Singapore is a city-state that is well-known for its vibrant work force. It is especially so since this resource comprises both locals as well as foreigners. With respect to job opportunities, here’s a guide on how to find a job in Singapore as a foreigner!
The job market within this Asian city has been growing gradually as more organisations are starting up within the business hub of Singapore.
Albeit, securing a job opportunity in Singapore as a foreigner can be a confusing process. Fret not – this article shall help you find your way!
How Can A Foreigner Work In Singapore?
Before we delve into the details of job scopes and salary details, there are some standard legal information you would have to familiarise yourself with.
All foreigners who intend to commence work in Singapore must possess a valid work pass. This is otherwise known as a work visa. You will have to acquire this before starting work in the country.
There are different work passes available in Singapore. You would have to check which one best suits your profile before applying for the appropriate visa. That will be the first step on how to find a job in Singapore as a foreigner.
'Employment Pass' is one of the available work visas in Singapore.
In order to be eligible to apply for the Employment Pass, applicants will have to find an opportunity as a professional, manager or an executive.
Additionally, individuals will also need to earn at least $4,500 a month and have acceptable qualifications. First time-applicants may be provided with a valid visa for up to 2 years. The pass will be subject to renewal thereafter. Extensions may be granted for up to 3 years per renewal.
Furthermore, employers are not subjected to a quota and levy for Employment Pass employees.
'S Pass' is one of the other available work visas in Singapore.
In order to be eligible to apply for the S Pass, applicants will have to find an opportunity as a mid-level skilled staff. Individuals will also need to earn a fixed monthly salary of at least $2,500 a month and meet the assessment criteria.
Applicants may be provided with a valid visa for up to 2 years. Renewal is allowed for these pass holders too. Employers are subjected to a quota and levy for S Pass employees.
For more information on this, visit the MOM website here.
'Dependent Pass' is also one of the other available work visas in Singapore.
Legally married spouses or unmarried children under 21 years, of eligible Employment or S Pass holders, can apply for a Dependent Pass. However, in order for these individuals to work in Singapore, they will have to obtain a Letter of Consent from MOM.
Moreover, employers are not subjected to a quota and levy for Dependent Pass employees.
Is It Easy For A Foreigner To Get A Job In Singapore?
Truth be told, it is not as easy for a foreigner to get a job in Singapore. With that being said, it’s also not impossible!
Learning some of the factors that affect one’s eligibility criteria to secure a job as a foreigner in Singapore can help you, though.
Each company has a specific quota as to how many foreigners they can take in to their firm. This is dependent on the number of Singaporeans an organisation has hired. Nonetheless, information on quotas tend to be restricted to employers/employees within the firm. As such, this factor is pretty much out of your hands.
On the bright side, Singapore’s unemployment rates remain amongst the lowest around the world. Currently, the rate stands at 3.6% – the highest it has reached since 2004 due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The best time of the year for foreigners to apply for jobs in Singapore are said to revolve around the months of early January, then March to May. Hiring rates tend to rise in the early year as individuals settle into work after the year-end holidays.
What Skills Are Of Demand In Singapore?
1. Data Analysis
Data Analysis, is undoubtedly, one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors all around the world.
The job scope of a data analyst includes collecting data using numerous softwares, cleaning the data. It also involves interpreting the collated data as well as visualising it in the form of tables and charts too.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one other job skill that foreigners interested in looking for a job in Singapore can look into.
With the number of SM platforms and its users on a steady rise, an automatic increase in job opportunities can also be expected within the industry!
Thus, making this a popular job skill to be attained.
3. Information Technology
IT is perhaps one of the most popular industries that has consistently attracted foreigners from all around the world to Singapore.
With a myriad of businesses setting up fort in the city-state, numerous opportunities tend to be present in this sector!
Foreigners can seek jobs across the industries of programming, coding, web design and security too!
With an aging population on its hand, Singapore is in dire need of professionals from the healthcare sector.
The sectors of nursing and hospital care are possible areas of interest for healthcare professionals. If you are keen about helping people and caring for them, this might be a sound choice for you!
Even though Covid-19 has hit the construction sector of Singapore quite drastically, it is gradually starting to get back up on its feet.
Nevertheless, MRT projects and other construction works have picked up since. As such, this is also a sector that is looking to hire foreigners. As soon as the borders are back open, anyway!
What Is A Good Salary In Singapore?
The estimated cost of living in Singapore for a single foreigner can total up to $800 per month. Whereas, the expenses for a 4-member family can add up to about $4,400 per month.
Considering that Singapore is amongst one of the most expensive countries to live in, the above figures would make sense! It also means that your pay will most likely be higher than those speculated amounts. The salary of each occupation will vary. This is dependent on your educational qualifications as well as your prior work experience.
A good salary will also be dependent on how well the market you’re a part of is doing too.
What Is Considered A Good Salary In Singapore?
Well, what is considered a good salary in Singapore, then?
Below, you will find a table that shall function as a quick guide on the expected salaries for specific professions and designations. While this is a comprehensive list in no way, it should still give you some ideas to gauge any offers that come your way! Furthermore, it will also be wise to keep in mind the minimum salaries needed for the different work passes in Singapore.
In order to be eligible for an Employment Pass, you’ll have to earn a minimum of $4,500 per month. Similarly, those who are looking to secure an S Pass will have to earn a minimum monthly salary of $2,500.
So, which jobs pay the most in Singapore then?
With that being said, it would be more informative if an approximate figure could be placed next to certain designations. That’s just what we’re about to get into now! It should be added that the below-mentioned positions are of higher ranking positions within the different industries. Some of these include banking, communications, and information technology amongst others.
Here’s a table that sums it up in a glance about some popular job options for foreigners looking to find an opportunity within Singapore:
Salary per Month (SGD)
Chief Financial Officer
$ 20,000 – $25,000
Regional Marketing Director
$ 10,600 – $18,000
Corporate Communications Director
$ 11,000 – $16,000
Where To Find Jobs In Singapore?
Now that you’ve got some basic information on how to find a job in Singapore as a foreigner, let’s take a look at where you can find one.
There are a number of ways you can secure a job opportunity as a foreigner in Singapore. First off, as any other job hunter may search for an opportunity – job portals are a good place to get started.
There are quite a few sites out there that provide a comprehensive coverage of the jobs available in Singapore. For a list of the top 19 of them, visit our blog here!
Secondly, recruitment agencies can be a great source of help for a foreigner who is looking to secure a job opportunity in Singapore. This method of job search is chargeable. The rates may vary from agency to agency – depending on the firm’s own terms.
You should be advised that there are a number of scam businesses out there pretending to be such recruitment agencies. As such, it is especially important that you check the license registration number of these firms here before directly liaising with them.
Last but not least, the tried and tested method continues to prevail to this day. References, connections and word-of-mouth recommendations! While this can help you get in touch with the HR department, a job opportunity cannot be promised.
Is There A Fair Chance For Everyone?
In a nutshell, everyone is provided with an equal chance and fair grounds of competition within Singapore. Personal favours to secure a work opportunity are unheard of within the city-state as it is not condoned.
At the end of the day, it should be kept in mind that only an employer or an authorised/licensed employment agency can apply for a work visa on your behalf. This means that direct applications to the Ministry of Manpower cannot be made.
And there you have it – a complete and ultimate guide on how to find a job in Singapore as a foreigner!
Have you considered all the factors above and made up your mind to take on a job opportunity as a foreigner in Singapore? Why not give GrabJobs a visit to browse through some of the open positions now?
GrabJobs is a recruitment platform and job site headquartered in Singapore. We focus on frontline worker jobs such as retail, food & beverage, and logistics amongst others.
We hope this article has provided you with some useful information on jobs for foreigners in Singapore. No matter the industry or the position, remember to visit GrabJobs to find a job opportunity in Singapore easily!