Digital Nomad Jobs: 14 Popular Gigs For World Travelers

by Diego Navarro | LAST UPDATED May 21, 2021

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The digital nomad lifestyle revolves around a sense of freedom and a strong desire to explore something new every day.  

It's about having the flexibility to go anywhere you please and making a decent living while doing it. Although the digital nomad experience sounds like something most people can get behind, the truth is it's pretty hard to get up and running with long-term digital nomad jobs. 

The upside is we're about to tell you about the best digital nomad jobs, where to find them, and how you can expect to get paid. 

An introduction to digital nomad jobs

Digital Nomad Jobs infographic

No matter your background, the chances are high there's a digital nomad job opportunity that fits your skill set. These days, more and more companies are shifting to a remote worker structure, and professional opportunities abound in industries across the board.

While digital nomad opportunities used to be limited to a tech-savvy workforce only, today, there is something for people of all backgrounds and technical skill levels. The secret is knowing where to look and how to get started—which is why I wrote this blog for aspiring remote workers. 

After reading this article, I hope that you'll have a much better idea of where to start looking for digital nomads jobs and what to expect when you start working on the road. The more you take the time to get set up with a suitable remote working position now, the easier it will be to transition to a full-time digital nomad. 

But first, take a moment to jump back to our beginner's guide to digital nomads, in case you missed out on the basics. After that, you will have all the information to complement this digital nomad jobs listicle.

Digital nomad jobs: How to get started

Two women sightseeing.

Let's get this out of the way—it's a bad idea to start your adventure without a stable source of income. It's much easier (and way less stressful) to lock down remote jobs from home and then start your journey abroad after you're comfortable with your new role.

Having a firm grasp on your finances is essential for long-term digital nomadism. It's also vital to put together a weekly or monthly spending budget before hitting the road. And it's much easier to budget when you know your income status. 

A digital nomad can work from anywhere—this is part of the allure of the nomadic way of life. The only requirements are an internet connection and a computer or device. For most digital nomads, your day-to-day tasks require nothing more than a personal laptop and wifi, maybe a few software subscriptions—but that's usually it.

Best platforms for digital nomad job opportunities: Upwork, Fiverr, Linkedin

A person typing on a laptop.

Luckily, the market is not yet oversaturated with platforms to find reliable digital nomad jobs. The digital nomad job market is still tiny, but it's rapidly expanding. With growth comes opportunity, and there is plenty to go around the digital nomad job scene. But before getting into the jobs themselves, I will explain where to find them.

Without a doubt, there will be an increasing amount of apps and social media sites structured around remote work, but for now, there are three places digital nomads flock to for remote work opportunities. They include Upwork, Fiverr, and Linkedin, and they're all excellent places to find flex jobs that adhere to the demands of the digital nomad lifestyle. 

All three of these sites have job boards bursting with digital nomad jobs, so there's no reason you shouldn't be able to find full or part-time work. But first, I suggest taking the time to set up a legitimate profile and engage in professional networking in your chosen field. You could also look into online courses to stand out from the pack.

Additionally, it might also be a good idea to join Facebook groups on specific subjects because it's a popular way to find job postings in just about any city on the planet.

The 14 best digital nomad jobs

A woman on a job interview.

I should clarify that these are what I consider to be some of the best digital nomad jobs. This article is by no means an ultimate listicle of remote work opportunities. The truth is, everybody has a different skill set, and some lines of work will appeal to some people but not to others. 

I will do my best to explain the critical skills required for each job and note when the position requires additional coursework or specific certifications. 

That said, I'm pretty confident this list of digital nomad jobs has something for everybody interested in online business. You can feel free to add to the list however you might like, but in my opinion, these are without a doubt some of the most popular digital nomad jobs in existence.

1. Traditional Writer

A woman typing on a vintage typewriter.

The phrasing of this job may sound a bit strange, but we wrote it this way because there are a few different categories of freelance writers, and it's necessary to draw a clear distinction between each type.

A traditional writer decides what to write about, and they usually stay within the format of a classic book. In comparison, the other types of writers that we included in our list are given topics of interest by their clients, and they have to write within the boundaries of these topics.

The freedom to write whatever you like is the main reason why many people with pent-up creative energy tend to gravitate towards this particular digital nomad job. As a traditional writer, you'll need to get the attention of a publishing house (which very few accomplish) or can go for the self-publishing route before you can start making money. 

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is probably the most popular choice for traditional writers because it gives authors access to a larger pool of potential readers. 

Ultimately the choice is up to you, but working as a traditional writer as you travel the globe will require a lot of effort aside from research and writing. You'll need to find a publisher that will fund your venture or put up a sizable investment to publish and distribute the book yourself. After that, you may begin to see profits, but only if your book is well received.

2. Copywriter

A copywriter taking notes.

Copywriting is a branch of content focused on marketing the client's brand or product to readers. Contrary to what you might think, a copywriter isn't solely responsible for writing; the job also includes things like research and editing based on client feedback.

While client feedback and research seem like a natural part of the writing process (and they are), you might also need to add images to the article, research keywords or phrases, implement marketing strategies into the text, and so on. 

In essence, the job remains the same as our explanation - you write marketing material for a specific site or client. However, you might need to develop skills outside of writing and pay more attention to the advertising side of things.

That said, copywriters either take on multiple clients or sign a contract for a particular duration of time. In reality, your financial budget and work capacity largely influence how many potential clients you need to fund a full-time digital nomad lifestyle.

3. Content Writer

A woman with headphones working on a laptop.

If you're aspiring for a digital nomad job in the field of writing, listen up because this is where things get confusing. A content writer and a copywriter usually have the same general job description, require the same skills, and are asked to take on more tasks in the content creation process aside from writing.

Everything from the body of knowledge required to do these jobs to the general payment and employment systems is identical, but there is a significant difference.

Copywriters try to advertise and sell a product or service, whereas content writers teach the readers about a specific topic of interest. The client still decides the angle, and you'll need to do everything from the editing to the general market research on the subject, but otherwise, the goals are vastly different.

In all honesty, if you have the skills to make it as a content writer, then you can make it as a copywriter, and vice versa. The two jobs are interchangeable, but some prefer writing marketing copy over informative articles.

Your choice will depend on this difference, so we recommend that you give both professions a try and make up your mind about this digital nomad job after you have a bit of experience.

4. Graphic Designer

Two Apple monitors on a graphic designer's desk.

As a graphic designer, you'll need to be able to create eye-catching logos, covers, images, and a wide range of creative content in multiple formats.

Typical responsibilities for a graphic designer are creating and modifying logos and visual communications for promotional, educational, entertainment, or assigned purposes. Generally speaking, clients expect graphic designers to possess strong artistic skills alongside an acute knowledge of digital marketing tactics and effective branding. 

These days graphic designers need to be tech-savvy, creative, and willing to collaborate often. You'll need to regularly move in and out of creative teams and align your creative vision to fit each client and their brand. 

Like most freelance digital nomad jobs, graphic design work can be a one-off project or a permanent creative position, and there are plenty of job opportunities out there, especially in ecommerce. 

I should also note that hard deadlines are a common component of freelance work. Hence, a fast turnover rate that doesn't sacrifice quality is beneficial for any aspiring digital nomad.

5. Web Developer

A man writing code.

Web developers (software developers too) are the rock stars of the digital world, and a large part of their job is to create websites and applications using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript, to name a few.  Web developers also work to improve the user experience.

Undoubtedly, web developers are in extremely high demand across the board, and there's no shortage of freelance work and long-term contracts waiting for those with the necessary skills. 

If you're looking to advance your digital nomad job prospects, sites like Udemy provide some pretty comprehensive courses on many subjects, including web development and programming. 

If you want to work in this sector, you must have a deep knowledge of coding, software/app development, design and testing, site maintenance, and much more. Still, the qualifications vary depending on the type of programming and the job requirements.

Because developers are in such high demand, you don't need to use hiring platforms as much as other professions. All you need to do is roll up your sleeves, polish your resume, and hit a few forums to find work in this field. As long as you have the skills to back it up, it shouldn't take long to get set up working as a web developer as you travel the globe.

6. Web Designer

A MacBook and two Apple monitors.

While a web developer oversees the construction of a website or app, it's the web designer's job to make it visually appealing. Tasks may include configuring a web page's general layout, color scheme, and appearance. 

Suppose you're looking to break into the digital nomad job scene. In that case, web designer positions are an excellent place to start because as long as you have the baseline creative abilities, you should find many international work opportunities for good pay. 

Newbie web designers should check out popular sites like Bluehost or Generatepress because they offer a wide range of WordPress themes that save you time on the back end. Not to mention, they look nice. All you need to do is determine the best colors, composition, and balance for your client's brand and develop your design around a few vital concepts. 

Clients often divvy out web design work as one-off assignments or short-term projects. Sure, full-time positions exist, but generally, the industry is freelancer-forward, so expect to move from client to client if you plan to work as a wandering web designer.

7. Social Media Manager

A person with their back turned and social media bubbles around them.

The field of social media marketing is growing more every day, so if you spend your days engaging with influencers and chasing down the latest trends, this job might be the perfect way to fund your travels. 

A large part of a social media manager's job involves market research, writing posts, managing campaigns, and engaging with fans and users on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, YouTube, and other popular social media platforms. 

Another part of the job requires analyzing demographics and other metrics associated with targeted marketing campaigns, growth, and conversion. 

Social media managers need to work with many accounts and brands simultaneously, so you need to be creative and open to collaboration. I suggest you take the time to familiarize yourself with each brand and learn how to adapt to its identity and image.

That means you'll be writing lots of exciting posts, answering lots of questions, and spending countless hours scrolling through feeds and engaging with fans and customers.  

After a bit of time, your resume will speak for itself, but it's not a bad idea to also have a satisfied customer or two that you can use as a reference. 

Social media manager positions come in all shapes and sizes. You may land yourself a one-off gig, a 6-month contract, or maybe a full-time job. In my experience, it's also straightforward to start with a small job and gradually increase the workload as both parties begin to feel more comfortable.

8. Blogger

A flip notebook of some sort, a smartphone, and a pencil.

A blogger is a person that writes blog content for a website. Whether you own the blog, contribute articles, or ghostwrite content, the required skills are the same. A successful blogger needs to be an entertaining writer, possess a strong knowledge of SEO best practices, and be familiar with essential website management.  

If you want to become a blogger, there's a good chance you'll be responsible for writing, formatting, and publishing blog posts. Incoming bloggers should also conduct research, review web analytics, and learn various software and webmaster tools.  

If you decide to launch an independent website or travel blog, look into self-publishing platforms and website management services like WordPress and Squarespace. If you're a beginner and want to develop new skills in web design or basic coding, try Wix instead. 

In either case, these tools help you build new websites without much technical knowledge using templates, block editors, and other user-friendly design tools.

Remember that blog startup costs may include domain purchases and other related fees like server space, storage, or security features.

9. Vlogger

A person opening YouTube on their smartphone.

Vloggers are content creators that know how to make videos and post them to online social media sites like Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram. The content itself varies from creator to creator, making this an ideal digital nomad job for anybody with a video camera, active social media profile, and a creative drive. 

You can create a channel focused on your experiences in certain countries and maybe even include a few travel tips for anyone interested in going to the same places. The truth is you can make a vlog about anything under the sun. The key is to produce a steady stream of valuable content around your chosen topic.

With that said, video editing skills and software are an absolute must. And you'll need at least a device or video camera unless you're planning on hiring an experienced video editor for this online job. 

Vloggers make money off of sponsorships, YouTube ad revenue, affiliate marketing links, Patreon donations, and so on. Your earnings will directly reflect your viewing numbers, so it might be tough to get sponsors (and followers) if you're still new to the content scene.

10. Photographer

A woman with a camera.

Photography is one of the most popular digital nomad jobs. Anyone who enters this line of work should have a technical understanding of digital cameras, framing, and essential editing software. 

While it is true that anyone can enter this line of work, there's a massive difference between taking pictures for fun and doing it as a full-time digital nomad job.

It might not be evident to many people, but things like shot composition, proper lighting, and frame rate are pretty tricky to grasp. And it's not easy to get the visual quality many of your clients are after, so you're going to need a good eye alongside technical prowess. 

Mastering these seemingly basic skills can mean a great deal when it comes to the overall quality of the pictures and the amount of work you might get as a result.

You can find work as a photographer in every corner of the globe or do it entirely remotely. It depends on what you want to do, where you want to be, and your primary subject. Other options for photographers are to sell your photos online or take on a few editing gigs. You could also teach photography classes. 

Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that you won't be able to rely on your phone to go pro. If you're new to the photography game, I recommend any Canon DSLR/EOS camera to get you started. And don't forget to look into some editing software also. Most photographers I know use Adobe Photoshop.

11. Podcaster

A podcaster working at a digital audio workstation.

A podcast is a series of spoken word digital files about any given topic. A podcaster's job is to record, produce, and publish audio episodes for users to download or stream. 

Essentially, a podcaster's task is to present topics for listeners via interviews, monologues, and conversations. Most podcasters regularly release new episodes onto popular apps like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Audible, and Google Podcasts, to name a few.

If you want to work as a podcaster while you live as a digital nomad, there are a few things to consider. First, if you're going to make money in this line of work, you need to take the time to build an audience. 

You'll also need to be good at networking because a large part of your success requires you to host a steady stream of guests while keeping your listeners entertained and informed. 

After you have built up a loyal following, you can start to monetize your brand and earn additional income through Patreon submissions or even advertising. The point is, podcasting for your digital nomad job takes time to establish, so don't expect to make a profit from your podcast without first laying the groundwork.

12. SEO

Scrabble pieces spelling out SEO audit.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a process that leverages proven marketing strategies and optimization tactics to ensure a web page gets a better ranking on Google or other search engines. 

An SEO specialist must conduct extensive research and decide which keyword is best for any web page. Then, they must create or edit the content, so Google ranks it highly and for a large volume of searches. 

The process is in-depth, and SEO specialists need web analytics, content writing, and marketing skills. You'll also want to be comfortable with collaboration in this sector because SEO efforts are usually team-focused. 

An added benefit of SEO work is a longer duration of projects. Since many SEO tasks take several years to measure, these contracts usually span a longer time frame. 

Companies need SEO consultants to ensure that their site is consistently performing well, meaning that this is the choice for you if you're looking for a more permanent position. There is also no shortage of positions open in this field, so you shouldn't have any problems finding consistent long-term opportunities in the SEO sector.

13. English Teacher

A teacher in a classroom with kids.

Teaching English is arguably one of the most natural digital nomad jobs for anyone with English as their mother language. 

Of course, this isn't a requirement, and there are many people from countries where English isn't the official language that have a better understanding of the language than some native speakers. 

Honestly, anyone can teach English if they've been exposed to it from a young age and have a relatively good understanding of vocabulary and grammar.

There are tons of websites dedicated to English-teaching positions; you'll need to find one that caters to your trajectory. You'll need to decide your location and then get certified according to that country's specific requirements.

In most cases, you can get a job teaching English as long as you complete a basic ESL (English as a Second Language) course. If you don't have an academic background in teaching or languages, you'll need to visit TEFL or obtain the necessary certificates from a licensed affiliate.

14. Virtual Assistant

A man in front of a blue wall with HELP written on it.

The job of a virtual assistant is the same as a personal assistant, except you'll take care of project management tasks remotely. A large part of your daily responsibilities is scheduling appointments, taking care of general administrative tasks, and organizing documents, amongst other duties.

Virtual assistant jobs are on the job boards of Upwork or Fiverr, but there aren't quite as many opportunities as other digital nomad jobs.

Your hiring manager will most likely discuss duties and payment structure before you start, but it will depend on the nature and duration of the job. If not, remember to hammer out these details before starting because you don't want to negotiate payment after you've already begun a contract.

Standard payment systems for remote work

These days, there are many different ways to get paid for digital nomad jobs. While the primary method is money transfer, freelance location-independent jobs may require you to be a bit flexible with your payment structure. 

Although it's good to be easygoing with the payment method, please be aware of scammers and always take steps to ensure you get fair compensation. The easiest way to do this is to work with clients that adhere to well-defined contracts or upfront payment methods, as outlined below.

Contract Payments

A person signing a contract.

Before entering into any remote working arrangement, it's best to hash out a precise payment plan or temporary employment contract with each client.

This document will ensure that both sides stay true to their word, and the employer will pay out a certain fee once you have completed a predetermined deliverable or project. 

In most cases, you and the prospective client will work together to draft a contract, although there are many situations where the job platform manages payment structures without user input. 

Regardless, contract payments are the most reliable way to get compensated for freelance work while you travel because they're legally binding for both parties.

It's your job to find the right clients and negotiate a contract that's beneficial for both sides. It's also your responsibility to speak up when the contract terms are not to your liking, so proceed with caution.

Upfront Payment

Three dollar banknotes on laptop.

If you're worried about getting paid on time, upfront payments might be a better compensation structure. Simply put, upfront payments are a type of agreement where you get paid before completing the work.

If you want to find clients who pay upfront, I suggest checking out Upwork. On this platform, users can filter jobs by the type of contract, and one of the main options is fixed-priced jobs—which means an Escrow account will protect your income.  

As such, you can probably work out an arrangement where you get paid half of the agreed-upon sum upfront and the rest upon completion. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and the employer.

Some last words of advice about digital nomad jobs

A man and a woman seemingly working in a cafe.

As mentioned in the beginning, this article is by no means an all-encompassing list of the best digital nomad jobs. The purpose was to inform readers about the digital nomad job industry and share a few places to find freelance job opportunities. I also wanted to make sure you understood how you can get paid. 

Still, there's a high chance none of the jobs on this page interest you. If that's the case, at least you know where to start looking for opportunities better suited to your skills. You'll also have a much better idea of the expectations of remote work and a decent understanding of the most common payment methods.

If you'd like to learn more about alternative lifestyles and digital nomadism, pop over to our beginner's guides below for more engaging content. 

Diego Navarro
Diego became interested in a nomadic lifestyle during a semester abroad during college. He spends most of his time in central Europe and the American southwest (where his family is from). He loves exotic food and playing video games on his Nintendo Switch.

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