In recent years, Thailand has become an increasingly popular travel destination, as well as a place to work and volunteer abroad. As the gateway to Southeast Asia, and Thailand for that matter, the city of Bangkok has continued to receive more and more foreign visitors and job-seeking foreigners each year. Why you may ask? There are truly an infinite number of reasons why jobs in Bangkok are becoming more and more attractive to foreign workers. While working in Bangkok, expats can enjoy a cheap cost of living alongside reasonably high salaries, convenience of transportation, world-renown, affordable cuisine. Now is the time to take advantage of all Bangkok has to offer.
Jobs in Bangkok
More and more job opportunities are popping up in Bangkok to accommodate the increasing demand for various services and programs. As Thailand’s GDP continues to climb, at a fast rate in comparison to the rest of the region, the city of Bangkok is striving to provide high quality services to keep the influx of foreign companies and tourists steady. The most common types of jobs in Bangkok are in the fields of education, finance, information technology, hospitality, and nonprofit work.
Education. Teaching jobs are quite prevalent across the country, and therefore, teaching English as a second language is a very common job in Bangkok among expats. Most academic institutions prefer ESL teachers are native English speakers, in order to ensure young children and adults alike are taught the proper language structure, pronunciation, and grammar. Some teaching jobs in Bangkok will require specific teaching experience or certifications, while others will simply accept any native English speaker with the desire to teach.
Hospitality & Tourism. Bangkok has been consistently in the top five cities to visit in the world over the past few years. Having said that, more and more establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, and travel and tour operators, are being developed or expanded to provide even more convenience and activities for travelers. Thailand, in general, is known for its range of unique services and products, from fish baths to traditional Thai massages to deep fried insects. Those who decide to work in Bangkok are likely to find a job that will truly provide them with unique professional experience and exposure to all the intricacies of Thai culture.
Finance & Technology. As a growing digital hub, with a large number of international companies and financial institutions, Bangkok is teaming with jobs in banking, finance, and information technology.
Life in Bangkok
The streets of Bangkok are alive morning, noon, and night. Large skyscrapers with rooftop bars, spas, malls, sidewalk stalls, and walking markets all create a uniquely vibrant feel to Bangkok at any time of day. Whether eating pad Thai from a food cart for 40 baht or sampling quail eggs with a variety of sauces or simply sipping a Tiger beer in the park, there is plenty of culture to be had in Bangkok.
During weekends, expats can enjoy quick trips to nearby cities, such as Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, or Pattaya, thanks to the cheap public transportation offered to nearly any city from Bangkok. Ayutthaya is an ancient city that is worth seeing, providing visitors with a window into Thai history. Kanchanaburi is famous for its old train, known as the death railway. Lastly, Pattaya is famous for its beaches and parties, making it a great place for a weekend of letting loose and relaxing.
Getting around Bangkok is rather easy and cheap, just as getting from city to city is. From the metro to the city buses, there are a range of options when it comes to transportation in Bangkok. It is also quite easy to travel to neighboring nations too, as many airlines utilize Bangkok as a hub and land transport, to countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, is extremely affordable and regularly available.
Salaries & Affordability
Living and working in Bangkok has advantages and disadvantages. Apartments are expensive, but other living expenses are quite affordable. Generally, the cost of living in Bangkok is dependent on each person’s spending habits and lifestyle; in other words, it is easy to spend a lot, but equally easy to spend a minimal amount daily.
A typical meal from local markers or street carts costs $1 to $2, which a meal at a restaurant can be anywhere from $10 to $20. A local beer is usually $2 to $3, but that price is doubled for imported beers.
When it comes to transportation, the skytrain (BTS) or underground (MRT) can take you to every corner of Bangkok for $1.5 to $3. Additionally, taxis and the local equivalent for taxis (tuktuks) cost an average of $5, depending on the distance you need to travel. Buses are also readily available throughout the city for reasonable prices, just be sure you review the routes before hopping on.
Salaries vary greatly from industry to industry, and based on the experience and position of each employee in any given company. A managerial position will, not surprisingly, provide a pretty decent salary, compared to lower-level or entry-level positions. A manager with relatively significant experience can earn around $3000 per month working in Bangkok. Native English speakers teaching in Bangkok will typically start at around $1000 per month. As with any job, it is best to check with your employer or placement provider early on about benefits, compensation, and to clarify any questions you may have about the specific requirements or expectations for your position.
Accommodation & Visas
Those who obtain teaching jobs in Bangkok are often provided with accommodation, which is typically located near to their place of work. For those you find jobs in Bangkok in other fields, it is usually up to each individual employee to find their own housing. There are various accommodation options located throughout the city. Since Bangkok is a highly desireable place to live in Thailand, finding a place to stay can sometimes be difficult, especially during hiring seasons or summer months, when many tourists flock to the city. However, by allotting an adequate amount of time for house hunting prior to the start of your job in Bangkok, you should be able to find the necessary accommodation to meet your needs. Keep in mind that the cost and amenities provided in each accommodation varies greatly through the city, so be sure to visit a place before confirming any rental agreements.
As far as affordability of housing, outside the city center tends to be cheaper than living within the business districts. When finding a place, it is better to look at places that are near to BTS or MRT stations, as this will make it very convenient to get around the city. If you are lucky, it is possible to find a studio type apartment for around $200 per month. However, with a $1000 budget, it is easy to live in an upscale condominium, which typically includes an indoor pool, gym, and even serviced apartments.
Foreign workers who want to work in Bangkok will need to apply for a work visa and permit. Although some foreigners travel to Bangkok on a tourist visa and then process their papers for a work visas upon arrival, this is not advised as the department of immigration is beginning to crack down on laws for foreign workers more and more. In general, employers will provide foreign workers with the necessary documents need to obtain a work visa, but most processing fees will be shouldered by the individual worker (although there are exceptions).
Benefits & Challenges
For those who want a big city experience working in Thailand, Bangkok is the ideal option. The city has established itself as a hub for various industries and it is becoming a popular place to look for work for both local and foreign job seekers in Southeast Asia.
Convenience & Affordability. Expats will enjoy cheap Thai street food, easy-to-use public transportation, and an overall low cost of living, especially in comparison to similar cities around the world that offer the same standard of living as Bangkok.
Diversity. As the number of foreign workers and tourists in Bangkok grows, the culture of the city is becoming increasingly diverse; the city is filled with people from around the globe. Due to this high level of diversity and population of foreigners, English is widely spoken in Bangkok, making it quite easy to ask for directions, build relationships, and complete business transactions.
Climate. March and April are the hottest months of the year, while the coldest time of year comes in December and January and rainy season starts in June and lasts until November. Newcomers may find both the boiling summer days and the long strings of rainy days equally hard to adapt to.