In simple terms, any job you can do from your computer can be adapted to the digital nomad lifestyle. As long as you have your laptop and can log on to the internet, you can operate as a location independent professional and choose how, where, and when you work.
There are tons of ways to make money online, which means you can look for the best job for your personality or preferences, and enjoy all the freedom and flexibility being a nomad provides.
How Covid-19 changed the landscape of remote work
For a lot of us, life changed quickly (and dramatically) in the spring of 2020. Almost overnight, companies had to close the doors of their physical offices and adopt a whole new remote work structure. While this change felt sudden, it wasn’t long before businesses recognized the value in distributed teams and appreciated how well everyone could work together from a distance.
For this reason, many companies have committed to continuing with remote work through 2021 and beyond. With this broader understanding of how powerful and productive remote work can be, the digital nomad community is expected to soar once it’s safe to travel the world again.
And when that happens, you’ll need a way to support yourself and afford all of those fabulous adventures you have planned!
10 best digital nomad jobs in 2021
Copywriters deliver the creative, informative content that’s an essential part of marketing and advertising. Well-produced copy (that is, the text itself) can help increase brand awareness and guide the reader's own research on products and services. A freelance copywriter has the ability to virtually communicate with their clients, meaning they can basically work from anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
If you think you have a knack for writing, a job as a copywriter might be a great fit! The best part is, you won’t be confined to a single topic or theme — copywriting covers an endless spectrum of subjects, especially when you’re able to diversify the brands you partner with.
2. Social media manager
If you already enjoy being on social media in your free time, why not make money doing it? These days, countless companies hire social media managers to organize their social platforms and get more eyes (and likes) on their posts. While large companies often use marketing agencies for these roles, smaller companies tend to bring in freelance social media managers to take care of their accounts and help them grow their business.
These managers can take on a variety of responsibilities, from developing social media strategies, to producing new Instagram content, and even building customer relationships by responding to comments and messages. A fast-moving, creative job you can do from anywhere? Sounds pretty ideal!
3. Graphic designer
Graphic designers always seem to be in demand, which makes sense, considering the vast need for their talents in both print and online materials. If you have education or knowledge in the world of graphic design, you can use your social media presence to promote your work and secure some paid commissions that’ll set your freelance career in motion. Believe it or not, this sort of thing happens all the time!
And if it’s any additional encouragement, there’s already a number of nomads who are designing remotely and having tremendous success. As soon as you let people know you’re ready to take on new clients, it’ll only be a matter of time before the contracts start rolling in.
4. Video editor
Video editing jobs have been booming for the last several years, given the incredible amount of digital content that’s consumed every day. If video editor appears on your resume, you can really work from wherever you like (pending you have access to WiFi). With that said, if you don’t have any editing skills just yet, but you do have a passion for this career path, definitely don’t count yourself out.
To begin, you’ll need some video editing software — like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro — to help you slowly master this field. And if you take on small jobs for people within your professional network, you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn all on your own.
Programmers (sometimes called software developers) are the folks who create the computer software we use on a daily basis. On top of writing code for programs and applications, these individuals are also responsible for maintaining, debugging, and troubleshooting software to make sure these systems run smoothly at all times.
Not only do programmers have the flexibility to work remotely, but there are a wealth of programming jobs opening up everywhere you look. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to helping people find remote programming jobs. If you already work as a programmer (or you’re interested in becoming one), it’s safe to say there are plenty of opportunities for you to be location independent at the same time.
6. Website builder
You might think in order to build a website, you have to be proficient in coding — but in reality, that hasn’t been true for over a decade. That’s right, you can create professional-looking websites with *zero* background in coding! Thanks to the numerous content management systems and website building tools on the market right now, you have all kinds of pre-made templates and designs at your disposal.
The leading resources for building websites include WIX and Squarespace (for standard sites), and Shopify and Bigcommerce (for ecommerce stores). These platforms are incredibly popular and easy to use, so even if you learn just one of them, your chances of scoring a remote gig as a website builder will increase exponentially.
If you know how to type, you can learn how to transcribe; it’s really as simple as that! Transcribing is a great way to get your feet wet in the world of remote work, since it’s quick to get started and your assignments can be completed from anywhere. As a transcriber, you’ll generate written copies of various video and audio materials, like TV shows or college lectures.
The best transcription jobs are typically found on REV and TranscribeMe.com, but there are a multitude of other sites offering identical work. Whenever you need extra income or you’re on the hunt for a side hustle, transcription makes an excellent, accessible option.
8. Customer service representative
For anyone with strong communication skills, becoming a customer service representative will be a breeze! Careers in customer service are perfect for people who excel at communication and can solve problems in a snap. And now, because so much of this work is done remotely, it’s an awesome choice for digital nomads, as well.
There’s a large demand for new representatives all the time, seeing as every company (regardless of its size) offers some sort of customer service. Even up-and-coming brands geared toward millennials or eco-conscious consumers need help with customer engagement, so look for a company you align with and see what you can do about joining their team.
9. Language instructor
Working as a language instructor happens a lot among the digital nomad community, since there are ample opportunities available and the pay is usually substantial. If you’re a native speaker of either English, German, or Spanish, you can likely start teaching right away. And, if you receive your TEFL certification (for teaching English as a foreign language), you’ll be able to work with students nearly anywhere in the world.
Although being a language instructor isn’t inherently a remote job, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it one! By offering classes via Skype or similar video service, you can help children and adults alike learn to speak English with ease.
If you’re great at writing but working as a copywriter just isn’t for you, there’s always the option to write for yourself. When you become a blogger, you can really write about whatever interests you — like travel, fitness, cooking, or something totally unexpected! Plenty of people have full-time blogging careers, even digital nomads who are out exploring the world as they work.
It might take a bit of time, but if you stick with it, blogging can be quite lucrative, and can help sustain your nomad lifestyle for years to come. Plus, what’s more fun than sharing your personal insights and experiences with readers who love the same things?
Best websites to find digital nomad jobs
FlexJobs has been in the game since 2007, and has helped more than 4 million people land remote work in that time. If you’re looking for a location independent gig that gives you more flexibility than the traditional 9-to-5, FlexJobs can help you find it. Their team works hard to provide the best services and resources available, which could explain why their site boasts over 30,000 jobs in 50 different categories to choose from.
WeWorkRemotely is an online job board where companies pay to list remote job openings. With over 230,000 unique visitors and 500 new positions posted every month, this site is an amazing place to find work from a remote location. WeWorkRemotely has grown significantly since their initial launch in 2011, with more than 10,500 jobs posted to their platform, and visits from 99% of the countries on earth. Guess you could say remote work has really taken over the world!
Upwork matches companies with freelancers looking to work on specialized projects, often for an extended period of time. The range of work on this site is pretty impressive, from software development and design, to creative writing and customer service (and really anything in between). Upwork is used by tons of reputable companies — Microsoft, Airbnb, GE — and is a wonderful platform for anyone eager to jump into a job ASAP.
Freelancer is used by small businesses in need of all kinds of talent, like website development, logo design, and creative copy. This site is also used by some noteworthy companies and enterprises, which means you can expect the pay to be competitive. While working remotely, you can upload examples of your previous projects, keep clients informed on your current progress, and stay in touch with everyone via the live chat function.
Remote Tech Jobs
Remote Tech Jobs aggregates jobs from 11 popular job board boards and lets you search job offers by the technologies you specialize in. All jobs are categorized based on language processing into 39 categories. You can subscribe to multiple categories at once and receive any new corresponding job offers in your inbox. Remote Tech Jobs has over 3,000 active tech jobs, and all job offers are automatically removed after 30 days.
What are the best digital nomad jobs for beginners?
Transcribing and building websites are some of the very best digital nomad jobs for beginners. That’s because you can catch on fairly quickly, and neither really requires you to have extended communication with clients or to schedule multiple meetings.
What platforms should you look at for remote jobs?
Some of the most popular platforms to look for remote jobs include FlexJobs, WeWorkRemotely, Upwork, and Freelancer. Each of these sites has a wide variety of options and opportunities for both full and part-time work, and are open to people with all types of skill sets or skill levels.
How much money do digital nomads make?
A digital nomad’s salary depends on a number of factors (the specific field they’re in, hours worked each week, juggling multiple jobs at once, etc). In addition, income will look differently based on whether you’re a remote worker, a freelancer, or a solo entrepreneur. For a specific breakdown of what nomads likely earned in 2020, you can read more here.