How to Find a Job in Thailand as an Expat - Working in Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country with beautiful beaches and one of the best cuisines in the world, there’s something available for everyone with affordable living costs, which is why many foreigners want to move and work in Thailand. However the job market is not left completely wide open to foreigners here and there are many restrictions to keep in mind.

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How much do Jobs in Thailand pay?

When deciding to work anywhere, compensation is of extreme importance because time is money and if you do not earn decent money to live a relatively comfortable life then it might not be worth it. In Thailand, there are government-imposed fixed minimum wages for foreign workers. These foreign minimum wages differ by the country they are from. For example, a German labourer might have a government-imposed minimum wage of 50,000 THB (1,500 USD), while someone from Myanmar might only recieve half of that amount. As in other countries, your salary depends on your experience, industry and also your qualifications. In Thailand, it should also be noted that there are payment inequalities that exist in many jobs such as teaching. For example, a Filipino English teacher might earn less than someone from the UK or USA even though they have the same qualifications because they are not from a native english speaking country, but ofcourse there are always special cases and it might not always be true.

In the real world, there is a huge salary range in Thailand and you can expect to earn a third of your income back home or double that, it all depends on how rare and valuable your specific talents are in Thailand as compared to your home country. Experience and personal networks are crucial here in Thailand. Expected salaries per year for foreigners in various positions and occupations are listed below:

  • Accounting manager: 960,000-1,500,000 THB (29,000-45,000 USD)
  • Technical manager: 1,400,000-2,400,000 THB (42,000-72,000 USD)
  • Financial controller: 1,800,000-4,500,000 THB (54,000-145,000 USD)
  • Production manager: 1,000,000-1,900,000 THB (30,000-57,000 USD)

Bear in mind that in Thailand, a salary of 50,000 THB (1,500 USD) per month can give you a comfortable life as living costs such as rent, food, utilities are very affordable as compared to western countries.

What websites to use to find jobs

Jobs DB

Jobs DB is by far the biggest job website in Thailand and has more than five times as many jobs on offer as compared to any other websites at any time. Jobs DB is also one of the most popular websites for expats and its main advantage is the international vibe that the websites offer. Furthermore, almost all job openings are advertised in English which makes it significantly easier for foreigners to find jobs that best suit them. In addition to the international feel of this website, there is also a functional search capability which allows visitors to sort and review jobs available in different departments and industries. Jobs DB is the best website for expats to find jobs due to its mainstream appeal which means that most companies that are willing and able to employ expats advertise on the portal.

Facebook

Thailand has many close knot expat networks and they usually actively communicate, exchange and provide advice on Facebook groups etc. The best way to use Facebook to find jobs is to join active expat groups such as “Bangkok Expats” and “Jobs in Bangkok and Thailand (Non-teaching)” in order to be able to see job opportunities available specifically for expats. Keep in mind that when applying for a job on facebook groups, send your CV in private so that your personal details will not be leaked. Furthermore, you can also find job listings through Facebook Jobs, however most of these listings are in Thai and are only for Thai nationals, but you might get lucky and find a job that suits you and hires expats.

Craigslist

In Thailand, craigslist is nowhere near as popular as in the United States and it is also not as well recognized, however, the good thing about that is that it is still actively used by expats in Thailand who have used it before so you will be able to find job opportunities specifically for expats. It is also a good starting point for people who have just started looking for jobs and is also good for freelancers who work as web developers, programmers, graphic designers or online marketers. This is a good way to start especially if youre used to using craigslist anyways so it doesn’t hurt to scroll through and find job opportunities for you and it could also provide good opportunities to network with other expats.

LinkedIn

It is recommended for you to constantly update and maintain your LinkedIn profile because lots of senior management and HR managers use it actively to hire new employees. The best way to use LinkedIn to find jobs is to try to message key people who work in the industry that you want a job in and you should also make sure that you have a good profile to suit the individual you are contacting to increase your chances of landing a job. Furthurmore, you should be as polite as possible because Thailand’s buisiness community is very tight knit and it is important to be as professional as possible.

Company websites

If you know exactly what industry you want to work in and the position you would like to work in then you can shortlist companies that are from that particular industry and browse their websites, sometimes they post jobs directly on their own websites and if they don’t you can email them if they have any job positions or openings available and they will get back to you. This way, even if they do not have any openings at the time, they might contact you when they have job openings in the future. Make sure to clearly state your qualifications and be as professional as possible.

How to prepare yourself for a job interview in Thailand

So you’ve finally found a job that suits your skillset and you have already submitted your application etc. if the employer is interested to hire you, they will interview you as a last stage in the screening process. Most companies in Thailand prefer to conduct face-to-face interviews, however, online interviews through apps such as Zoom are gaining in popularity due to the covid-19 pandemic. Here are tips and tricks in order to prepare yourself and increase your chances to get hired as much as possible:

Dress for success

In Thailand, your personal image and appearance is everything. If you have Thai colleagues or you have lived here for an extended time in the past, you will probably know how important face value is here. In most cases, you will be expected to dress formally with a button up shirt and a necktie. Try to avoid wearing black because it is usually worn in funerals. Try to also be well rested so that you appear energetic and also be well groomed. You should also ask for the interview format ahead of time so that you know what will be involved in the interview.

Do your homework

Before the interview, try to learn as much as you can about the company you’re applying to, you should also be familiar with the job description and what you are expected to do. Make sure that you have your CV with you nearby because they might ask you questions from your CV such as your skillset which you have written on your CV. Keep your CV handy just in case. Furthermore, interviewers in Thailand generally ask similar questions so you should prepare answers for them beforehand. The most common questions are:

  • Tell me about yourself- this is by far the most common and usually is the first question you will be asked in order for them to learn a little more about you. So try to have a short and punchy response rather than talking about your life stories, try to answer to the point.
  • Why do you want to work here?- This is where your homework and research ofn the company will come in handy. They want to know how knowledgeable you are about the company and the riole that you applied for. To answer this question, you should give specific examples of things that piqued your interest in the company and the job and elaborate how your strength and skill can help you perform the job to the best of your capability.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?- This is also a very common question that you will be asked and you should elaborate on your strengths and skillset and how they will fit into the role of your job position. You should also give past examples of how you used your skillset to solve problems and help your previous employers in order to support this and to avoid being too boastful. When asked about your weakness, you shoul mention a particular skill set that you lack and also outline the steps that you will take in order to overcome the shortcomings.
  • Do you have any questions for me?- When you are asked this question, it does not mean that the interview is over, in fact the worse answer would be to say “no” because interviews are a two way street, the interviewer has been asking you questions all along and this is your chance to ask whatever it is that you want to know about the company. By asking the right questions, you will be separating yourselves from other applicants.

In addition, respect is a very strong concept in Thailand and you should make sure that you greet everyone respectfully and do not try to speak when the interviewer is speaking, wait until they are finished talking. Furthutmore, if you have any questions you should save them till the end in order to keep the flow of the interview going on and not wasting time.

The work permit and visa process

In order to be able to work in Thailand, you will need to have a work permit which clearly states your occupation, job position, job description and the details of the company you work for. In order to have a work permit, you will first need to obtain a Thai non-immigrant B visa before travelling here. After you have received the Thai non-immigrant B visa, you can apply for the work permit which takes around 7 days after you have applied at the Ministry of Labour office in Thailand. In some cases, you might be offered a job by a company who is aware that you only have a tourist visa, however, this is not recommended as it is illegal to work in Thailand with a tourist visa and without a work permit.

In order to apply for a Thai work permit, the following documents are required:

  • 2*2” passport photo
  • Medical certificate
  • Original passport
  • Letter of employment from your Thai employer
  • Education Degree
  • CV
  • Documents required from the Thai employer:
    • Company certificate
    • List of shareholders
    • VAT application
    • Withholding tax
    • Financial statement
    • Photocopy of the directors passport and work permit
    • Office map and location
    • Letter of employment stating position and salary
    • Employment agreement

Once you have submitted all these documents, you will receive your Thai work permit within 7 days, make sure you always have it with you especially during office hours. You can only work for the employer in the position stated on the work permit, working for any other company or yourself is prohibited.

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