5 ways for foreigners to make money in Thailand
Many foreigners visit Thailand for vacation, fall in love with its beauty and eventually stay and find a job that can support them and their families. But if you don’t speak Thai, you will find that not all jobs in Thailand are open to foreigners. However, there are ways you can earn money to live your dream life in the land of smiles. To help you with your job hunt, here are 5 most common ways for foreigners to make money in Thailand.
1. Teaching Jobs in Thailand for foreigners
Teaching is possibly the most common way foreigners earn money in Thailand. Many foreigners in Thailand teach English, whether part-time or full-time, with or without a TEFL degree, in official or non-official schools. Obviously it’s not the best paying job in the world, but it offers a decent living. Besides, the opportunity is almost always open. Many educational institutions in the country need English teachers, from international to language schools. With private lessons you can earn money on the side.
Your chances of getting an English teaching job are higher if you have a TEFL degree, a degree in education, and are a native speaker. With a great CV, you can also expect a higher salary. However, employment is also possible without a degree or TEFL. Besides English, you can also teach other popular languages in Thailand. These include Korean, French, Japanese and Chinese.
Teaching jobs in Thailand for foreigners are not limited to languages. Thailand is a popular destination for yoga retreats. There are many yoga studios across the country, so you have many opportunities to become a yoga teacher. Other teaching options include dive instructors or online courses.
2. Work online Jobs in Thailand for foreigners
Working online or being a “digital nomad” is another common option. Although popular for many years, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to online or remote work. You can do your work basically anywhere, whether it’s at home, in a coffee shop, at an airport, on a boat or by the pool. That is why it is the preferred option for those who love freedom. Working online allows you to travel while earning income on the go. All you need to work online is a good internet connection and of course a special skill. Finding a remote job might seem difficult, but if you’re smart and hardworking enough, it’s actually pretty easy.
Blogging, starting a YouTube channel, or becoming a TikTok star are the first things most people think of when they hear about making money online. Of course, these are some of the options, but the truth is that you can do almost anything on the internet. The possibilities are basically endless, from freelance to full-time jobs. Even jobs that traditionally have to be done in the office can now be done online. In fact, many progressive companies are now hiring remote workers. Some of the most common online jobs in Thailand for foreigners are graphic design, copywriting, online marketing, website maintenance and social media marketing. A great place to find work online is at sites like fiverr.com.
It’s not the easiest option, but developing a business can be rewarding and profitable if you have the credentials and determination. Thailand has become a business destination for many reasons, such as its strategic location that makes it convenient to do business with other countries in Asia.
The most common types of businesses that foreigners set up in Thailand rely heavily on the tourism sector, such as hotels, bars, restaurants, tour operators and entertainment venues. However, there are also many foreigners involved in export, trade, manufacturing and consulting. Alternatively, you can come up with your own idea and start an entirely new business that hasn’t existed in the country before. Quite a few foreigners have successfully opened a unique business that does not compete with Thai companies.
Once you have developed a business idea, your next step is to incorporate the company and obtain a foreign business license. Working with a law firm is a great idea. You must ensure you are in full compliance with Thailand’s Foreign Business Act. In addition, the documents and certificates are mostly in Thai script. Having a lawyer by your side can make the company registration process easier.
4. Rental of Real Estate
If you have a bit of money, becoming a landlord is a lucrative option to generate a stable source of income in Thailand. It is true that property prices in Thailand continue to rise, but in general they are still cheaper compared to those in Farangland.
High rental yields for Thai real estate are possible, especially in popular tourist locations such as Hua Hin, Phuket and Pattaya, as well as in major cities such as Bangkok or Chiang Mai. In Bangkok, properties are usually rented out to the expat community. Studios and one-bedroom units in the CBD are in high demand. But units with two to three bedrooms are also popular with expats with families. In tourist areas, renters typically look for luxury pool villas, condominiums, and serviced apartments.
Remember that renting a property in Thailand can either be a simple process or a complete nightmare. This is because the country does not currently have a landlord-tenant regime. The laws governing this area are therefore ad hoc at best, with contract laws offering the best protection for both contracting parties.
5. Operation of a hotel, restaurant or bar
Some bars, restaurants and hotels in Thailand often hire a foreigner as a manager. They justify this to the employment office by saying that they need a certain level of language skills, experience or cooking skills. If you have professional experience in restaurant or hotel management, it is a good idea to establish contacts with upscale restaurants or hotels in the country. Many hotel chains in Bangkok, for example, occasionally hire foreigners for high-level management positions.
Obviously just knowing the jobs available in Thailand for foreigners is not enough. You also need dedication and effort to actually generate your own income in the country. It is also important to meet all the requirements to ensure you are not working illegally and risking deportation or worse, being banned from entering the UK.