A Complete Guide to Finding Work in Koh Samui

Posted by | 27/12/2016 | Career Advice, Jobs for Foreigners in Koh Samui, Thailand Working Guide

Koh Samui is such an excellent location to live and work that naturally there are lots of individuals who don’t wish to wait up until they retire to relocate here.

People looking for an office job or another kind of employment in Koh Samui need to know the job market is not completely open to newcomers from other countries. To work in Samui as an expat legally you need a work permit and a proper visa. Additionally, the Thai federal government has put in place some restrictions on exactly what kinds of employment is available to immigrants. So when browsing work ads, any you see that define “Thai national” are not going to hire you because the legal requirements for a work license will not be met by a foreigner.

Jobs in Samui that require native-level of foreign language ability– such as English tutoring— are the simplest to come by. Nevertheless, there is actually a vast array of expat jobs in Koh Samui if you know where to look.

Something to note when trying to find a job in Koh Samui is discrimination based on age and gender is not prohibited and in fact typical. Frequently you will see a job opening with something like “lady under 30” or “male 25+”. Sometimes you’ll see extremely limiting requirements such as a master’s degree and 5 years experience, but should be under 30 years old, and cannot help but wonder how they can find any prospects to fit the expense. Because you can’t do anything to alter this, just merely neglect any job listings where you may not fit their particular requirements. Doing otherwise would simply be a waste of your time.

English Teaching

Let’s begin with the most apparent and biggest job market in Thailand for expats from western countries– English teaching. Language schools and schools of any level (kindergartens, elementary schools, high schools, private schools and international schools) all throughout the island need native English teachers to fill job positions in their organization. In addition to English Language classes, global schools and other independent schools with English immersion programs require native English teachers for other subjects, such as Science and Mathematics, taught in English.

You most likely will not get rich from an English teaching job in the island of Samui. Average monthly salary can range anywhere from 25K to 50K baht for full-time work. International school teachers in their selected topic with a B.Ed. and several years experience could make significantly more. Many educators earn extra money by privately tutoring students on the side. Your “teaching hours” may be 20-25 hours weekly max, however, a lot of schools will need their educators to be at the school for a complete 40 hours weekly, with the extra time going to prep work and other activities such as joining the early morning assembly.

Teaching Jobs Samui

To find a job as a teacher in Thailand you will need to get a teacher’s license, work license, and non-immigrant “B” visa. If the school hiring you is even midway skilled, they will sort out this entire process for you. All you need to do is provide them with all the files they require, sign your name, and go on the visa run to a Thai embassy or consulate in a neighboring nation when it comes time to obtain the visa. The minimum requirement for working in Thailand as an English instructor is normally to have a Bachelor Degree from a 4-year university, although the degree can be in any field– it does not need to be in Education or English. Holding a B.Ed. would be more helpful, therefore would having a recognized TEFL certificate.

You must bring your original university diploma and transcripts with you. An increasing number of schools are likewise requesting for a criminal background check from your home nation, so it would be a good idea to get among these prepared prior to going to Thailand. It may be a small hassle, but it is an excellent sign that schools are beginning to request this. There have been a lot of stories in the news about the bad apples who become instructors for the sole function of preying on children. Weeding them out of the labor force will assist enhance the image of foreign teachers in basic.
Samui is a preferred area for individuals to make their TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) accreditation. There is a variety of accredited 4-week, 120-hour TEFL courses offered in Samui. Many of these courses assure assistance with job placement upon successful completion. For numerous young university graduates who want the experience of living and working abroad, a practical strategy is to save up a few thousand dollars, concerned Samui for a TEFL training course (Samui TEFL TEFL World), and begin teaching best later on.

When you want to teach English in Samui, your looks actually are important. Guys must use a tie and long-sleeved t-shirt with pants and proper shoes, as this is what you’ll be anticipated to endure the job. Smart clothes for expat females in Thailand would be a button-up top with sleeves, knee-length skirt, and shoes that cover your toes. Teachers are thought about role models in society, so you’ll be expected to look and imitate one.

Native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, and other languages can also find employment in Thai schools. Chinese, in particular, is seeing increased demand as more and more schools are adding Chinese programs. Lots of Thais who operate in the tourist sector must connect with Chinese speakers on a daily basis. An excellent Chinese instructor would have lots of chances for private tutoring to earn money.

Real Estate Jobs

Due to the huge increase in the private villa market in Koh Samui, there’s an increasing variety of Real Estate jobs in this Thai island. Business like Kalara International Properties and Luxury Villas and Homes employ many foreigners to take care of developments and sell properties. This kind of work is frequently paid with a very little wage and include commissions on sales. Some real estate companies are looking for operational management positions as well.

Tech Jobs in Koh Samui

I.T. positions are limited, however, can be found either via contacts made in the English and French-speaking FaceBook community of Samui or by searching work listing websites such as SamuiDiaily.com. If you are presently working for an overseas organization, you might see if they would be willing to let you relocate to Koh Samui and continue your same job from there.

Tourism and Hotel Jobs

Looking for an island hotel job in Samui? The tourism sector is the biggest part of Samui’s local economy. Some jobs in hotel and tourism, such as tour guide, are restricted to Thai people. There are many positions in top-end hotels, however, that are open to emigrants. In particular, there is a need for individuals with excellent experience and qualifications in Hotel Management and those with Chef experience.

Hotel Manager

If you have the essential educational background and numerous years of hotel management under your belt, you may be able to discover a job opening for one of the hotels and resorts in Samui.


Executive/ Head Chef is another position that foreigners frequently fill hotels and restaurants. You will most likely need about 5 years of experience to be seriously considered for among these positions.

Hotel and Restaurant Jobs Samui


If you speak a relevant language you may be able to discover a job position as guest relations leader in a hotel or resort. Native speakers of numerous European and Asian languages are in demand for these positions. The list consists of German, French, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean unfortunately, the pay is not going to be extremely high.

Villa Manager

Villas are flourishing in Koh Samui and they need someone to look after them and their visitors. Do you have exactly what it require to treat requiring visitors?

Tourism Freelance Jobs

Particularly throughout high and peak season, the need for a freelancer is high. It should be fairly simple to find jobs as photographer, dancer, performer, artist, DJ, wedding event preaching, translator, and tour guide.


Many hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other tourist-oriented companies on the island use foreign trainees. Normally internships are 3-6 months, with a remuneration of 10,000 baht, accommodation, and food. Some businesses will supply a work permit. Have a look at the Samui Trainee Facebook Group or add your resume to SamuiDaily.com

Diving Instructor

If you have a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) accreditation, there are lots of chances to operate in Samui as a diving trainer. The minimum level of certification that you would need to work as a scuba diving instructor would be the PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course).

The quantity of cash you can make as a diving trainer depends upon the season. During low season there will be fewer clients and opportunities. Instructors with excellent sales skills will be able to earn more on commissions. So depending on location, skill, and season, an instructor could make anywhere from 30-80K baht a month.

There is likewise a demand for diving instructors with multiple language skills. Those who can speak fluent German, French, Russian, or Mandarin might be able to discover work much easier and command higher incomes.

Scuba Diving Instructor Jobs Samui

Many diving trainers take the risk of working unlawfully on a tourist visa, without a work permit. Some dive shops will sponsor a work license and visa for skilled trainers, but due to the seasonal nature of the assignment, many do not. Instructors who wish to work legally normally go through a lawyer to set up a Thai restricted business in order to get a work permit.

The majority of dive centers wish to employ someone who is currently in Thailand. Simply sending out a bunch of emails will probably not get you really far. It’s best if you can come to the shop personally, with your C.V. in hand, and speak with the supervisor face to face. A lot of scuba divers originated from the all-night party crowd, and your future boss may not be so keen to work with a raving alcoholic. So differentiate yourself as an accountable individual when trying to find work. Dress politely, and do your best to conceal what tattoos you might have. You might only be provided independent work at very first. Take advantage of your chances by proving yourself to be reputable, and larger things will come to you.

Tour Guide

The demand for tourist guides has decreased over the years with online travel agencies ending up being a growing number of popular, however there are still companies and agencies hiring tour guides.

Entrepreneur / Small Company Owner

Numerous people have actually lost a little fortune by buying a beer bar or restaurant in Samui after falling in love with Thailand and believing they found a way to stay long-term. If a small company was generating income for the owner, you need to ask yourself why they ‘d wish to offer it to you. So, essentially, it is not a brilliant idea to hurry into purchasing a company (or perhaps beginning a new one) in Samui unless you have some prior experience running that type of company and understand what you’re entering.

That being said, owning a Thai business can be a reasonably simple strategy for a foreigner with some additional funds conserved as much as obtain a work permit and long-lasting visa. The main stipulation is that the business has to have at least four Thai employees for the foreign owner to get a work authorization. Another key point to think about is that the immigrant– in most cases– can just own up to 49% of the business. So they will need to work out some plan with Thai investors.

Other Job Opportunities on the Island of Samui, Thailand

Modeling and Movie/Extra Work

At the lower end, a movie additional can make about the like an expat instructor (state school), and at the greater end of cameo looks and modeling, earnings can rise above 100k a month. The disadvantages are that work can be irregular. You will have to go to great deals of castings that will typically cause nothing, and on set, there can be lots of waiting. Additional work begins at roughly 1,500 baht daily. Cameo appearances range from 5-20k, and modeling work can fetch anything from 5-150k per assignment. For extra work have a look at the Actors Association of Thailand FaceBook page.

Villa Sitter

Yes, this kind of work can be found also in Koh Samui. There are vacation home owners who do value if somebody takes care of their residential or commercial property while they are away. They may ask you to look after the garden, pool, and domestic pets too. Typically you do not earn money for it, however, you get a free roofing with pool and a number of spaces. This is fantastic if you do freelance work or some sort of online business.

Villa Sitting Jobs Samui

Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is another among those tasks that you can do from anywhere. There is a big demand for short article authors by site owners who require quality content to attract people to their websites by means of Google search. The spend for freelance writing is usually based upon word count, and the amount you make per post is normally not that much– in large part due to a flood of writers from India, Pakistan, the Philippines who will work dirt cheap. Still, there are many customers who care deeply about the quality of the writing and are willing to pay a higher rate for native English-speaking authors from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In any case, having the ability to write rapidly is the most important skill, because the much faster you can write the more articles you can produce per hour of work.

On top of that, writing coherently, grammatically appropriate, in an appealing design, and with few spelling errors will go a long way. The other essential point is to follow the client’s instructions to the letter. They most likely have specific SEO (Search Engine Optimization) goals for the content you will be writing for them, and these need to be fulfilled. Among the most significant online platforms for freelance composing work is HireWriters. You can also discover self-employed opportunities on UpWork.com.

As far as composing work that specifies to Thailand, you can usually discover some open projects by looking in classifieds such as Craigslist Thailand.
Some individuals have the ability to earn a living writing a travel blog, however reasonably it is harder than it looks. You need to have many readers and fans to your social networks and email subscription lists prior to you can anticipate seeing any real money creating a blog post.

In any case, you are not likely to be able to obtain a work permit as an author in Samui unless possibly you work for a news firm or magazine that would give you constant full-time work.

Offer a Gig On Fiverr.com

You’ll be really surprised at simply just how much some Fiverr sellers make. Popular gigs bag over $100 a day, quickly. Sure, you need to pay $1 of the cost to Fiverr, but if your gig takes just 30 minutes or less to complete, and has upsell plans that can make up to $100 or more on one task, you can earn a significant amount of money in a short time. This is work you can do at any time, from anywhere. Register an account with Fiverr here.

Tourist Police

Do you speak different languages and have some sort of security background– well try to get a job with the Tourist Police.

Tourist Police Jobs

Voluntary Work

At the Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation Samui Volunteers are always welcome. Even if it’s only a few hours or one day, for them and the animals it is always a substantial aid.

A Final Word on Working in Koh Samui

As you can see, there really is an abundance of job opportunities in Samui, and the common perception that “the only work available is teaching English” just isn’t true– at least not any longer. In reality, unless you’re actually enthusiastic about tutoring and adding value to the Thai system of education, you would want to look other options for something you’re truly interested in. Otherwise life will simply become the very same as the life you planned to escape back home; a monotonous, uninspiring 9-to-5 employment.

If you’re serious about making a new life in Koh Samui, it’s completely possible to do so and earn a decent monthly income. There are countless expats living and having a career in Samui. Details on what they do are limited though because the majority of the expats working in Samui are too busy to talk about their jobs online; however, I bet a few bucks they fall into one of the categories noted above. Prior to relocating to Koh Samui to work and start a new life, you should read the “Expat’s Guide to Job Hunting in Thailand” and “Working in Thailand by Yariv Gai“.

We at SamuiDaily.com hope this information assists you in your quest for finding a job in Samui. If you’re already working on this Thai island, we would be grateful if you leave a comment mentioning your job and how you found it, so that we can make this page the best resource for jobs in Samui for newcomers to the island.


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