How to get a job as an expat in Thailand
Modern comforts, good medical care, a tropical climate, and an affordable cost of living are just some of the reasons why people choose Thailand as their home when they want to live and work in another country. From Bangkok and Chiang Mai, to Koh Samui and Phuket, there are a variety of places that you can happily settle into as an expat.
To help you get started on your journey, we’ve compiled information on:
- The kinds of jobs that are available to expats in Thailand
- The ways to find work in Thailand
- The visa you’ll need to get a job while living in Thailand
- The smart way to send money back home from Thailand
What kinds of jobs are available in Thailand?
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations on the planet for expats, and there are quite a few opportunities that you can look into when it comes to employment. However, it’s important to remember that not all job openings will be available to foreigners.
Some examples of industries in which jobs might not be open to expats include:
- Driving motor vehicles
- Construction work
- Haircutting and hairdressing
- Clerical work
- Legal work
- Tour guiding
- Architectural work
- Civil engineering
Despite the many restrictions in place when it comes to hiring foreigners to work in Thailand, there are also plenty of great job opportunities that you can pursue there as an expat. Those include:
Teaching: English teachers are in demand in Thailand, so you can search for job openings in everything from elementary and high schools, to universities and vocational colleges. Plus, you can also find opportunities for English speaking teachers that would lead courses in other subjects, such as science and math.
Dive Instruction: With the right dive instructor certification, you might be able to find a fun job working at a dive school. By teaching others how to dive safely, you’ll be able to take in the beauty of the waters that surround the country. What could be better than that?
Tourism: While jobs for tour guides are only open to Thai citizens, there are other areas within the field of tourism that you might be able to find work in. Check hotels to see if they’re hiring for positions like hotel manager, or see if any restaurants are hiring chefs.
How to find work as an expat in Thailand
There are several strategies that you can employ when searching for jobs for expats in Thailand.
- If you currently work for a large company that has offices in Thailand, ask about being transferred so you can live abroad while still earning a great salary from a business that you already know well.
- Using your network might open doors to opportunities in Thailand. A good example is your LinkedIn account, which could help you keep an eye on Thai job openings as they’re posted.
- Online job boards could also steer you in the right direction towards job openings in Thailand in a variety of industries. Resources like the Bangkok Post, Ajarn, and JobsDB might be a wise place to start.
What are the requirements to work in Thailand?
To work in Thailand as an expat, you will need to get a valid visa and work permit.
For your visa:
- Apply for a non-immigrant visa category “B” Business Visa so you can work in Thailand. You can do so at the Thai Embassy/Consulate in your area.
- In addition to the visa application form, provide the necessary additional documentation. This might include:
- Your passport
- A photo of yourself
- Proof of adequate finances for living in Thailand (this might be 20,000 Baht if you’re alone, or 40,000 Baht for you and your family)
- Corporate documents supplied by the company that hired you (this might include things like a company profile, business license and registration information, and a list of shareholders)
- A copy of your work permit, which is issued by the country’s Ministry of Labour
- Ask your prospective employer to fill out and submit Form WP3 so that you can get your letter of approval from Thailand’s Ministry of Labour. Include this letter with your visa application.
For your work permit:
- Once you get your non-immigrant visa, the next step is to get your work permit before you start working.
- You can apply for this permit at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour when you get to Thailand.
Note: You might need to pay income tax once you begin working in Thailand after you’ve received your work permit.
How to send earnings abroad when working in Thailand
After settling in and working in Thailand, you will be able to budget for all of your living expenses accordingly. And you might even choose to send money back home if your cost of living is low and you’re earning more money than you need.
When you’re ready to send funds internationally from Thailand, use a money transfer service like OFX, rather than a bank, to save money. Banks will likely charge high margins and fees that will make your international transfer more expensive than it needs to be.
The best part is that, with OFX, you can securely and swiftly send money to your bank account back home, or any other bank account or vendor account if you’re doing some international shopping. And with handy currency charts, you’ll know how much money you’ll have once the Thai Baht is converted into another currency.
Thailand: so many job opportunities, so much to do!
In addition to being a desirable choice for those who want to move abroad and earn a solid income, Thailand is also a top tourist destination because it offers so much to do and see. So, when you aren’t working, you’ll never get bored.
There are amazing beaches, jungles, and historical sites to explore, as well as restaurants serving delicious food, and clubs that keep the party going all night—everything you need to live your best expat life! And along the way, friendly locals will make you feel right at home.