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5 Alternative Jobs to English Teaching in Japan

Landing a job is a tough goal to try and finish, especially if it is done in a different country. But in Japan, a lot of foreigners have managed to be hired and accepted for their jobs. The majority of them — as English teachers.

Contrary to popular belief, not all foreigners in Japan are English teachers. Although taking the English teaching route is the most common choice, there are a handful of jobs that many gaijin can select from.

Aside from teaching, foreigners are also known to excel in different fields such as engineering, banking, information technology, service industry, entertainment, and several others.

In this article, we’ll be enumerating the best jobs (other than English teaching) for foreigners in Japan.


It’s not surprising that Japan, which is perhaps the most high-tech country in the world, has a great demand for engineers. A lot of foreign engineers in Japan belong to the automotive world, as the country is home to automotive titans like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.

But aside from foreign car experts, Japanese companies are also looking for engineers that specialize in electronics, processing, R&D (research and development), heavy manufacturing industries, web application development, software, projects, sales, and services.

Japanese companies, especially car brands, are always one step ahead of the international competition. So this is a good chance for engineers to test and prove their creativity and innovativeness.


Being a foreign banker can be a big opportunity since investment banking is huge in Japan. These types of banks operate by assisting clients in raising their capital. They also help clients by managing their financial accounts and giving them financial advice.

There are several investment banks in the country. These companies are not reluctant to move or hire large numbers of contractual foreign bankers, as they can afford to do so. The downside of company operations like this is that they’ll eventually have to terminate a lot of contracts by next year.

Information Technology (IT)

Being the advanced country that it is, Japan relies on the IT industry. Information Technology is one of the country’s best assets for its mission of economic development and competitiveness.

Japan is a paradise for IT professionals, programmers, and software engineers, as companies are always looking forward to the future and the way towards the future is with computers and the internet.

Aside from tech companies, investment banks are also always looking to improve their IT team. IT professionals who belong to an investment bank company are known to earn much higher compared to IT professionals in other fields of business.


Resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, and cafés are more open to hiring foreigners as service staff. Service-type jobs are usually light, ranging from being a waiter or busboy in a restaurant to being an attendant at a resort.

This is a very accessible type of occupation for foreigners because even working holiday visa holders are eligible and can be accepted for these types of jobs.

Foreigners under the working holiday visa are more suitable for service staff occupations since it gives them more time to focus on exploring the country, and at the same time, it allows them to fund their travels.


Foreigners who have a knack for acting and performing under the bright lights can get their big break in Japan. Foreign actors can start by landing backstage jobs or minor roles for both big and small screens. Just ask the most famous gaijin tarento (foreign talent) in all of Japan, Dave Spector. Spector was just a segment producer for “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” in the 1980s but found prominence in Japan as an on-screen personality.

Japan also offers a huge potential for foreign models to get exposure, as advertising firms are always on the lookout for fresh faces for big advertising campaigns. These short-term advertising campaigns usually have great contracts as they offer good compensation.


What other jobs are there in Japan aside from teaching English? Here are a few more foreigner-friendly opportunities in the Land of the Rising Sun:

  • Sales Staff

    Japanese companies need foreigners to help expand their businesses through different marketing approaches to get in contact with other international or foreign companies in the country.

  • Researcher

    Being one of the top science countries in the world, Japan is a positive environment for researchers especially in the field of technological research.

  • Recruitment Companies

    Recruitment companies usually recruit foreigners and endorse them to other companies as a way of service. These companies also tend to partner with investment banks.


There are other great opportunities in Japan than just teaching the English language. All of the fields mentioned above are great ways of progressing and continuing your career in the country.

At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of preference and choice. We hope this article will help you with your career. Until next time. Too-da-loo!

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