Digital nomad careers: 17 best jobs for traveling
Twenty years ago, our bingo cards would not have included 35% of American job holders having the option to work from home full-time.
Who will waitress our restaurants, drive our school buses, and deliver our mail?
How can we get any work done from the comforts of our own homes?
There’s zero chance that any employer would hire someone who’s never in one place or six time zones away?
Well, technology and the demands of the last few years made that possible. Now, workers realize they like working from home or being a digital nomad.
In this article, you’ll discover the 17 best digital nomad jobs.
Who wants to be a digital nomad, and why?
- You can work from anywhere worldwide as long as you have a high-speed internet connection.
- An increasing number of white-collar jobs offer flexible hours allowing workers to choose their schedules.
- A study from Harvard found that 12.2% of 50 million job postings mentioned remote work.
- You could take a high-paying tech job to the affordable Midwestern reaches of the US. If you prefer life abroad, move to the even more affordable South American and Asian regions. You can work and live anywhere as a digital nomad.
What’s not to love?
The first step is finding the right digital nomad job for you.
Programmers develop and modify coded instructions to ensure computer software operates efficiently. These pros typically work for IT and software development companies.
According to a PayScale report, programmers earn a median income of $68,261 annually. It is amongst the best digital nomad jobs.
There’s more than one path to step into the programming profession. We'll lay out the basic steps since they're usually the same.
- First, choose a path you want to specialize in. In-demand options include back-end, full-stack, web, game, or database development.
- The last step is to market yourself. Programmers can build a portfolio by building a portfolio on a website or GitHub.
We’re designed to connect through words. What you can’t say is written in the form of blog posts, sales pages, and more. The question is, who writes all of this stuff? The answer is usually a self-employed freelance writer. As a freelance writer, you can work in any industry, B2B or B2C.
How much can you make as a digital nomad freelance writer?
According to a recent report by ZipRecruiter, US-based freelance writers earn up to $5,000 per month.
Becoming a freelance writer takes little to no experience. You can learn the ropes quickly by modeling writing you see online. Sign up for freelancing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Guru to find work. You don’t need clients to build your portfolio and show your skills. Just start writing and pitching clients who you think you can help.
Wait, wait, wait. Didn’t we discuss becoming a blogger in the last digital nomad job? Not exactly.
Bloggers and freelance writers have the same skills, but there’s a difference. Generally, a blogger writes for (and promotes) their own website. A freelance writer is an independent contractor who writes for clients.
According to Millennial Money, bloggers can earn up to $100,000 per year. Their income depends on their search traffic, subscriber base, and niche. Working as a blogger may be among the most sought-after digital nomad careers. Bloggers like it because of its sky-high income potential and time freedom.
Do you have a passion for writing and a niche in mind? Here are your next steps:
- Create a website
- Research trending blog topics
- Find a way to monetize your blog.
Note: If you need a paying job ASAP, blogging may not be for you. It typically takes at least a year to generate money.
Online language teacher
Online language teaching professionals teach students how to read and write. The most sought-after language in the world is English. However, online language teachers can teach any language. You may also know them as ESL or English Second Language teachers. If you enjoy teaching, you can teach English or any language to students worldwide.
According to International TEFL Academy, online language teachers can earn anywhere from $8-$20 per hour. ESL teaching is one of the most popular jobs for digital nomads. This job is in-demand worldwide. Think about it; there will always be a demand for learning new languages.
Want to become a professional online language teacher? Your first step is to get certified and prove fluency in the language you wish to teach.
Data analysts track and analyze business data. This data can come from customers, competitors, and more. With that data, you'll solve problems and identify opportunities. These jobs are great for analytic people with a background in tech. Most jobs are with investment companies, retail brands, and private equity firms.
According to Zippia, data analyst salaries range from $53,000 to $103,000 annually.
Data analysts typically have some foundational knowledge of a specific industry. Second, they have technical skills such:
- Statistical analysis
- Data visualization
As a data analyst, you must also know how to present data.
SEO is a significant growth channel for many companies. They use SEO to expand their customer base using search engines. We call the people who help them do that SEOs. They use SEO strategies and tools to increase traffic and conversions.
According to Indeed, the average salary of an SEO manager in the US is $74,827 per year.
An SEO is a fantastic digital nomad career. The work is highly autonomous, profitable, and in-demand. SEOs work for marketing agencies, freelance, or in-house for a company. You can even start your own marketing agency or SEO consultancy. Of all the digital nomad careers on this list, becoming an SEO may be the most accessible to learn. SEOs and SEO companies post a lot of free content online to help beginners.
A recruiter is an HR professional responsible for identifying and onboarding potential employees. Most recruiters work in-house for companies or with recruitment agencies.
According to Recruitment.com, a US-based recruiter can earn up to $200,000 annually. As an in-house recruiter, you’ll receive a base salary. You’ll get paid a base salary plus commissions when working for an agency. You'll earn a commission every time you place candidates with companies you recruit on behalf of.
Most companies want a potential hire to have a bachelor’s degree. Bonus points if its in a field revolving around human and organizational behavior. Make connections and build a network of people to propel your name and brand. Should you take an independent approach to this profession, who you know is just as important as what you know.
Video editors modify, change, and/or edit digital materials. They work with media like video footage, sound, graphics, and overall effects. Video editors take projects from start to finish, or complete raw projects. The digital world is your oyster as a video editor. Every industry needs video editors.
According to Indeed.com, video editors in the US make $21.62 an hour. Many digital nomad video editors live in cheaper countries like Indonesia or Mexico. Video editing is an in-demand skill you can learn online. This means you can get started quickly and forego formal education.
Social media/community manager
A social media community manager's job is to own social media for their employer or client. All companies want to maintain a positive image and manage their reputation. They also want to share relevant content with their target audience.
Social media community managers work with all company parts to create content. This includes the company’s marketing or creative heads, sales, customer service, and product design. According to Zippia, the average median salary of a social media manager is $43,081.
The best social media managers are already active on social media. They enjoy using apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You can work in-house, join a marketing agency or scale your efforts by starting a consultancy.
Website designers specialize in the front-end and back-end development of websites. This includes the technical aspects like servers and hosting. It also includes the visual elements like fonts, colors, and graphics. Many people think website design requires an advanced degree or a technical background.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Most companies want simple websites that are easy to navigate and update. Designers need to also make them visually appealing. As a website designer, you can go from no experience to winning clients quickly. This depends on your learning speed, ability to sell your abilities, and time commitment.
According to Coursera, the average median income of a web designer in the US is $50,146 per year. You can stack skills like SEO and social media to earn more. Often, clients need other marketing services in addition to a new website.
Journalists take freelance writing a step further. They research current events and interesting happenings. This can be for televised news, press releases, and articles. Are you an outgoing traveler? Working as a journalist may be the best digital nomad job for you. Travel the world finding interesting stories to pitch to editors.
According to Talent.com, journalists in the US have a base salary of $55,000 per year. This pay will vary depending on your work structure, reputation, and ability to find quality stories.
Journalists usually have bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field. That is changing. A digital nomad journalist's biggest asset is their lust for life.
A virtual assistant offers remote admin services to companies and individuals. Virtual assistants are typically independent contractors. They'll offer their skills to different clients via digital platforms. Tasks can include bookkeeping, personal assistance, data entry, etc.
Virtual assistants are typically independent contractors. They offer their skills to different clients via digital platforms. Tasks can include bookkeeping, personal assistance, data entry, etc.
According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for a virtual assistant is $34 per hour.
To become a virtual assistant, you need to be good at multitasking. The best virtual assistants are forward-thinking, quick learners, and offer many skills to their clients. What kind of skills do you need as a digital nomad virtual assistant? Data entry, social media management, writing/editing, and website management are great skills.
Content creators primarily work as independent contractors. If you use social media, you already know what a content creator is. If you're unfamiliar, a content creator will first gain a following. This can happen overnight by going viral or slowly through consistent posting. Content creators can work with brands once they reach a big enough following.
According to Glassdoor, content creators in the US can make up to $67,000 per year.
You need little to no experience to become a content creator. You need to develop relevant skills in the niche you’re most passionate about and start churning out content.
Project managers are responsible for managing projects. The see that teams deliver projects on time and to standard. Projects managers are typically full-time employees. They work in just about any industry that requires project supervision.
According to Glassdoor, experienced project managers can earn up to $191,000 per year. Some of the most project management jobs are in tech.
Project managers are good multi-taskers. The job requires diverse organizational, technical, and workplace skills. 90% of a project manager's job is communication, so being an effective communicator is essential.
Content marketing manager
A content manager is similar to a project manager. They're more involved in the day-to-day operations of content planning and marketing. The primary goal of a content marketing manager is to streamline content planning. You may lead a team of content writers, social media marketers, and SEOs.
Their role generally centers around blog content. However, it can encompass all content throughout the funnel. Anything from a knowledge center, paid ads, social media, and video.
Content marketing managers typically work for digital marketing agencies or in-house. As per Glassdoor, content marketing managers make up to $125,000 per year in the US. Your worth as a content marketing manager will be measured by the metrics you can move the needle on. These include organic search traffic, social media views, and conversions.
Customer support representative
Customer support reps work on behalf of companies to help customers with problems or answer questions. Retail companies, call centers, and tech companies hire customer service reps.
As per Glassdoor, customer support representatives make $36,000 per year.
This is the perfect “no experience” job. You'll need:
- Adequate communication skills
- The ability to follow directions
- The ability to learn a new product/service at speed
What kind of ComplYant blog would this be if we didn’t discuss entrepreneurship? It doesn't matter if you’re employed. Being a digital nomad aligns with the entrepreneurial spirit. Taking risks and going against the status quo is why many digital nomads are full-time entrepreneurs.
So what is an entrepreneur, and how much can they make? You can be an entrepreneur and do any job on this list. Entrepreneurs come in many packages. From the top titles like CEO to freelancer and consultant.
Entrepreneurs enjoy the benefit of building a business on their terms. Digital nomads can build a company culture around that lifestyle. Want to create a company that only hires digital nomads? You can do that.
According to Zippia, the average full-time entrepreneur makes $70,849 per year. An even more telling stat is that 88% of millionaires are entrepreneurs. If you want to grow massive wealth on your terms, your best bet is to start a business.
Digital nomads use ComplYant
Digital nomads can live wherever their ambitions take them. There are over 17 million digital nomads in the US and even more abroad. This lifestyle is not only appealing but accessible.
Want to become a digital nomad? Know that it doesn’t require an advanced degree or work experience.
- Choose the work you’re passionate about.
- Develop the necessary skill.
- Begin the life you always wanted.
ComplYant helps digital nomads manage their businesses and taxes.