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You want to travel the world, but you’re not sure how to make it a reality.
The thought of quitting your job, packing your bags, and hitting the road as a digital nomad is exhilarating, but you’re not sure how you can make it work. You need a plan.
We’ve got good news for you. There are plenty of location independent jobs that will let you work from anywhere in the world. In fact, we’ve collected 21 of the best jobs for digital nomads and travelers.
What is a Location Independent Job?
A location independent job can be done from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection.
The beauty of these jobs is that they offer the freedom to travel and work at the same time (to be a digital nomad). You can live in Bali for a month, work from your laptop by the pool, and then move on to Europe for a few months and work from an apartment.
There are no geographical boundaries holding you back. You can literally go anywhere you want and work from there. You can also work from home if you choose.
Of course, with this level of freedom comes responsibility. When your office is the whole world, you need to be highly organized and disciplined to make it work.
You also need to be good at time management, as there will be plenty of distractions when you’re working from paradise. But if you can make it work, a location independent job is the best way to combine travel and work.
Not all location independent careers are the same. There are a few different categories, and some jobs or roles can fit into multiple categories. Here are the three main types of location independent jobs you should be aware of.
A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and works directly with clients as an independent contractor. They don’t have an employer and they’re paid per project or task that they complete (although freelancers can be paid hourly as well).
Freelancers can work in a wide range of industries and fields, as you’ll see in the list of jobs later in this article. This offers planty of possibilities for anyone who wants to become a digital nomad.
The great thing about being a freelancer is that you can often choose your own hours and projects. You’re also in control of how much you charge, as long as you can find clients who are willing to pay your rates.
Of course, there can be some ups and downs in terms of income, but that’s almost always the case with self-employment.
But if you’re good at what you do and you market yourself well, freelancing can be a great way to make a living while traveling the world.
Related reading: In-Demand Freelance Services You Can Offer
An entrepreneur is someone who starts and runs their own business. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. Some entrepreneurs run small businesses, while others have built large companies from scratch.
When it comes to travelers and location independent work, we’re mostly talking about online businesses rather than brick-and-mortar businesses.
If you’re an online entrepreneur or business owner, you can run your business from anywhere in the world as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection. You’ll need to be highly organized and disciplined, as you’ll be wearing a lot of hats and doing a lot of different things to keep your business running.
But if you can make it work, being an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to have complete control over your work and travel lifestyle. You can choose your own hours, work on projects that you’re passionate about, and earn a good income while doing it.
Becoming a location independent entrepreneur may require you to put in some time and effort before you get to the point that you’re able to support yourself. Most online business models take anywhere from a few months to a few years before you can earn a significant income.
A remote worker (also known as a telecommuter) is an employee who works for a company, but they don’t work in a traditional office setting. They may work from home, a coffee shop, or anywhere else that has an internet connection, which is conducive to the independent lifestyle of a digital nomad.
There are more and more companies hiring remote workers these days as they realize that it’s not necessary for everyone to be in the same location. This arrangement can be great for employees because it offers a lot of flexibility.
With remote work, you may be able to choose your own hours or work schedule, but this is not always the case.
While working a remote job may not provide as much flexibility or income potential as freelancing or starting an online business, it does offer the opportunity to start making a full-time income right away.
The Best Location Independent Jobs
Now, let’s look at the best or most common jobs that provide location independence. Some of these jobs could be done as a freelancer or remote employee, and others would involve starting a business.
1. Freelance Writer
A freelance writer is someone who writes for a living, but they don’t have a traditional job with an employer. Instead, they work directly with clients as an independent contractor.
Freelance writing can be a great way to make money while traveling the world. You can choose your own hours and projects, and you’re in control of how much you charge.
There’s also plenty of demand for good writers and reliable workers. With millions of websites and blogs that need new content every day, there’s no shortage of opportunities or job postings for freelance writers.
In addition to writing for blogs and websites, you might find gigs that involve writing product descriptions, creating sales copy, or even ghostwriting books. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do as a freelance writer.
To learn more, read How to Become a Freelance Writer.
2. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create visual content for websites, businesses, and other organizations. This can involve designing logos, creating illustrations, or developing marketing materials like banners or flyers.
If you’re a talented graphic designer, you can find work from all over the world. In many cases, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to get started. And since there’s always a demand for good design work, you should have no trouble finding clients and earning a living as a graphic designer.
Of course, you’ll need some creative skills to have success as a designer, but you don’t need a formal education. If you have a good eye for design, you can use resources like Skillshare to find courses that teach all aspects of graphic design and running a freelance business.
This is one of the most common remote jobs, so as a graphic designer, you could be an employee or a freelancer. You get started with a graphic design side hustle.
Alternatively, you could also use your design skills and an entrepreneurial spirit to create products like templates and stock graphics that you sell or license online.
3. Web Designer
Another common remote job that can be done as an employee or freelancer is to work as a web designer. A web designer is responsible for the look and layout of a website. This can involve creating the overall design, choosing colors and fonts, and adding images or other visual content.
If you have experience designing websites, you can find work from companies all over the world. You don’t even need to be in the same country as your client or employer. As long as you can communicate well and deliver quality work, you’ll have no trouble finding clients as a web designer.
Like graphic design, there’s always a demand for good website design work. The income potential is also excellent regardless of whether you work as an employee or freelancer.
To learn more, please read How to Make Money as a Web Designer.
4. Web Developer
A web developer is similar to a web designer, but they focus more on the technical side of building websites. This can involve writing code, creating and maintaining databases, and setting up e-commerce sites.
Having formal training or education is helpful, but not always necessary. Luckily, there are plenty of courses and other resources that can teach you what you need to know. There are even some more advanced programs that provide a high level of education and some sort of certification.
Once you have the necessary skills, you can find work from companies all over the world as an employee or freelancer.
Alternatively, you could also use your web development skills to create your own products or services. For example, you could build WordPress themes or plugins that you sell.
5. App Developer
With billions of mobile devices in use, there’s a huge demand for mobile apps. And as an app developer, you can create the products that people use on their smartphones every day.
Of course, becoming an app developer requires technical skills. But if you’re willing to put in the time to learn, you can find plenty of resources that will teach you what you need to know.
You could work as an employee or find clients on your own as a freelancer. Alternatively, you could also create your own apps and sell them through the App Store or Google Play. If you have a great idea for an app, this could be a very lucrative way to earn money.
There are a number of different ways to invest, but stocks and real estate are two of the most popular options. Of course, there are also many different approaches you could take to investing. Day trading and swing trading have become increasingly popular over the past few years, but any type of short-term investing or trading comes with a high degree of risk.
Long-term approaches like real estate crowding, growth ETFs, and dividend stocks offer a lower-risk way to invest. Even if you choose one of the other jobs on this list, investing is an ideal way to improve your long-term financial outlook.
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7. Blogger or Niche Website Owner
Blogging is a great way to earn money from anywhere in the world. And if you build a large enough audience, you can even make a full-time income from your blog. Overall, it’s one of the most popular options for pursuing location independence.
A niche website is very much like a blog, but with a highly-focused approach. Instead of publishing content that covers a lot of different topics, a niche website is focused on a specific topic.
One of the best things about this opportunity is that you can start a blog or niche website on a topic that interests you. For example, you could create a site about gardening, hiking, or travel. Travel is a popular topic for digital nomads since they can incorporate their own travel into their work.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to blogging and niche websites. And if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can find success with either option.
For more details, please see my Guide to Building a Profitable Niche Website.
8. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who provides administrative or other support to a business or individuals. This can include tasks like managing calendars, scheduling appointments, answering emails, and more.
Virtual assistants are usually self-employed and work remotely. Not every virtual assistant offers the same services. Some are specialized in a specific type of service and others are more generalized.
Of course, the services that you offer as a virtual assistant can be tailored to your own skills and interests. Those who specialize are usually able to demand higher rates because of their expertise. Many VAs start out by taking the general approach so they can find clients more easily.
If you're interested in making money from home, be sure to check out this free workshop from Kayla Sloan. She shows how to use the skills you already have to start making money as a VA.
9. Editor or Proofreader
If you have a knack for grammar, attention to detail, and a love of reading, then you might be well suited for a job as an editor or proofreader.
There are many different types of editing and proofreading jobs available. For example, you could work as a developmental editor, which involves working with authors to help them improve their writing. Alternatively, you could work as a copy editor, which would involve correcting errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Proofreading is similar to copy editing but usually doesn’t involve making changes to the content itself. Rather, you would focus on catching any errors that were missed by the author or editor.
Both editors and proofreaders can find work with magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and online content providers.
Proofread Anywhere provides the best training for anyone looking to make money (part-time or full-time) as a proofreader. In this free workshop, you'll learn if proofreading is the right fit for you, plus a surprisingly easy way to your ideal clients.
10. Social Media Manager
Social media has become an integral part of many businesses’ digital marketing strategies. Despite its importance, many businesses don’t have anyone who knows how to effectively promote their products or services through social platforms. As a result, there’s a growing demand for social media managers.
A social media manager is responsible for creating and managing a company’s social media presence. This can include tasks like creating and scheduling posts, responding to comments and messages, monitoring analytics, and possibly managing ad campaigns as well.
If you have experience building your own following on social media, or maybe you’ve used social networks to promote your own blog or business in the past, you may have skills that others would be willing to pay for.
11. SEO Specialist
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that can be used to improve the visibility of a website or blog in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the ranking in SERPs, the more likely people are to find the site.
An SEO specialist is someone who understands how this process works and uses their skills to help businesses improve their rankings and visibility. This can involve tasks like conducting keyword research, optimizing website content, building links, and more.
One of the great things about this job is that it can be done entirely remotely. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can work with clients from anywhere in the world. There are also many full-time and part-time employment opportunities related to SEO.
A consultant is someone who provides expert advice in a particular field or industry. They usually have years of experience and they’re paid for their knowledge and advice. Working as a consultant is an excellent way to put your existing skills, knowledge, and experience to use.
Consultants are usually hired by businesses to help them with specific problems or projects. For example, a business might hire a marketing consultant to help them with their social media strategy.
Consulting gigs can be project-based or they can be on retainer, which means the business pays the consultant a monthly fee for their services. The income potential is excellent as many consultants are able to charge high hourly rates.
13. Online Course Creator
Creating and selling an online course is a great way to monetize your skills and earn passive income.
People are willing to pay for courses that can teach them new things or help them improve their lives in some way. For example, you could create a course on how to save money for travel, how to get out of debt, how to master a particular type of arts and crafts, or any number of other topics.
To create a course, you’ll first need to determine what topics you want to cover and what format your course will take. You can then record video lessons, write out text-based lessons, or create some combination of the two. Once you’ve created your course, you’ll need to market it and get people to sign up.
Transcriptionists listen to audio recordings and type them into a text-based version. The audio files they receive can be of anything from lectures and interviews to podcasts and online videos.
Most transcription work is done on a contract or per-project basis, which means you can work as much or as little as you want. This makes it an ideal job for those who want the flexibility to set their own hours and work from anywhere.
There are many transcription companies that hire independent contractors to work remotely. Alternatively, you could freelance and find your own clients. Freelancing is more difficult to get started but it offers much higher income potential.
If you’re interested in making money as a transcriptionist, we highly recommend the courses from Transcribe Anywhere.
Learn how to get started as a transcriptionist with this free 7-lesson course from Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere.
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If you’re fluent in multiple languages, translation work is a possibility. Translators convert text from one language to another. Some jobs may also involve translating audio or video.
Many businesses need content translated so that they can reach a wider audience. For example, a company might want to translate their website into multiple languages or they might release a book in several different countries. That’s where translators come in.
This job can be done entirely remotely and it’s often possible to set your own hours. Much like transcription, there are many online platforms that hire translators. Or, you can set up your own business as a freelancer.
16. Travel Photographer
Do you love taking photos? If so, you could make a location independent career out of it as a travel photographer. This is an ideal way to blend your work with the travel that you love.
As a travel photographer, your job is to capture the essence of a destination through photographs. This can be anything from landscapes and architecture to people and culture.
Your work might appear in magazines, newspapers, websites, or travel guides. Or, you could sell your photos as stock photography or fine art prints.
Being a successful travel photographer takes more than just having a good eye – it also requires business acumen and marketing skills. However, if you’re passionate about photography and willing to put in the work, it can be an incredibly rewarding career.
17. Videographer or Filmmaker
If you like the idea of being a photographer but would prefer to work with video, then consider a career in videography or filmmaking.
Videographers and filmmakers capture moving images instead of static photos. This can include everything from stock footage to music videos to commercials and documentaries.
Like photography, this is a creative field that requires both talent and hard work to be successful. It’s also a relatively portable profession since all you need is a good camera, a laptop, and some editing software.
This job can be done freelance or on staff for a production company, advertising agency, or other business. Or, you could even start your own production company if you have the ambition and drive to do so.
18. Nurse or Medical Professional
If you’re a nurse or another type of medical professional, you might be able to find work that lets you telecommute or travel.
With the rise of telemedicine, more and more nurses and doctors are providing care remotely. This can include everything from consulting with patients online to teaching medical classes to other professionals.
Of course, not all medical jobs can be done remotely. But if you have the training and experience, it’s worth investigating whether your job could be done from anywhere.
Bookkeeping is an essential but often overlooked business function. If you’re good with numbers and have experience in this field, you could work as a bookkeeper from anywhere in the world. And if you don’t have experience, it’s relatively easy to learn.
As a bookkeeper, your job is to track all of the financial transactions for a business. This includes everything from invoices and receipts to payments and bank statements.
You’ll need to be organized and detail-oriented to succeed in this role. You’ll also need to have a basic understanding of accounting principles, although you certainly don’t need to be a CPA or an accountant.
While some bookkeeping jobs require on-site work, many can be done remotely. You could work as a remote employee or freelance and work with several different clients.
20. Brand Ambassador
As a brand ambassador, your job is to promote a company’s products or services. This can involve everything from writing blog posts and social media posts to participating in online discussions and forums.
To succeed in this role, you need to be knowledgeable about the company and its products. You also need to be proactive and outgoing, so that you can effectively engage with potential customers.
Brand ambassador positions are often available on a freelance or contract basis. So if you’re looking for a flexible way to earn money while traveling, this could be a good option for you.
To learn more, please read How to Become a Brand Ambassador.
21. Customer Service Representative
If you have experience in customer service, you might be able to find a remote customer service job. With this type of job, you would provide customer support for a company via phone, email, or chat.
To be successful in this role, you need to have excellent communication skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure. You also need to be patient and helpful, so that you can effectively resolve customers’ issues.
While some customer service jobs require on-site work, many can be done remotely. This makes them a great option for people who want to travel or work from home.
Final Thoughts on Location Independent Jobs
These are just a few of the many location independent jobs that are available. If you’re looking for a job that will let you telecommute or travel, there’s sure to be something on this list that’s a good fit for you.