There is very little in the way of employment for foreigners in Krabi, and it falls into four distinct categories:
1. Senior managers at hotels
3. Dive instructors
For the first, there are only a handful of big hotels that hire foreign staff, and they usually do not recruit locally, unless they are poaching the GM from a rival resort!
The second is limited by the number of schools using foreign teachers in Krabi – there are probably around 2 dozen such positions in the province, and all require a university degree and English as a native language. There are a couple of schools teaching English to adults, requiring only a TEFL certificate, but again, their needs for foreign staff are minimal.
Locals are also wary of people who see teaching in Krabi as a free holiday and tend to favour more serious applicants who will stay long term (i.e. who are already here). For more information about teaching in Thailand see the Ajarn.com website.
Diving is a popular option, as there are plenty of dive centres around offering work in the high season, both on the mainland and on the islands. Only instructors can work legally (i.e. receive a work permit from the Labour Office); however in practice there are plenty of Dive Masters and even Snorkel Guides working on the tour boats – most are aware of the risk they are taking, and in recent years (2017) the rules are being enforced more strictly.
Unless you know someone here, it is best to apply for such positions directly to the dive schools before arrival as most aim to fill up available positions long before the high season begins in November.
Chefs who want to be employed should be specialised in a particular international cuisine or discipline, and have plenty of experience, as you will need to prove you are not doing something a Thai person could do. Again, positions are not usually advertised, you will need to turn up here and look (and cook!). Both hotels and larger restaurants are potential employers.
The most common route to working in Krabi, however, is to set up your own business. Common (though not necessarily successful) ventures include guesthouses, restaurants and B2B services such as real estate or English language schools. A work permit is not then guaranteed but, if you have a skill the local labour force cannot provide, you have a better chance of getting one. Local firms exist to help you set up a company – we advise you to research the topic thoroughly first before entering into such an arrangement.
Obligatory word of caution: working without a permit is not recommended in any circumstances as, if caught, you will pay a hefty fine and could also be deported and refused further entry to the kingdom.
More info on working in Thailand and about the different types of visa available: www.thaivisa.com.
- Krabi expat guide
- Long stay accommodation in Krabi
- Krabi transport connections
- Opening a bank account in Krabi
- Expat entertainment in Krabi
- International TV & Media
- Internet, phone and 4G connections
- Western food in Krabi
- Owning and driving a vehicle in Krabi
- Hospitals and health insurance in Krabi
- Krabi international schools
- Learning Thai & other language difficulties