To get a better idea of exactly what digital nomads are up to we put together a short survey, filled out by 119 people who have either stayed at Outsite or plan to.
We covered the basics, such as digital nomad job type and salary, and also asked more involved questions such as what proportion of their work they would describe as digital and how they felt working remotely impacted the quality of their work.
Digital Nomad Job Employment Type
When it comes to employment type, it comes as little surprise that the majority of respondents, 59%, described themselves as self-employed or freelance.
The freedom to work where you want is, after all, one of the major lures of going it alone.
A still-significant 36% said they were full-time employed, and only 3% part-time employed. The smallest percentage of respondents were voluntary or unpaid workers—just 1%.
What is your digital nomad job?
As you’ll see below, jobs typically associated with digital nomads did prove popular—designers, writers, content creators, marketers and developers of all kinds featured heavily among responses.
Indeed, the engineering, tech and web development sector accounted for the majority of jobs—23.8%, closely followed by social media, marketing and sales at 19%.
However, there was also a small but significant number who reported working in health and well-being, finance and education, with jobs such as yoga teacher, professor, and accountant. We even discovered a happiness consultant - we rounded up some of the most unexpected digital nomad jobs here.
More illuminating still were the people whose work fell into the ‘other’ category. Among them we found a recruiter, an audiobooks producer, a sustainable energy consultant, a human rights consultant and a death penalty mitigator and private investigator. None of which are frequently listed as digital nomad jobs but— clearly—are still doable from a distance.
Digital Nomad Salaries
The biggest earnings bracket among respondents was also the highest, with 35% reporting earnings of ≥ $100k annually. However the next bracket down was the more modest $50-75k.
Lower earners definitely shouldn’t be disheartened either—19% who earned ≤ $50k were still making the digital nomad dream a reality.
It’s interesting to note that 81% of respondents reported earnings above $50k—roughly in linewith or far-exceeding the average American salary, depending on age (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual salary in 2017 for 25-34 year olds was $39,416 and for 35-44 year olds, $49,400).
Does that, dare we say, indicate that digital nomads earn more than 9-5 workers?