Ranking the Best Digital Nomad Jobs: Top 14 of 2020
You can travel the world and still make a living!
In 2020, 4.8 million American workers consider themselves to be digital nomads, and it’s predicted that there may be 1 billion digital nomads worldwide by 2035 (source). Those types of numbers prove that there’s a lot of interest in a lifestyle that emphasizes travel while not sacrificing your finances.
If you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad, the obvious question is “What will you do for income?”
Fortunately, there are a growing number of remote jobs available and you may be able to earn a very comfortable living while traveling the world. If you’re looking for digital nomad jobs because you’re dreaming of a life on the road, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 14 of the best digital nomad jobs
|Best Jobs for Digital Nomads|
|Virtual Assistant||Lots of opportunities, use the skills you already have||$19/hour|
|Writer||Ongoing work available from websites and blogs||$30/hour|
|Social Media Manager||Manage social profiles or social ad campaigns||$25/hour|
|SEO||Drive Google and search traffic to clients’ website||$26/hour|
|Developer||Strong demand and high-paying opportunities||$36/hour|
|Designer||Many ways to use design & artistic skills for clients||$23/hour|
|Online Entrepreneur||Start your own business instead of working for clients||$18/hour|
|Course Creator||Instead of working for clients, sell courses on your own website||$18/hour|
|Videographer||Increasing demand as more video content is being created
|Photographer||Work for clients, sell prints, license digital photos, and more||$21/hour|
|Self-Published Author||Write and publish on Amazon or other platforms||$28/hour|
|Coach||Use your strengths and experience to help others||$29/hour|
|Teacher or Tutor||Teach students around the world with online platforms||$29/hour|
|Customer Service||Avoids client work or starting your own business||$15/hour|
|Data from ZipRecruiter.com was used for the typical wages*|
1. Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistant (VA) is a broad term that can cover a lot of different services. Clients (often entrepreneurs and small businesses) will outsource work to VAs rather than handling it in-house.
Some VAs take a general approach and offer a wide variety of services like moderating Facebook Groups or forums, managing social media profiles, providing customer service, editing blog posts, and much more.
Other VAs take a specialized approach and focus on just one service. For example, you might market your services as a Pinterest Virtual Assistant and offer to help clients with the design of images and graphics to use on Pinterest, and also with the management of the client’s Pinterest profile.
The highest-paid VAs almost always specialize. By taking a specialized approach you can brand yourself as an expert, master your core service to get better results for your client, and justify higher rates.
This is one of my favorite digital nomad jobs, well… because I’m a writer! If you have some writing ability, you could put that to good use in a few ways. One of the most common approaches is to work as a freelance writer. You could write for newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and other types of publications (both online and print).
There are freelance writing gigs available in a very wide range of industries, so you may be able to use your existing skills or experience to land work.
Another option is to work as a copywriter. A copywriter is responsible for writing advertisements or sales copy. You could write the copy for a sales page on a website, text for a billboard ad, text for promotional emails, or any other type of ad.
It’s a specific skill, and those who are good at copywriting can make a lot of money (because they’re able to generate a lot of revenue for clients).
3. Social Media Manager
Social media is critical to many businesses as a way to communicate with their customers and to increase exposure and reach a larger audience. But not every business has the capability to use social media effectively without hiring outside help.
As a social media manager, you could help your clients to plan a strategy for their social media profiles, create and schedule posts to keep their profiles active, design graphics for use on social media, and manage ads on sites like Facebook and Pinterest.
With so many businesses increasing their reliance on online advertising, working as an ad manager is a great option. Some social media managers specialize exclusively in setting up and managing ad campaigns for their clients.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is used by a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs as a way to increase traffic from Google and other search engines. Most business owners know very little about SEO, so they’ll need to hire an expert if they want to get results.
Some SEOs focus exclusively on organic (free) search traffic and others also offer ad management services to set up and maintain Google Ads pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
An effective SEO campaign can have big results for clients in terms of increasing profitability, so there is good income potential for those who are able to establish a strong track record and get results for their clients.
If you’re looking to get started learning the principles of SEO, the Yoast SEO Academy is a great place to begin.
5. Programmer or Developer
As a programmer or developer, you could code software, apps, or websites. The coding languages and specific skills that you use will depend on the type of project, but there is some crossover and many developers will work on more than one type of project.
Coding is a great opportunity because there’s a strong demand, and that’s likely to continue to increase. With strong demand and a highly specialized skill, it’s easy to see why programmers and developers can earn a great income.
There are several different ways that you can learn to code. You could go to college and earn a degree, take a much shorter path to earn a specialized certification, or take a DIY approach and make use of the many online resources that can help you to learn.
If you have some design skills, there are several different ways that you could put those skills to good use and make some money.
Graphic designers can offer to design a wide range of things, including:
- Business cards
- Brochures, flyers, and other marketing materials
- And more
Of course, web design is also a popular option. Most web designers will also do basic coding (HTML and CSS), but some designers focus only on the visual aspect.
If you’re not able to code, a growing number of designers are now using pre-existing WordPress themes and templates to set up websites for their clients without the need to code. Many of the leading themes allow you to use a drag-and-drop editor to design the site as you see fit.
7. Online Entrepreneur
Online entrepreneur is a broad category that covers anyone who makes money through their own website or online business. Some of the popular options include starting a blog, starting a podcast, starting a YouTube channel, and creating online courses. All of these options are very flexible and provide unlimited income potential.
The downside to working as an online entrepreneur is the fact that it can take a long time for your income to reach a substantial amount. The first six options covered in this article all involve providing a service to a client. With a service-related business, you can start making money as soon as you have a client, and you’ll be getting paid for your work. As an online entrepreneur, it’s possible that you’ll put a lot of time into something that never takes off. However, the high income potential makes this option desirable for many digital nomads.
8. Course Creator
As a course creator, you could sell courses on your own website, or use a platform like Udemy or Skillshare to get exposure if you don’t have an audience of your own (having your own audience will still help, even if you choose to sell on these other platforms).
9. Videographer or Video Editor
As a videographer, you would be creating videos for clients which tends to inherently involve a lot of travel. Video editing obviously focuses on the production aspect rather than actually creating the video. These are really two separate jobs, but I’m listing them together because many people offer both services.
With an increasing amount of video content being created, these services are in high demand.
There could also be some overlap with the role of an online entrepreneur. If you start a YouTube channel, you may be creating and editing your own videos.
Travel and photography seem to go hand-in-hand. If you have some photography skills, you may be able to put that to good use and make money while enjoying the places that you’re visiting.
This is one of the more fun digital nomad jobs, because travel photographers can make money by running a blog, selling prints, selling digital photos (including photos at stock marketplaces), selling related digital products to photographers (like Lightroom presets), creating courses, and by offering photography workshops or photography tours.
11. Self-Published Author
If you like to write but freelancing doesn’t interest you, another option is to become a self-published author. Most self-published authors right now are making the majority of their income from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You can sell ebooks as well as paperbacks that are printed on-demand.
As an author, you can write fiction or non-fiction books on any topic. Most self-published authors that earn a full-time income have written a number of books and continually work to produce new books.
You could work as a coach with any number of different specializations (career coach, financial coach, health & fitness coach, etc.). Coaching is a great option for anyone who travels because all you need is an internet connection and you can have a video call with your clients using Skype or Zoom.
This is another digital nomad job that may allow you to put some of your existing skills and experience to good use. It could even work in tandem with some of the other opportunities already covered. For example, you could start a blog and promote your coaching services on your blog.
13. Teacher or Tutor
There are a growing number of opportunities to work remotely as a teacher or tutor. A lot of opportunities involve teaching English to students around the world, but there are other things you could teach as well.
14. Customer Service
Many companies hire remote workers for customer service positions. This could involve customer service by phone, email, or chat. In general, this isn’t going to be the most lucrative opportunity, but many digital nomads don’t need to make a big salary.
Which digital nomad job is right for you?
As you can see, there are a lot of options for making money while being location independent. Take a look at the options covered on this list and see which one might be a good fit with your existing skills and your interests.
*Data for “wages” in the table is based on the average hourly wages provided by ZipRecruiter.com. In a few cases, there were multiple jobs with similar titles. The data provided is based on these job titles according to ZipRecruiter: virtual assistant, freelance writer, social media marketing manager, SEO specialist, web developer, graphic designer, blogger, videographer, photographer, author, life coach, online teacher, work from home customer service associate.