Bangkok's status as the heart of the Thai economy provides a variety of work opportunities for foreigners, and tens of thousands of expatriates live and work here. However, Thailand operates very strict requirements for foreigners who wish to work in Thailand including the job must be one that a Thai national cannot undertake and you must have a work visa. This makes things difficult for individuals looking to secure seasonal or summer work, because the usual jobs (working in a bar/restaurant, retail or hospitality) are not generally a legal option.
There are also certain jobs that would usually fall in the seasonal class that a foreign national is expressly forbidden from undertaking. These include: manual work, agriculture work, bricklaying, carpentry, driving (i.e. taxi, bus driver, and lorry driver), shop assistant, auctioneer, accountancy supervisor or auditor (excluding internal positions), cutting or polishing jewellery, hairdresser, beauty therapist, cloth weaver, weaver of products made from reeds, rattan, hemp, straw or bamboo) lacquer ware making, making Thai dolls, making mattresses or quilt, bowl casting, making silk products by hand, casting Buddha images, knife making, making cloth umbrellas, shoemaking, hat making, brokerage excluding international trade, engineering work save for specialized fields, architectural works, clothes making, pottery, handmade cigarettes, guide or sightseeing tour operators, street vending, office or secretarial work and legal or lawsuit services.
Many people who are on short term contracts in Bangkok have been sent here by the company they work for in their native country who have a short-term project in Thailand. Look at businesses in your own country that have offices in Thailand and consider whether you would be interested in working for them. Companies are far more likely to spend time and money on someone they consider to be a long term investment rather than someone they will only have the benefit of for a couple of months.
The engineering sector is a popular area for expats to find work in Bangkok, and may offer short term work. Identify companies which have a base in your native country and Bangkok and then regularly check the vacancy list on the website.
The UN also has a base in Bangkok and may offer short term job vacancies.
It is also possible to au pair on a short term basis with families, for example over the summer holiday if both parents work - see the au pair section for more details.
For information about work permits, consult our section on "Passport, Visa, and Permits" or in our subsection on "Work Visas & Permits in Thailand" for full info.
Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, and narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.
…as well as EasyExpat's Job Listings in Thailand. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.
Following companies on social media like Linkedln, Twitter or Facebook is another online method of finding the perfect job. Businesses can promote job opportunities on these sites and provide helpful tips and information.
Forums provide a wealth of information and shared experiences. There is nearly always someone who has gone through the same experience as you, or who asks a question you had not thought of yourself. A place to ask questions and provide answers is a valuable tool.
Bangkok also offers many free magazines which can be found in cafes and bars across the city. These magazines may contain contacts of organizations which may meet your skill set. They include:
An employment contract is standard for any working environment and in the case of student or short-term work, a student employment contract may be used. This usually imposes a time-limit between a student and an employer, with the student getting a salary for his/her work. Making a formal student work contract is not mandatory (it is possible to sign a standard employee contract instead), but may have additional benefits for a student position.
ISE Card(International Student Exchange Card) - An internationally recognized identification card with thousands of discounts in over 80 countries, it is valid for one year from date of issue. Students of ANY age are eligible, as well as faculty members and children to young adults from 12-25. The price is $25 and you can purchase it online at www.isecard.com/products/index.html.
ISIC (International Student Identity Card) - Full-time students 12 years and older offers discounts on travel rates, accommodations, shopping, entertainment, basic sickness and travel insurance, and inexpensive international phone calls. A passport sized photo is required and the card costs about $25 and is good through December 31st of each year. It can be purchased at http://www.isic.org/get-your-card/
IYTC (International Youth Travel Card) - A discount card for travellers under 26 who aren't enrolled in school, this card offers a smaller range of youth travel discounts. The card costs $22 card.
There are no working holiday visas available in Thailand because short term work is hard to secure and it is illegal to work on a tourist visa. Therefore, even if you do manage to secure short term work, you will need to obtain a non-immigrant category B or non-immigrant category O visa and your employer will be obliged to obtain a work permit for you.
The work application permit process can be lengthy and expensive, and it is therefore easy to understand why companies may be reluctant to undertake the time and expense for someone who is only going to be with them a short term.
However, that is not to say that there are not opportunities out there, you just need to have more dedication and motivation to find them.
Consult our section on "Passport, Visa, and Permits" or in our subsection on "Work Visas & Permits in Thailand" for full info.
You will find information on voluntary jobs or internship abroad in our other articles on the left column of this page.
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