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12 of the BEST Online Jobs for Expats 

Moving to a new country permanently can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a new job lined up for when you arrive. Increasingly, expats are looking online for their jobs, so that they can work wherever they land. Obviously, some jobs have to be done in person, but there are still plenty of online jobs for expats available.

Of course, check the visa rules for the country you’re moving to about working online for companies that may be elsewhere.

Largely this will be fine, but it’s always a good idea to check for both visa and tax purposes.

Another thing to consider is the language that you’re working in.

Although working online may mean that you can work in your native language and not the local one, it’s still important to integrate with the local community and brush up on your language skills.

You’re an expat, not a tourist after all!

Also, for pretty much all of these jobs, you need a laptop and a reliable internet connection.

So, if you’re out living in the middle of rural Portugal or from a secluded beach in the Caribbean, then it’s going to be difficult for you to feasibly work an online job.

Some of these also require you to be contactable via phone, whether this is on a call basis or through something like WhatsApp, so if this is the case, make sure you factor the possibility of international calls into your phone plan.

Trusted Housesitters is another way you can find a place to stay for free while working online. It’s a site where you can stay at someone’s house while they are away in exchange for watching their house or sometimes their pet.

It’s a great way to travel the world for free!

So, what jobs can you do online as an expat? Let’s find out!

12 Online Jobs for Expats

1. Coder

First up we have one of the classic remote working jobs – coding. Coders have been working remotely around the world for years now.

They were doing it way before the pandemic hit and remote work became more mainstream.

a man coding in a cafe

Essentially, if you have a laptop, a stable internet connection, and a decent knowledge of at least one coding language, you should be able to pick up work fairly easily.

Coding is an in-demand skill and whether you’re working in-house for a company or on a freelance or contractor basis, there always tend to be vacancies floating around online.

If this is something that interests you, many coders teach themselves the various languages and there are tons of online courses that can get you started.

There are also loads of forums for beginner coders to ask questions and software where you can practice your newly learned skills! 

2. Writer

If you’ve got a way with words and can deliver on tight deadlines, then you might have a career in writing or editing ahead of you.

a girl typing on a laptop

Nowadays, most companies have content writers and editors in their marketing or sales departments, so there are quite a few ways to get a role in this arena.

Separate from marketing-related gigs, you can edit other people’s work, write blogs on specialist topics, or even draft scripts for YouTubers or short-form projects.

Again, this is a role that works well both in-house and on a freelance basis, so depending on your situation, this could be a flexible and creative online job for you.

Of course, if you fancy yourself the next great novelist, that also comes into this category. It is worth mentioning that unless you strike gold, fiction is not a lucrative career route. Sorry! 

3. Marketer

Jumping off from a career in writing, if you’re not a fan of typing out page after page of content, but still like the more creative roles, then you might want to consider marketing.

From website management to creating content for social media, email marketing, and other sales materials to helping manage customers, it’s a diverse role that keeps you on your toes. 

Although some companies like to have their marketing teams in-house, following the pandemic, many are realizing that working remotely opens up their teams to be more creative and happy.

If you’re interested in this field, there are plenty of entry-level roles as well as internships to get you started. If you have experience, it’s a huge industry, so roles are always opening up.

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4. Customer Service

Do you consider yourself a people person? Good at handling a crisis or complaint? Then a job as an online customer service representative might be right up your street.

Although some companies still favor old-school call centers, most businesses use webchat, social or email to deal with customer queries. 

As more companies switch to digital customer service, a lot of them are either outsourcing them to remote-first companies or realizing that they don’t need a huge call center to run their operations.

Instead, they set up remote workers with online training and logins, allowing them to answer queries from anywhere in the world.

5. Graphic Designer

If you’ve got a flair with a digital pen or know your way around Adobe Creative Suite, then working as a graphic designer might be the ideal online job for you.

a girl doing graphic design on a tablet

Graphic design is mostly a solitary role that slots into a wider creative or tech-based team, so much like a coding role, it aligns itself pretty naturally with remote working.

This is a role that you’re going to have to have some innate artistic ability to pull off and if you’re planning on working freelance, a fair bit of working experience.

While there are often graphic designer positions within larger companies or creative agencies, it’s common to work on a self-employed or freelance basis.

If you want the flexibility of just you, some clients, and a stylus, then this is an ideal solution.

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6. Consultant

Do you have a specialty that you want to share with others? Maybe you’ve had some unique experiences or are aptly placed to hand out advice?

Then you could be pulling in some major money as an online consultant.

If you’ve got an experience or story that you’re willing to monetize to help other people on similar journeys, then you can run online seminars and webinars, create downloadable guides and resources and even run virtual retreats to help your clients find their way.

You can also take clients on a one-to-one basis to give more bespoke guidance and charge at a higher rate.

Basically, if you have a look around this site, you’ll see some of the resources and webinar events that I offer – it should give you a good idea of some of the collateral you can sell as an online consultant.

Next Gen Leadership

7. Online English Tutor

Becoming an English tutor in another country is one of the most popular jobs to get when you move abroad, however, you don’t need to leave your house to make this job a reality.

Online tutors are fast becoming the quick and easy way to boost children’s language learning skills while they’re at home. 

Typically following a similar pay scale as in-person language tutors – on an hourly rate – it’s a good way to earn money without leaving your house. It also has the potential to make much more money than an in-person tutor.

You don’t have to rely on local clients – you can take on customers from anywhere in the world as long as you can sync up time zones.

You can also fit more into the day as you don’t have to travel in between gigs. 

If you’re looking to become an online English tutor, you can either set up on your own and seek out clients on freelancing sites and job boards, or you can sign up with a tutoring agency that can match you up with customers for a small fee or percentage.

8. Virtual Assistant

Do you thrive in an office setting but want to work from home? Have you got insanely good organizational skills?

Do you often know what your bosses want before they even ask for it? Why not check out becoming a virtual assistant?

They share a lot in common with office administrators or personal assistants with jet-setting businesspeople or smaller companies employing them to sort out the paperwork and admin side of the company.

This might be because they don’t know where they’re going to be one week to the next so having an in-person assistant makes no sense.

Alternatively, it might be because a company is just starting out and needs some ad hoc admin doing, but not enough for a full-time, in-person position.

Either way, if you’re organized, have admin experience, and are contactable for the desired time zone, this might be the online, expat-friendly role for you.

The best places to find jobs as a freelancer are Fiverr and Upwork. I actually found some freelancers to help me with this blog on Fiverr, so I highly recommend it!

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9. Transcription

Speaking of admin-based roles that you can do from anywhere in the world, we have a classic online job that might be a bit of a throwback.

If you can type up minutes and interviews quickly, then transcription can be a nice little earner for you.

Although some people do find it tedious over long periods of time, if you’re looking for a part-time or short-time gig, then it’s worth considering.

With many meetings being conducted over Zoom and across the world, transcription jobs are making a comeback.

Many big businesses still require written accounts of meetings and interviews, as do many legal practices, so if you’ve got this unique skill, it’s time to put it to work!

10. Translator

Are you multilingual? Put that skill to use by becoming a translator online. We all know that as hard as it tries Google Translate and other online translation services kind of suck.

They get the general gist but they’re often too literal on certain words or phrases and the result is clunky and overly formal.

As an online translator, you can smooth the gaps and provide clients with an accurate account of the original piece.

Whether it’s blogs, memos, contracts, website copy, scripts, letters, and more, there is a lot of variety in online translating work.

It’s also one of the better-paid hourly rate online jobs, thanks to the high level of skill and knowledge you have to have to do it well.

With the world of business only becoming more and more global, translation jobs are going to be needed for a long time to come! 

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The phrases I have learned on Pimsleur have stuck with me for years, so I can’t recommend it enough for language learning as I myself have bought the lifetime Pimsleur plan.

11. Data Analyst

If you’re good with numbers and can see a pattern from a mile away then you might have a calling as a data analyst.

a man analyzing data on a tablet

As you’re mostly looking at statistics and data and drawing conclusions, there isn’t much need for you to be in a lab or running trials yourself.

Instead, just wait for the team to send you the data and you can send back the report or results.

This is one of those big business-style jobs that most people didn’t realize could be done remotely until after the pandemic, but it definitely can. It’s also a real skill.

Staring at numbers and data all day is some people’s idea of hell, so if you’ve got a knack for analyzing data, then you really can do it from anywhere with an internet connection. 

12. Web Designer

Working as a web designer can be a bit of an all-rounder role. At times you’re going to need coding skills, graphic design skills, copywriting skills, and more.

If you have experience designing exciting websites that are easy to use, then there is a lot of money to be made.

Much like graphic design, writing, and coding, there are certainly bigger businesses and creative agencies that have in-house web designers, but predominantly most people in this field work on a freelance basis or go for shorter, contract-based work.

If you can work well to a brief, don’t mind getting your head down and running projects solo, and have a creative, artistic flair as well as a techie side, this might be the job for you.

Again, if this job interests you but you don’t have any experience, there are a lot of online courses that you can check out to get you started.

Test it out, start building your portfolio, and then you can start applying for roles or pitching to clients!

So, there you have it. There are plenty of available online jobs for expats. It all depends on your individual skillset, your time restrictions, and what you want to do.

Some of you might be more creative, some more technologically based, some of you might be really organized and some might be really people-oriented.

There are online expat-friendly jobs to suit all of these categories, all you need to do is find which one is right for you. 

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Many companies are switching to remote-first meaning that plenty of previously office-based roles are now available as an online job.

Just check on any time zone allowances before you apply. Even some flexible businesses insist on +/- 3 hours for their employee’s working locations.

If you’re looking to move abroad permanently as an expat, it can be really scary to try and work out how to get a job in a completely new country. I totally get it!

So, knowing that you can get a job completely online and location-independent can be really reassuring.

Even if you just work online for a few months until you get settled and find a more local role, it takes off some of the financial strain and worry that comes with a big move. 

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So, Which Online Expat Job Sounds Like the Right Move for You?

Whatever it is, remember to find a stable internet connection, and a good quality laptop charger, and embrace that much-needed work/life balance in your new homeland!

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