Thanks to its relaxed lifestyle, relatively lower cost of living, and vibrant culture, Thailand is a magnet for expats. However, the job market isn’t completely wide open for foreigners. The Thai government has made some restrictions on the types of jobs available to foreigners, and you need a work permit and the right type of visa to work in the country as an expat. That said, there are plenty of job opportunities for foreigners who want to live and work in this Southeast Asian country. So if you’re looking for a job in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand, here are some job opportunities you can look into.
1. English or foreign language teacher
- 1 1. English or foreign language teacher
- 2 2. Tech
- 3 3. Marketing expert
- 4 4. Real estate agent/manager
- 5 5. Embassies or consulates
- 6 6. Diving instructor
- 7 7. Work for a multinational company
- 8 8. Hotel industry
- 9 9. NGOs
- 10 10. Modeling and movie extra work
- 11 11. Work for an online business
- 12 12. Start your own business
The most obvious job opportunity in Thailand for foreigners is teaching English or any other foreign language. In fact, most people say that teaching is the main career pathway for foreigners living in the country. From elementary schools to universities, you can find numerous educational institutions in Thailand in need of native-speaking English reachers. Teaching jobs can be found in many cities across the country, but the majority of them will be found in Bangkok.
You might find that most job advertisements for teachers include a degree on the requirement. In reality, you don’t really need a degree to teach a foreign language in Thailand. However, you do need at least a bachelor’s degree (in any field) if you want to land higher-paying teaching jobs. You can earn your TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certifications from a Thai Ministry of Education accredited school. These schools usually guarantee a teaching job for native speakers who take a 4-week TEFL course.
Although the job market is not as large as English teaching, native speakers of other languages like French, Chinese, and Korean can also find jobs in Thai schools or language schools. There’s an increased demand for Chinese teachers in Thailand as more and more schools add Chinese programs to their curriculum.
Recruitment in the tech sector largely revolves around headhunting. Most large companies look for the best talent with the most experience. But don’t worry, you can always start from a smaller agency first to build your expertise, and further opportunities will arise.
3. Marketing expert
If you are interested or have experience in marketing, there are many companies in Thailand that hire foreign nationals. While there are lots of local talents in this area, many companies deal with multinationals and have western clients. As a result, these companies need foreign employees to work on certain projects which require high-level communication skills.
Digital marketing is especially in demand right now as more and more companies realise that digital advertisement is a vital marketing channel. So whether you’re a PPC campaign manager or SEO expert, there are lots of opportunities available in Thailand.
4. Real estate agent/manager
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the condo market in Thailand suffered a setback in 2020-2021. However, international investment is slowly coming back in, which means that job opportunities in real estate are returning.
Many real estate companies employ foreign nationals to manage their projects and sell properties. Jobs in real estate can vary a lot, from finding prospective buyers to business development and operational management.
5. Embassies or consulates
Foreign embassies and consulates in Thailand employ many foreign employees. The best way to land a job in the embassy or consulate is, of course, to find openings at your respective embassy (your home country). These jobs usually have very specific requirements and a rigorous application process. In addition, the job can be tough. However, it’s worth it as you’ll get many benefits in terms of healthcare, pension, and privilege. Besides, these jobs are usually very well paying, particularly by Thai standards.
To find jobs in your embassy or consulate, you will need to check their websites regularly. Some of the job openings might be awarded to internal applicants as part of career progression. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to look for an available position.
6. Diving instructor
If you prefer to live near the ocean and you have a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), there are plenty of opportunities to work as a diving instructor in Thailand. You can join a driving school and teach on one of Thailand’s popular diving spots, such as Koh Tao, Krabi, or Phi Phi Island. This career pathway can even lead you to live in lots of countries across the globe. As a diving instructor, the amount of money you can make depends on location, season, and skill. The pay is usually higher in Koh Phi Phi compared to Phuket, and in the low season, expect to have fewer customers.
The minimum certification level you’d need in order to work as a scuba diving instructor is the PAD IDC (Instructor Development Course). Diving instructors who can speak multiple languages are particularly in high demand today. So if you can speak fluent Mandarin, Russian, German, and French, it might be easier for you to find a job with a higher salary.
If you aren’t qualified to be a driving instructor, but you’re interested in it, you can take lessons and train first. It takes around four months to be fully trained, and you can start earning money by assisting Dive Instructors once you reach Divemaster status.
7. Work for a multinational company
There are many multinational corporations operating in Thailand. If you’re currently working for a large multinational company, there’s a chance that they have a division in Thailand, and you might be able to ask for a transfer. It can actually be beneficial for you in terms of salary since the pay is likely to be on the same scale as what you earn in your home country. Thus, you’ll be able to enjoy more with your money since the cost of living in Thailand is much lower.
If you aren’t currently working for a multinational corporation, you can research companies with offices in Thailand and contact the HR department about possible job openings. Large multinational companies usually have openings for finance and accounting managers, as well as engineers.
8. Hotel industry
There are many job opportunities in Thailand’s hotel industry for foreigners to live and work in the country. If you have the necessary educational background and years of experience in hotel management, you might be able to work for one of the big hotels in Thailand. Large hotel chains usually offer high-level management positions for foreigners.
Alternatively, you might also look into Head Chef positions in Thailand. Foreigners often fill these positions at the country’s finest hotels and restaurants. At least five years of experience might be needed if you want to work as a Head Chef in Bangkok’s 5-star hotels.
Besides the relevant skills, the ability to speak multiple languages can be a plus when looking for a job in the hotel industry.
If you’ve got social development qualifications, you might be able to find a job in one of the many NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) active in Thailand. These positions are usually temporary and term-funded, meaning they only run for a set number of years for which they’ve been funded. Additionally, the requirements are generally very specific, with several years of experience in development aid. In some cases, being fluent in the Thai language might be a huge plus when applying for an NGO position.
10. Modeling and movie extra work
Thailand’s movie industry is flourishing, and the capital, Bangkok, is a hub for movie productions in Asia. Production companies worldwide see Bangkok as a great location to shoot a movie due to its modern facilities and lower costs. You can be a movie extra at the lower end and make about the same amount as an expat teacher in a state school. If you can land cameo appearances or modelling, you can earn over 100,000 Baht a month.
The downside of modelling and being a movie extra is that it’s inconsistent. In addition, production companies will only employ you on a short-term contract. If it’s your dream to become a model or an actor in Thailand, you can register with some agencies and work part-time as your main source of income.
11. Work for an online business
More and more companies are moving towards a remote work policy, especially during the pandemic. Many companies in Thailand, from insurance companies to online stores, have switched to this new way of working. You can work in any city you want in Thailand, or even in another country, as long as you have an internet connection to fulfil your work duties. Whether you’re a full-stack developer, customer support manager, or copywriter, there are plenty of opportunities to be remote workers in Thailand.
12. Start your own business
If you want to be an entrepreneur, Thailand can be a great place to start a business. As long as you’ve got the credentials and the ambitions, you can create your own business instead of working for someone else. Besides, owning a Thai company can be an easy way to acquire a work permit and long-term visa in Thailand. Some of the top business opportunities in Thailand include import and export companies, real estate companies, and IT consulting businesses. You can also take over an existing small business in the country.
Keep in mind that you, as a foreign owner, can only obtain work permit if your company have at least four Thai employees. In most cases, you as the foreigner can only own up to 49% of the company’s shares. Therefore, you will need to find a Thai person you can trust.
There are lots of other job opportunities in Thailand, but these 12 are the most common for foreigners. We hope this list of job opportunities can help you with your job search in the Land of Smiles!
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.