Being a digital nomad is fascinating, but if you are at the start of your journey, you might wonder if your earnings can sustain your lifestyle of constant travel. So to understand how to be a nomad and make money keep reading this article that will in-depth explain any digital nomad salary:
How Much Do Digital Nomads Make? – Average Salary
FlexJobs poll, CDC International Shipping statistics, and findings by Project Untethered all agreed on how much digital nomads make, and it is usually between $50,000 and $99,999 annually. These statistics on digital nomad income also state that the majority of remote workers make between $10 and $30 per hour based on their qualifications, experience, and industry.
However, there may be a limit to your income if you are working for a remote company, as 49% of digital nomads earn the same salary as their previous office job. But if you are an entrepreneur, there is no limit on your earnings. As your enterprise grows, your income grows too.
How Do Digital Nomads Make Money?
A newcomer might ask, “how do nomads make money?” There are multiple ways you can try, starting with changing your current job to a remote position with the same company. If this doesn’t work out, there are many more digital nomad income ideas. See below how to make money as a nomad to help you decide which is the best path for you to take.
To become a remote worker, you have two options, either to try to persuade your company to offer you a remote position for the job you are already doing or to find a new job that is a remote position from the beginning. Being a remote worker offers you the stability you might be looking for, and it is certainly the most common way to enter a digital nomad world.
What attracts people to remote positions is that they can do their job from only one location in the world. They keep in touch with their coworkers through apps like Slack or Asana. They join meetings through Zoom or Google Hangouts.
The downside of being a remote worker is that often you are in a different time zone than your coworkers, and you have to wait for replies or work odd hours. Also, the sense of community might be lacking, which is why you should network with other digital nomads in your area.
If you want to know how to make money as a digital nomad, you can look into jobs like developer, copywriter, data analyst, translator, graphic designer, or many others. Maybe the position you are in right now could be a good fit.
Being a freelancer is a great way to step into the digital nomad lifestyle. What you need to start working as a freelancer is expertise in your niche and confidence that you can work on your own. According to the International Labour Organization statistic, approximately 46.5% of the world’s workforce is self-employed, so you will likely find like-minded people anywhere you go.
Being a freelancer means that you have to look for clients and negotiate your projects and prices, which is extra work compared to regular jobs where your employer gives you the assignment. But the good thing about all of it is that as a freelancer, you can earn more, set your own hours, and work as little or as much as you prefer.
The global hourly freelancing wage increased significantly from $21 in 2020 to $28 in 2022, according to the Payoneer global freelancer income report for 2022. If we look at the report from Upwork, one of the biggest freelance websites, the statistics are the same, and the majority of US freelancers make $28 per hour, but it all depends on the type of job and expertise you provide.
The expert can charge as much as $200 per hour, while the beginner in any field will start with $15 or $20 per hour until they build up their portfolio and earn a reputation. As a freelancer, you can work in many fields, but most are connected to IT, starting from UI/UX designers, web developers, writers, virtual assistants, and more.
Making money as a digital nomad is not as challenging as you may think, but if you choose to start a business and become an entrepreneur, you have to take a few precautions. First of all, when you open a company or start a blog, or whatever is your business idea, you should not count on a cash flow right away.
It is best to start your company along with your regular job until it is on its feet. Once your Startup is established, and you can live off of the income you create, it is time for you to start traveling and managing your business from anywhere in the world.
Being an entrepreneur is exciting, but you have to be committed. If your goal is to be a digital nomad entrepreneur, make sure that the business you are choosing is not limiting you to one location.
You should also be aware of risks when having your own company. From online security to shipping trouble if you are reselling products or drop shipping to losing money. Eventually, your company can turn into passive income, and you can enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Investors and Passive Income Nomads
To create digital nomad passive income, you can start different businesses, affiliate websites, hire other people to work for you, sell courses, invest money, and a lot of other things that will accumulate income for you, which you don’t have to actively work for.
Here are some of the things you can do to create passive income:
- Be an author.
- Offer online courses.
- Create an affiliate blog.
- Sell stock photos.
- Have a YouTube channel.
- Invest money in the stock market or cryptocurrency.
All of these require either your investment of time or money, but later on, it can create a stream of income you don’t have to additionally work for. The downsides are that it takes time to create passive income, but once it brings you cash, you can either continue working or just sit back and relax.
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Top 10 Paying Digital Nomad Jobs
If you are wondering how nomads make money, we have a few job examples for you to inspire you. Making money as a nomad has never been so easy, with so many remote jobs after the pandemic.
A relatively new position that has emerged in the last several years is user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) design. Making user-friendly designs for websites, platforms, applications, and other digital products is a need for this position.
The demand for the position is really strong because it is so new. Therefore, today is the perfect time to start because salaries are high. You’ll work using design programs to match customer requirements, which is quite similar to graphic design. Consider becoming a UX or UI designer if you are already a graphic designer and want to earn more money or change careers.
According to the job listing website Glassdoor, the average base pay for UX designers in the US is $109,776 as of May 2022, or between $41 and $56 per hour.
The usage of e-commerce sites and online shops is growing. As a result, e-commerce administrators require the assistance of a Shopify developer to manage and create their storefronts. You can become a Shopify developer after attending courses in the niche and creating a portfolio as a freelancer.
E-commerce administrators frequently employ the highly practical and well-liked platform known as Shopify. However, many of them are unaware of how to utilize the platform to its maximum potential. To ensure the UX design is functional, customize the design, and do other things, they use Shopify developers.
Due to the lack of available Shopify developers, there is a strong demand, which results in premium compensation. According to ZipRecruiter, the average Shopify developer makes roughly $93,000 yearly. However, hourly rates can range from $25 to $200 depending on the developers’ experience and portfolio.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an essential strategy for anyone with a website who wants to appear on Google’s front page. Being an SEO expert is collaborating with businesses and bloggers to improve their websites’ content, metadata, and keywords so that Google will find them and recommend them.
You need to appreciate studying and analyzing data and trends if you want to become an SEO specialist. Even though this profession involves a lot of figures and graphs, it may be quite rewarding when your client’s website starts to rank.
You need to stay up to date with the most recent trends and knowledge because SEO is always changing as a result of Google’s algorithm. Learning about this profession, you can start with online courses and practice on your own blog, which can be your other source of income.
At the beginning of your SEO career, you will be making close to $52,400, but after several years of experience, your salary can go up to $75,067 and more. According to Salary.com, the average hourly rate is $34.
Online Personal Trainer
Recently, many personal trainers have moved from gyms to online platforms. Even if they still offer in-person consultations or training, many of them have upgraded their offer by creating online programs, apps, or online coaching.
As an online personal trainer, you can create exercise videos and share them with your clients or do your training in real time over Zoom. Some also create videos for YouTube channels, like the worldwide sensation Caroline Girvan.
The average online personal trainer pay as of this year is almost $72,436.00 annually, which is comparable to the typical private personal trainer salary. However, it all depends on your system and what type of training you are offering.
To interact with your followers and attract new customers, it’s crucial to have a fantastic website and be active on social media. As you travel the world and document workouts in some of the most stunning locales, just think of how great your footage will be.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Specialist
To improve conversion and engagement rates, someone in this position will analyze a company’s website and test various features. They, therefore, optimize the website to encourage more visitors to convert to leads and then customers.
They could test the language or the color of the call to action button, for instance. They could also speed up the website’s loading time and include pop-up windows where users can provide their contact information.
This position leans more toward the technical side and requires extensive testing and user data analysis. Finding clients to assist them in optimizing their conversion rate will be simple after you have a few case studies under your belt and some expertise of your own.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly income for this position is $71,343, and the hourly rate for this position is, on average, $34.30. The biggest advantage of this job is that you can usually set your own hours, and you can work from anywhere in the world.
An accountant, or a bookkeeper, assists individuals and businesses in keeping track of their spending and filing their taxes at the end of the year. Find the sort of accounting that is best for you, as there are several accounting specialties.
The majority of accountant digital nomads do freelance work for several customers. While some only ask for advice, other people exclusively utilize them around tax time. You can also work remotely for a larger accounting firm if you don’t want to look for customers yourself.
It’s vital to note that to work as an accountant, you must have a degree and pass the CPA test. Accountants make around $26 to $31 per hour or between $59,972 and $82,500 per year, according to Talent.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a podcast. As a result, they require the assistance of podcast editors, creating the ideal remote career opportunity for you. Start this career by learning how to edit podcasts, and you can learn it from courses at Udemy or Skillshare, to name a few.
A podcast editor will take the content provided by their client, edit it, and make it publishable, just like a video editor would. This may comprise improving the audio quality, chopping out distracting elements, reducing background noise, and adding sound effects.
The training required to work as a podcast editor is minimal. You will, however, require audio editing software and some proficiency with it. The average salary for a podcast editor in the US is $53,508. That comes out to be about $25.73 per hour.
If you speak many languages well, you might want to think about working as a translator. Any type of written content, including government papers, publications, and brochures, can be worked on by translators. They occasionally also deal with audio translation.
Freelance translators make up a large portion of the digital nomad population. They advertise their services to attract clients that want translations. Some even collaborate to provide translation services with the embassies of the languages they speak.
In the United States, the majority of translator salaries now fall between $17.31 and $35.58, or between $49,230 and $64,496 yearly, as stated on Salary.com.
The days of needing to locate a qualified editor at a major publishing firm to realize your ambition of becoming a published author are long gone. More and more authors are choosing to self-publish their novels, and the results are very successful.
The advantage of self-publishing is that you are making much more money, and you are in control of your marketing. The downside is that you don’t have available publishers’ resources and marketing channels.
You can choose publishing services like Kindle Self Publishing or The Book Patch. When you self-publish a book, you must also sell it, engage in public relations, and advertise your authorship. However, if you already have a platform and a fan base, you are already ahead of the game. The salary depends on the sale, but on average self-published authors make $42,000 annually.
Online Language Teacher
If you are a fluent or native English speaker, it is simple to find online schools where you may teach English to others. Before teaching, many employers demand that you obtain a TEFL/TESOL certification. You may have the freedom to choose your own hours and fees if you work as an online English instructor.
The best aspect is that you can do it from anywhere and that you don’t need any prior teaching expertise. The majority of your pupils will likely be from other countries, so just be mindful of the time zone changes.
International TEFL academy states that online language teachers can make from $10 to $40 per hour. It depends on expertise, experience, and if you are a native speaker. However, the average is $20 per hour, and yearly you can make $41,600.
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Get a Huge Digital Nomad Salary Anywhere You Go
A digital nomad’s salary solely depends on the experience and hours worked. How digital nomads make money depends on the jobs they do but also on how much effort they put into their resumes. When you are experienced in your field, you can charge more for your expertise.
How much a digital nomad makes can differ from month to month, but if you have a good budgeting plan, you can have savings or travel to any destination you want. Offer consultations on your expertise, work remotely for a company or start your own business. The sky’s the limit on how much money digital nomads make.
FAQs About Digital Nomad Salaries
Below you will see the most commonly asked questions about the digital nomad lifestyle and earnings. You now know what a digital nomad's salary is, but read on to learn more about how digital nomads make money.
How much do I need to make to be a digital nomad?
It depends on the area you are traveling to and your lifestyle, but the average monthly spending of a digital nomad is between $1000 and $2000. Make sure that your digital nomad salary is at least this amount so you can live comfortably.
How many hours do digital nomads work?
This also depends on individuals and their job, but most digital nomads work at least 6 hours daily, some even working 8 hours. If you have multiple streams of income, you can afford to work less and enjoy destinations more.
Do digital nomads pay taxes?
Many digital nomads run their own enterprises and are self-employed entrepreneurs rather than working remotely. You must pay self-employment taxes, such as the 12.4% social security tax and the 2.9% Medicare tax, even if you reside overseas.
How do I start a digital nomad career?
Being a digital nomad requires forethought and a lot of work, but if you're prepared to put in the time and effort, you can live abroad. Here are the steps you should take to become a digital nomad:
- Determine your skill sets and what you are passionate about.
- Create a portfolio and begin looking for jobs online, or look for jobs that allow remote working.
- Learn about more ways to create income online.
- Start connecting with other digital nomads and go to networking events.
- Start making lifestyle changes, so it is easier for you to adapt.
- Save money; you will need it to start your lifestyle.
- Choose your destinations and work out the budget.
- Always buy travel insurance before your trip, and the best ones are those with subscriptions created for digital nomads.