A few decades ago, saying you want to be able to work online from a beach in Thailand would have gotten you laughed at. In 2022, it’s a reality for many people. The only thing that separates those who are able to pull it off from those who are stuck at home with their vision board, is that the doers have found a way to secure one of the many digital nomad jobs that allow that sort of freedom.
Many of us grew up in households where our parents would work 40 hours a week, 50 weeks per year, in order to escape to Mexico for a measly 2 weeks. If you were lucky.
Now that many employers are allowing their employees to work remotely, many of us are asking the question — why don’t I just go work from Mexico instead?
After all, many North American cities are cold, expensive, and let’s face it — unless you live in a big city — a bit boring.
If you can advance your career while earning dollars and spending in pesos, why not? That form of currency arbitrage can be extremely powerful in building your net worth and can provide you with a higher quality of life in the process.
But okay, I won’t sell you on it anymore. Instead, let’s get right into what these illustrious digital nomad jobs are, where you can find them, and what you should be looking for.
Remote Jobs Vs Digital Nomad Jobs
The difference between a remote job and a digital nomad job is that a remote job requires you to stay in a fixed location, whereas the latter allows you to travel. Many employers are fine with offering fully remote positions, as long as they know you’re sitting at home. Once you start talking about hopping on a flight to Playa Del Carmen, they get a bit uncomfortable.
In reality, you can usually do the exact same job, and produce the same results regardless of where you are. In most cases, all you need is your laptop, a quiet workstation, and a solid internet connection.
Some jobs will require you to work a certain schedule (e.g. 9-5pm EST) while others are completely asynchronous, and nobody cares what your hours are as long as you get your work done. This is the most desired type of schedule among nomads, but it’s also the least common.
Where To Look For Digital Nomad Jobs
Now that we understand the basics, let’s talk about how to find digital nomad jobs online.
While you probably won’t find many jobs for digital nomads by knocking on doors or checking out your local job boards, they do exist. You just need to know where to look.
If you’re looking for a full-time job as an employee, you’ll want to check out sites like DynamiteJobs, RemoteOk, and WorkingNomads. These are some of the top remote job boards, but there are plenty of others.
If you want more ideas, check out our directory of remote job boards. We’ve already scoured the internet for a bunch of websites, so you don’t have to.
If you prefer the idea of being a freelancer, the best platforms to start are typically Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork. But, again, that’s just scratching the surface of what’s out there. You can always find your own clients and serve them outside of a platform (thereby also cutting out their ~20% fee).
But, now that we have an idea of where to start… what exactly are we looking for?
Choosing The Right Line Of Work For You
In general, there are three types of digital nomad jobs that you can find online. These are traditional online jobs (i.e. being an employee), freelancing (i.e. being self-employed), and online businesses (i.e. being a business owner). There’s also investing, but there’s no way we’re going to try to cover that in this article.
Many of the most common digital nomad jobs come from sectors that are largely online, such as programming, digital marketing, or graphic design. But, there are a lot of other options that you can check out if you don’t understand Facebook ads or have a software engineering degree in your back pocket.
Freelancing jobs are literally anything you want them to be. There’s no digital nomad jobs list that can cover all of the options because there are simply too many of them. Any time you can help a business or individual with a problem they’re facing, and create value, you can charge them for your help. This could be technical help like SEO or web design, or it could be built off soft skills like coaching them on how to live a happier, healthier life.
Starting a business is the most ambiguous of the three options. Freelancers typically don’t have to invest much in getting started, whereas a business owner needs to invest in systems and processes. Again, a business can be anything that you can get paid for, so don’t expect us to cover all of the possibilities here.
If you want a more exhaustive list of digital nomad jobs you can always check out our Hustle directory and filter for “Freelancing”, “Remote Employment”, or “Business Building”.
Traditional Online Jobs
If you want to be an employee, receive a steady paycheque, and have a corporate ladder that you can work your way up, this is probably the option you’re looking for. It comes with the least flexibility, but it offers the most certainty. Here are some of the most common job titles that hire for remote positions.
An online executive assistant (EA) helps senior executives run their company. This person performs a variety of tasks like emailing clients, assembling reports, managing projects, or whatever else their boss needs help with. This is a job best suited for someone organized, proactive, and with great communication skills.
A project manager takes the lead in keeping organizational projects on track. If the company needs a project done by X date, it’s your job to make sure the team gets it done on time. Most of these tasks can be accomplished at home which is why this role is suited for remote work. This year, it’s one of the most in-demand digital nomad jobs as companies try to keep up with project deadlines that have been affected by the never-ending pandemic.
Remote accountants provide the same services as regular accountants, just from their home offices. Accounts receivable, account payable, end-of-year filings… it’s the same stuff, really. You’ll probably need your country’s professional certification (e.g. CPA) unless you just want to be a bookkeeper (which we cover below).
Product managers take charge of overseeing production teams, analyze product trends, and assess consumer needs. When you get rid of all the jargon, they’re basically a project manager for a product, which is ongoing by nature. They also take the lead in introducing new products to the public through launch efforts.
There’s often no need for product managers to be working in person, as long as they can still be effective from home.
Software development is, and likely always will be, one of the top digital nomad jobs. Software developers are in huge demand since software powers nearly everything we do these days.
If you’re a solid developer and have any ability to communicate at all, you’ll likely never run out of remote jobs you’re qualified for. You’ll work on developing apps and technology using your expertise in front-end, back-end, or both.
With so much digital media being based on video these days, there’s a large demand for skilled video editors. Whether you’re working on TikToks, Youtube videos, music videos, or whatever else, there’s no shortage of videos that need editing.
You don’t need a degree either, since your portfolio will speak for itself.
Social Media Manager
Many companies employ a social media manager since having a positive online presence can lead to them getting more clients. You can also look for jobs at marketing agencies, who will then assign you to multiple clients at the same time. Your primary tasks will include developing growth strategies, creating & posting content, engaging with followers, and presenting metrics.
It’s not very complicated work, to be honest, but it will definitely help if you’re familiar with social media platforms.
If you’ve got a great personality that translates well online, then community management might be the job you’ve been looking for. Many businesses have online communities (Facebook groups, Slack channels, Discords, etc.) and need moderators to ensure that people abide by the rules. As a community manager, you’ll need to engage with users while taking on the organization or brand’s voice, and ensure that users are being respectful both with the rules and with each other.
Media buying is what I (Zennen, the author) personally did as one of my first digital nomad jobs. A media buyer manages the online ads for clients, buying ad placements and optimizing for the outcomes they desire. You’ll likely be working with a platform like Google or Facebook Ads, and will work to get your clients the most sales/leads/outcomes they can get for the lowest amount of spend.
It’s a pretty good gig, overall. It’s not necessary to have a degree, although it certainly adds credibility if you do. There are a lot of online courses that you can do to get started, though the real learning will begin once you get your hands dirty.
‘Digital marketer’ is an umbrella term for someone who takes on multiple aspects of digital marketing for a company or an agency. Quite likely, you’ll be working as a generalist on whatever the organization needs. You might be working on paid advertising, content marketing, SEO, or whatever other projects the company is taking on. The important part is to stay flexible, enthusiastic, and to always look for ways to help your employer’s busines grow.
Call Center Representative
Working in a call center is one of the most suitable digital nomad jobs for beginners because it relies on customer service experience that most people have from their in-person careers. As a call center rep, you’ll be working remotely from home on a variety of client accounts.
You’ll help customers over the phone, through chat, by email, or through whatever other system your employer is using.
User experience (UX) designers are hired in-house by companies to create digital products that are usable and meaningful for consumers. They work on the entire process of product design to ensure that the user enjoys the experience of using it, and attains the outcome that both they and the company want them to aquire.
The demand for remote UX designers is set to continue to increase in the coming years since more and more digital products are being developed each year. Google has even included UX design in its ranking algorithm, making it a factor businesses will need to consider if they want to get the most business they can out of Google.
Nearly every business has a website these days, which is precisely why web developers are in such high demand. A web developer will build websites and web applications for clients, and will continue to improve them as they require more features. It’s a technical digital nomad job so you’ll need to know how to code, but if you get the hang of it, you’ll likely never be short of work again.
Freelancers are those who work for themselves and are not tied down to a company. They are paid on a project or contractual basis. If you’re looking for digital nomad jobs with no experience, freelancing gigs can be a great place to start since the primary focus is on creating value. The goal is to make your clients’ lives easier, whatever that may mean.
To give you some inspiration, here are some of the best freelancing digital nomad jobs for 2022.
Virtual assistants (VAs) help small businesses and entrepreneurs with tasks remotely. This is often the first position an entrepreneur will hire as they’re looking to grow their business. Depending on their skill set, a VA may be tasked with content generation, customer service, social media, project management, or whatever else is needed.
Copywriters are marketers that specialize in writing words that compel people to take certain actions. Whether you’re trying to sell products, generate leads, or just get people to continue reading your writing, you’ll need copy that convinces them to take a certain action. Copywriters write content for sales pages, product descriptions, ads, emails, and anything else that people will see. A good copywriter is worth their weight in gold.
Content writers produce written content that can be used for a variety of purposes like blog posts, video scripts, web pages, email newsletters, and more. The content doesn’t need to be optimized for SEO, but many clients will prefer that it is. If you want to become a digital nomad, this can be one of the easiest ways to get started.
Proofreaders are editors that will make sure that written content is as strong and grammatically correct as it can be. Many businesses will pay for a proofreader because it’s less expensive than the embarrassment that comes with publishing an advertisement or printed work with spelling mistakes. Even with apps like Grammarly, proofreading will continue to be in demand because those apps can’t fully understand the context and regional nuances of a language.
Remote sales representatives do the same work as inside sales reps except for the fact that they don’t have to show up at the office. Instead, they prospect, qualify, and close sales while working remotely. Using online tools and phone calls, they can communicate as effectively as any other remote worker.
As a freelancer, you’ll typically have an incentive structure with more commissions than a fixed salary. Your income will entirely depend on your results, but your earning potential can be higher than a lot of the other options on this list.
Companies hire virtual recruiters to find and qualify applicants for the job vacancies they need to fill. It’s often hard to find candidates that meet the specific skills a business is looking for, which is exactly why they often pay a premium to recruiters that are able to produce them.
The work is sort of like sales — you’ll be prospecting for leads, qualifying them, and getting them interested in the positions. But, instead of selling them a product (which costs money), you’re selling them on an opportunity (which can make them money).
Graphic designers create visually compelling images for businesses. They can be product images, logos, infographics, or whatever else. Graphic designers will typically use editing apps like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and more.
While you don’t need a degree if you have a solid portfolio, certifications can certainly add to your credibility. You can either specialize in a certain type of design or software (e.g. mobile app UI, Youtube thumbnails), or you can be a generalist.
Online tutoring can be a great way to generate some income for academically-inclined nomads. If you’re adept at school subjects like math or science and have the communication skills to help others learn, then this could be one of the best part-time digital nomad jobs on this list. You can work for a tutoring company or you can work for yourself. Either way, you’ll likely conduct your classes via video call and tutor highschool or university students.
An automation specialist is someone who helps a business create systems that allow processes to happen automatically. For example, you can help set up systems to automatically process orders, follow-ups with clients, send invoices, and more. You can save clients a ton of man-hours depending on what you set up and can charge them based on the value you create.
A search engine optimization specialist helps businesses get their websites ranked on Google for the keywords that will help them reach their audience. SEO doesn’t happen naturally — it’s more of a science — and most business owners have no idea how to do it themselves. A properly optimized website can get hundreds, thousands, or even millions of visitors monthly, making it an excellent way to get leads to sell to. That’s exactly why business owners are willing to pay for it.
Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the last few years, which has raised the bar for production quality. Having a properly edited podcast can make a big difference in increasing your downloads, which is exactly why most popular podcasts employ a podcast editor. A podcast editor makes sure that the final episode looks and sounds great. No degree is required, but expertise and enthusiasm are definitely needed.
Businesses are going global, and that means there is an increasing demand for getting marketing materials translated. Even with tools like Google Translate, freelance translators are in-demand because they consistently do the best job. While Google Translate may suitable for personal communication, a professional translator will be able to apply a more holistic approach with perfect grammar and regional adaptations.
Data entry specialists help businesses organize and update their data. With most businesses using software to keep their systems running, there are more data points being collected than ever before. But, even though much of it can be automated, some things still require manpower. A data specialist might migrate data between two systems, input data from spreadsheets, or whatever else is required. It’s not the most exciting work, but that’s exactly why businesses are willing to pay you to do it. It’s consistently in demand, and you don’t need a lot of experience to get started.
Online Business Ideas
If you’re willing to accept a bit of risk, starting an online business might be more financially and spiritually rewarding than working for someone else. Sure, it’s not technically a digital nomad ‘job’, but if it puts food on the table — who cares? Plus, with the right systems in place, you might even be able to get things running without your day-to-day input.
Here are some of the most popular businesses for digital nomads.
Starting a Blog
A blog is a text-focused website (like this one) that provides written information on a certain subject. The goal is to provide value, such as entertainment, recommendations, or solve problems. In general, it’s best to focus on a certain niche (topic) like personal finance, fitness, or food.
Blogs can make money in a variety of ways, but the most common methods are through display ads or affiliate marketing. You’ll typically write keyword-optimized articles that employ SEO practices to rank on google (e.g. showing up for “best beef wellington recipe”), although you can get your traffic from a variety of channels. Traffic from a specific nice + advertising products in that niche = how you get paid. It’s a well-established business model that can be very lucrative when executed properly. It’s often easier to make money with niche sites than a pure blog, although the differences can be subtle.
Starting a YouTube Channel
Youtube is the second biggest search platform in the world, and as of 2022, over 2.6 Billion people use the platform once a month. That’s a gigantic amount of videos being watched, and there’s definitely room for you to get involved as a creator. You can make a hosted channel (with you as the star), a video essay channel, a podcast, or whatever you want.
Like blogging, you’ll typically monetize through advertising, though you can also send your viewers to other websites or products that you create. Youtube has a built-in advertising platform that you can qualify for once you have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous year. This will make it so you can put ads on your videos, and get paid every time someone sees them. Combine this with sponsorships and affiliate marketing, and you replacing your day job’s income is certainly possible.
Starting a Dropshipping Store
Dropshipping is a business model where you create an online store and sell products, without taking on the risk of buying inventory in advance. Normally, to sell products online, you’ll buy a bunch of inventory and ship the products out as the orders come in. With dropshipping you’ll market another business’s products. Once an order comes in, you’ll then take the money and order the product from your supplier, who will then ship it directly to your customer.
You get to sell products online from the comfort of your living room, without the risk or investment of a normal e-commerce business. This business model is completely legal, and many people have succeeded with it. It’s best used as a starting point for starting a real e-commerce brand. There are more ways to do it than we can cover in this article but Youtube has a ton of free tutorials available that you should check out if you’re interested.
Want to learn more about dropshipping? Check out our complete dropshipping guide!
Start a Print-On-Demand Business
Print-on-demand is a type of dropshipping business. You’re selling products you don’t physically have, and you’re working with a third-party business to fulfill the orders. But, what makes a print-on-demand business different is that your products are being printed with your custom designs.
You’ll typically sell t-shirts, mugs, or other merchandise, and once an order is placed, you’ll send the order to your supplier. The supplier will then take a piece of their generic, homogenous inventory and print it with your design. Then, they’ll send it directly to your customer.
The idea is to create cool, original designs that people want to buy, and to find cost-efficient ways to market them. You’ll probably want to start off on a platform like Etsy, Teespring, or Amazon Merch, but you can eventually open your own storefront once you’ve figured out how to get qualified traffic.
Create a Lead-Gen Site
A lead-gen site is a website that intercepts people looking for a specific service and then recommends them to service providers in exchange for a fee. For example, someone might search for “best plumber Toronto” and click on the top Google result from a website called “BestPlumbersToronto.ca”. This “BestPlumbersToronto.ca” website can then take the customer’s information and send it to a local plumbing business that doesn’t have a strong online presence.
Lead-gen sites can operate in a wide variety of niches like local services (plumbers, tow trucks, etc.) and online services (e.g. logo design, web design), and can be an excellent way to make money online. The hard part is to get the website ranked in Google, but this can be overcome with strong SEO and by targeting keywords with less competition.
Sell an Online Course
Selling an online course is one of the most powerful business models because it solves a problem, has no additional unit cost (because it’s distributed digitally — you don’t need to make more units), and can be sold for a high price. If you’re an expert in something (or even pretty good at it), you can leverage your knowledge and turn it into a guided online course.
You can sell the online course for anywhere between $10-$10,000, depending on the problem you’re solving. Plus, you can make passive income since you’ll be able to sell online courses while you sleep, for years to come.
Start an Agency
A freelancer is an individual who provides a service, and an agency is a business that does the same thing — by hiring employees to provide a service. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a certain niche. You can create a Youtube thumbnail agency, a Facebook ads agency, a content writing agency, or whatever else is in demand. Similar to freelancing, the idea is to find a way to provide value to a business and solve its problems for a fee.
Develop A SaaS Tool
SaaS (software as a service) basically means a piece of software that helps a business in exchange for a fee. Usually, SaaS businesses charge a subscription fee, which means you can enjoy recurring revenue. The SaaS can be built on a variety of platforms and can provide a wide variety (literally only limited by your imagination) of services. You could build a Chrome Extension, a Shopify App, a web app, a WordPress Plugin, or whatever else.
The beauty of SaaS is that you can typically scale it up very efficiently. Selling 1,000,000 licenses involves little more resources than selling 1,000 licenses. Plus, if you ever want to sell the business, the price tends to fetch a healthy multiple of 10x annual recurring revenue (as of 2022).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common digital nomad job?
It’s tough to say exactly what the most common job for a digital nomad is since no survey can gather information on everybody. However, a popular website for digital nomads called Nomadlist put out a 2022 report which showed that the most common job title for their members was “Software Engineer”, followed by “Web Developer” and “Startup Founder”.
How much money do digital nomads make?
In the same Nomadlist 2022 report as mentioned above, Nomadlist found that the average income for its members was $118,912 per year, with a median income of $85,000. These numbers are likely higher than reality since they are coming from a paid membership platform whose primary audience is developers. But, in the absence of a better source, they can still give you a good idea of what to expect.
Don’t let that discourage you though. That same report says that 22% of nomads make less than $50K/year, and even with inflation, there are still a lot of spots where you can comfortably live off $1000-$2000 per month.
Looking For More Ideas on How To Make Money Online?
With 35 ideas on this list, you’ve probably already found something that fits what you’re looking for. But, if you’re still hungry for more digital nomad jobs, then we’ve got tons of other ideas that you can read up on. If you check out our Hustles directory, we’ve been working to index every way to make money online that we can find. There are over 170 currently listed, with many more on the way. Plus, we’ve added filters that make it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for.
Regardless of what you choose, if your goal is to become a digital nomad, don’t let it slip away! It’s possible, and there are thousands (maybe even millions) of people already living that lifestyle. The internet is making it easier than ever to make your income online, even if you aren’t a software developer.
Good luck, and happy hustling!