Finding work in Thailand
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Updated 7 months ago

Although some jobs aren't permitted to foreigners in Thailand, there is still an array of career opportunities in this rapidly developing South-East Asian nation. Certain sectors are easier for foreigners to find jobs in — notably tourism and teaching — but if you can prove you have required skills that are difficult to find locally, then opportunities in other sectors are also likely to be available to you.

Just be aware of the strict visa regulations that apply to foreigners who wish to work in the country, but so long as you follow the procedures, you should be able to work in Thailand without problems.

Types of jobs available in Thailand

Teaching in Thailand is one of the simplest ways to earn a salary, so long as you speak English fluently, have a degree and a recognised teaching qualification, such as a TEFL or a CELTA. A teaching job can pay anywhere from THB30,000 to THB100,000 a month, depending on your experience, qualifications, and where you teach. For example, an international school will pay a lot more than a state-run school, which will also tend to have limited resources. You can bulk up your wage by offering private tutor on the side, or teaching weekend lessons at a language school. Turnover at language schools tends to be quite high, so it is always worth leaving your CV with a school in case a vacancy arises.

The tourism industry continues to boom in Thailand and has arguably been its saving grace during times of political upheaval. If you have experience in hotel management, it is worth contacting the upmarket hotels around the country, as big hotel chains do often look for foreigners to fill top management positions. Many foreigners do also manage bars and restaurants in downtown Bangkok or on the islands, so it is worth looking into this if you have any connections. As Thailand's popularity increases, the significant development of condominiums across the country also means that there are several openings for foreigners in the real estate market.

If you want to live on an island or in a coastal town in Thailand, then you may want to consider qualifying and working as a scuba diving instructor. This is a particularly popular way to make a living in the diving hotspots, such as Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, and Koh Tao. It doesn't pay big bucks, but you will earn enough to get by, and many diving centres also provide basic food and accommodation.

Many big multinational companies now have offices in Thailand, so it is worth negotiating a transfer or browsing their websites for vacancies. There are also occasional openings at foreign embassies, the United Nations, NGOs or aid projects. So, whether you are interested in working for a big corporate or in international development, there are many options available.

The bold and the beautiful flock to Thailand to work in movies or commercials, as there is a lot of reasonably well-paid work for models, actors and extras. The downside is that this can be a bit sporadic and you may need to wait for a long time at lots of castings where nothing is guaranteed, but the pay can be quite good when you do land a job.

Job-hunting in Thailand

The internet is a good place to start if you're looking for a job in Thailand, as well as browsing through the many specialised job websites such as JobsDB, Ajarn.com, Craigslist. Also, consider searching on LinkedIn for companies that have offices in Thailand, then contacting them about possible openings. It is advisable to check websites of multinational companies or international development organisations regularly to keep abreast of openings.

If you are already in Thailand, then it can be a good idea to contact a recruitment agency that can speed up your search for you with its contacts and positions but make sure to agree with their terms and conditions. Additionally, Thailand has two main English language newspapers ' The Bangkok Post and The Nation ' and it is always worth looking through the job sections on a regular basis, especially if you are keen to work in Bangkok.

Networking events could prove invaluable to you if you are already in Thailand and learning a bit of Thai will place you in good stead when going to interviews.

Useful links:

Jobs DB
Ajarn
Craigslist
Thailand Ministry of Labour

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