The 14 Best Jobs for Digital Nomads (And Where to Find Them)

by Diego Navarro | LAST UPDATED May 21, 2021

A man with a laptop relaxing in the sun.
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The digital nomad lifestyle is one that’s centered around a sense of freedom.

It’s the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want while being able to lead any sort of life that you might want to.

People who choose to become digital nomads are usually thought of as having an adventurous spirit and filled with an almost overwhelming sense of wanderlust.

Digital Nomad Jobs infographic

While this may be true, there are quite a few things that people gloss over when it comes to the whole picture of the nomadic lifestyle and the sort of burdens that it brings along with it. But what about jobs for digital nomads? Are they actually working?

The Fantasy

Two women sightseeing.

Realistically speaking, there isn’t a person out there that hasn’t thought of leaving everything behind and hitting the road with little more than the clothes on their back.

From office workers to construction workers and every career in between, most people probably fantasize about becoming a wanderer at least once a day.

All of us have at some point sat down for a drink and have talked about the places that we’d like to visit, only to have our friends share their own dream destinations with us as well.

The point that we’re trying to make is that every single person alive has a bucket list that’s chocked full of exotic locations that they’d like to visit.

We live in a great big beautiful world, so it’s only natural that we’d like to see as much of its breathtaking scenery as we can manage during our short stay here.

However, wanting to travel and wanting to live life as a digital nomad are two very different things, and people that aren’t prepared for life on the road don’t last very long.

The Reality

A person typing on a laptop.

Unless your family is rich or you managed to win the lottery, there’s no such thing as an easy-going lifestyle.

Traveling the world is definitely a more fulfilling endeavor than spending most of your time in the office working a job that you hate.

But the reality is that you’ll still be met with a lot of everyday annoyances on the road, including the necessity for basic utilities, rent or housing costs, potential health issues, and so on.

And keep in mind that we haven’t even mentioned the whole bag load of new issues that you’ll have to deal with as well.

This new list of issues includes everything from locating a new place where you can live or camp out when you move to a new location to financing your lifestyle and much more.

We’ll cover the monetary aspect in more detail further down, but our point is that even if you do have the savings to be able to live on the road for an extended period, there are still going to be difficulties.

We cover the issues of road life in much more detail in another article, but in short, there are 3 major issues aside from money that you need to consider:

  1. Health insurance can be challenging to obtain if you don’t have a constant place of residence or a standard job with an employment contract;
  2. Constantly moving around can lead to a pretty solitary existence, and while you’ll meet a lot of new people, if you only stay in any one place for a short time, then you won’t be around your new friends for long.
  3. Life on the road gets hard. Some people get lonely, others start to miss home, but while most people differ in the amount of time that they can keep traveling from place to place, sooner or later, everyone needs a break.

If all of this isn’t enough to stop you from packing your toothbrush and making travel arrangements, then you might need to know a few things before you set off.

Getting a Job

A woman on a job interview.

Looking for a job while on the road will likely be a bit too late since you need a stable income before even starting off.

Knowing where your finances stand can really help you make a better travel plan, and it’ll allow you to get a better picture of where you can and can’t go and what your daily spending budget looks like.

A digital nomad is characterized by working from anywhere, as long as they have at least the bare minimum when it comes to equipment and wifi.

This means that depending on your preference, working as a freelancer can allow you to either choose a more stable full-time job or something a bit more temporary.

We’ve gone ahead and looked through the job boards on Upwork, Fiverr, Linkedin, and many other sites and have created a list of jobs that would be perfect for the nomad on the go.

Payment Systems

Strictly speaking, there is only one way you can get paid for the job you do, and that’s via money transfer into your account.

Location independent jobs aren’t very compatible with cash or cheque payments due to the fact that most of your clients will probably be in another country.

While you might not trust banks or wire transfers, we can all agree that crossing borders just to get paid on hand is pretty unrealistic.

We do, however, like the skeptical way that you think and believe us when we tell you that that’s going to serve you pretty well when you do freelancing work online.

The reason for this is simply because payment for remote work is not guaranteed, and unless you take certain precautions, the chances of getting scammed are quite high.

This is why there are essentially only two ways that you can ensure that you won’t be stiffed by your clients and be appropriately compensated for your hard work.

The payment systems that we titled this section after are what we call - contract payments and upfront payments.

Contract Payments

A person signing a contract.

Before entering into any sort of job or working arrangement, it’s best to hash out a payment or temporary employment contract with your client.

This document will ensure that both sides stay true to their word and that the employer will pay out a certain fee in response to a specific task being completed by the employee.

The exact wording of the document itself will be determined by both you and your client, but a consensus will naturally need to be reached before any signatures are put to paper.

This is by far the most reliable payment method for remote workers, and it also ensures that your client’s interests are equally as protected, making it a win-win for both sides.

Keep in mind that for one reason or another, certain clients are still likely not going to want to engage in a binding contract for what they might consider menial part-time work.

It’s up to you whether or not you choose to walk away from that sort of client at this point, but if you want to give them a second chance, then you can offer them a different solution.

Upfront Payment

Three dollar banknotes on laptop.

This payment method is as simple as its name - you get paid for the work that you do ahead of time.

However, the new issue that arises is that remote jobs often have a revolving door policy for clients.

What we mean by that is that you’re likely going to charge clients more often than you change your socks.

This sort of environment doesn’t naturally lend itself to blind trust, meaning that your clients will be skeptical as to whether or not you’re going to keep your word.

While this method ensures that you don’t get cheated by seemingly potential clients, it does little to make the employers comfortable with such a one-sided arrangement.

As such, you can probably work out an arrangement where you get paid half of the agreed-upon sum until you deliver at least half of the completed task, whereas the second half will follow from both sides after some level of trust has been established.

Again, the specifics of such a deal will be up to you, but under no circumstances should you leave payment for after all of the work is completed, especially if you don’t have any history with a client.

“Where to Find Them”

Before we get into the jobs themselves, we should address how you would locate the jobs in question.

A kid looking through binoculars.

Now, you should already have figured out that we’re not actually going to point you to real-world locations in California or maybe Thailand that are hiring.

What we will do, however, is add a small comment at the end of each job description that explains how you can get the job in question and whether or not you’ll most likely be working in a freelance capacity or as a more permanent part of the team.

We’ll also point out what kind of skills are required for each job and additional courses that you might need to take to qualify for some of them.

Aside from that, the most convenient way that a digital nomad can find a job is to hop on to Upwork or Fiverr since they are the go-to places for finding flex jobs.

Additionally, it might also be a good idea to join Facebook groups on specific subjects because any community like programmers or translators will likely post job openings there.

The Best Digital Nomad Jobs

We should clarify that these are only what we consider to be the best digital nomad jobs.

People have very different skill sets, and some lines of work are going to appeal to some people but not to others.

That being said, we’re pretty confident that we managed to include something for everybody and made a list that’s got a decent number of technical jobs, as well as more creativity-focused ones.

You can feel free to add to the list however you might like, but in our opinion, these are without a doubt the best digital nomad jobs that you should try to go for.

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 coming up, and it’s necessary to draw a clear distinction between them.

What we classify as a traditional writer would be a person that chooses the topic of what they write themselves.

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 a lot of people with pent-up creative energy tend to gravitate towards this particular job.

As a writer, you can attempt to get the attention of a publishing house, which very few actually manage to accomplish, or you can go for the self-publishing route.

The most popular choice when it comes to publishing a book on your own is probably Amazon.

The main reason why this option is so popular is due to the large number of potential buyers that you can gain access to if you make a deal with Amazon.

Ultimately the choice is up to you, but making it as a traditional writer will either mean putting in a lot of effort until you get noticed by a publisher or putting up your own money to get the book that you wanted to write off the ground.

2. Copywriter

A copywriter taking notes.

The main purpose of copywriting is essential to market the brand or products of the client to the reader.

This is the short version of the job requirements, but the long version is a bit more lengthy and creates a bit of confusion.

Contrary to what you might think, a copywriter isn’t solely responsible for writing; the job also includes things like research on a given topic and editing the article after feedback from clients.

Now, while these seem like a natural part of the writing process (and they are), you might also need to add images to the article, do research on 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 simply being able to put words to the page and might need to pay more attention to the advertising side of things.

Copywriters can usually take on multiple clients at a time, or they can choose to sign an exclusive contract with a specific client and work with them for a certain period of time.

That being said, while you can’t be under two contracts at the same time, you can still work full-time for a certain company and have a freelance writing hustle on the side.

3. Content Writer

A woman with headphones working on a laptop.

This is where things might get a bit confusing.

A content writer and a copywriter usually have the same general job description, require the same sorts of skills, and are asked to take on more tasks in the content creation process than simply write.

Everything from the body of knowledge that’s required to do these jobs to the general payment and employment systems are pretty much identical, but there is a major difference.

Copywriters try to advertise and sell a product or service, whereas content writers try to teach the readers about a specific topic of interest.

The client still decides the topic, and you’ll still 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 pretty interchangeable, but some people will 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 afterward.

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 other promotional materials.

Nailing down what a graphic designer does is pretty difficult since the best way that we can put it is that they are hired to create a memorable logo or any other marketing material that a company can use for promotional purposes.

This means that becoming a graphic designer will not only require skills when it comes to the artistic side of things, but it will also require an acute knowledge of trends and marketing tactics.

You’ll need to be a bit of a marketer yourself since you’ll be required to create something that the client will believe fits their brand.

Graphic design can either be a one-time job where you get paid for a certain project that you were commissioned to do, or it can be a more permanent affair.

You can choose to take on a full-time job for a company or client where you’ll be requested to create multiple pieces of promotional materials depending on events or sales that they might be hosting.

The permanent employment positions usually come with more perks, like health insurance, but that will all depend on the clients themselves.

5. Web Developer

A man writing code.

The name and the job description are pretty much the same thing in this situation. 

Web developers are hired to create software and apps for specific sites and companies, and they’re usually in high demand both in terms of freelance work and as a permanent part of a team.

The reason for this is simply because the skills that are needed for this job require you to have at least completed a course on a certain subject.

The exact length and qualifications of the course will vary depending on what sort of programming you’re intending to go into, but at the very least you’ll be required to have a comprehensive understanding of the job before choosing to apply anywhere.

Sites like Udemy provide some pretty comprehensive courses on a lot of subjects, programming included, so that’s probably the best place to start.

We should also mention that the difference between a programmer and a developer is that a programmer is assigned to coding, whereas developers are responsible for coding, as well as software development, design and testing, site maintenance, and much more.

Because developers are in such high demand, you don’t even need to use any hiring websites in order to find employment since all you really need to do is go to pretty much any online programming forum and you’ll more than likely come across an opening.

A skilled developer also has the luxury of picking jobs however they like, meaning that you can reject an offer that doesn’t quite appeal to you without being afraid that you won’t manage to land another gig.

6. Web Designer

A MacBook and two Apple monitors.

A web designer is actually a profession that’s more similar to a graphic designer than it is to a web developer.

In fact, aside from the fact that both jobs center around websites, there really aren’t many similarities.

A web developer is hired in order to create features and options for a site, whereas a web designer is only responsible for the general layout and appearance of the site.

This means that while you’ll still need to be well versed in the ins and outs of the job, you’ll have an easier time getting into this field of work.

Not to say that designers are any less skilled or deserving of praise as developers, but the online courses that you’ll need to complete are generally much easier to speed through.

The main reason for this is because most WordPress or eCommerce sites already have pre-created templates that any aspiring webmaster can choose from.

Sites like Bluehost or Generatepress give you all of the tools that you’ll ever need to make a fantastic-looking website, all you need to do is put those tools to good use.

You’ll still need a good eye for colors, composition, and balance, but each client will also have different tastes so you’ll need to be adaptable as well.

Speaking of clients, web design work is mostly a one-time commission and after you complete the project and get paid you’ll more than likely move on to another client immediately after.

7. Social Media Manager

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

Social media managers are hired by companies in order to grow their presence on the more popular social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.

The job involves a lot of market research and analysis of the company’s numbers and general demographic.

Afterwards, the main goal is to strategize with the client in order to find out which direction they’d like to take their company and how the various posts or promotional materials should be handled.

More accurately, rather than promotional materials, a social media manager makes catchy or memorable posts or articles that are meant to attract the attention of new customers.

These sorts of jobs are usually handled by reference or word of mouth, so having a certificate of some kind will still be useful, but actual experience in the field is much more so.

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.

This job can either be a one-time gig or a full-time job, and certain clients will engage your services for a long period of time, while others are just looking for a temporary boost to their site visits.

8. Blogger

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

Blogging involves running your own website that hosts the sort of content that you want to create or promote.

A blog is essentially an online business that can potentially generate a lot of passive income through ad revenue, as well as through affiliate links.

You’ll be responsible for all of the managerial duties when it comes to running the site since it’s your own business and the user experience and feedback will be dependent on your efforts.

The site itself can host any sort of content that you might find interesting. The subjects are endless and they include everything from cooking tips to hosting a dropshipping service and selling digital products.

Keep in mind that the startup costs of starting your site are going to include domain purchase and hiring a web developer to design a layout for you.

Your main source of income will be the aforementioned affiliate marketing links, as well as the money from any sponsor that might like to run ads on your site.

However, in order to become recognizable enough to attract sponsors, you might need to engage a social media manager or SEO specialist in order to bump up your site rankings.

9. Vlogger

A person opening YouTube on their smartphone.

Vloggers are content creators that make videos and post them online to social media sites, or more likely - Youtube.

The content itself can be anything that you might be interested in creating.

You can choose to go for something like a travel vlog and create a channel that’s focused on your experiences in certain countries, and maybe even include a few travel tips for anyone that’s interested in going to the same places.

You can also choose to create content that centers around something that you enjoy doing in your free time, like a channel that discusses the shows you’ve watched, the books you’ve read, or even the food you’ve eaten.

There is no limit as to the type of vlogs that you’d like to make, and the only requirement is going to be a basic knowledge of editing software.

This means that you’ll either need to take a few online courses on video editing, or you’ll need to engage the services of an experienced video editor.

Vloggers make money off of sponsorships for their videos, providing affiliate marketing links in their descriptions, Youtube ad revenue, Patreon donations, and so on.

Your earnings will reflect your viewing numbers, so in the beginning, it might be tough to get sponsors of followers if you’re still new to the scene, but in time you’ll get more offers as the views start to increase.

10. Photographer

A woman with a camera.

A photographer is someone that makes money off of taking pictures. While this is the largest part of the job, it’s not the only aspect of it.

When everyone has a camera capable of taking high-quality pictures in their pocket, it’s easy to believe that pretty much everyone can do this sort of work.

While it is true that anyone can get into it, there’s a massive difference between taking pictures for fun and doing it as a career.

It might not be obvious to a lot of people, but things like shot composition, proper lighting, and aspect ratios are pretty tricky to grasp in the beginning.

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.

What we’re saying is that you can get into this field without much difficulty, but you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of skill that’s required.

Location-independent photographers have a few choices when it comes to making money.

You can find a local photography job for a client that’s located in the city that you’re currently staying in, you can sell your pictures online, or you can even take on a few editing gigs.

Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to rely on your phone if you’re planning on going pro, so you’ll need to splurge a bit on the equipment and get something at least as strong as the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera.

11. Podcaster

A podcaster working at a digital audio workstation.

In technical terms, a podcast is a downloadable audio file that you can produce, record, and edit yourself.

The subject matter of the podcast itself can be anything that you choose to talk about that day.

Podcasters usually talk about a topic that they’re really into, a lot of the time with a friend sitting next to them and acting as a fellow podcaster.

This sort of freedom allows you to create a space where you and your friends can get together and discuss various topics that you find interesting, all while making money off of the recording.

If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is,, and it comes with a big catch.

First of all, unless you want to blow out your listener’s ears, you’ll need to be able to afford some equipment that’s at least as good as the Blue Yeti mic.

Secondly, you can’t just rent out something like a co-working space for the task since you’ll need an environment that has decent sound dampening and acoustics.

And finally, in the beginning, you’ll struggle to earn any real money since you won’t have any sort of following.

The size of your audience will most likely reflect the number of sponsor offers that you’ll receive, meaning that you’ll likely need a secondary source of income in the beginning.

However, suppose you can manage to make a decent recording setup and gain enough of an audience to be able to attract sponsors or live off of Patreon submissions. In that case, you’ll be able to travel the world while making money from just chatting with your friends.

12. SEO

Scrabble pieces spelling out SEO audit.

In very basic terms, search engine optimization involves using proven marketing strategies and optimization tactics in order to ensure that a website gets a better ranking on Google.

An SEO is responsible for doing everything from market research topics to promoting specific sites or online stores through social media or even articles on certain topics of interest.

It should be said that you’ll rarely work solo when it comes to this sort of work, so you’ll probably be incorporated into an already existing team.

If you have enough experience, you might also be asked to lead a team of your own, but companies usually appoint an SEO head from the already existing team, so this is very unlikely.

This is one of the rare jobs on our list that usually involves long-term contracts rather than holding a temporary position in the company during a single project.

Companies need SEO consultants to make sure that their site is always 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’ll easily be able to find new employment if you don’t like the client that you’re currently working for.

13. English Teacher

A teacher in a classroom with kids.

Teaching English is arguably one of the most natural fields of work for anyone who has English as their mother tongue.

Of course, this isn’t a requirement, and there are a lot of people from countries where English isn’t the official language that have a better understanding of the language than people that have been using it their entire life.

We mean to say that pretty much 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.

Upwork has plenty of online teaching positions for countries from all over the globe, but you’ll need to be qualified for them.

If you don’t have an academic background in teaching or languages, then you’ll need to either go to TEFL and obtain the necessary certificates.

However, if you already have the qualifications, then you can also turn to the site as a potential place of employment and actually become one of the people that prepare potential teachers for everything they need to know before stepping into the online classroom.

14. Virtual Assistant

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

The job of a virtual assistant is exactly what you think it might be, namely. In that case, suppose it’s everything that a personal assistant would be expected to do.

They handle scheduling appointments, take care of general administrative tasks, organize documents, and do pretty much whatever the client needs.

Naturally, seeing as how this is an online position rather than a real-life personal assistant role, there’ll be limitations to your suits and to the demands that your client can make.

Virtual assistant jobs are still listed on the job boards on Upwork or Fiverr, but there aren’t quite as many of them as certain other jobs.

The payment will also be decided by the client, and it’ll depend on the nature of the tasks that they need help with or the scope of the singular project that you’ll need to finish while working for them.

Your duties and your payment will be agreed upon ahead of time, but even if the contract is long-term, we’d still suggest that you negotiate getting paid in advance for the month, or at least the week.

Some Last Words of Advice

A man and a woman seemingly working in a cafe.

As we mentioned in the beginning, this is by no means an all-encompassing list of the absolute best choices for digital nomad jobs.

There’s a high chance that you might not find any of these choices to your liking and might want to become an entrepreneur and start building your own site or business that you can operate remotely.

However, what we will say is that you might need to change your way of thinking if you’ve had nothing but routine office jobs up until now.

Flex jobs aren’t like standard employment and most of the time you won’t need to be thinking about how you can build a career from them.

This will allow you the freedom to try out a lot of different gigs until you find something that you can honestly say suits your tastes.

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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