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Finding Employment

Thailand - Finding Employment

The most common jobs for expats in Thailand are in the IT and teaching industries. Thailand has a GDP of more than $500 billion, making it the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. In addition, the country has low unemployment rates. Graduate jobs are highly competitive because there are many experienced professionals and an increasing number of Thai graduates with good English skills. Expats can easily find English teaching jobs, especially in Bangkok. However, employers in Thailand first have to prove there is no Thai citizen available for that post. Working requirements include a valid working permit and a working visa.

Working in Thailand

It is possible for expats and tourists to work in Thailand. The two most available jobs are English teaching and diving instruction.

Thai children are known for being quite motivated. To be a teacher in Thailand, you are required to have a degree, relevant experience, and TEFL/CELTA or TESOL certification in some regions. If you are unqualified before travel, you can take a teaching course in Thailand. Wages are generally low starting at 30000 baht per month depending on the region. However, the wages are slightly higher in Bangkok. Nevertheless, the cost of living in Thailand is quite low. Working as a volunteer teacher can help you gain valuable work experience, especially if you do not have the required qualifications or experience. There are several organizations and small independent charities that help expats find work in Thai schools as volunteer tutors.

Diving instructor roles are highly competitive and hard to find. Sadly, it is also seasonal and not well paid. On the other hand, it offers great experience from days of diving in one of the world’s best diving waters. Generally, the salaries range from 40000 to 80000 baht per month with slight variations depending on the season, commission, sales, and one’s manager.

It is advisable to apply personally instead of using internet forums and dive boards. A chance at freelancing is a good idea as it may lead to a job afterwards. A work permit may be required in certain regions such as Phuket and the Phi Phi.

Work permits

One of the easiest ways to obtain a work permit is by hiring a lawyer to help you find one. However, this is an expensive option that may cost about 60000 baht and take about six weeks. It is not the best option for an individual seeking to work for a month or two. There are companies that take care of the entire work permit application process at a fee.

Obtaining a teaching work permit is easier because many companies, schools, and universities require tutors. Teaching and journalism permits are different from normal work permits. Volunteering in Thailand is considered as a form of employment. Therefore, foreigners need to obtain work permits even for small local projects. These rules should be taken seriously.

Job applications

Cover letters, CVs, and interviews

It is important to conduct adequate research before applying for a job to determine the companies that are legally allowed to employ expats. Job application process in Thailand is similar to that of Western countries requiring a cover letter, a CV and three references.


This should be clear and easy to follow. It should provide personal information and convince the reader you are the right candidate for the job. Avoid spelling mistakes and information about your family status. It should be no longer than two pages.

Cover letters

Here you are to highlight why you are the right candidate. Address the right person correctly and by their formal titles. Include bold keywords from the advert if applying for an advertised position. Job interviews

Job interviews vary depending on the culture and sector of the organization. Research the company’s main goals and objectives. You may be asked about your goals and values during the interview. Skype interviews are also very common.

Working conditions

Salaries, taxation and holidays

Ask for an English translation before signing a job contract. This may help you negotiate the terms and conditions of your work contract. Ensure the exact start and termination date, remuneration, normal working hours and conditions for holidays are stated in the contract.

Salaries depend on the type of job and whether the company is paying you on a local or expatriate salary.

Working hours

The normal working hours per day is 8. For physically exhausting jobs the hours are either 7 per day or 42 per week. A 1 hour break is often a feature of the daily work schedule.

Public holidays and annual leave

There are more than 10 public holidays in Thailand each year. If a holiday coincides with a weekend, the next weekday becomes a holiday. The public holidays must include Labor Day on May 1. The other 12 are chosen at the beginning of the year from the 16 public holidays published by the Thailand government. These holidays differ from the Western ones and do not include Christmas as Thailand practices Buddhism. 6 days’ paid annual leave is the minimum for an employee who has worked at least one year. 90 days’ maternity leave is given to pregnant women. 45 of these are paid days.

Recruitment agencies

JAC Recruitment
This agency provides recruiting services for both local and multinational corporations. It has contact information for thousands of multilingual Thai candidates. It has more than 80 recruiters in 2 branches actively searching for professionals across all functions. It offers full-scale recruitment services on a success fee basis and helps identify the best professionals for operations.
Email: jac.th@jac-recruitment.com
Telephone: +66-(0)-2261-1270
Fax: +66-(0)-2261-1271

Smart Search Recruitment
This agency offers recruitment services from onsite handling of response to complete outsourcing of companies’ executive recruitment activities.
Telephone: +66 (0) 2-714-8088
Fax: +66 (0) 2-726-9217
Email: info@ssrecruitment.com

EPS Recruitment
Based in Bangkok with over 22 years of experience. It works with both local and global companies. This recruitment agency deals with unique organization requirements with its extensive range of activities.
Telephone: +66 2309 3633

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.