Work in Thailand, where and how to find

Work in Thailand, where and how to find

Where to look for jobs in Thailand? What professions can you work in? Which visa allows you to work? Before you buy your one way ticket to Thailand, read this post and get familiar with the local laws and useful information about the local job market.

Before you start looking for a job in Thailand....

Thailand imposes quite a few restrictions on work opportunities for foreigners from outside ASEAN countries. Before you eagerly start looking for a job in Thailand, make sure your occupation is not on the list of prohibited occupations.

List of occupations banned in Thailand for foreigners

One of the restrictions on foreigners taking up employment in Thailand is the List of occupations banned in Thailand for foreigners.

The list includes such jobs and professions:

  • motor vehicle driver (so any job such as taxi driver, truck driver, etc. is out of the question).
  • hairdresser, cosmetician
  • masseur
  • vendor
  • tour guide 
  • legal services (excluding arbitration and non-Thai law)
  • civil engineers, except for those employed under international agreements
  • architects and constructors, except those employed under international agreements

Here is a small point for engineers. This does not mean that it is impossible to work in engineering or design services, but more about that is described below.

Working in Thailand. Restrictions for other professions

Workers in Thailand

Generally, in Thailand, all manual work is rather low-paid and reserved for Thais and for people from surrounding countries under the ASEAN agreement.

Working as a doctor in Thailand

A group of professionals that has a difficult career path in Thailand is the medical profession. Theoretically, it is possible to obtain a licence after going through the registration process, but one of the conditions for this is to pass a part of the exam in Thai.

Full requirements for doctors and nurses wishing to work in Thailand can be found on The Medical Council of Thailand website. International hospitals and private clinics sometimes employ foreign specialists as consultants.

The most common myth about working in Thailand

Working in Thailand is only available to teachers and outstanding professionals - a myth that is readily reproduced on the internet and often by people who have no experience of working in Thailand. 

The fact is that Thailand protects jobs and companies wishing to hire a foreigner must meet a number of conditions, including justifying the need for a non-Thai worker.

In terms of the conditions that companies must meet, there is no single set of conditions for all companies. Some companies in state-promoted industries (so-called targeted industries) under the Thailand Board of Investments (BOI) have completely different conditions for employing foreigners.

However, as long as you are not the one running the company in Thailand, you do not have to deal with these requirements only the employer who employs you.

You really shouldn't give up at the start of a job search based on the myth that only experts are hired. If you meet the conditions listed in the advert, then apply. After all, it doesn't cost anything except a bit of time.

Companies are perfectly comfortable hiring foreigners if it is in their interest to do so.

Do you need to know Thai to get a job in Thailand?

It is always beneficial to know the local language, but when it comes to looking for a job, it depends on the specific position. However, in most cases when a company hires a foreigner, English is enough. English is the universal language in many companies and knowledge of it is also required for Thais. If knowledge of Thai is required, this will be stated in the job offer.

Some offers of employment may be more specific and then additional knowledge of, for example, Chinese or Japanese is required. 

Referring to our experiences, none of us at the job search stage communicated in Thai and no one expected us to. The international projects I worked on were conducted in English.

Working in Thailand - paperwork

Business Visa and Work Permit in Thailand

In order to work legally in Thailand, you need a Work Permit and the corresponding visa. Usually this visa is a Non-Immigrant B or Non-Immigrant IB visa. A visa that allows you to work without a work permit is, for example, a Smart Visa.

The requirements and description of the different types of visas can be found on the official website of the thaievisa.go.th 

Be aware, that any person who performs work while on a visa that excludes the possibility of work is breaking the law and should be aware that he or she faces imprisonment and/or fines.

A Work Permit is assigned to a specific employer and for a specific position. Therefore, any change requires an update of the permit, the transfer of the permit to another employer (under certain conditions) or the issuing of a new permit. The company that employs you is actively involved in issuing the visa and permit.

Attention. You can only apply for B business visas that allow you to work, and therefore for a work permit, outside Thailand. Even if you are physically in Thailand, you must leave Thailand to apply for a visa. The situation is different when you already have a visa and you extend or change the type of visa (this is not always possible).

Jak zamieszkać w Tajlandii. Wiza do Tajlandii
How to live in Thailand

Check which visa allows you to live in Thailand

Smart Visa - what is it?

The Smart Visa is still a relatively unknown visa not only among expats, but even among agents, bankers and sometimes at the immigration office itself. That is our observation after more or less 1.5 years of holding this visa. Until very recently, there was not even information about this visa type on the official websites of the immigration office.

The Smart Visa was introduced in 2018 to attract professionals working in Targeted Industries. By the end of April 2023, 1,612 people had obtained a Smart Visa. 

The Smart Visa has 4 main categories:

  • T – Talent 
  • I – Investors
  • E – Executives
  • S – Startup
and category O for family members. More information and requirements: Smart Visa 

The advantage of this visa is that the spouse of the Smart Visa holder can legally work in Thailand without a Work Permit. The downside is that if the main visa holder loses his or her job, the right to work is lost for two people.

Working as digital nomads in Thailand

The situation with digital nomads in Thailand is quite interesting. Everyone knows that nomads work in Thailand, but until recently there was no special visa that allowed nomads to work fully legally. 

Nomads, who are often on Tourist Visas or Educational Visas, are not allowed to work under local laws and definitions of work.

During the pandemic period, it was allowed for nomads to apply for a Smart Visa, but that was also on the condition that they have a contract with a Thai company, or work for a foreign company that has a contract with a Thai company. Rather few self-employed people meet these conditions.

In July 2022, the new visa was officially announced as Long Term Resident Visa  intended to attract wealthy people to invest, live and work in Thailand. In particular, there has been a lot of talk about this visa in the context of resolving the obscure issue of nomadic workers. The visa entitles you to a 10-year stay, you just have to meet the rather stringent conditions (see link above). 
LTR visa can be applied for from September 2022.

In which industry can you find work in Thailand?

 There are several professions and industries that are definitely more likely to find work in Thailand.

Jobs for teachers in Thailand

It is a fact that the demand for English teachers is still high. However, I would encourage you to consider this work when you are serious about it and not as a simple way to get hooked in Thailand. 

Better-paid jobs in good private and international schools await those who are serious about the subject and have the relevant education and experience.

Earnings are more or less (źródło):  

  • public schools: 25,000 –  35,000 THB 
  • private schools: 35,000 – 70,000 THB 
  • international top schools: 80,000 - 170,000 THB

IT jobs in Thailand

I have the impression that right after teaching jobs, the most offers are coming from the IT sector. Demand is high, although start-ups have been hit by the recent crisis.

In the IT industry in Thailand, the most common job opportunities are for:

  • developers (back end, front end, web, mobile) 
  • testers (QA), 
  • data engineering and data science (ML and AI) specialists, 
  • security specialists, 
  • DevOps, 
  • IT infrastructure engineers

Salaries in the IT industry are very tempting, but depend of course on experience and position.

Engineering jobs in Thailand

Thailand is home to some of the largest international consulting and engineering companies. Corporations and factories in the FMCG industry are also based here. So there are job opportunities for engineers and technologists, although managerial positions will be more available to foreigners, as these positions often do not require a design licence.

Examples of local salaries: Project manager: 90,000 - 150,000 THB per month. Engineers earn a little less, but still decent: 40,000-70,000 THB

Of course, the above salaries should be taken as indicative, as they are still influenced by the industry and experience. For more information on salaries for engineers in different industries, see here. 

Expats attracted/sent to Thailand on a contract usually earn even better wages, plus a range of bonuses in the form of the company covering the cost of school or renting accommodation.

Jobs in the hotel and restaurant industry

Hotels and restaurants do employ foreigners, but generally for positions that require relevant experience and training in hotel or restaurant management or as a chef.

Working in corporations

You can try your luck and look for jobs e.g. in HR, management and sales positions in multinational companies and corporations. It is worth looking for transfers within the same company if there is a possibility.

 

Other job opportunities in Thailand

I have met foreigners employed by real estate agencies with swimming and diving instructors, with fitness instructors, with journalists, with stylists. Sometimes the way to work is to set up your own business in Thailand.

Where and how to look for a job in Thailand?

There are many options for looking for work in Thailand. I suggest you start with reliable and professional portals:

While searching intensively for a job, I also browsed specialised job boards only in my industry. In addition, I applied to companies directly. I also recommend looking on Facebook for groups with job offers for expats.

With many job advertisements, salary ranges are given, which already allows you to make an initial estimate of whether you will be able to make a living from the job in Thailand. Take a look at this post to find out what is the Cost of living in Thailand.

Finding a job is one thing, it is also good to know what you are getting yourself into by working in a culturally different environment. I will talk about the rights and duties of an employee and various work-related fun facts in another article.

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4 thoughts on “Praca w Tajlandii, gdzie i jak szukać”

    1. Dziękuję. Nie mam żadnych doświadczeń z otwieraniem firmy w Tajlandii, dlatego w tym temacie nie jestem mocna.

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