Work in Thailand without a degree

46 posts in this topic

Posted

I'm gonna move over within the next year hence the research. Every time I've searched for jobs all I come up with are highly qualified positions and teaching jobs. I have quite a lot of electrical experience but am only part qualified and have had my own business for 4 years in signs.

My friend (Thai) reckons that I would get a good job in Phuket if I go to meet farang owners of property developing companies and give them my CV.

I'm gonna do a TEFL as a back up and for some extra work but I was wondering what you guys think.

Have you heard of people getting half decent jobs by just getting there face around?

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Posted

Although nothing is impossible in Thailand, I think your chances are very slim.

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Posted

Yeah, I have been thinking that but my friend assures me that Phuket is fairly unique to the rest of Thailand with the amount of compnies run by farangs. I would prefer to have my house wired by a farang even if it cost more. At least my kids wouldn't be electrocuted in the shower that way.

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Posted

My house was wired by Thais and I've yet to be electrocuted in the shower.

Personally I think you are talking about working illegally. You wouldn't obtain a work permit and the police would very quickly become aware of this. They would very likely tolerate it as long as it suited them to but your status in the country would always be at risk.

When your friends tell you about all the people they know already doing this you should ask them about the ones they know about who have been jailed or deported "without reason".

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Posted

There are very few tradesmen type jobs that foreigners are allowed to do legally in Thailand, if any.
Getting yourself blacklisted at immigration is going to seriously hinder your relationship with a Thai girl... ponder on that for a while.

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Posted

These days you need a degree plus TEFL to get a good teaching job,for which you will need a work permit.
Without a degree but with a TEFL, some schools may take you on and be classed as a 'teaching assistant' but with reduced pay.
I have a farang mate in Issan, who has been teaching English at a college for 12yrs. Without permit/TEFL or any other qualifications. But he is established there and is well supported by the Principles.

We have never had any electrical problems in our house bought over 3yrs ago and on Saturdays we visit a 'new' estate to observe progress on our new place under construction. All the workers are certainly very competent and have done a excellent job on some modifications we required plus an extension.

Perhaps it will be worthwhile to see if you can continue in sign work. Lots of English in Phuket of course, but I'm sure you will agree that Thai lettering lends itself to sign design.

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Posted

.... assures me that Phuket is fairly unique to the rest of Thailand with the amount of compnies run by farangs.

I would be careful with such statements ...
Everybody is claiming that only in his place something is 'unique' ... but Thailand is not lawless, despite law enforcement might be low in some places...

You never know, somebody might be p*ssed off because of this or that and is reporting you for illegal work...and you are out of Thailand.

It might be legally possible however to create your own company Ltd, to employ at least more than 4 Thais, preferable one of them with a fitting qualification for that work in the company, like electric construction, aircondition services etc...
and you, as the owner of the company might apply for a work permit as the managing director.

This is a major paper work, but not so difficult, if you can really find enough business, but if not, you will be soon out of money and your company will be bankrupt and a lot of money - your investment - will be lost.

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Posted

I'm gonna move over within the next year hence the research.

Why exactly?

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Posted

Quite simply because my wife and I have been together for 7 years in England, have worked hard and have still really struggled. I'm just fed up of the place and need a change. I would prefer to be poor in Thailand than poor in the UK. At least in Thailand you can live really simple which i'm happy to do. We once tried to find a static caravan to live in in England to save some money but couldn't. Too many rules. My brother in law had a simple one bedroom house in Rawai, Phuket and paid 1700baht per month for it. Can you think of a UK equivalent?

Also, have you ever tried to think of a business idea in the UK? Pretty much EVERYTHING has been done. For someone with a little imagination there are thousands of businesses for us to do in Thailand that Thai people can't do. However we need to do it, my wife's name, my name is irrelevant because we will find the way (ever the optimist).

I will teach perhaps to begin with. I understand that tefl teachers usually earn in the region of 30000baht without a degree but with a little hard work I could make a bit on the side doing private lessons. A teacher in a school in Hat Yai told my wife that if I was there now she could give me a weekly class and pay me 2000baht for one hour.

So to conclude:-

30000 + Extras - simple living = Bills paid, food on table and a little bit of spending money

This would be a million times better than our current UK situation.

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Posted

I hear ya buddy.

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Posted

Obviously there are good tradesmen in Thailand but being from an electrical background i constantly notice the standard of electrics. Generally speaking, it is atrocious. Even the untrained eye must see that. Being over 6 foot I am constantly having to duck out of fear of getting a belt across my head from exposed lighting components. Apparently there is a severe lack of earthing and shocks in the shower are fairly common. I would advise not touching any metalic parts if it can be helped.

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Posted

You're right of course... but that's not the point. Why risk blacklisting when you have a Thai wife? The risk is far too great IMO. Better to seek an alternative means of supporting yourself. For example, I have spent most of the last few years learning the skills required to develop and maintain websites and servers.

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Posted

Sounds like a good idea. Did you teach yourself? In fact, is there much opportunity for farangs to learn in Thailand?

IT is surely one of the best industries to be in due to being able to carry out work online for anyone worldwide. So I reckon you've made the right choice. Savings can be built up again later and if you are successful, much faster than before. Good luck with your venture.

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Posted (edited)

Obviously there are good tradesmen in Thailand but being from an electrical background i constantly notice the standard of electrics. Generally speaking, it is atrocious. Even the untrained eye must see that. Being over 6 foot I am constantly having to duck out of fear of getting a belt across my head from exposed lighting components. Apparently there is a severe lack of earthing and shocks in the shower are fairly common. I would advise not touching any metalic parts if it can be helped.

The people that tolerate this standard of workmanship seldom employ qualified tradesmen. They either do it themselves or have it done on the cheap.
When I built my house near Chiang Rai we employed a qualified Thai tradesman and paid him accordingly.
I'll admit we had a couple of minor problems he had to come back and fix but I've built houses (for other women ) in Australia with similar hassles.
One of the mistakes I made here was not to have a mains voltage regulator installed.
The fluctuating voltage creates havoc with things like battery chargers and low voltage down light transformers. Edited by sceadugenga

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Posted (edited)

You need a certain income just to get a visa to stay in Thailand full time and it isn't a small amount of money. People think that it is "cheap" to live in Thailand, but it is not if you are 100% legal, and if you aren't, you are risking a lot more than you do at home.
As far as all these business opportunities here, 99.9% don't work out so everyone tries doing the same things - lousy restaurants, bars, internet shops, coffee shops, book shops - and no one can make a living. Stay at home if you don't have an outside income.
This is NOT a good place to do business for foreigners! B)

Edited by Georgie-Porgie

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Posted

Assuming your staying legal and probably arrived initially on a 12mth Non Imm O or B visa, you can continue on that path or just keep on 60 + 30 tourist visas and so forth.
You are married to a Thai lady, so if you have legal employment and earning your suggested figure of 30,000 pr mth and have no other income, your wife will require a job giving 10,000.
With a proven 40,000, you are now qualified to obtain a years [marriage] extension on your non imm. when nearly expired.
And keep doing so every year.

That's one road you can go down.

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Posted

If you don't mind me saying GP, I still believe there are plenty of businesses that would work. 20 years ago a Thai restaurant may have struggled in the UK but now as Thal food/Thailand becomes more well known the restaurants in my area are doing well. Even when others are closing down due to the ecomomy. My sister-in-laws in particular.

I believe it's all about finding something that is getting more popular but before everyone else does and there is plenty. I'm sure you know yourself that Thailand is getting more western every day. Lucky for you and I, we are western which means we have a distinct advantage over 60 million odd Thai people. Look at the fast food industry, doesn't mean i'm gonna sell burgers but with a little imagination my wife believes she has found a certain food item that would be popular with the Thais and it's not there yet. If it's not, it will only cost us the price of ingredients and a little market research time. If it is, you could see it in Tesco Lotus at some point. And believe me, we have many ideas like this. Let's just hope they are not all crap.

Even if I have to do visa trips and do everything in my wife's name. We are not planning on doing anything illegal but i'm sure there will be a way.

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Posted

Although nothing is impossible in Thailand, I think your chances are very slim.


Working with a degree in Thailand is still subject to many difficulties, visa wise.
Working without one is indeed close to impossible.

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Posted

The problem with successful small businesses in Thailand is this:

You have a remarkable innovative idea that will not require much capital outlay. You build a successful business and some money starts to flow in.

Someone else sees that you are successful, so they copy your idea and open a shop next to yours, doing exactly what you do but undercut your price by 10%. You then drop your prices to stay competitive. Your turnover is now less than half that it was previously.

If you still manage to bring in some cash, then before long there will be 10 businesses next to each other all performing the same service.

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Posted

And if they are Thai, will probably get the police to shut you down so I hear. However, it'll be a business that Thai's couldn't copy with any luck. Gonna try anyway. I still maintain that it'll be a shed load better than the UK at present.

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Posted

If you don't mind me saying GP, I still believe there are plenty of businesses that would work. 20 years ago a Thai restaurant may have struggled in the UK but now as Thal food/Thailand becomes more well known the restaurants in my area are doing well. Even when others are closing down due to the ecomomy. My sister-in-laws in particular.

I believe it's all about finding something that is getting more popular but before everyone else does and there is plenty. I'm sure you know yourself that Thailand is getting more western every day. Lucky for you and I, we are western which means we have a distinct advantage over 60 million odd Thai people. Look at the fast food industry, doesn't mean i'm gonna sell burgers but with a little imagination my wife believes she has found a certain food item that would be popular with the Thais and it's not there yet. If it's not, it will only cost us the price of ingredients and a little market research time. If it is, you could see it in Tesco Lotus at some point. And believe me, we have many ideas like this. Let's just hope they are not all crap.

Even if I have to do visa trips and do everything in my wife's name. We are not planning on doing anything illegal but i'm sure there will be a way.


To be honest, I agree with you, but very few farangs seem willing to look for something that is needed here and supply it. They just copy what someone else does to the point where no one can make a decent living at these things and the only businesses that survive are people who are doing it for a hobby, rather than a vocation. The problem with these kinds of businesses is that they usually don't want to work very hard, or open a lot of hours, so they don't provide much more than the basics to the community. Someone who is working for a living is much more likely to push the limits on new and different products and better quality. B)

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Posted

What Georgie-Porgie said is exactly why I wouldn't start a business that doesn't require sound investment/capital in Thailand. And if I have an innovative business idea that can't easily be emulated then I wouldn't start it in Thailand.

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Posted

One of the mistakes I made here was not to have a mains voltage regulator installed.
The fluctuating voltage creates havoc with things like battery chargers and low voltage down light transformers.


If you don't mind me saying, shouldn't your qualified electrician have known this when he was fitting your downlighters. If we had the same issue in the UK, I wouldn't wire a house without one. There would then be no risk of people claiming I had used faulty/cheap parts or was a crap spark when things went wrong. I hate to sound big headed but this is the same for a lot of sparks I know. When I leave a house, there is never any problems with the rewire that can be put down to me. If you follow the regulations properly and check everything you have done thoroughly this should be the case. Don't get me wrong, this sort of standard does not come cheap but if you pay peanuts you get a monkeys rewire that you'll be paying for for years to come if you survive long enough.

I personally think that a well off farang guy would appreciate that sort of confidence when his kids are running around his newly built house not electrocuting themselves.

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Posted (edited)

If you don't mind me saying, shouldn't your qualified electrician have known this when he was fitting your downlighters. If we had the same issue in the UK, I wouldn't wire a house without one. There would then be no risk of people claiming I had used faulty/cheap parts or was a crap spark when things went wrong. I hate to sound big headed but this is the same for a lot of sparks I know. When I leave a house, there is never any problems with the rewire that can be put down to me. If you follow the regulations properly and check everything you have done thoroughly this should be the case. Don't get me wrong, this sort of standard does not come cheap but if you pay peanuts you get a monkeys rewire that you'll be paying for for years to come if you survive long enough.

I personally think that a well off farang guy would appreciate that sort of confidence when his kids are running around his newly built house not electrocuting themselves.

It was just an oversight. My Thai was bad at the time and he had no English so it never came up. They are expensive and he quite possibly asked my Mrs if we wanted one and she said no without asking me.
I've written a couple of blogs elsewhere on building a house in rural Thailand and most of the problems we had were do to with poor communication rather than poor trade skills.

Thai trade skills are improving now, boys can go to a technical high school if they live near a city and study in their preferred field before leaving to commence "on the job" training.

For your information, I once worked for a government department in Australia which investigated the death of a child at a country primary school after a local electrical contractor connected an earth wire to a drain pipe leading to a drinking fountain. So there are cowboys running around with tools in every country. Edited by sceadugenga

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Posted

What Georgie-Porgie said is exactly why I wouldn't start a business that doesn't require sound investment/capital in Thailand. And if I have an innovative business idea that can't easily be emulated then I wouldn't start it in Thailand.


Why ?

We have a business idea and a choice between going to live in New Zealand or Thailand. We are choosing Thailand. Yes, the most problematic route, but something we would prefer .

Do you think that the Thai Government is one day going to clamp down on foreigners living in Thailand ? If we start a company , invest in land (yes, I know you can't own it but there are ways and means if you start a company with shareholders etc), will we lose it one day ? This is my husbands biggest worry. The visa runs dont' bother him as much as this.

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Posted (edited)

Why ?


I don't know but I guess I just don't see the market here as one that would reward entrepreneurship with innovation as much as it does in the west, be it ideas, know-hows or technologies.

Do you think that the Thai Government is one day going to clamp down on foreigners living in Thailand ? If we start a company , invest in land (yes, I know you can't own it but there are ways and means if you start a company with shareholders etc), will we lose it one day ?


No, I don't think Thai governments will clamp down on foreigners one day (whatever you mean by "clamping down") and if that was to happen it probably happened already by now. But then I don't think they'll make it easy for foreigners to enter into the business arena that doesn't require significant investment to start but one that they make quick, easy money out of vested interest if you know what I mean. However, being foreigner is no barrier to being successful in Thailand if you think you can be diligent, hard working and patient for however long it might take to be successful... probably the most important resource you'd need to be successful in any country. After all that's how most of the Chinese entrepreneurs who were poor immigrants to begin with became successful businessmen in Thailand, isn't it? Edited by Nordlys

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Posted

From what I've read, the government has already clamped down on the practice of using "nominees" to allow foreigners to control a company which has a 51% Thai shareholding. I don't think it would be easy for a small company to invest in land these days in a way that would protect the foreigners involved.

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Posted (edited)

That is true. And they now have more detailed criterion as to what defines a company as being foreign or Thai more than just by the percentage of shareholding (and the scope of what business you can do as a company is dictated by its nationality). But the law concerning nominees was there already and it was never allowed in the first place. And there still seems to be many foreign developers doing business in Thailand even after the amendment of foreign business act, many of which are working on projects in Phuket, Hua Hin, etc, (although I'm sure they're no small time developers), I don't think you'd need much to worry if you go legal and find a good Thai partner to work with (probably the most difficult part).

Edited by Nordlys

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Posted

Do you think that the Thai Government is one day going to clamp down on foreigners living in Thailand ? If we start a company , invest in land (yes, I know you can't own it but there are ways and means if you start a company with shareholders etc), will we lose it one day ? This is my husbands biggest worry.

The internet is awash with people stating they lost their investment in Thailand and they were duped/robbed by a Thai blah blah blah... in reality, they are likely John Smith from Clapham who took his share of the house from the divorce proceeds, bought a hole in the wall bar in Samui and went home broke two years later, his Thai girlfriend significantly richer.

However, I do believe you are at a significant disadvantage in Thailand if you're a personal investor/entrepreneur. The laws are often ambiguous and the business 'ways' will be alien to you until you are localised. The old worn out caveat is that you should never invest in Thailand what you are not willing to walk away from if need be. You can never be sure of the future, even less so in Thailand IMO.

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Posted

If you were in my situation and had a choice between NZ and Thailand. Two daughters . Would you invest in Thailand ? I am not only talking about money here, but time, energy, setting up our lives. We actually want a simple life, a bit like Musheyman. A smallholding (land ) not to farm but to be self-sufficient. We currently earn money online but would like to start something else with Thai partners. Not a lot of money but a lot of knowledge. Do you think we are barking up the wrong tree ?

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