A question I come across many Facebook Groups and forums is whether there are jobs for digital nomads that pay decently. The answer is a big YES. There are. And if you want to become location independent, you need to have a remote job.
Now who doesn’t want one?
Gallup’s research tells us that one-third of workers would switch jobs if that means working remotely with a more flexible schedule.
But here is the hard truth about the digital nomad lifestyle: unless you get one of those remote jobs for digital nomads or you have your own business that allows you to become a nomad, you simply can’t do it for long.
Yes, there are all these work-exchange programs, but how long can you do it really? One day, your savings will dry up and you don’t want to become a beg-packer.
And trust me you don’t want your mom to be working 3 jobs and send you money so that you and your girlfriend can shoot those YouTube videos about whatever-the-hell-it-is.
Now, let’s come to the good part.
As an aftereffect of the pandemic, the chances of you becoming is a digital nomad is much more of a reality than say a year ago.
And I am not talking about working for a startup or the gig economy. I am talking about big conglomerates, MNCs which are now ready to give their employees the options that one never thought about.
Digital nomad communities have sprung up in many countries. While you can work from a cafe or your home, you can also go to a Digital nomad workspace. And Digital nomad retreats are great places for networking.
But how exactly do you find a digital nomad job? Can you just buy a one-way ticket to that beach-life in Thailand, and let things take care of themselves once you are there? Do you need any skills to become a digital nomad?
And being a digital nomad myself, I have created this ultimate guide on the best digital nomad jobs of 2021, where to find them, and testimonials of real people who have become digital nomads themselves by doing one of these jobs.
There are non tech digital nomad jobs.
Digital Nomad Salary
When it comes down to digital nomad income, it will depend on various factors like:
- the type of job
- working hours
- where your employer is located
- and your skillset
When working as a digital nomad, you would need to take all these factors into account to see whether you should take the job or not.
There are no limits really. There are people who make $200 per month and then there are those who rake in six figure salaries.
Digital Nomad Jobs for Beginners
So if you are thinking about how to become a digital nomad with no experience, I am not here to become a party-pooper. It is totally possible to get a remote job with little experience or no experience, provided that you have the skillset for it or studied it or at least did a course.
There are many free courses all over the Internet to develop your skillset. And once you have some skills, you can start out as a freelancer. I will share these three platforms that are really popular.
Where To Find Freelance Work As a Digital Nomad
Upwork is by far one of the most popular platforms to find freelancing gigs about anything and everything. Be it video editing, content creation, programming- Upwork has gigs for digital nomads.
- You can register for free.
- Lots of variety for the job type.
- There are many long-term clients.
- Upwork takes a big cut of your earnings, usually 20%.
- Entry level applications can be refused.
- The majority of gigs are for U.S. citizens/residents.
Freelancer is a little older than Upwork, and is extremely popular as well. If you are starting out, it’s definitely worth checking out.
- Wide array of projects
- Once you have some good reviews and ratings from past jobs, you will be able to land higher-paying roles.
- Freelancer.com takes a cut varying from 10-20%
- It can take up to 2 weeks to receive your funds after withdrawal
The Internet is full of articles on whether or not it is worth to freelance on Fiverr. Nevertheless, I would include it only because if you are a digital nomad with no experience, you can make some easy money on Fiverr and I know people who have done pretty well out there.
- Good if you are starting out
- Lots of interesting gigs that won’t available on Upwork/Freelancer
- 20% revenue sharing with Fiverr
- 14 day hold time on funds
- Difficult To Make Consistent Money
The Best Digital Nomad Job Boards
There are hundreds of digital nomad job boards. Here are the three job boards I would recommend.
- Dynamite jobs
- Remote Ok
Best Digital Nomad Jobs
Digital Nomad Software Engineer
Spoiler alert- This is what I actually do.
If you know how to code, getting a job as a Digital nomad web developer or programmer is one of the best ways to make money. As a software developer, you would be developing new web applications or mobile apps, maintaining existing ones, and doing a wide array of stuff related to technology.
Programming jobs are usually well-paid and you can make upwards of $50 per hour if you have the skills.
You can work with individual clients or for companies.
Remote Web Developer: Deb Pati from India
Before beginning my digital nomad life, I worked in the I.T. industry for six years in many different technologies and in different countries.
I also have a university degree in engineering which definitely helps with many big employers who insist on a related education, but it is possible to get coding jobs without having a related degree.
After becoming a digital nomad, I worked remotely full time for an employer and I also started taking freelance gigs. Depending on where you work and the technology stack, you can make a more than decent income.
You can choose to work part time or full time as well. Or simply take projects on a freelance basis.
Tips for Getting Started as a Programmer
If you are wondering on where to start coding, here are some great places.
- Free Code Camp
- Courses on Udemy or Course Era
You need to learn at least one programming language and some related tools when starting out.
A web designer is someone who designs the look and feel of a web/iOS/Android applications application, perform usability testing, and improve user experience through design solutions. You would need to learn basic coding and have experience with various tools and technologies.
Tips for Getting Started as a Web Designer
To get started, you might need to have some industry experience first. So working for a company would always help to build up a foundation.
You can create a portfolio to showcase your work and have some testimonials, and hit up your contacts on LinkedIn.
Customer Support Executive
As more and more companies become remote, working as a customer support executive while being a digital nomad is pretty easy.
While this role typically needs you to help customers with their queries through live chat, emails, and/or calls, you also might need to reach out to new potential customers, communicate with vendors and perform other duties.
Tips for Getting Started in Customer Service
- Experience either in customer service, sales, or some other role where you communicated frequently with a business’s customers
- Have exceptional written and spoken English, and if possible any other popular language like Spanish/German/French.
Digital Nomad Virtual Assistant
A Virtual Assistant or VA is someone who performs administrative, technical, non-technical tasks for one or more clients. It can be anything from doing research online, taking care of wordpress needs, manage daily calendar, doing social media tasks etc. Really anything.
Virtual Assistant: Rachita Saxena from India
For the past 2 years, I have been working as a Virtual Assistant for a few clients so that I could become a digital nomad and work remotely while traveling and blogging on Meander Wanderer.
The hours usually differ but it is usually a part-time job where I need to spend 3-4 hours a day working on the client’s website.
Although I started working on it 2 years back, I still continue the same work as it pays good and I can easily work while traveling too.
The hours are decent and I make enough money to save and travel after paying my household bills too.
How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant
I used a lot of websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc. to find the jobs earlier but now, I usually find work on Facebook groups and through word of mouth.
It is initially difficult to find someone to trust you to give you the work but once you have a base and a few recommendations, it is easier to find well-paid work. Most importantly, have an updated CV and the willingness to learn when you are just starting as a Virtual Assistant to acquire a few clients.
Inbound Content Marketer
We live in a society where content is the king, and good content is always valued. An inbound content marketer attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them and forming connections, rather than interrupting them with whatever all the time.
It is a mix of strategizing content and marketing it.
Inbound Content Marketer: Caroline Muller from Belgium
I work as a freelance inbound content marketer. This job allows me to put my two passions to good use: strategy and writing.
What is great about being an inbound content marketing is that the job is not bound to any specific country, in fact, the skills transfer across continents and even across languages.
As a freelancer, the workload is seasonal there are weeks where I work 50 hours a week and others where I do not work. It really does depend on how many clients I choose to take on at any given timeframe.
Tips for Getting Started as Inbound Content Marketer
Before starting to work as a freelancer, I worked for 7 years first in marketing and then in a digital agency. It gave me the necessary strategic skills as well as a deep knowledge of the digital landscape both essential skills if you want to work as an inbound content marketer.
The job gives me enough flexibility to focus on travel and the time to write for my travel blog (in the weeks where I am not working full-time of course). If you are curious about my work you can check it out for yourself right here.
Creating Youtube content and making money off of it, doesn’t really need an introduction. Millions of vloggers and content creators are making money from YouTube.
While it takes time to get established and monetize your channel, there are many ways to get better get there faster.
YouTuber: Allan Wilson from the U.K.
My career as a digital nomad started back in 2011 when I bought property in Bangkok and moved there to work remotely building/managing websites.
I then started blogging and made enough income from affiliates that I used it to travel. I then leased my condo and moved around full-time.
More recently however with the pandemic and huge decline in incomes from travel affiliates, I decided to monetize my YouTube channel which was otherwise used to supplement my blogs.
Something I was reluctant to do earlier as I was worried it would affect viewer retention. But when I signed up for AdSense and monetized YouTube, my views and statistics grew instead.
Each month I would receive around half a million views which nets me around $750 and, living in our Bangkok condo and the rice fields of Thailand most of the year, this still doubles my monthly living costs and had kept us afloat through the pandemic.
And I feel this is what the last year has taught us digital nomads, not to keep all your eggs in one basket so to speak, because there’s no guarantee of incomes in any business or industry.
Get to know more about me on It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor.
Digital Marketing Strategist
A digital marketing strategist takes different elements of digital marketing like SEO, social media, content optimization etc. and combines all these into an actionable plan, and implements it.
They are the ones responsible for developing solutions to meet clients’ brand objectives by researching consumer insight and data.
Digital Marketing Strategist: Chantell Collins from Australia
My main income as a digital nomad is through providing digital advertising services such as Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
After starting out in social media management and content writing, I decided to move into paid social media and then Google advertising.
The first reason was that my marketing clients were no longer seeing the results they used to get from organic social media. And the second reason was that I loved how digital ads combined strategy, analytics, copywriting, and creative (image and video).
These days I have my own digital marketing business, Chantell Collins Consulting, as well as contracting for a PR and marketing firm in the United States. Although I don’t always work full-time hours, I have low living costs and earn enough to easily cover my expenses.
In my home state of Queensland (Australia), we’ve been fortunate to travel locally with minimal risk. So, we bought a car and have been road tripping the coastline while living and working out of Airbnbs.
You can know more about me on Budget Travel Babes.
How to Start as a Digital Marketing Strategist?
There are plenty of free resources to learn about digital advertising, including the official courses from Facebook Blueprint and Google Analytics Academy. I’ve also taken paid courses by Monica Froese for Pinterest Paid Advertising and received certification through Digital Distillery Pro for Facebook Ads.
Digital Nomad CopyWriter
A copywriter is a creative job where someone writes prose for the purpose of advertising to promote and sell goods and services. “Copy” or “Sales copy” a form of marketing where the copywriter promotes or sells a business, organization, brand, product, or service.
CopyWriter: Heather Cole from the United Kingdom
I resigned from my day job in order to pursue a digital nomad lifestyle.
And although I have a home base in the UK I’ve also worked all over the world, allowing me to fuel my luxury travel blog, which accounts for half of my income.
I quickly realized I needed another string to my bow if I was going to make this work long-term and sustainably, so became a freelance copywriter, using skills learned from years of blogging.
I’ve built up a solid client base and write mainly for small to medium-sized businesses who need web pages, articles, and marketing content. Whilst I initially focussed on the travel niche, 2020 forced me to diversify, and I’m loving the variety of jobs that come in.
One day I’ll be producing descriptions for luxury leather goods, the next I’ll be writing about the rise of tourism in remote African islands. I probably work around 35 hours a week, and now earn more than I did in my day job, so it was worth the leap of faith.
Get to know more about me on my luxury travel blog.
How to Start as a Digital Marketing Strategist?
I’ve found joining freelance Facebook groups to be invaluable, and about 60% of my work comes from these.
This is an occupation that doesn’t really need an explanation. A translator translates books, texts, websites, manuals from one language to one or more languages.
Translator: Paulina Rubia from Luxembourg
Foreign language skills always open doors to many career options. I came to know this fact when I got a remote part-time job as a translator.
My German and Spanish speaking skills helped me get a first project to translate technical manuals. Multilingual people can get job opportunities like a translator or interpreter.
It took me several years to be fluent in both languages and then I started hunting for jobs. Soon I started working as a translator but always beside my main job. I was responsible for translating communications into the local language (either German or Spanish).
In the beginning projects only came one by one. Deadlines are usually very tight in translating. My job role was to localize the company’s clients’ websites, products, or guides about the best gifts for outdoorsy women and then translate them.
Tips to Become a Translator
For beginners, it would be best if they started searching for translator jobs on Indeed. Along with other aspects, it also helps to look at the additional perks provided by the company. Extra perks like being extra speedy is often a great advantage.
Proof Reader & Editor
If you have a keen eye for errors and notice things that others might ignore, becoming a proofreader and/or editor is definitely worth trying out. You would ensure that the final content is free of typographical, grammatical, spelling, punctuation and any other errors.
You would check it for plagiarism and optimize it by tweaking words to perfection.
Copywriter: Sharyn Mcculum from Australia
After a really bad day at work, I resigned and a month later found myself at Heathrow Airport with no friends, family, work, or accommodation.
I wondered, what on earth I had done. Instead of curling up into a fetal state I found somewhere to live, got a job, and began exploring the UK and Europe.
At the time in London, there was a free magazine aimed at Australians doing a working holiday in London.
They were calling for travel articles. I had returned from a trip to Turkey so I wrote about it. Weeks later I became a published travel writer and earnt myself £25. I continued to write travel articles and made enough to fund my travels.
I loved writing but discovered a love of proofreading and editing. On my return to Australia, I completed a proofreading and editing course which gave me the knowledge and confidence to start my own business.
It makes up half my income and compliments my travel writing/blogging income. I originally found clients by sending an introduction letter, but now I get plenty of work through my website, www.liveworkplay.com.au.
I love proofreading and editing because I can set my own hours of which I do about 20 per week but this depends on the job as every job is different, but is mostly proofreading ebooks and content for websites.
It also means I can do it from anywhere. On my couch in Melbourne or while on the road somewhere, it is a very portable career for a digital nomad.
How to Find Proof Reading Gigs
If you want to provide proofreading and editing services I suggest you do a course, then put your name out there through Facebook groups, Fiverr and your own website.
Social Media Manager
A social media manager is someone who curates a brand’s social media. You would compile social media campaigns, respond to comments, create content for your client. So think of designing memes, product launch, creating videos, analyzing data across platforms, running ads etc.
Social Media Manager: Veronica Primm from Czech Republic
I’ve been a social media manager for over three years now, of which only the last year and a half have been remote.
The work for my main client is almost full-time, but I do have another smaller client and a few personal projects such as my travel blog.
Before I became a social media manager for others, I studied the tricks of the trade and worked on my blog channels.
That gave me the chance to practice before taking on some real work. My first job was for a young travel startup, which was not paid too well, but it included a lot of learning opportunities that further enhanced my skills.
Social Media Manager: How to Get Started & Tips
While I took on my current client via personal recommendation, if I had to do it all over again, I’d keep an eye out on remote jobportals, such as UpWork, People per Hour, RemoteJobs.io.
If you’re not in a rush to become a digital nomad, you can also start managing social media for a company in your area, go to the office every day with the prospect of becoming remote in the future, once all processes are set in stone and you establish all necessary connections to people in the office.
Revenue Management Consultant
A revenue management consultant would work for a client(s) to evaluate their inventory, current pricing strategy, functioning of their organization, distribution channels, and help them to optimise results.
Revenue Management Consultant: Marlieke Kemp-janss from the Netherlands
My digital nomad career started in 2016 when we relocated from Bali to Siem Reap. Excited about my husband’s new career opportunity and a new destination, but sad to leave Bali and a job I loved behind.
Upon arrival in Siem Reap, I didn’t have a job nor any connections in town.
Luckily, I built great connections overseas in the past and so it happened that I was asked to take on a remote revenue management gig for a 5* hotel in Indonesia.
Working from home was new to me, and so was the concept of freelancing. I still found myself behind (or near) my desk from 9 to 5, even though the job was far less than full time.
I still felt that I should be available for my client during office hours. Looking back now, switching my mindset definitely was the biggest challenge: I was no longer paid for time, but for knowledge and expertise.
Not long after, I landed a few more interesting gigs. Mostly through recommendations and former connections. In the meantime, I also started networking in Cambodia and this also brought me several new projects that resulted in Aureum Hospitality Advisers, my consulting company.
Digital Nomad Photographer
Digital nomads can seek a career of freelance photography to fund their lifestyle. You can work for yourself, taking on clients for photoshoots or creating and selling your photos on websites for stock photos.
Digital Nomad Photographer: Jiayi Wang from Italy
In 2016, I worked as a freelance photographer while traveling around Europe for 4 months.
I worked for around 25 hours a week, which allowed me to have plenty of free time to sightsee and enjoy my trip.
This job also paid for my travel expenses (although I kept a tight budget for myself).
How to Start as a Digital Nomad Photographer
My first tip for doing photography as a digital nomad is to narrow your expertise. What kind of photography do you want to specialize in? It could be portraits, weddings, or product photography (to name a few).
Once you have your niche, it’s important to invest in a quality camera and lenses (I used many amazing Sony A6400 lenses).
The next step is to build an online portfolio and social media pages. While your family and friends can definitely help you spread the word, there are also plenty of freelancing platforms you can use to find gigs.
Some of the best ones are Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour. You can also post your photography services on Airbnb Experiences!
The important thing to know is that you don’t need to be a top professional photographer in order to do freelance photography. If you have a great artistic eye and are good with people, you can do this job too!
Online Language Teacher
Teaching a language online is probably one of the easiest and fastest ways to make money while being a digital nomad. In case you’re a native English, Portuguese, French, German or Spanish speaker, you can definitely land a language teaching job online.
There is a plethora of online platforms looking for teachers. You can choose whether to teach children or adults.
Digital Nomad Teacher: Claudia Lizeth from Colombia
I started working as a Spanish teacher in 2018 in an institute. Over the next two years, I taught in schools and gave private classes.
But when the pandemic hit, I decided to venture into online teaching. Although I was initially a little skeptical, I like it now and I make a decent amount of money.
As someone who loves all the aspects of languages, I also decided to take it to the next level and founded a website tp teach the nuances of Latin American Spanish.
How to Get Started as an Online Language Teacher
While you can get started as a language teacher just by being a native, here are the things that would help immensely.
- Get certified. If you teach English, getting TEFL certified online is pretty easy. If you teach Spanish, you can get certified by Instituto de Cervantes or any other places online.
- Have a University degree.
- Get some experience teaching in an institute or school.
Jobs for Digital Nomads: The Bottom Line
If you love traveling and adventure, learning cultures, living in different countries, finding a steady source of income to be a digital nomad is a must. In a world that’s ditching the traditional 9-5 office jobs to move to more remote-centric jobs, the chances of being a digital nomad are better than ever.
However, if you think that transitioning to a digital nomad lifestyle would be a walk in the park, you are very very wrong.
Most people who make a steady income have worked for it really hard either for themselves or for a company, have a good understanding of how their industry works, and have invested in courses and education.
It is definitely not for everyone, but it’s worth trying out as the life of a digital nomad is very rarely boring.