Est. 2020

Digital Nomad Job Ideas for Beginners!

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-This post was written by Sydney! Check out all of our guest posts here! Or learn how to write for World Embark!

So, you have decided to be a digital nomad, but aren’t sure where to start….. You are worried that you don’t have the right skills, a large-enough portfolio, or a career that allows you to travel. 

Sure, some people have it easy. The recent pandemic has enabled people to adopt remote work (kind of). BUT if you’re not one of those people who have the ability to work from the island of Mykonos, a career switch might be necessary. 

Let’s go ahead and talk about some digital nomad jobs for beginners. Wherever you go, as long as there is WiFi, you can complete these jobs!

*All salary information was sourced from Indeed in 2022. Given the recent financial crisis, please complete your own research for the most up-to-date numbers. 

Table of Contents

Online English Teacher

Salary Range: $10 – $40 Per Hour (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • High School Diploma
  • English proficiency
  • TESOL/TEFL certification
 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Be a native English speaker
  • Some teaching experience
 

Pros/Cons of Teaching English

Pros — Potentially flexible schedule, social and rewarding job

Cons — Salaries consummate with experience, after-hours grading & lesson prep, declining salary expectations

Job Description

Ever imagined teaching in front of a lot of kids? Well, don’t worry this isn’t for you! Instead, you’re teaching online! Similar to in-person teaching professions, you will be teaching people of all ages English!

Job Flexibility

Teaching English via freelancing creates a variable schedule. Sites like Italki allow you to indicate your availability and accept students during your preferred time slots. Additionally, they offer different class types such as formal, instructional classes, or conversational meetings. 

If you elect to sign a contract with a company, expect to have a schedule. Being flexible is key, as they might be providing lesson plans, materials, and prep work for beginner teachers. However, after you gain experience, you can negotiate higher pay!

How to Become an Online English teacher

To get started, decide which route you want to take: The Traditional Company Contract (Part or Full-Time) OR a freelance/website profile.

If you elect to join the company contract, I recommend joining two platforms. It can be difficult to stay organized if you do more than that. And then, start applying to the job listings with an updated resume! It’s important to not get discouraged, as successful job searches take time! 

*Unfortunately, teaching English has seen a slow decline in salary and an increase in competition. Recent laws in China have banned most English tutoring programs. However, there are still some sites where you can find gigs!

Start Teaching Online with No Degree

 

Teaching Gigs Online that requires a College Degree (But make more $$)

  • Whales English — [Native speaker from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand &  1 year of teaching] 
  • VIPKID — [One of the aforementioned companies based out of China. The base pay is now lower, bookings are harder to come by, and positions are only available to US and Canadian residents. (excluding California, New York, and Washington Residents.
Reason #183 I need a translator
Reason #184 I need a translator: What am I eating?

Freelance Writer

Salary Range: $50 – $1,000 Per Article or $.05 – $2 Per Word (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

The requirements for writing differ a bit from other digital nomad jobs, as the only hard requirement is a good idea for a story. That being said, there are a few soft requirements that will help you land work.

Minimum

  • Writing Skills 
  • English Proficiency 
 

 Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Bylines in other publications. (The more popular and well-known, the more money you can make.)

 

Pros/Cons of Freelance Writing 

Pros — Low barrier of entry, flexible schedule, freedom to choose/create your assignments.

Cons — Fluctuating income, constant invoicing & chasing payments, regular rejection, and the need to grow your portfolio is ongoing. 

Job Description

Freelance writing has one of the lowest thresholds when compared to other digital nomad jobs for beginners. All you need to get started are relevant story ideas and the ability to write. Most editors and publications won’t care about your education or work experience. However, you will need to convince them that you’re the right person to write the story. 

How do you do this? It depends on the topic and the publication’s requirements. Broadly speaking, stick to topics you have some knowledge of, communities you are part of, or locations where you have lived or traveled. More on this is below in the “How to Pitch” section.

Note on rates: In general, only accept very low (under $100) rates for the first few commissions. Once you have a few bylines, increase your rates and pitch larger, better-paying outlets. 

Job Flexibility

Freelance writing leaves the schedule entirely up to you; thus, it’s one of the most flexible digital nomad jobs. You pick the clients, stories, and hours. However, you will be beholden to deadlines, and sometimes editors request a quick turnaround time after ignoring you for weeks or months. 

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Everyone’s path will be a bit different. If you’ve had work published before, you can jump right into pitching. In your emails to editors make sure to include a brief introduction, a few relevant clips, a proposed headline, and a paragraph or two detailing your idea. 

If you don’t have any published work, don’t worry. You don’t need much to start. Self-publish a blog, or write for a friend’s site or a small local publication.  Then, you can pitch bigger (and better paying) publications. Resiliency is key, as you will receive more rejections than acceptances. It’s also important to develop relationships with editors. All this involves is being polite in correspondence, filing quality work on time, and not taking edits personally.

A brief introduction to pitching articles

There are two main places to pitch publications. 

If You have a Website that you Write for

These days most publications have clear pitching guidelines on their site. Just Google “How to pitch PUBLICATION NAME”.

Pitch Editors Directly

If no general guidelines are available, take a look at the Masthead or the About section where the editor’s contact details, as well as their covered verticals, will be listed. Social media is also useful, editors often put their email right in their bios. 

It’s also a good idea to have a quick scroll through the profiles of those you plan to pitch. The stories they re-post are typically what they’re interested in commissioning. Occasionally editors post a thread that spells out exactly the type of stories they’re looking for. 

Twitter is where most editors advertise pitches with a quick turnaround time (i.e. – “I need story ideas on Halloween traditions by this Thursday EOD, EST.”) So, follow anyone you might want to work with. 

Other Resources

Copywriter

Annual Salary Range: $25,000 – $80,000 (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • High School Diploma
  • Prior marketing/advertising experience
 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Specialized Knowledge (SEO, Canva, Adobe InDesign, etc.)
 

Pros/Cons

Pros —  Low entry bar, flexible schedule, and high demand.

Cons — Freelance: Fluctuating income, constant invoicing & chasing payments, client search can be time-consuming. Contract/perm job: Potentially less flexible schedule.

Job Description

A copywriter’s goal is to get the reader to take action, like buy a product, sign up for a course, attend a retreat, etc.  In comparison, in content writing, the aim is to educate or inform on a place, topic, issue, etc. As a copywriter, your work could include landing pages, ads, social media, sales copy, and emails, but really the possibilities are endless. 

Many jobs require you to hold a Bachelor’s Degree and have some marketing or writing experience. A basic understanding of SEO is also helpful. It can also pair well with freelance writing. 

 

Job Flexibility

If you work as a freelancer, your schedule will be self-determined. However, if you accept a part or full-time job, you may be asked to be available at certain hours.

How to Become a Copywriter

To get started, decide which route you want to take: Part or Full-Time Job OR freelance.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll need a portfolio or other proof of your copywriting skills. Gather relevant pieces you’ve published (blog posts, copy you wrote for a friend’s small business, or web pages for a former job) into a digital space such as a Google drive file, website, or Contently page. And then, use your new portfolio to start applying to jobs or pitching potential clients. It’s important not to get discouraged, as successful job searches or building a client roster take time!

Become a Copywriter with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, receive a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

 

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

  • LinkedIn [search “copywriter” in jobs with “remote” as location.] 
  • Twitter [similar to freelance writing, editors/hiring managers frequently post here.]

Content Writer

Salary Range: $30, 000 – $80,000 (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • High School Diploma
  • Writing experience/clips
 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Spec knowledge (in SEO, Canva, G-suite, etc.)
 

Pros/Cons

Pros —  Low entry bar, flexible schedule, and high demand.

Cons — Freelance: Fluctuating income, constant invoicing & chasing payments, client search can be time-consuming. Contract/perm job: Potentially less flexible schedule.

 

Job Description

As a content writer, you will write to inform and educate the readers. Your work will consist of blog posts, email newsletters, tutorials/how-tos, news, evergreen articles, social media posts, and more.

Many content writing jobs require you to hold a Bachelor’s Degree and have a few published clips. A basic understanding of SEO is also helpful. Content writing is a digital nomad job that can pair well with freelance writing. 

Job Flexibility

If you work as a freelancer, your schedule will be self-determined. If you accept a part or full-time remote job, you may need to be available at certain hours.

How to Become a Content Writer

To get started, decide which route you want to take: Part or Full-Time Job OR freelance.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll need a portfolio or some proof of your writing ability. Gather relevant pieces you’ve published (posts on a now-dead blog, school newspaper clips, or LinkedIn articles) into a digital space such as a Google drive file, website, or Contently page.  And then, use your new portfolio to start applying to jobs or pitching potential clients. It’s important not to get discouraged, as successful job searches or building a client roster take time!

Become a Content Writer with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, receive a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

 

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

  • We Work Remotely 
  • LinkedIn [search “content writer” in jobs with “remote” as location.] 
  • Twitter [similar to freelance writing, editors/hiring managers frequently post jobs here.]

Proofreader/Editor

Salary Range: $15 – 40 Per Hour or $0.10 – 2 Per Word (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)  

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • High School Diploma
  • English Fluency

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Prior writing or editing experience
 

Pros/Cons

Pros —  Flexible schedule and high demand.

Cons — Fluctuating income, potentially tight deadlines, and client searches can be time-consuming. 

Job Description

Some Proofreader and Editor jobs require you to hold a Bachelor’s Degree and have prior experience. Others will only care that you’re proficient in English, which makes it an ideal digital nomad job for beginners. 

Note: The jobs or clients that don’t require a degree or experience may have you take a grammar test or complete a test assignment.

Job Flexibility

Proofreading is one of the most flexible digital nomad jobs. The time management and meeting the deadline are entirely up to you. Occasionally you may need to coordinate schedules for meetings, but it won’t dictate your entire work week.

How to become a Proofreader/Editor

The entry bar can be low if you use a website such as Upwork or Fiverr, recommended if you don’t hold a College Degree or have much experience. Then, once you have examples to show potential clients, move on to larger websites and up your rates. If you have a degree, you can move to the more advanced postings.

Become a Proofreader with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, get a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

 

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

Social Media Manager

The Grid....

Salary Range: $30,000 – $80,000 (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • Proficiency across social channels
  • Marketing/social background
 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Editing abilities
 

Pros/Cons

Pros — Consistent wage, build skills to take with you in future endeavors.

Cons — Potential time zone differences for posting or meeting with clients make it a less flexible job.

Job Description

Most Social Media Manager jobs won’t require a degree, just expertise in the main channels; Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Perhaps Pinterest, Reddit, or YouTube depending on specific needs.

However, like most digital nomad jobs, holding a Bachelor’s degree means you’ll make more money and be eligible for a broader range of opportunities. Additionally, some employers or clients may need you to be familiar with various photo or editing software.

Job Flexibility

Unfortunately, this is a less-flexible digital nomad job, as you’ll need to stick to a posting schedule. You have some control over this, but it will be determined primarily by the hours of engagement. You may have to post at less-than-ideal times, especially if you’re in a different time zone from your audience. 

How to become a Social Media Manager

A portfolio will go a long way in helping you land social media gigs. This can consist of your own social accounts if they’re professional quality or have an impressive amount of followers. You can also include any social handles you’ve managed at previous jobs, school, or volunteer roles. Then, begin applying to jobs, either on a Freelance site mentioned below or to part or full-time gigs on Flex jobs or Indeed.

Become a Social Media Manager with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, get a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

 

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

  • Facebook groups [small businesses/entrepreneurs in your area.] 
  • LinkedIn [search “social media manager” in jobs with “remote” as location.]

Virtual Assistant

Salary Range: $20,000 – $100,000 (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • High School Degree (Or equivalent)
  • Technologically Savvy 
 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Prior Experience

Pros/Cons

Pros — Consistent pay, high-demand, develop and learn skills to take with you to future jobs.

Cons — Manage a boss or client’s expectations, and time zone differences could make it a less flexible job. Menial Tasks

Job Description

This is one digital nomad job where you can make a lot of money relatively simply (compared to trading stocks, pitching yourself as a writer, or trying to get teaching clients.) As people are willing to pay well for good assistants. However, when you’re just starting, especially if you don’t have much prior experience, expect to make a lot less.

Being a virtual assistant can encompass a lot; copywriting, proofreading/editing, social media, administrative tasks like responding to emails, and phone calls, scheduling, and filing paperwork. It depends on your boss, so read the job descriptions carefully.

Job Flexibility

Virtual assistant jobs can be flexible, depending on with whom you work. Some employers might not care about your location or work hours, while others might prefer you to work in a particular time zone. Make sure to have these conversations before accepting the job to prevent surprises.

How to become a Virtual Assistant

Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the lowest entry-threshold digital nomad jobs for beginners. If you have the particular skills the employer is looking for, your educational background or prior experience isn’t usually too much of a hangup. Your current resume is enough to get started, unlike the other jobs in this article, where a portfolio or field-specific experience is necessary. Like any job search, look at postings that interest you and tailor your CV to match. If there might be a lot of writing or social media management involved, include work examples or a portfolio. 

Become a Virtual Assistant with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, get a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

  • Facebook groups (small businesses/entrepreneurs in your area are great for this.)
  • LinkedIn (search “virtual or personal assistant” in jobs with “remote” as location.)

You can also try directly reaching out to people you’d like to work with (bloggers, influencers, chefs, etc.) recommended once you have experience.

Translator

Salary Range: $30,000 – $100,000 (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements 

Minimum

  • High School Diploma (or equivalent)
  • Proficiency in required languages

 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Specialization (tech, medical, legal, etc.)
 

Pros/Cons

Pros — High-demand, flexible schedule, and utilizing your language skills. Also, there is job security. 

Cons — Chasing payments and client searches can be time-consuming

 

Job Description

As a translator, you usually need to be a native speaker of the language you translate into and have a high proficiency in the source language(s). Sometimes, depending on the assignment, you may translate in reverse order. 

Many translation jobs don’t require a degree, particularly if the language in need is a less-commonly spoken one. However, a degree usually results in better job prospects and higher pay. Most translators pick one or two source languages to specialize in and often an area, such as technical, legal, academic, etc.

Job Flexibility

Translation jobs can be flexible, depending on with whom you work. Some employers might not care when you’re online, while others prefer set work hours.

How to Become an Online Translator

Translation is another digital nomad job that may or may not require a degree. Some clients may simply need you to be proficient in the two languages you’ll be translating. Others may prefer you to have a degree in translation or foreign languages or at least a bit of experience. Similar to the other jobs listed in this article, having examples of your work in the form of a portfolio would be helpful.

Become a Proofreader with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, get a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

 

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

  • We Work Remotely
  • LinkedIn (search “languages of choice translator” in jobs with “remote” as location.)

Stock, Crypto, or Forex Trader

(Kyle wrote this one. Please blame him but don’t sue.)

Salary Range: Depends

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • Large Amount of Experience in Stock Trading 
 

Pros/Cons

Pros — Feels video game, earning potential compounds

Cons — Strong aptitude for analytics and math, start-up costs, highly risky

Job Description

Out of this entire digital nomad job guide, the stock, crypto or forex trader is easily riskiest.

(If you don’t know what you are doing, I highly recommend starting out with a market simulator. In my personal experience, I have used both Investopedia and Marketwatch. I lean towards Marketwatch due to the ease of use and user interface.)

It is important to have a plan, stick to the plan, and learn how to avoid emotional decisions with money BEFORE you begin. Some days, you are going to be losing several thousands of dollars depending on the size of your portfolio. (Case-in-point: Bitcoin) Other days, if you triple-leverage the highly volatile Nasdaq, your portfolio can grow at a rate of 10% per day. (Ticker: SQQQ) 

In the legal realm, trading has its own form of rules and terms. For example, have you heard about the Wash Sale rule? What are Alpha and Beta? 

Job Flexibility

Depending on how you set up your account, this could be one of the most flexible jobs IF you set your limits and stop losses in the right spots. By completely automating the process, you could be able to work exclusively in the evenings after you do the research and set-up the account. 

About the $0 Trade Commissions. 

People should know that beyond digital nomadism, I have a poor stock-trading background. I grew up watching SharkTank, learning about equity, royalties, and the sort. Then, I started investing and managed with over $15,000 of a non-profit’s money before I turned 19. Honestly, it is pretty crazy to think that they trusted me with that. 

However, it was around my early twenties that Schwab introduced me to $0 trades. (For the longest time, it was $4.99 but before that, the trades had been going down.) I am not going to lie, I was scared of the gamification and volatility of certain stocks. And sure enough, my fears were justified throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How to become an Online Stock, Crypto, Forex Trader

Well, first off, you are going to have to have some sort-of capital, then have some sort of plan, then practice, then lose a lot of money, then slowly make some. 

Please note: The average stock market return for the S&P is about 10%. With $2,000, that person only made $200 that year. So, it’s going to take a lot of capital. 

Seriously, only people with the best education (hard knocks) should take this. 

Start Trading Online with No-Fee 

  • Charles Schwab
  • TD Ameritrade 
  • Robinhood

Graphic Designer

There's more to Graphic Design than Canva!
There's more to Graphic Design than Canva!

Salary Range: $30,000 – $75,000 (Depending on certificates, college education, and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • High School Diploma
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, Illustrator

 

Additional (make more $$)

  • College Degree
  • Web development

 

Pros/Cons

Pros — Flexible schedule, creative job.

Cons — Specific knowledge and skills are necessary to get started, client searches can be time-consuming. 

Job Description

Most Graphic Designer Jobs require you to have experience with design tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Illustrator, etc. Of course, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Design, or Web Development is a huge plus and makes you eligible for higher-paying jobs.

Job Flexibility

Graphic design is highly flexible. As long as you complete the projects, the schedule is entirely up to you. Occasionally you may need to coordinate for meetings, but it won’t dictate your entire work week.

How to Become a Graphic Designer

To get started, decide which route you want to take: Part or Full-Time Job OR freelance.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll need a portfolio or some proof of graphic design skills. Gather relevant examples into a digital space such as a Google drive file, website, or Contently page.  And then, use your new portfolio to start applying to jobs or pitching potential clients. It’s important not to get discouraged, as successful job searches or building a client roster take time!

Become a Graphic Designer with No Degree and Minimal Experience

Fill out a profile, reach out to potential clients, receive a few good reviews, and gigs will start coming your way!

Sites that Require a Degree or Experience

  • LinkedIn [search “graphic designer” in jobs with “remote” as location.] 
  • Indeed [search “graphic designer” in jobs with “remote” as location.] 

Website Developer

Salary Range: $40,000 – $110,000 (Depending on college education and experience)

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • BA in Computer Science, Web Development, or Graphic Design
  • Ability to code CSS, HTML, Java, Typescript, PHP, Bootstrap, etc
  • Knowledge of Google Analytics and SEO
 

Additional (make more $$)

  • Knowledge of design tools (Adobe Creative Cloud, InDesign, etc.)
  • Advertising/marketing experience
 

Pros/Cons

Pros — High demand and salary.

Cons — Less flexibility and the requirements to get started are specific and often take years to earn.

Job Description

As a website developer, you’ll work on the front or back end of a website and occasionally both sides. Most development jobs require a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Web development and some experience. Thus, it’s not the best digital nomad job for beginners, but a good option if you already work in the field. 

Job Flexibility

Web development is not a very flexible job, as you’ll typically be working as part of a team and will need to have availability that overlaps. Additionally, while remote web development jobs are now more common, many still require you to work in a specific time zone.

How to Become a Website Developer

You will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Website Development, or Graphic Design (depending on the work you’ll be doing.) Besides that, it’s like most other jobs, put together a resume with relevant experience and begin applying to jobs.

Land Your First Gig as a Remote Web Developer

Unlike most of the other jobs in this article, you will need a degree and experience to be a web developer. If you’re just starting the remote/freelance journey, the following sites will help you find your first clients.

 

Part and Full-Time Remote Development Postings

  • We Work Remotely
  • LinkedIn [search “web developer” in jobs with “remote” as location.] 
  • Indeed [search “web developer” in jobs with “remote” as location.] 

YouTuber

Salary Range: $0-$120,000

Job Requirements

Minimum

  • Camera
  • Computer to Upload Videos
  • YouTube Account

Pros/Cons

Pros — Flexible schedule, a creative job where you have control over the content. 

Cons — A lot of unpaid work at first and constantly producing content. 

Job Description

Unlike other digital nomad jobs in this guide, initially, Youtube requires a significant time investment before you start earning money. To become a part of the Youtube Partners Program, you’ll need at least 1, 000 subscribers. Additionally, brands only sponsor videos of channels with a following, unless you can prove a smaller subscriber count is highly engaged. It can also be used to promote other income streams, such as drop shipping.

Job Flexibility

Schedule-wise running a Youtube channel can be flexible, but you will need to be organized and keep a consistent upload schedule. 

How to Grow and Monetize a Youtube Channel

  1. Pick a niche — Before you start filming, decide on a topic you’re passionate about. It’s okay if it’s broad to start (travel, lifestyle, finance), you’ll find your way as you develop the channel.
  2. Post consistently — The only way to grow, and where a posting schedule is helpful.
  3. Promote on social media — Use Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter to promote shorter clips of your videos and transfer followers from those platforms to your channel.
  4. Collaborate — Reach out to Influencers, Youtubers, Podcasters, etc., and ask to be a guest.
  5. Invite engagement — End each video with a question or invitation to comment, which helps you rank in the Youtube algorithm.
 

How to Make Money on Youtube

  • Youtube Partner Program — Once you hit 1,000 subscribers, apply, and earn through short ads.
  • Collabs — After developing a decent following, reach out to brands for video sponsorship in exchange for promoting their product or service. You can also sign up on an influencer marketplace and have brands find you. Afluencer, Heepsy, Influencity, and Hypeauditor are all good places to start. 
  • Affiliate links — If you feature or recommend products, place affiliate links in the video description.
  • Direct support — You can also ask subscribers to support you via Patreon, Venmo, etc.

Well, that’s all we have for you today. Please let us know if you have any questions on Twitter. Otherwise, have a great day!

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