Top 10 Jobs For Foreigners In Japan And Their Average Salary Amounts

Japan has a total population of 125 million, of that, around 2 million are foreigners. Although this includes trainee positions and part-time student workers, the employment base in Japan is still fairly international. High salaries are reflected in both private and public sectors, but with this being said, it is much easier to get a job in Japan as a native.

If you have been looking at living and working in Japan, then you’ve likely been considering your options based on your personal skills. Luckily, there are options in several different sectors.

Below are 10 of the most frequented jobs for foreigners in Japan with good salaries, along with the language knowledge and job requirements you need to hold in order to land them.  Salary estimations are based on an average total monthly income.

Salaries can range greatly from company to company and if your in a specialized field the amounts can obviously be much greater.

1. Translator

Salary: ¥300,000 – ¥540,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: Unknown. 

Job requirements: Translation qualification, bilingual. 

Many aspects of the Japanese business sector require professional translators. This can be anything from video games, Manga, medical, legal, automotive industry, books, or movie subtitles.

Believe it or not, the translator doesn’t necessarily need to know Japanese. Most Japanese documents already come with a translated English version, so the need may be to translate it from English to another foreign language. Direct interpreting is more likely to require fluent Japanese. 

2. Recruitment

Salary: ¥370,000 – ¥750,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: 5.10%

Job Requirements: Bachelors degree, previous experience. 

Many global specialists in Japan are searching for foreign workers, more specifically bilinguals.

It’s a good job that benefits the Japanese economy, and with a combination of good listening skills and good communication skills, it makes for a lucrative career. 

3. IT Professional

Salary: ¥376,000 – ¥830,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: 2.63%

Job Requirements: Previous experience is desirable, plus business-level knowledge of the Japanese language. 

It’s undeniable that technology will increasingly become a necessary market in every field of life, so it’s no surprise that IT professionals can earn superior salaries in Japan.

In fact, it is the highest paid job in its sector ranking above both web designers and web engineers. IT work typically falls as the fourth best-paid job for foreigners in Japan. 

4. Investment Banking

Salary: ¥455,000 – ¥1,080,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: 0.62%

Job Requirements: Previous experience, fluent in both English and Japanese. 

As with most countries, finance and bank workers are generally amongst the best-paid jobs in Japan.

Large corporations actually seek out foreign investment bankers to increase their reputation on the international market.

The field comes with a lot of perks and often offers added financial benefits on top of an already high salary. 

5. English Teacher

Salary: ¥300,000 on average. 

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: Unknown. 

Job requirements: TEFL or other ESL certificate, native English speaker, plus a bachelor’s degree or previous experience is preferred. 

Japan, amongst other Asian countries, offers some of the world’s highest salaries to ESL teachers. For this reason, the country has an abundance of them.

English has many dialects, and Japan wants the younger generations to learn how to speak in the American or British form.

The best way to do this is through native speakers. Although teachers do not necessarily need to speak Japanese for the role, it can be helpful for classroom management. 

6. Risk Analyst

Salary: ¥640,000 on average. 

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: Unknown.

Job Requirements: Previous experience, fluent Japanese. 

Although this is another job frequented by foreigners, you won’t be able to land a position without excellent Japanese language skills.

Risk analysts usually function in large organizations or companies which bring in international employees from the same sector in other countries.

Typically, there is no shortage of money within the companies or on the employee’s payslips. 

7. Sales and Marketing

Salary: ¥380,000 – ¥830,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: 2.63%

Job Requirements: Previous experience of at least 3 years, business-level Japanese, potential Visa Sponsorship. 

Sales staff are in high demand around Japan, and these jobs are often favored for foreigners. There are several positions available such as a sales manager, a salesperson, a representative, or sales/marketing staff.

Despite the fact that most sales jobs run on commission it still benefits from a high salary. This can make an enjoyable career for anyone who is a good communicator. 

8. Doctor 

Salary: ¥1,00,070 on average.

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: Unknown. 

Job requirements: Medical degree or officially qualified to practice medicine, fluent Japanese. 

Getting a job as a doctor in Japan isn’t always easy. Depending on the organization, doctors will be subject to endurance tests and Japanese proficiency tests.

Even with this, physicians with a foreign medical license may only be able to treat non-Japanese patients.

However, with the number of foreigners living in Japan rising, the country struggles with a language barrier as many immigrants cannot speak Japanese.

This is where the need for English-speaking doctors comes in, and this need is increasing each year. 

9. Customer Service

Salary: ¥290,000 – ¥670,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: 5.12%

Job requirements: Conversational Japanese, a valid visa. 

Japan is booming with cafes, restaurants, hotels, and call centers. If you’re aware of the drinking culture in Japan, then you’ll know that there are also plenty of jobs in izakaya or bars.

If you can hold a decent conversation in Japanese, this sector is the perfect way for you to get your foot in the door. Having multiple languages under your belt will also come in handy. 

10. Engineer

Salary: ¥300,000 – ¥600,000

Percentage of foreigners in the industry: 2.16%

Job requirements: Engineering degree or qualifications, previous engineering experience. 

This is one of the only other jobs that you can get in Japan with limited knowledge of the language.

If you have a background in the industry then you could land yourself a position using mostly English. Japan is known for its machinery and technology, so whether you’re a software engineer or a mechanical engineer these skills are highly sought after.

Finding A Non-Teaching Job In Japan

My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.