Working and living in paradise Thailand is the dream of a lot of people all around the world. When first coming for a holiday to the land of smiles it’s quite easy to immediately fall in love with the Thai natural beauty, culture, food, weather and women.
You might remember your first trip to Thailand and how you thought that this is just a completely different world compared to back home and how awesome it would be to actually settle here and find a job that pays enough for living your dream in this country.
Is it difficult to find a job in Thailand?
Of course this is a very general question and cannot easily be answered with yes or no. However you have to keep in mind that Thailand is a developing country and thus there aren’t nearly as many well paid office jobs like in Western countries. The other thing is that a lot of foreigners are looking for good job opportunities because of the mentioned reasons so one thing is sure:
It is not as easy to find a good job in Thailand as in your home country.
But then of course it doesn’t mean it’s not possible and with the right approach I will show you here you will have a lot higher chances to find employment in Thailand than you might think.
Do I need to speak Thai to get a job in Thailand?
No, only English is the only language you should be fluent in. I would estimate that more than 80% of foreigners working in Thailand are not fluent in the Thai language. But then of course you will have a lot better chances while applying for a job in Thailand if you can claim at least basic Thai language skills.
Do I need a university degree in order to legally work in Thailand?
No, you don’t need one, different to most other Asian countries, i.e. Singapore, a high school diploma is the minimum you should provide. As I took up my first job in Thailand I just went with my high school diploma to the German embassy, they translated and authorized it for 150 baht and this was enough for the officers at the labor department in order to process my work permit.
Do I need to come for a personal job interview?
Only if you are in Thailand. If you are applying for a job outside Thailand, often your potential employer asks you for a skype or phone interview or, in rare cases, pays for a flight so you can come for a personal job interview in Thailand.
How about the salary in Thailand?
Even though you might not earn as much as in your home country, life in Thailand is a lot cheaper and there is a minimum salary for foreigners working on Thailand. More on that and the issues about it you can find here.
Now here are the different ways to find job offers and to apply for jobs in Thailand:
Thailand Job Websites
The following are the most important job websites in Thailand, ordered by number of job posts and popularity.
- Jobs DB
- Job Street
- Craigslist Thailand
- Bangkok Post Jobs
- Teaching in Thailand
Jobs DB is by far the biggest job website in Thailand. It has more than 5x as many job offers as any of the other ones at any time of the year.
Note that most people looking for work in Thailand are using these websites and that you should only apply for the positions you meet the requirements and have the necessary experience. The good thing is there are new job offers coming out on a daily basis so you can always go online from at home and just check what’s new. You apply for the jobs by sending your CV, references and motivation letter to the mentioned contact email in the job post.
Thailand Recruitment Agencies
Then there are also a lot of recruitment agencies that you send your CV and references and they will to arrange a job for you that meets your expectations and experience. There are far more of these recruitment agencies around than job websites as described above so it’s impossible to list them all with always new ones appearing and existing ones disappearing. Some of the most important ones to date are:
- PRTR Recruitment
- RSM Recruitment
- Robert Walters
- Fame Placement
- Smart Search Recruitment
- Jobs Connector
- JAC Recruitment
- Top Talent Asia
- Opus Asia
I recommend you to only go for these recruitment agencies if you can’t find a job by yourself as they all charge some fees. Check on their websites how much the fee for arranging you a job is (usually only in case of success) and if they say it’s totally free they will still get some commission from your future employer that might lower your starting salary.
Newspapers & Magazines
Of course you can still do it the classic way and find a job in Thailand by having a look at the job advertisements in the local newspapers. The four big English language newspapers in Thailand are:
You don’t even need to buy the newspapers, they are available free for guests in many hotels as well as restaurants and fast food chains such as Subway, Pizza Hut, Mc Donald’s etc.
Then there are also a lot of English magazines such as BK Magazine, Der Farang etc. that have job advertisements as well. Just look around what’s in the shops, hotels and western oriented restaurants.
If you are not in Thailand while looking for a job you can have a look of the newspapers’ and magazines’ websites as sometimes they also have some job advertisements online.
Facebook / LinkedIn Groups
There are some really big and active Facebook and LinkedIn groups for foreigners in Thailand. It basically works the way that you request to join the group, wait until you get accepted by a moderator and then you are free to post about the job you are looking for and let people give you advice (similar to a forum) or just check out what others have posted and you comment on that or send people a private message. The biggest such Thailand groups for foreigners are:
- Job Seekers Thailand (Facebook)
- Bangkok Expats (Facebook)
- Bangkok, Thailand, Jobs, Recruiters and Head Hunters (LinkedIn)
- Expat Network Thailand (LinkedIn)
If you are in Thailand while looking for a job there is a great chance of getting in touch with other expats working, looking for work, looking for employees or just making connections at the various and at different places hosted networking events. Some people even go as far as claiming BKK to be a true networking paradise. The events are usually held in Bangkok but as the economy catches up in other parts of the country increasingly also in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Some of the most important regular organized networking events in Thailand are:
- Bangkok Young Professionals
- Bangkok Networking
- German Open Young Professionals
- AmCham Young Professionals Committee
- Mobile Monday Bangkok
- InterNations Thailand
The easiest way if you have a clear idea not just about your job position but also the industry you want to work in you can have a look directly at the company’s website what’s available under “Career” or “Jobs”. Or just find out the email-address, usually under “Contact” or “Impressum” and introduce yourself asking if they currently have job openings.
Chamber of Commerce
If you are not sure which foreign companies have branches in Thailand, a great way to find out is check the Membership Directory of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of your country. Most western countries have this institution in Bangkok that help a country’s companies promote investment and operations in Thailand. For example, the Membership Directory of the German Chamber of Commerce can be found here.
Finding a Job through an Internship
This is how I got job offers in Thailand twice. I started off with 4-5 months internships that I found just by googling around for a while as it’s easier to find paid or unpaid internships than regular jobs. Like this I could manage not just finding paid internships fairly easy but also got job offers at the companies (Online Marketing and Business Advising) by the end of my internships.
Find Friends in Thailand
You may be surprised how much is possible with making new friendships in Thailand. This is a bit similar to networking where you get to know several new people during one night, but even if you are in Thailand for a holiday and get in conversations with foreigners that already work in Thailand they may come up with opportunities you might not have thought about.
Have you been or are you currently working in Thailand? How did you find the job? Let us know about your experiences.
And if you are looking for ways to make money in Thailand other than working a job have a look at this post.