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You’re passionate about travel, but you also want to build a fulfilling career. Thanks to the growing availability of digital nomad jobs, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
Instead, you could find a role that lets you grow as a professional while filling your passport up with stamps from far corners of the globe.
After all, the growing global community of digital nomads don’t see work as somewhere to go but rather as something to do — from anywhere.
So what are some digital nomad jobs that will let you earn money and build your career while exploring the globe? Here are some of the most popular.
27 popular digital nomad jobs that let you travel the world
- Tech and web development
- Writing and blogging
- Business and entrepreneurship
- Customer support and administrative work
Digital nomad jobs typically fall into one of three categories:
- Working a part- or full-time job with a remote company.
- Freelancing, which could involve a more piecemeal approach where you balance several gigs at once.
- Being your own boss, whether you’re providing consulting services or running your own company, to give a couple of examples.
Most of the digital nomad jobs below could fall into any of these categories, depending on your preference. For instance, writers could A) work-full time for a company, B) freelance for various publications, or C) work for themselves as bloggers or book writers (probably tougher to do but not impossible).
Keep these different approaches in mind as you read through these digital nomad jobs. Scroll down for more or use this table of contents above to jump directly to a section you’re interested in.
Tech and web development
1. Software or app developer
Tech skills are a surefire way to snag digital nomad jobs, since you can write code and design software right from your laptop.
Software developers design apps, games, or the systems that keep computers running smoothly. Along with strong computer programming skills, developers also tend to be creative thinkers and problem solvers.
And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), their median salary in 2017 was $103,560. With that kind of pay, you won’t have to settle for a 14-person hostel dorm rooms when you travel (been there).
Even if you didn’t major in computer science, it’s not too late to develop your tech skills (see what I did there?). Check out CS50x to get started, a free Edx course from Harvard that teaches you the basics of programming languages and algorithms.
A few other free services for learning software development are freeCodeCamp and Hackerrank. You can also ask questions and chat with other developers on Stack Overflow.
Once you’ve got the chops, you can find work that lets you join the tribe of digital nomad software developers.
2. Web designer
While software developers tend to work on the back-end of apps and systems, web designers are often responsible for designing the front-end of apps and websites.
Along with free courses through Udemy, you could learn these languages with a coding bootcamp such as Flatiron School, The Tech Academy, or Bloc.
Although salaries will vary depending if you’re working full-time or as a freelancer, BLS put the median salary in 2017 at $67,990.
That income could go an especially long way if you’re living in a city with a low cost of living, like Budapest or Chiang Mai.
3. User Experience (UX) designer
UX designers are all about providing a great experience for customers, whether related to how customers use a product or navigate a website.
Not only do UX designers tend to have tech skills, but they also have a strong understanding of customer psychology.
They might help companies develop customer personas, so they have a better understanding of who is using their product and what their wants and needs are.
There are a variety of paths to this relatively new career, but you might boost your skill set with online courses, such as those offered by General Assembly.
Although not all UX design jobs are remote, you can find these professionals at companies with distributed teams, as well as working with various clients online.
UX design is a lucrative field, too, with PayScale putting the average pay at $72,705.
4. Creative technologist
As the job title suggests, creative technologists have one foot in creative work and the other in tech.
Although this role will look different at different companies, it typically involves a combination of coding, marketing, design, and user experience.
For instance, a creative technologist might help a marketing team use innovative technology in its campaigns, or help developers build products that customers will love.
Since most creative technologists work with digital media, you might find this role at a remote, digitally-oriented company. Or as with web developers and designers, you could offer consulting online.
According to Glassdoor, creative technologists make an average yearly salary of $86,360.
5. Data scientist
Data scientists know how to break down big sets of data and analyze what they mean. They can spot trends, analyze user behavior, and solve complex problems.
To work in data science, you need to be tech savvy and have a good handle on statistics and data analysis. But you must also know to use data in a way that will help the aims of a business.
Along with online programs and bootcamps, many universities now offer programs of study in data science.
If you can break into this field, you’ll be paid well for your expertise — an average of $120,931, according to Glassdoor.
Since data and user behavior is so important to the success of online companies, this job will likely only get more popular among the work from home set.
Writing, blogging, and other creative jobs
6. Blogger or freelancer
If you have a way with words, you could work from anywhere as a blogger or freelance writer. To run your own blog, you’ll need to figure out your niche and start producing quality content on the regular.
Once you’ve built some traffic, you’ll also need to figure out how to monetize your blog. Maybe you add affiliate links (so you earn money when a reader clicks on a link or buys a product you recommended).
Another option could be to sell an e-book, provide consulting services, or partner with companies or other publications who want to feature your writing or photography.
You could also write for other blogs and websites as a freelancer. Check out websites like Problogger, MediaBistro, and Freelancer for opportunities.
Alternatively, identify some publications you want to work for and send the managing editor a pitch with your idea for an article.
To gain exposure, you might have to start with some non-paying gigs, but eventually you’ll work your way up to getting paid for your writing.
7. Content marketer or content writer
If you’d rather have the security of a full-time job, check out the field of content marketing. As a content marketer or writer, you might write blog articles for a business to grow traffic and attract customers.
To succeed in this field, you’ll need to be a gifted storyteller, as well as have an understanding of the needs and challenges of your readers. You might also need expertise in your particular field, whether it’s personal finance, travel, or another field.
A background in English, marketing, or communications could help you get hired. You can also strengthen your resume by taking some free content marketing courses on Udemy or a similar site.
Like content marketers, copywriters typically write to help a business achieve its aims. But instead of telling stories, copywriters often write shorter copy with an intent to sell a product or service.
They might write the copy that appears on a website’s home page or other promotional materials, such as emails or brochures.
Salaries vary depending on your level and experience, but Glassdoor puts the average at $71,137. Not too shabby for a job that lets you use your writing chops while working from anywhere in the world!
9. SEO strategist
When you search for something online, like “what are the best digital nomad jobs” or “where do I find the best cannolis in Rome,” Google pulls up a list of results to answer your question.
But how does Google know which websites have the best information? Well, that’s where SEO experts come in.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it helps websites rank highly. There are a lot of factors that go into SEO, including an understanding of what readers are looking for and establishing authority for your site with “backlinks.”
Since SEO is so important for online companies, you can find a lot of remote roles, whether full- or part-time. And once you get a job, you can enjoy the satisfaction of watching your company gain exposure and move up in the rankings.
10. Social media influencer
If you’ve got a huge Instagram following or Twitter audience, try monetizing your feed with affiliate links and paid partnerships.
To get started, reach out to a company whose products you love and explain what you can offer in terms of exposure and content.
One travel blogger with about 30,000 followers told me an average campaign brings in about $1,000.
Make sure you stick to products you would truly recommend, and figure out what your niche is so you don’t cast too wide a net.
With savvy social media strategies, you could earn money from your own personal channels.
If you’re a great photographer, make money from your photos by selling them to publications or companies.
As mentioned above, you could also gain a following on Instagram and then monetize your feed.
Another great way to make money off your photos is with the Foap app. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can create albums and upload pictures that have a resolution of at least 1280 x 960 pixels.
Businesses and marketing agencies buy photos from Foap to use on their websites or social media accounts. If any buy yours, you can keep half the sale price, which you will receive through Paypal.
This approach could be a good way to get started and earn some extra cash as you establish yourself as a photographer.
12. Social media manager
Instead of building out your own social media channels, you could help businesses run theirs as a social media manager.
In this role, you’ll likely manage Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other pages for one or more clients.
You’ll need a strong visual sense, as well as the skills to write engaging copy. You might also moderate discussions among followers.
A background in marketing or communications could help you land this popular role, which Glassdoor estimates brings in a yearly salary of $54,238.
13. UX writer
While UX designers help build products and online experiences that customers will love, UX writers create the content that customers will see along their “user experience journey.”
This role can be similar to copywriting, but UX writers often work alongside product teams as they develop an app, product, or some other user journey.
That way, they help ensure the customer has a great experience from start to finish.
Education and counseling
14. Online ESL teacher
Educators can work from anywhere by teaching classes online. Teaching English as a Second Language to non-native speakers is an especially popular option, as there are opportunities all over the world.
Companies like VIPKID, Qkids, and Berlitz hire English teachers to conduct online classes. You might use an online classroom software or simply hold conversations over Skype.
Getting your TEFL certificate could help you get qualified for jobs, though some employers simply look for a native command of the language and a background in English or a similar subject.
Although this role lets you work from anywhere, you might not have total control over your schedule. If your students are in a very different time zone, you might need to make yourself available at odd hours.
15. Online college counselor
Along similar lines, you could offer services online as a college counselor. You could work independently or pair up with a college consulting company.
In this role, you’ll guide American or international students along the path to applying to college. You’ll need a good understanding of the admissions system, along with insight into the college application process.
You might also help students shape their personal essays and work with them to tell a memorable story.
Supporting high school students as they prepare for the transition to college could be one more way to work in the field of education without being tied to a classroom.
16. Udemy instructor
Anyone with a compelling topic and area of expertise can create an online course for learning marketplace Udemy. You’ll need to create a well-structured course with lectures and activities.
It’s up to you how much you charge for your course, but if it gets popular, it could be a great way to earn passive income for months or even years to come.
Business and entrepreneurship
17. Running an online store
If selling is the name of your game, consider running your own online store. This could involve selling your artwork or crafts on Etsy or flipping antiques on eBay.
Or maybe you build furniture or design clothes. Whatever your specialty, make a website or use an e-commerce platform to sell your goods online.
You might also take some free courses in marketing to learn strategies for drawing in customers.
18. International sales representative
Anyone with a skill for salesmanship could find a location independent job as an international sales representative.
You’ll need a knack for working with people, as well as a strong understanding of customer’s wants and pain points.
Even though you might not have to go into the office, you won’t necessarily get to choose where you travel.
Your company will likely send you to specific locations to score new customers and maintain relationships with old ones.
Being an entrepreneur can mean lots of different things, but getting started is all about identifying a need or problem and devising an innovative way to meet or solve it.
When you run your own business, you can work from anywhere. Some entrepreneurs even incorporate “mini-retirements” along the way, instead of waiting until they’re 55 to take a break.
Obviously, succeeding as an entrepreneur entails a lot of hard work, as well as resilience in the face of failure and self-doubt.
But if you can make it work, you’ll eventually be able to exercise almost full control over your lifestyle and schedule.
20. Project manager
Project managers are great multi-taskers. They’re responsible for leading all different parts of a project, from managing timelines to setting budgets to making sure everyone understands their tasks and meets deadlines.
Project managers work across all different industries, so you’ll have to find a role within your industry of interest and experience. If you find one within a remote company, you could make an average salary of $80,854 each year, says Glassdoor.
21. Finance manager
Financial management is another fulfilling career path for qualified professionals. If you’ve got the skill set, you could run the finances of a remote company.
Remote companies might have added challenges, since employees work in different locations with different tax laws.
But if you’re up for the challenge, you could make an average annual income of $104,461.
Customer support and administrative work
22. Customer service representative
Are you good at listening to people’s problems and offering solutions? If so, look for telecommute jobs as a customer support representative.
Lots of companies hire remote support reps to interact with customers, whether online or over the phone.
Job board WeWorkRemotely.com, for instance, has an entire category devoted to customer service jobs, so check out that site and other work from home job websites for opportunities in this popular field.
23. Virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are another popular option for telecommuting, and they’re a great fit for anyone with great multi-tasking and organization skills.
You might maintain documents for a company, manage calendars, and schedule appointments.
Zirtual and Virtual Office VA are just two remote companies that hire virtual assistants, but search job boards for even more openings.
Miscellaneous digital nomad jobs
24. Cryptocurrency developer
Rumor has it there’s a world-changing economic revolution underfoot, and you could get in on the action as a cryptocurrency developer. (There are probably non-developer roles that let you work from anywhere in the crypto world too, but no idea how popular or accessible they are at the moment).
You’ll need to be familiar with blockchain technology and security, so check out crash courses to sharpen your skills. I’ll stop here, though; if this role seems like a viable option for you, you probably already understand a lot more about the inner workings of the blockchain than I do!
Est-ce que tu parles français? ¿Como es tu español?
If you’re fluent in another language, you can find online work as a translator.
Check out sites like Upwork or Freelancer for gigs, or find more steady roles on work from home job boards.
26. Registered nurse
Believe it or not, there are lots of work from home jobs for registered nurses. How does this work, exactly?
Well, some work from home RNs oversee patients’ care plans to make sure they’re receiving appropriate care. You can also make referrals and provide resources and education to patients. Some RNs also teach online classes to nurses in training or consult with other healthcare professionals.
Big companies like Aetna and UnitedHealth Group hire work from home RNs. Check out the career pages of healthcare companies, or find opportunities to use your nursing degree from home on an online job board.
Transcribers convert audio or video files into written text, making sure to add correct grammar, punctuation, and formatting.
Along with patience, you’ll need to be a fast typer with a strong sense of the mechanics of the English language.
You can find transcription gigs on Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer, which could potentially lead to regular work.
Find a job that lets you work and travel
Lots of people work on the computer these days, so it no longer makes sense to be tied to an office.
With one of these digital nomad jobs, you could work from any workspace, city, or country you want.
You could even join up with a tribe of like-minded digital nomads and explore the world as you build your career.
For more on this, check out this list of 13 exciting programs that take digital nomads around the world.