5 ways for foreigners to make money in Thailand

PHOTO: Freepik


Many foreigners visit Thailand for a holiday, become enamoured by its beauty, and end up staying and finding a job that can sustain them and their families. But if you don’t know Thai, you’ll find that not all jobs in Thailand are open to foreigners. However, there are ways you can make money to live out your dream life in the Land of Smiles. To help you with your job search, here are 5 of the most common ways for foreigners to make money in Thailand.

1. Teaching jobs in Thailand for foreigners

A teacher reading a book
PHOTO: Freepik

Teaching is possibly the most common way foreigners make money in Thailand. Many foreigners in Thailand teach English, whether part-time or full-time, with a TEFL degree or without, in an official school or less official. It’s not the best-paying job in the world, but it does provide a decent living. Moreover, the opportunity is almost always open. Numerous educational institutions in the country need English teachers, from international to language schools. You can also earn extra money on the side by teaching privately. 

Related news

Your chances of landing an English teaching job are higher if you have a TEFL, a teaching degree, and a native speaker. With a great CV, you can also expect to get a higher salary. However, getting hired is still possible even if you don’t have a degree or a TEFL. Aside from English, you can also teach other popular languages in Thailand. These include Korean, French, Japanese, and Chinese.

Teaching jobs in Thailand for foreigners aren’t limited to languages. Thailand is a popular destination for yoga retreats. There are many yoga studios across the country, so you have plenty of opportunities to become a yoga instructor. Other teaching opportunities include diving instructors or online courses.

2. Working online jobs in Thailand for foreigners

Best jobs in Thailand for foreigners
PHOTO: Freepik

Working online, or being a ‘digital nomad,’ is another common option. While it has been popular for many years, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to online or remote work. You can do your job anywhere, whether in your own home, a cafe, an airport, on a boat or by the pool. That’s why it’s the preferred option for those who love freedom. By working online, you can travel while still generating income on the go. All you need to work online is a great internet connection and, obviously, a particular skill. Finding a remote job might seem difficult, but if you’re smart and diligent enough, it’s pretty simple.

For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear about making money online is writing a blog, starting a YouTube channel, or becoming a TikTok star. Of course, these are some of the options, but the truth is, you can do almost anything on the net. The possibilities is endless, from freelancing to full-time jobs. Even jobs that traditionally have to be performed in an office can now be performed online. Many progressive companies are now hiring remote workers. Some of the most common online jobs in Thailand for foreigners are graphic design, copywriting, online marketing, website maintenance, and social media marketing. A great place to start finding work online is from websites like fiverr.com.

When talking about digital nomads and or working online, Thailand launched in June 2024, the Destination Thailand Visa (DTV) programme offers opportunities for both long-term stay enthusiasts and remote workers. This visa is ideal for digital nomads with location-independent work since it allows you to enter Thailand for up to five years and allows multiple entries. Nevertheless, you must obtain authorisation from international clients before hiring Thai nationals while you are in Thailand; being hired by Thai citizens is not permitted for DTV.  It’s even family-friendly, so feel free to include your partner and any under-20 youngsters. There are certain prerequisites to take into account, such as a minimum monthly income level and possibly some cash reserves.

However, the advantages go well beyond working remotely. The DTV visa is a very flexible option that accepts volunteering, wellness retreats, and cultural immersion programmes. For the most recent information, stay tuned to official Thai immigration channels and we will keep you informed about any updates, even though details on visa extensions are still being finalised. The DTV programme has the potential to be a major factor in Thailand’s future because of its ability to draw in remote workers, increase tourism, and diversify the country’s economy.

3. Entrepreneur

Best jobs in Thailand for foreigners
PHOTO: Freepik

It’s not the easiest option, but developing a business can be rewarding and profitable if you’ve got the credentials and determination. Thailand has become a target for business for many reasons, such as its strategic location, which makes it convenient to do business with other countries in Asia. 

The most common types of businesses foreigners start in Thailand rely heavily on the tourism sector, such as hotels, bars, restaurants, tour companies, and entertainment venues. However, there are also lots of foreigners who engage in export, trading, manufacturing, and consulting. Alternatively, you can come up with your idea and set up an entirely new business that didn’t exist before in the country. Quite a few foreigners have successfully opened a unique business that doesn’t compete with Thai companies.

Once you’ve come up with a business idea, your next step is to set up the company and obtain a foreign business license. It’s a great idea to work with a law firm. You need to make sure that you are fully compliant with the Thai Foreign Business Act. Moreover, the documents and certificates are usually in Thai script. Having a lawyer by your side can make the company registration process easier.

4. Renting out property

Best jobs in Thailand for foreigners
PHOTO: Freepik

If you have a bit of money, becoming a landlord is a lucrative option to generate a stable source of income in Thailand. The price of properties in Thailand indeed continues to go up, but it’s generally still cheaper compared to those in Farangland. 

High rental returns on Thai real estate are possible, particularly in popular tourist locations like Hua Hin, Phuket, and Pattaya, as well as major cities like Bangkok or Chiang Mai. In Bangkok, properties tend to rent out to the expat community. Studios and one-bedroom units in the CBD are highly sought after. However, two to three-bedroom units are also popular among expats with families. In tourist areas, renters typically look for luxury pool villas, condos, and serviced apartments.

Keep in mind that renting out a property in Thailand can either be a simple process or a complete nightmare. This is because the country currently doesn’t have a landlord-tenant regulation. The laws that govern this area are, therefore, at best, ad hoc, with contract laws providing the best protection for both parties to the agreement.

5. Running a hotel, restaurant, or bar

Best jobs in Thailand for foreigners
PHOTO: Freepik

Some bars, restaurants, and hotels in Thailand often hire a foreigner as a manager. They justify this to the labour department by saying that they need a particular level of language proficiency, experience, or culinary competence. If you have professional experience in restaurant or hotel management, it’s a great idea to get in touch with upscale restaurants or hotels in the country. Many hotel chains in Bangkok, for example, occasionally hire foreigners for high-level management positions.

Only knowing the jobs available in Thailand for foreigners is not enough. You also need commitment and effort to generate your income in the country. It’s also essential to meet all the requirements to ensure you don’t work illegally and risk getting deported, or worse, banned from entering the Kingdom.

GuidesThai Life

Cita Catellya

Cita Catellya is a journalist and writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter 5 years ago, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence. Cita writes in both English and her native Bahasa Indonesia

Related Articles