Working in Indonesia



Anybody looking to migrate to Indonesia must be aware that the job market is not very open to expatriates.

However, due to the declining percentage of professional Indonesians, the government is coming round to foreign job candidates as long as no Indonesian can fill the position. Even so, there are some areas of expertise where expatriates take full advantage- English teachers in particular are in demand, especially in schools that are constantly upgrading their educational system. These institutions prefer a native English speaker. Hence, English teaching has become a lucrative career in the country.

At present, there are more than 100 English language schools throughout Indonesia, the most in the region. Taking on this kind of job means you can live near the rice paddies of Surabaya during the week and experience the beaches of Bali and explore the volcanoes of Mt. Bromo at the weekend. This is the ideal experience for an expatriate who wants to spend time getting to know Indonesia in a laid-back, friendly environment.

However, before you become an expat worker, you must find an employer willing to sponsor you for a job and obtaining this can be expensive and bureaucratic. The process is stringent for local or multi-national companies to hire expats. However, once an applicant gets past the bureaucracy multiple opportunities lie ahead - people are quickly welcomed into the local community.

The job market in Indonesia is a mixture of many different people from different professional fields. Some expats have been dispatched by their company on a job assignment while others are foreign diplomats. There are also expat investors, volunteers and aid workers who are devoted to NGO causes.

Salaries for expats in Indonesia are quite reasonable and vary from US$70/month - US$150/month for the natives while sales clerks at luxurious shopping malls like Plaza Indonesia earn between US$60 and US$80. Many adults aged 20 and above live with their parents to save money while those who don't stay with their parents who earn less than US$200 usually have a second job.

Expectedly, expats earn higher salaries because they are able to fill jobs in industries that few native job seekers are interested in. An English teacher may make between RP. 7,500,000 - RP. 8,000,000 (US$800 - US$850), and that is considered high by local standards.



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Working in Jakarta

Work Guide

Expat Services in Indonesia