Many expats who relocate to Phuket choose to teach English as a foreign language at English language schools and international schools. A TEFL or ESL qualification or sometimes a degree is essential in order to do so. This type of work is ideal for people who plan on staying in Phuket for a certain amount of time, and whilst not always well paid, it allows for flexibility and the opportunity to offer private tuition to boost your income.
Other industries in Phuket that are popular with expats are communications, computer programming, and manufacturing. There continues to be a demand for English speaking employees in service industries such as teaching and tourism, which also contributes approximately a quarter of Thailand’s GDP. Many expats with a diving qualification take advantage of Phuket’s stunning coastline and find work as diving instructors.
In comparison to countries such as the UK and America, wages are low, but the cost of living in Phuket is also very cheap so wages are relative. A typical working week in Phuket is Monday – Saturday and employees are expected to work up to 48 hours a week, though it depends on the industry you are working in. It’s not uncommon for businesses to open for a half day on Saturdays.
Many people fall in love with Phuket when they visit the island as a tourist and will look for work when they decide to relocate. Others may decide to apply in advance of moving to Phuket or may be sponsored through their existing employer.
Whatever you decide to do, the two main newspapers in Phuket are the Bangkok Post and The Nation and many jobs are advertised in their print and online versions. The Phuket Gazette also offers local job advertisements and listings.
It is also a good idea to send prospective companies your CV and explain the type of work that you are looking for. Job websites such as jobsDB.com are also popular for expats looking for work.
Many expats join online forums to network and make connections and this can be a great way of finding out about job and volunteering opportunities, too.
For expats living in Phuket for less than 180 days a year, they can be taxed on their income if it’s earned in Thailand.
The Thai Government has signed tax treaties preventing double taxation for expats living in areas such as Phuket, though tax forms may be in Thai so it is worthwhile getting some advice before filling out forms.
In Phuket, the income tax brackets for personal income are as follows: