Digital nomad jobs are a hot topic. If you’re looking for inspiration, tips, and resources, you’ve come to the right place.
This series of articles explores the lives and experiences of digital nomads, people who make their living while they travel the world. We look at different types of digital nomad jobs, what it takes to be successful in these roles, and the resources available to help you get started.
First, understand that being a digital nomad is a lifestyle, not a job. Anyone who can earn a living remotely and chooses to wander the world can be a digital nomad. Our jobs are as varied as anyone else’s. Above all, you should know that our incomes are widely variable. Some of us are getting rich, while others couldn’t live on our incomes in the United States at all.
Digital Nomad Jobs
For this reason, I’m putting together this series on how digital nomads are earning their living. For example, I’ve shared my own experiences and lots of resources in the post about content writing. In addition, I’m interviewing other nomads to find out how they’re funding their travel lifestyle.
This series is just getting started. Subscribe for updates as I add more content to this page. I rarely e-mail more than once a month, and never sell or share addresses.
Digital Nomad Jobs: How to Become a Translator Once you’ve traveled for a while, you’ve probably seen some pretty hilarious failed translations. “Please do not eat carpet”—what?? That can’t be what they meant to say. Despite the increasing popularity of translation apps, real human translators are still very much needed, especially for the translation of…
Everyone from tiny businesses to major companies has a social media presence these days. And they all need someone to help them build, refine and manage that presence to create consistent engagement and build a loyal following. This is where you come in, digital nomad! Become a social media manager and you can work from anywhere.…
When you become a virtual assistant, you can create your own remote job and work from anywhere, which makes this a popular choice as a job for digital nomads. Read More »Digital Nomad Jobs: Become a Virtual Assistant
This list is limited to realistic part-time remote jobs that are worth your time. It doesn’t contain any scams, get-rich-quick schemes, or MLMs. Unlike many side-hustle lists, this one doesn’t assume that you can become a successful photographer, novelist, or graphic designer overnight. A few items on this list require special skills, but there are…
Part of a series on digital nomad jobs. Meet Jodi Peters Like many nomads, Jodi Peters of SweetSimpleWedding and DotOrgConsulting has a mix of income streams. She uses house-sitting gigs to find lodging that fits her travel schedule, and she teaches ESL online during her slow months. She also does consulting and technical writing for…
How to build a career as a content creator (part of a series on jobs for digital nomads).
One of the most common digital nomad jobs is teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). This is a career that can offer you steady employment in another country or the freedom to work remotely while you travel. It’s your choice. This article is part of a series on digital nomad jobs. Read More »Digital…
This article is part of a series on digital nomad jobs. By Natasha Gabrielle If you like taking part in new experiences and enjoy exploring new places, you may be considering working abroad as an English as a Second Language, or ESL teacher. This guide will help you better understand this amazing opportunity. Why Should…
Think inside the box
If you wanted to work from home, what would you do? Are there jobs or careers that you’re qualified for that would allow you to work remotely? Lots of people all over the United States are working from home, either for an employer or as an entrepreneur. Writers, graphic artists, web designers, and programmers often work from home, as do marketing consultants, life coaches, and some therapists. Transcribers, English tutors, call center workers, and data entry clerks often work remotely as well.
One word of caution: a lot of so-called work-from-home opportunities are really get-rich-quick schemes, and the only people getting rich are the ones selling the schemes.
FlexJobs.com is a great resource for real work-at-home opportunities. The site has a 10-year track record connecting job seekers with real opportunities across a wide spectrum of career paths. They charge a very reasonable $14.95/month for a membership, but you can view the available jobs for free. You might inspiration there.
Think outside the box
Most digital nomads don’t have jobs. We’re entrepreneurs, and many of us (including me) have a collection of side hustles instead of a full-time gig.
Check out Udemy’s selection of online courses related to working at home for ideas, inspiration, and training. Look for courses with lots of reviews and high ratings. The one below, for instance, has thousands of reviews and high ratings.
Work From Home – 5 Ways To Start A Successful Home Business
If you have a college degree, consider teaching English (or your native language) as a second language. There’s a lot of demand and it’s easy to enter the field. Many nomads teach online, while others take short-term postings in different countries and enjoy a more traditional teaching environment. Check out my article on that topic for details and resources.
When I started my journey, I made most of my living from writing content. You don’t have to be a creative genius to work as a writer. Most people are more interested in reading simple writing that gives good information than they are in flowery prose (this article that you’re reading is no Shakespeare sonnet, for example). I shared my strategy and resources for making money as a writer in my post on content writing, it’s a good place to start.
You don’t need as much income as you think
If you’re willing to sell everything back home, so you don’t have storage and car insurance bills, you can live on surprisingly little.
My budget was $1500 a month, and I lived comfortably in places like South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (although expenses can vary widely even among neighboring countries). I typically rent whole apartments, eat very well, and treat myself to fun things to do. But some people live on much less by renting only a room, housesitting, eating out less, etc.
Here’s a simple version of my budget as a nomad:
- Airbnb monthly rent (rent, utilties & wifi combined): $600
- Transportation/travel expenses: $200
- Food/dining $300
- Entertainment/epic experiences: $200
- Travel insurance: $80
- Miscellaneous (gifts, tips, etc): $120
- Total budget: $1500
Budget notes: Airbnb rentals are often discounted by 50-60 percent at monthly rates, so I try to stay a month in each location. I always get a place with a kitchen and do a lot of my own cooking. Because I’m low-income, I have a health insurance policy through the Marketplace that is covered by a tax subsidy — if I needed serious healthcare, I could come home and get that. My travel insurance from World Nomads covers medical care & transportation home in a health crisis, as well as trip cancellations, lost luggage, theft, etc. I’m very lucky that I don’t have regular or ongoing medical expenses or other needs.
I was renting out my house back home for $750; with an average of $500/month in expenses, that gave me a $250 head start, so I only needed to earn $1250/month. That’s less than rent alone in many parts of the U.S.
The best way to start your digital nomad career is while you’re still in the safety of your home. If you’re thinking of starting a business, start it as a sideline. When you get close to $1500 a month in income, you’ll know you’re ready!
Check out my post on How to Become a Digital Nomad, where I share all the practical details of creating a mobile life.
Featured image by Steven Zwerink via Flicker.
FAQs about digital nomad jobs
Being a digital nomad is a lifestyle, not a job. Some are high-earning entrepreneurs, others have a low part-time income but enjoy their freedom. Most digital nomads are self-employed.
Many nomads earn a living by writing content, teaching ESL classes in person or online, or developing websites. Those with specialized skills can usually find remote work in their fields, or they start businesses. Most work that allows you to work from “home” can be done from anywhere and is suitable for a nomad.
Teaching ESL through a phone app, for companies like VIPKids or iTalki, is a great way to begin if you don’t have any special skills.
Not as much as you’d think. In most of Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, and Africa, you can live comfortably on as little as $1,000 a month.
Some of the most popular jobs for digital nomads include teaching English online, working as a virtual assistant, and doing tech work like web design. Many nomads are self-employed, but you can find remote work on sites like Flexjobs.
Many digital nomads make a living by teaching English online, creating content for websites, or working as virtual assistants.
Being a digital nomad is a lifestyle, not a career, so there is no standard level of income. Some nomads do housesitting or volunteer in exchange for lodging and live on less than $1,000 a mont. Others are wildly successful entrepreneurs making lots of money.