Top Jobs for Expats in Thailand

Top Jobs for expats in Thailand

Many expats in Thailand land here as a result of being relocated as part of their employer’s business expanding into the region.  But some make the move all on their own initiative, usually to take advantage of the favorable employment climate the country has been experiencing (while a good number do flock here for medical tourism also).  If you are considering relocating to Thailand and you are well below the age of retirement, then you will most likely be looking to find work. Employment laws in Thailand can often be confusing and contradictory – there are several jobs that foreigners can land work in Thailand quite easily, and others which are completely off limits.


This article is going to run through the types of jobs open to foreigners, so long as they have the correct paperwork and work permit. So if you’ve been wondering what are the best jobs for expats to work in Thailand, below you will find four of the most common.




This is probably the most common type of job that expats end up taking on. Depending on the district the requirements for teaching certification are sometimes relatively low, and schools are happy to employ those from native English speaking countries, such as England, Australia, Canada, and America. While a degree is usually required, you can also work as a teaching assistant, which pretty much requires no official credentialing.


Finding work as a teacher is easy, and there are many different types of school to choose from. The best-paid jobs are at international schools, whereas the lowest paying jobs will be at government-run schools.


Bar Owner


If you are living in a popular tourist area, such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Chaing Mai, or Khon Kaen, opening a bar ranks highly among British expats in particular. Working for yourself is always the best option, but you need to bear in mind that as a foreigner, you technically may only hold 49% of a business and the other 51% must be held by Thais.


Finding people you trust is vital, and if you have no one you trust, then perhaps the bar business is not the right one for you. It is also important to remember that bars open and close faster than the blink of an eye in Thailand, so do your research first.


Hotel Manager


If you hold a degree in the travel and tourism field, getting your foot in the door of a major hotel is actually quite easy. Typically, English-speaking foreigners are favored for management of particular areas of the hotel. You will need to have a good command of both Thai and English, and also some experience in a relevant field. Hotel management pays very well especially to expats who are seen as particularly desirable in these roles.




If you have a flair for language and enjoy working to your own schedule, one of the most popular choices of work in Thailand is as a freelance writer. The good thing about freelancing is that you get to set your own schedule, write about the subjects you love,  and take your work with you wherever you go.


In the past, freelancing used to be the reserve of the backpackers. However, it has now evolved into a superior, sleek, and professional line of work which can sometimes pay in the six digits each year. How do you find work? If nothing is locally available you have numerous options.  As long as you have an internet connection you’re in business, there are many freelancing networks that cater to the remote worker.  Check into UpWork and for starters.  The key is to showcase your skills so you stand out from the low-quality hoi polloi on those platforms.  The best part is that you do not need to hold a degree to work as a freelance writer and if writing is not so much your thing, freelance photography in Thailand is also in demand.


A word of caution: never try to get work in a bar or restaurant as a general worker. Thai laws have put barriers in place to protect the jobs of Thai citizens. Basically, if a Thai person can do the job, then a foreigner is not allowed to.  This is why online work is becoming such a big sector in Thailand. Websites such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon make setting up an online business quick and easy, and the low sourcing prices in Thailand make for lucrative margins.


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