Work From Home positions are becoming a little more scarce in the US than they were a few years earlier, both due to CEO-led return-to-office crackdowns and to industry-wide tech layoffs that are still ongoing.
But who says you need to stay in the US? Digital nomads have branched out to operate in countries around the globe, from South American locales to Eastern European countries. Anywhere with a Wi-Fi hotspot and reasonable work visa regulations could serve as a great way to experience international culture while working at your own pace.
However, you’ll need to figure out a sustainable way to earn that living: Your job must be a position that can be completed entirely online and doesn’t come with timezone requirements. Thankfully, with the internet-powered global economy we have today, that’s not impossible.
The Best Digital Nomad Roles in 2024
1. Digital Marketer
Digital marketers or strategists might be SEO experts, content marketers, social media managers, or a combination of the above. The core defining trait is that you help businesses connect with their audiences where they’re at (which is to say: online somewhere). You’ll likely be buying plenty of Facebook ads.
You may want to find an online store or other business that needs you to establish a full-time online presence, or you could opt to work for a larger SEO-focused organization. For one example of the latter, the large SEO company Coalition Technologies has a fully remote Digital Strategist position open currently.
You can also pick a field that you have experience in, which can help you stand out from other applicants by giving you a niche. If you have experience in hospitality, for example, you might want to apply for the Digital Marketing position open at the hospitality platform Selina right now.
Required skills: Google Analytics, SEO, SEM, email marketing, copywriting, basic graphic design and video editing ability.
Avg. Annual Salary (~): $77,381 (ZipRecruiter)
2. Social Media or Community Management
The soft skills needed to keep an entire online community on track — whether it’s the Facebook page for Pepto-Bismol or a Discord dedicated to product managers — are both important and rare. Provided the business you’re applying to is aware of this, you’ll be able to command a good salary when working as a community and/or social media manager.
It’s a good position for digital nomads, too. Even if you’re across the world in Georgia (the country, not the state!) or Portugal, you’ll be able to create a full social media schedule that continues autoposting around the clock. Alternatively, you can handle immediate online responses that might have required a night shift in the US.
Required skills: Social platform knowledge, moderation skills, community metrics, and cross-functional collaboration with marketing and customer support teams.
Avg. Annual Salary (~): $81,385 (BuiltIn)
3. Software Engineer
There’s no denying that software engineering roles have huge potential for digital nomads: They’re frequently paid well, they’re key positions at many businesses, and many engineers can do their job fully online.
That said, it’s a skilled position that might call for knowledge across dozens of areas of expertise, making it difficult to get started with. Many of the best remote positions require at least five years of previous experience as an engineer. It’s a good remote role to have, but you may need to put in your time with an in-office position first.
To be honest, this isn’t just one role, it’s a myriad of them. You may find yourself working as a Senior BlockOps Engineer for Sygma, working in system administration, or you could be in development as a Senior Full Stack Engineer at Kalepa, just to name a few open roles available now on the Working Nomads job board.
Required skills: Java, Python, SQL… and much more.
Avg. Annual Salary (~): $147,524 (ZipRecruiter)
4. Web Designer
Web designers are always in demand online. Creating a user-friendly website is just the first step, since those websites will need regular maintenance to continue operating as intended. Eventually, they’ll need a full rehaul, and the process begins again.
Artists might find that many of their skills translate well to the higher-paying career of web design: Adobe Creative Suite can be used to craft visually appealing layouts, while knowledge of UX/UI design, design principles, color theory, and typography skills will be used frequently. Technical skills include coding for front-end development, however.
You won’t need to have a full-time position, either. Digital nomads often work freelance, finding a single gig that mean a limited amount of work but a payday that will buy several months’ worth of simple living in another country. And there’s always a chance that a freelance gig can turn into a full-time role down the road.
Avg. Annual Salary (~): $48,000-$75,000 (Coursera)
5. Virtual Assistant
It’s impossible to pin down all the tasks that a virtual assistant might handle in one day, although answering email and fielding customer service requests are two of the most common.
A typical client who’s on the hunt for a virtual assistant is someone who’s running their own relatively small ecommerce businesses: As they scale up, certain easy administrative tasks will start adding up, taking over an entrepreneur’s time. The smart move is to pay someone else to do it, and since many of these entrepreneurs are digital nomads themselves, they’ll very likely be happy to hire a fellow nomad.
The upside to being a virtual assistant is that it’s an entry-level position, making it among the easiest ways to transition to the nomadic lifestyle you’re after. The downside is that it’s also often among the lowest paying options, as well. One word of advice: Stick with the clients who are willing to pay you the most, since they’re likely the most empathetic to your needs and (counterintuitively) will be easier to work with than the business owners who pay peanuts.
Required skills: Stellar communication, fast typing speeds, spreadsheet skills, and the willingness to learn.
Avg. Annual Salary (~): Anywhere from $25,000 to $55,000
6. Data Analyst
Alongside software developers and web designers, data analysts are one of the best digital nomad tech careers. Any business will need its data collected and processed in order to make better decisions, but few people are built for the skillset that’s needed. You’ll have to learn statistics, coding, and a range of data visualization tools, in addition to having a talent for spotting patterns in the datasets themselves.
It’s another role that doesn’t require synchronous communication, giving a digital nomad time to work in solitude from whatever time zone they’re in at the time. Provided you can deliver your reports or presentations on time and with the right attention to detail, you should be given the autonomy you need.
Better yet, the need for data analysis is ubiquitous across nearly every industry, including governments, so you’re unlikely to be in need of work — even if the amount of layoffs in the tech industry these days would give anyone pause.
Required skills: Analytical skills, good attention to detail, and skills with data analysis tools.
Avg. Annual Salary (~): $82,640 (ZipRecruiter)
How to Apply for Digital Nomad Positions: Best Practices
Actually landing a job that you can do from anywhere is easier said than done. Unless you already have a connection, you’ll need to get very familiar with all the job board filters that can weed out any positions that require you to be based out of a certain city or even country. For Google, that’s the “work from home” button, but it might look different for any job board.
You can also try a job board dedicated to digital nomads, with options ranging from Remotive or We Work Remotely to more specialized boards such as the startup-friendly Wellfound or the women-only Power to Fly. As always, you should lean into your previous experience whenever possible when applying.