VA’s who charge upwards of $50/hour.
3. Online Tutor
What is an online tutor
We’ve all heard of people working as online English teachers (heck, who hasn’t given this a go even), but did you know you’re not limited to just teaching English online. If you’re strong in another subject people around the world are looking for you to be their remote working online tutor.
Online tutorer and digital nomad Kataja from Travel n History says,
Teaching has been one of travellers’ go-to jobs for decades now, with the most common being English teaching. But modern technology has made it so much easier, and today, you can teach people from all over the world, while you yourself travel all over the world.
All you need are your headphones, a laptop, and good wifi. And, of course, a good bit of knowledge in your chosen topic.
Many sites don’t require any technical training, just a well-filled out profile, and a video in which you talk about any experience you have. It can take a few months before anyone messages you, so it’s best to keep your price low at first – and be patient.
Working as an online tutor, you can expect to start at about $10/hour a few hours a week. Once you get a few reviews, this can easily pick up to $20 – $30/hour, several hours every day. However, your prices also depend on the subject, and how much demand there is for what you’re teaching. Mathematics, for example, will make more than language teachers.
Perfect for digital nomads, online tutoring allows you to set your own hours. You just choose when you’re available, and students can book lessons within those times. There’s definitely less control than a normal 9-5, but this negative is far outweighed by the pros.
4. Online English Teacher
What is an online English teacher
As a digital nomad online English teacher, you will teach children or adults English through a video or audio channel. Depending on the company you teach English for they will likely have their own interactive platform. Many of the companies will hire you and find students to add to your classes. VIPKID is a popular platform for North American’s and I recommend Whales English for other nationalities. When I worked for Whales, they had an amazing support team and pair your up with a teachers aid for any questions or concerns.
You get paid by the hour and have the opportunity to earn bonuses. The bonuses vary by company but are usually awarded when trial based students sign up to the school, you teach a certain number of classes per week and have a running track record of return students.
Carley our expert online English teach from Home to Havana says,
Long one of the most popular forms of employment for those looking to live abroad, teaching English as a second language is easier than ever for more mobile digital nomads with online teaching opportunities through companies like VIPKid. Created to fill the demand in China for children’s English classes with native English speakers, VIPKid is a fantastic opportunity for digital nomads because of its flexibility and decent earning potential.
VIPKid contracts have no minimum teaching requirement and offer bonuses as teachers increase their monthly class numbers. Teachers can expect to earn between $16-22 an hour and can teach as many hours a week as they want to – part-time or full time. Teachers are able to work from any time zone, though students book classes in the afternoon hours in China when students are home from school, and all day on the weekends.
While it generally takes around two to four months to build up a strong base of regular students, it is easy to book out a number of the classes you want to teach from there. Requirements for teachers include at least a year of teaching experience of any kind – prior experience teaching English is not required, nor is a formal teaching degree or certification. Teachers must have a four-year university degree in any subject, and have an English accent from the United States or Canada, as well as work authorization in the United States or Canada. With a good internet connection, headphones, and a computer that won’t fail on you, VIPKid is a great option for digital nomads.
5. Social Media Manager
A social media manager is responsible for a brands online presence. It will be your responsibility to raise awareness, recognition and create engagement on various platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. You’ll use analytics to see what is and isn’t working and may be required to come up with a strategy to reach specific outcomes and goals. Social media managers usually work for one company full-time but more often will have a few clients and work as a freelance digital nomad.
One of the best things about this job is that it can take on any form and shape. You can just do the basics – such as regular posting to social media on behalf of a client and have as many such clients as you please. Alternatively, you can get employed full-time and include things like customer support, advertising, sending out newsletters, or even copywriting. All these activities are interconnected. That’s why it’s also difficult to say how much you’d earn. Well-established social media managers can have a comfortable income of thousands of dollars.
To get into the industry, you need to be proactive, learn and practice. Take an online course, watch what successful brands are doing, and establish a Facebook or Instagram page to showcase your work. You can become a virtual assistant since social media management is something bloggers often happily outsource.
At the beginning, until you learn the tricks of the trade and practice enough, you might need to charge less per hour that you’d like. Starting even at $20 per hour might sound low, but it’s easy to bump up your fees once you gain experience.
You can manage social media in any industry you could think of. Find job listings on sites such as UpWork, People per hour etc. Be prepared for continuous learning, since all social media are constantly changing and you need to keep up to stay relevant. If you do, you can look forward to a comfortable job with enough freedom to travel the world – just like me last year in Koh Phangan Thailand.
6. Pinterest Manager
What is a Pinterest Manager
A Pinterest Manager is a specialised social media manager. Rather than running the accounts of all social media platforms for a client, you will focus solely on Pinterest. Pinterest is actually known as a search engine and functions differently to Instagram and Facebook, there is a lot of strategy involved and can be great fun to delve deep into this world. Most Pinterest managers will make money by working for a few clients designing pins, implementing profile audits and creating a strategy to get higher click through rates to websites.
Digital Nomad Pinterest Manager, Kelsey from Sights Better Seen says,
A job as a Pinterest Manager (also known as a Pinterest Virtual Assistant, or Pinterest VA) is great for a digital nomad. Almost any business can utilize Pinterest! And, although there are certain times of day that are the best to post you can easily get around that by using a Pinterest scheduler. This means you can work from any timezone!
To get into the industry, I’d recommend taking at least one Pinterest course. You’ll need to learn how to create eye-catching pins, Pinterest SEO, stay up to date on the algorithm changes, and more! I highly recommend joining Pinterest VA groups on Facebook to connect with other managers and ask questions.
You can expect to make anywhere from $300-$1000 USD per client per month once you’re more established, along with an extra one time setup fee. The prices you charge differ depending on how many pins the client wants per month, whether you’re making pins or just writing the descriptions, and whether you need to set up the account from scratch or work with an existing one.
Making a comfortable income really depends on how quickly you can find clients. You may want to have an account to ‘practice’ on first that you can charge a discounted rate. Once you become more confident, you can start networking and finding more clients! To find clients, I’d suggest creating a website and Instagram account for your Pinterest services and following people in the niche you’d like to work with.
7. Create location-specific websites
Steve from SkiResorts.net is an expert at creating location-based websites
Any digital nomad staying put for more than a couple of months should consider setting up a location-based travel website.
Digital nomads have unique advantages when it comes to this niche: most have the necessary equipment and technical knowhow and they, perhaps uniquely, can be an expert independent voice about that location.
Tourist offices and hotels mainly paint an idyllic scene and concentrate on their own messaging. But digital nomads are learning about a new place – exactly what other potential travellers want to know. And – if they are lucky – they may be the only person providing that information in their mother tongue.
What do you need to start? Laptop, smartphone (for videos and photos) and internet connection are standard equipment for any digital nomad. Other than that, a basic technical knowledge of how to set up and edit a website.
How do you earn money? Once you get decent traffic, display ads and affiliate marketing revenue can provide a direct income stream. Or the website can act as a calling card for other ventures. Use it as proof for skills at creating sites or social media marketing, language proficiency for translation, or abilities in photography and video.
How much can you make? A professional location-based site with an audience will, at a minimum, be a digital property with value. If your travel sites end up being insider tips for places like Lyon or Lima or Liverpool, they can earn enough to buy a place in your own favourite location.
8. Travel Blogger
What is a travel blogger
A travel blogger is someone who wears many hats. You’ll write about the adventures you go on, take photos, share on social media, create your websites and becoming a digital marketing guru. Travel bloggers earn money through ad revencanvaue, affiliate marketing, selling their own products and sponsored posts/trips.
Josh and Sarah travel bloggers from Veggie Vagabonds say,
Without a doubt, one of the best jobs to fit in with the digital nomad lifestyle has to be travel blogging. They complement each other perfectly, living life on the road and creating content from each new destination as you go.
I’ve been blogging for the last 3 years and I’ll never look back. It’s a job that requires me to constantly seek out adventure, embarking on cycling challenges around the world and spending winters hiking in France whilst taking my online community with me for the journey. I don’t think you can beat it!
The beauty of blogging is that anyone with a computer can do it. You don’t need any qualifications or certificates, just creativity, a passion for making digital content and entrepreneurialism. As a digital nomad, you’ll constantly be surrounded by fantastic inspiration and this is why it works so well.
You can make your blog about anything you want, which again fits perfectly with life on the go. If you move to Japan, you can write about Japan; if you get a job in Israel, you can write about Isreal.
I know what you’re thinking there must be some catch… and there is: people have to enjoy reading your blog. It’s by no means an easy income source or a quick money fix. Actually make a living from it can be hard work.
It requires a surprising amount of different skills to develop a blog worthy of people reading. For some, it can take years to build a reliable income whilst for others, it might never happen.
Still, I think if you love to travel, are passionate and aren’t afraid of hard work then it can be the perfect job for digital nomads!
9. Travel Influencer
What is a travel influencer
A travel influencer is someone who shares their travel stories through social media. They earn money through product/travel sponsorships and affiliate marketing.
Dymphe our travel influencer from Dymabroad says,
One of the best jobs for digital nomads is becoming a travel influencer. As a travel influencer, you create photos and videos that you then share with your followers. Furthermore, you’ll share your stories and thoughts with your followers. You can earn money by cooperating with brands to promote their products, go on paid press trips, or sell your own products and services. The platform that is best for and most used by travel influencers is Instagram.
The reason why it is great for digital nomads is that you can do it from anywhere. You just need your camera and you can shoot photos and videos! For example, there are many beautiful photo spots in Paris. Thus, you are not depending on a certain location.
What travel influencers earn depends on many factors. For example, the rates for sponsored content depend on how many followers you have and the type of content you produce. The products you sell yourself also differ in what income they can generate. The more you work with brands and/or sell your own products, the more you earn.
To become a travel influencer you have to learn how to shoot photos and videos. Furthermore, you have to find out what people like to see and follow. Also, you need to post a lot of content and do so consistently, so it can be beneficial to create a buffer, such that you never run out of content!
It can take a long time before you can make a decent income. In the beginning, you won’t have enough followers. When you reach a certain amount of followers, you can expect to earn a lot. Before that, you can already try to earn some money in other ways, such as affiliate codes.
10. Software developer
What is a software developer
A software developer, sometimes called a computer programmer is a person who writes the code on a program or app. They can create software from scratch or come into an existing program to update the user experience and adjusting design and fixing issues. The world of data is growing rapidly and software developers are in high demand.
Dzangir from Dr Jam Travels, our expert digital nomad software developer says,
Software development is a great option for a Digital Nomad. First, it is easy to find a job because on the employment market there is bigger demand than supply. Also, working from home or any other location is not a problem as long as you have a computer and access to the internet. So you can find work easily and do it almost anywhere in the world.
Of course, you must be able to write code in one of the programming languages (java, .net, php, …). If you are a Digital Nomad you have more or less flexible options. One would be to move to a new continent, find a job there and discover surrounding countries, i.e. Bangkok and travel around SE Asia. A more flexible option would be to move more constantly. But that would mean you are not able to work in bigger teams on more complex projects, because of different time zones and an unreliable internet connection.
If the lifestyle of Digital Nomad is what you would like to pursue it would be a viable option if you are a programmer. Just have in mind what additional things you should take care of, like taxes, visas, health insurance, accommodation and cultural differences.
11. Remote Web Developer
What is a web developer
A web developer is someone who builds web pages and solves tech problems. There’s a lot of opportunity to make good money as a web developer as many online buisness owners aren’t super tech savvy. They are happy to open their wallets and pay for the service.
Web development sounds complicated and scary but if you have an eye for design and love solving problems this is something you can absolutely learn. A lady I went through the virtual assistant internship with has given you this great article with the top tips to becoming a remote web developer.
One of the top courses that helped her and my other VA friends to head down this niche is the GeekPack course. Julia will take you from having zero tech knowledge to writing a whole website in code! The success stories I have heard come out of this course are incredible. So if you’re remotely interested in becoming a digital nomad and going down the web development track, I’d check this one out.
Other digital nomad jobs
The best digital nomad jobs for writers
14. Content writer
17. Data Entry
Remote jobs for creatives
21. Artist (My fav travelling artist is Sophie Tea – if you don’t know her, go check her out <3 )
Jobs focused around the online world
23. SEO Specialist
25. E-commerce Store
26. Affiliate Marketer
27. Facebook Ads Manager
28. Digital Marketing Consultant
More ideas for remote work