Getting a Job in Vietnam: High Demand Occupations, Advices How to Find a Suited Job

Polina
Polina
Updated: 18 September 2019
Time to read: 18 minutes
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The main question, if you are planning to live in Vietnam, will be about getting a job. A while ago it was possible to sublet apartments in the home country, to profit by that and to live in Asia without working. Nowadays, when the dollar exchange rate varies not in favor of other currencies, it is not possible to exist without income. More and more people have to find the way of earning money in Asia. So, let’s try to find out, if it is difficult to get a job for foreigners in Vietnam.

Information About Vietnam and Unemployment in the Country

Vietnam’s economic is much better now than some years ago, and it happened not only because of tourism. Economic development in Vietnam transformed the country from one of the poorest regions to a middle-income community. Vietnam isn’t only an agricultural country already, it is becoming the industrialized territory.

Vietnam Infrastructure

According to official sources, more than 97 million people live in Vietnam now, and the population is growing very fast. At the same time the poverty level falls and the unemployment rate drops – as for the unemployment rate, its peak is about 2% in the country. An economic environment is rather beneficial, investment is being attracted, foreign specialists are being invited. So, any foreigner can find a job on the labor market.

At the same time, it would be presumptuous to count on a high salary (for example, in comparison with Thailand). But there are many different job vacancies here, requirements for labor immigration are quite suitable, and more and more immigrants are arriving to Vietnam. The climate here is different in the South and in the North: it is tropical in the South, hot and wet, with monsoon seasons; in the North the climate is temperate, it is cooler in winter here. If you want to move to Vietnam, you should pay attention to these characteristics of Vietnamese climate.

Who is needed?

What professions are in demand in Vietnam? There is no doubt, that the most popular line of work is tourism. The most popular vacancies are:

  • tour guides;
  • hotel shift managers;
  • swimming instructors;
  • diving instructors;
  • shopkeepers (jewelry, travel goods and etc).

Local store in Vietnam

In catering business the following vacancies are popular:

  • restaurant administrators;
  • chefs;
  • delivery men.

The following professions are needed to clubs:

  • barmen;
  • DJs;
  • showgirls, dancers.

For spa salons and beauty salons:

  • hairdressers;
  • masseurs;
  • managers.

Work in the spa salon

The list of vacancies is very big, and mainly all professions are relevant to tourist industry. Any person can find a good job: if you can sell and you are a good talker, you will do it without difficulties. Real income can be 300-500 US dollars per month. But this amount of money is not a limit: if there are many tourists during the season, it is possible to earn two thousand dollars and more per month. For example, monthly housing rental costs about 300 US dollars in Nha Trang, and the net profit can be very good.

Attention: highly salaried positions are proposed in international companies, which have offices in Vietnam.

Monthly income can be one thousand euro and more there. The list of vacancies includes highly qualified managers’ positions, but sometimes companies need handymen also. Teachers of foreign languages are in demand too. Their work will be paid about 15 US dollars per one hour, also they will have an unlimited visa and free accommodation. Also the following positions are popular: sales managers, engineers, mechanics, employees of oil industry. Minimum salary is about 500 US dollars.

Local Worker

Vietnamese people prefer to work in different industry sectors, agriculture and service sector. In 2018, for example, an average native worker’s salary in Vietnam was 148 US dollars per month (about 3 500 000 VND); those in high paying jobs, earned 500 US dollars (about 11 650 000 VND).

As English-speaking people say: «Two things cannot be avoided: death and taxes». Death (no kidding) could be avoided for a while, but everybody must pay taxes in time! Unfortunately, not everyone wants to do this, and Vietnam is not an exception: illegal salaries are pretty popular in Vietnam, some employers prefer to pay their workers «under the table». A foreigner, who works in Vietnam illegally, is risking to be deported to the homeland very quickly. Authorities do their best against illegal immigrants, but however, illegal employment anyway takes place.

The easiest way to circumvent the law is cooking at home and selling food. For example, in Nha Trang one of the most popular earning is cooking cottage cheese: Vietnamese don’t eat cottage cheese, but Russians buy it with pleasure and pay cash. In fact, anything like this (cooking at home and selling) can be called «small business», it isn’t just registered. «No phone no calls, no calls no questions», – Sarah Jessica Parker said in «Sex in the City», and the situation according to taxes can be expressed in the same way: «No registration no taxes». By the way, one kilo of cottage cheese costs 250 000 VND (about 10 US dollars).

Starting Business Officially in Vietnam

Read also: “Business in Vietnam for Foreigners: How to Open, the Rules of Conducting“.

As for official business, authorities welcome it of course. The laws are identical for Vietnamese and for foreigners. Traditionally the most profitable sectors are hairdressing service, retail trade,
food service.

Buying of ready business

In public catering it is possible to buy ready business. Government gives privileges to small and medium entrepreneurs. Business in Vietnam is a very interesting and specific topic at the same time, it’s better to discuss it in the other article. Our article is about places of work and salaries in Vietnam.

It is not very difficult for any immigrant to find a job in Vietnam, but at the same time salaries are lower in comparison with the other Asian countries. In such developed countries as Japan and South Korea salaries are several times higher, although, living here is more expensive and requirements for immigrants are stricter. For example, in Guangzhou (China) it is easy to earn 6 000 – 10 000 CNY (1 000 – 1 500 US dollars) monthly in service industry; teachers’ average salaries are 12 000 – 15 000 CNY (2000 – 2 500 dollars) there.

What Places of Work Are Popular in Vietnam

Aims and claims – these are the most important things to think over before you begin finding a job. There are a lot of cities and towns in Vietnam, where you can settle and earn good money. People who apply for high salaries should pay attention to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh cities: there are a lot of international companies’ representative offices there. As for people who are interested in seasonal earning, it is better to go to resort towns, such as Nha Trang and Mui. A lot of Russian and Australian tourists come to Mui, the climate there is mild, with sea breezes.

Work in a big city

Working in Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a progressive city, it is developing rapidly. Automobile industry is developed in Nha Trang, monthly salaries are from 300 to 1000 US dollars. In order to obtain a high salary it is necessary to have high qualification and strong will.

At the same time Nha Trang is better known as a resort city, that’s why a lot of tourism-related and trade-related vacancies can be found there. Retail trade is selling everything typically Vietnamese: traditional medicine’s goods, cosmetics, fabric, silk, different souvenirs.

Sale of silk

Guide’s and waiter’s professions are very popular here. It is pretty profitable to work as a waiter, because tips and bonuses will be added to the salary. Many immigrants prefer to work at home: they deal with meal delivery, manicure, pedicure.

Working in travel agencies is rather interesting, but conditions sometimes are not very good. You would have to spend the whole day in the room without condition, but salaries are quiet high in this sector: percentage of sales will be added to your income. Salesmanship is the most important thing there. By the way, you can be invited to work as a guide right outside, if somebody from agency pays attention to your proper language.

Work Permit and Business Visa

The first step for any foreigner, who wants to work in Vietnam officially, is obtaining a work permit from authorities. It can be made in Vietnam after arrival, or in the home country in advance. The second variant is more preferable. An applicant must be more than 18 years old, must be healthy and without a criminal record. It is necessary also to have higher education. If specialization is in demand, it is necessary to have 5-year experience in this sphere.

Work permit

All documents are sent to the Ministry of Labor. It is better to send all documents from the home country minimum two weeks before the intended employment. In case of approval (reviewing the documents’ time is about a week) an employee receives a work permit for two years. When the work permit expires, it is possible to renew it.

Attention: when you get a job in a company and receive a work permit from authorities, you will have to work only in this company. If you want to change your workplace, you will have to receive a new work permit.

Job search

It is great if there is a direct proposal from the employer, but what to do without it? There are a lot of specialized agencies, where many vacancies can be found. These agencies give the employees all information about vacancies and companies.

Many people arrive to Vietnam with E-visa, when they plan to get a job. They have time for knowing better about the local situation, for getting used to Vietnamese culture, and for studying Vietnamese language (for the first time conversational English is quite enough). Vietnamese authorities offer this period of time for so called «acclimatization», and that’s enough time.

Internet is widely used for looking for a job. It will be useful to register and to make an account in specialized social networks (for example – linkedin.com).

Looking for a job in internet

These sites are very popular in Vietnam:

Each linguistic community has its group in social networks, and such groups are the most popular places of communication for foreigners in Vietnam. It is possible to ask a question, to ask for advice, to buy something or to find new friends there.

Find a job on the street

Living and working in Vietnam has its pros and cons. The main disadvantage is lower standard of living in comparison with nearby developed countries. The advantages are: low-cost housing, cheap food and easiness of getting a job (including illegal). It will be only your choice: to use Vietnam as a temporary refuge, or to stay here forever. Anyway, good luck!

Soon we will discuss the process of obtaining a residence permit in Vietnam. Follow our news!

Have any questions? Ask in comments below.

Polina
Author
Polina
Since 2013, we live with a spouse in different countries, including China, the Philippines, the United States, and Vietnam. I dance, teach pole dance and write about our travel.
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