Working in Taiwan



The Taiwanese have earned the world’s admiration for making a dramatic economic turnaround. It was dubbed the “Taiwan Miracle,” but nobody in Taiwan is willing to rest on their laurels yet. In fact, they are just getting started.

Following the recession in 2007, unemployment rose to 5.81% in March 2009. Nonetheless, Taiwan continues to manifest its winning attitude when local companies came back with full force and helped the economy to recover. Known as one of the Four Asian Tigers, Taiwan possesses the 24th largest economy in the world and the sixth largest in Asia with a recorded Gross Domestic Product per capita of USD 22,530 in 2016. Taiwan also ranked number 11 worldwide and number five in the Asia Pacific Region in the World Bank 2017 Ease of Doing Business Index

Job Opportunities

Taiwan shifted from agriculture - now only 2% down from 35% of the GDP in 1952 - to export-driven information technology. The leading technologies in Taiwan include bicycle manufacturing (such as Giant Bicycles and Merida), biotechnology, semiconductor device fabrication, laptops such as Acer, Asus and BenQ and Smartphones like HTC.

Nowadays, the technology sector acts as one of the largest job providers in Taiwan that also attracts expats from around the world. Currently, Taiwan has six industrial and science parks that serve as headquarters of companies that specialise in food and beverage manufacturing, glass, textiles, plastics, machinery and repairs and chemical products. Aside from employment in the technology sector, there is also a huge job market for English teachers, whether in language schools or private tutoring. Expats can also find employment opportunities in biotechnology, green energies and tourism sectors.

Average Salary and Work Hours

Presently, the minimum wage in Taiwan is TWD 21,009 or USD 630 per month while the average monthly salary is at TWD 105,000 or USD 3,460. For English teachers with 1-4 years of teaching experience, hourly rates range from TW$ 511 to TW$808.38 (US$16 to $25.28), with higher rates for those with advanced degrees and more experience.

The Taiwanese have a maximum of 42 working hours per week. Banks, commercial firms and government offices are open from Monday to Friday at 9a.m - 3:30p.m; 9a.m - 5p.m and 8:30a.m - 12:30p.m and 1:30p.m - 5:30p.m, respectively.

The Taiwanese Business Etiquette

Taiwan is a hierarchical society, so it is vital to introduce yourself formally and provide business cards during business meetings. Address business colleagues with their titles unless they insist on you calling them by their first name.

When greeting a group of Taiwanese, make sure to greet the oldest in the group first to show respect. When the Taiwanese shake hands with foreigners, they will dart their eyes to the ground to show respect; they understand this is not practised elsewhere, so they do not expect you to reciprocate this gesture.

Also, punctuality is of high importance for the Taiwanese. Make sure to inform associates ahead of time if you are running late.


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