The 5 Most Common Part-Time Jobs for Foreigners

  • JOBS
  • LIVE and WORK
  • When people think of moving to Japan, whether it’s on a holiday or a working visa, one of the biggest challenges is finding the perfect job. Part-time jobs are usually a great option is these circumstances, but in Japan finding a part-time job can more difficult than in other countries as most jobs require a certain level of Japanese proficiency. However, if you pay attention, you will be able to find some jobs that don’t require you to be proficient in the language. In fact, some jobs don’t require any Japanese skill at all.

    As such, if you want to find a part-time job in Japan and you have advanced Japanese skill, it will be easier for you; but even if you don’t speak it that well, there are many jobs for you.

    With that in mind, what are the most popular part-time jobs foreigners living in Japan have?

    1. Convenience Store Assistant

    Japanese proficiency requirement: YES

    This is one of the most popular jobs among foreigners. Working as an assistant in a konbini requires you to have some understanding of spoken Japanese. If you speak Japanese, you can try to apply and work shifts that are more suited for you. If you don’t, then the job will certainly be more challenging, especially if you have to deal with one of those infamous smokers that yell at cashiers because they did not hand them their sweet cigarettes as fast as they wanted.

    2. Waiter

    Japanese proficiency requirement: DEPENDS

    You can also work as a waiter at a restaurant. Many restaurants don’t require you to know Japanese. However, it will depend on each establishment. Normally, international restaurants can accept non-Japanese-speaking staff since they cater to foreigners as well. As such, the Japanese-speaking staff usually helps Japanese customers while the English-speaking one assists foreigners.

    3. Translator and Interpreters

    Japanese proficiency requirement: YES

    Translators in Japan normally translate or interpret from Japanese to another language, usually English, and vice versa. Therefore you need to be proficient in Japanese if you want one of these coveted jobs. What’s more, this jobs can pay very well, and we mean VERY WELL.

    If you don’t speak Japanese, there are other jobs that require you to translate from English to another language; so it is definitely possible to find one of these jobs.

    4. Writer

    Japanese proficiency requirement: DEPENDS

    There are many different media companies in Japan, and some of them need writers that are fluent in other languages. One of the most common languages is English since some companies like Time Out Tokyo, Japan Info, and Metropolis target foreigners.

    Other companies also need copywriters, common languages including Chinese, Korean, English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Finding a job that requires a specific language can present its own challenges since the demand will be linked to Japan’s and the company’s relations to other countries and their consumers.

    5. Language Teacher

    Japanese proficiency requirement: DEPENDS

    Being a teacher in Japan sometimes requires a certain level of Japanese skill and sometimes not, it depends on the employer. In most cases, positions in public schools will be more likely to require a candidate to speak Japanese.

    Japan also has a plethora of eikawas, which are English conversation schools. Popular eikawas include Berlitz, Gaba, and Nova; and each eikawa has its own pros and cons that each candidate should know before applying.

    Being an English teacher in Japan can be very rewarding, and many foreign residents have found a passion for teaching thanks to them.

    Besides English, some schools also offer other languages like German, Spanish, French, and Chinese. So even if you are not fluent in English you can teach another language in Japan. However, these job are not as common as those of English teachers, making the competition fiercer.