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Yoga Koh Chang, Thailand | © EGIZU Getxo Euskaldun Elkartea/Flickr
Yoga Koh Chang, Thailand | © EGIZU Getxo Euskaldun Elkartea/Flickr

15 Jobs You Can Do Living in Southeast Asia

Picture of Iona Proebst
Updated: 25 October 2017
Want to turn your holiday into a long term stay in Southeast Asia? Check out our list of jobs you can do in your new home or while on the road. Remember to do your homework and research the legal and work permit criteria for each country before you take the plunge and embark on your new adventure.

Dive instructor

Many people head off on holiday to an idyllic tropical island only to find themselves still there years later. Fully qualified dive instructors are not only some of the highest paid jobs available on islands like Koh Tao in Thailand, it is also a skill that is easily transferred to anywhere else that is by the sea.

Diving in Khao Tao, Thailand
Diving in Khao Tao, Thailand | © David Rubin/Flickr


Local and international publications alike value the input of foreign journalists. If you plan to stay for a while, try to get in with a local publication which will have you travelling and reporting on different stories. Not only is this a great way to immerse yourself in local culture it will also be a great asset to your career.


Teaching is the most popular job for foreigners living in Southeast Asia. Teaching positions are also some of the most stable jobs as they come with the security of a regular paycheck, visa and work permit.


Like journalists, foreign photographers are valued and regularly employed for local and international media outlets. If you prefer food, people or nature photography there are also plenty of jobs going in those genres too.


If you’ve been spinning decks back home then why not sign up for a guest DJ night wherever you find yourself in Southeast Asia. The allure of an “international” DJ will likely be welcomed with open arms.

DJ Chaing Mai, Thailand
DJ Chaing Mai, Thailand | © ann p/Flickr

Tour guide

A slightly less popular option but a great opportunity if you speak multiple languages or are working for a company from your country that specializes in tours in your mother tongue. It is also a great way to travel and see parts of Southeast Asia that you might not otherwise visit.

Web designer

Web designers can be employed in local companies or work freelance for their own clients, the option is yours. If you prefer to keep mobile and make Dollars or Pounds rather than Baht or Dong, it might be wise to secure a