8 Highest Paying Jobs In Japan For Foreigners [2021 Update]

Frankly, one matter stopping people from trying out the expat life is the worry of having to “rough it” in some shared dorm room while living on instant noodles and a modest backpacker salary. If this is your worry too, we have some good news for you. Working overseas doesn’t need to be like broke times at all – particularly if you decide to work in Japan. Japan has long been a secret tip for aspiring expats, and not only because of its stunning landscapes, bustling metropolises, and insanely good food. Japan also has some of the highest-paying jobs for people.

Did we pique your curiosity? Great! Because below, we have put together a list of 8 of the highest paying jobs in Japan in this location guide for English speakers!

Note: The figures in this article have been updated according to CareerCross 2021 data.

How much does a person working in Japan make?

In a report by the National Tax Agency, it is revealed that a person working in Japan normally earns about  ¥4,320,000 ($40,353) a year.

A snapshot of the highest paid jobs in Japan for foreigners

There are numerous factors affecting our net incomes, but for an overview of the current state of play on salaries in Japan, let’s center on typical annual incomes by industry. Here’s an overview of the most popular highest paying jobs in Japan for English speakers:

12. Service Staff

highest paying jobs in japan

Services in Japan are associated with standards and professionalism which explains the high income for employees.


To land a job as a high paying service staff, you will need to have adequate skills in Japanese Language and a valid visa. There are variety of posts at hand for the service staff in industries like Hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. Owners of such industries like to hire foreign staff due to their dual-language skills. Among hospitality and tourism jobs in Japan, hotel front desk staff on average earn ¥2.97 million, while travel agents and tour guides make ¥3.18 million annually

Don’t forget the bars! Yes! This is indeed one of the highest paying jobs in Japan if you know how much Japanese love to go and spend time in bars. There are plenty of options for jobs in Bars, like waiters, managers, accountants, DJs, and above all are dancing and music.  If you are a singer or a good dancer, you can get good earning while working in bars in Japan.

  • Monthly salary:¥290,000 ($2,335) – ¥671,166 ($2,615)
  • % Foreigners in the Industry: 5.12%
  • Requirements: Japanese Conversational (N3), Visa Sponsorship Available (Hotel Staff)

11. English teacher

Teaching English in Japan is a very common job and the vacancies for this job are also available in god quantity in Japan. Within English teaching jobs here, assistant language teachers at public (and sometimes private) schools earn about ¥250,000 a month, while salaries for instructors at privately-owned English conversation schools are around ¥300,000. Teachers of business English often earn a higher rate of pay per lesson, sometimes up to as much as ¥3,500 an hour.

  • Monthly salary: ¥300,000 ($2,735)
  • % Foreigners in the Industry: Well, we don’t have the exact figure here but you know it is a lot right?
  • Requirements: Native-level speaker of English, sometimes Bachelor’s degree, ESL certificate and experience is a plus

Actually, there are two ways for foreigners to teach English in Japan.


Japan is of the most desired destinations for teaching abroad program. There are various programs bringing native English speakers to Japan.

  • The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching program): competitive salaries, benefits, housing allocations, and flight reimbursement.
  • Interac: Perfect for graduates from all specialties, new teaching graduates who want to teach in rural Japan
  • Westgate: Perfect for experienced ESL teachers with a bachelor’s degree, who want to teach at the university level in Japan
  • Nova Japan: Perfect for native English speakers with no experience


If you enjoy a variety of teaching options in your job, then working at an English Conversation School (Eikawa in Japanese) is a good option. Eikaiwas vary radically in size and scope, from large company, family-owned businesses to smaller mom and pop schools. Class sizes can also differ, from one on one to dozens of students, you may be teaching kiddie or elderly; everyone will have a distinct reason for wanting to learn English, so you will have to adapt your teaching style accordingly.

10. Translators

The wage for translators in Japan depends on the technical level of content as well as the companies.

There are many aspects of Japanese businesses that require translation, ranging from Manga, video games, books, movie subtitles to car development, legal documents, and the rising need for medical translation. The translator does not necessarily know Japanese, most Japanese docs in large companies are already bilingual (English & Japanese). A translator can be hired to translate these docs from English to other languages. The wage for translators in Japan depends on the technical level of content as well as the companies.

  • Monthly salary: ¥300,000 ($2,735) to ¥538,000 ($4,903)
  • Requirements: Language proficiency, certification

9. Recruitment Consultant

high paying jobs in japan

There are many global specialist recruiting groups in Japan who are looking for bilinguals.

Human resource services pay ¥3.68 million on average annually. Their job is mainly cold calling and matching the candidate with the job openings.

  • Monthly salary: ¥375,000 ($3,421) – 750,000 ($6,843)
  • % Foreigners in the Industry: 5.12%
  • Requirements: Bachelor Degree, 1-2 years of experience

8. Engineer

high paying jobs in japan

Manufacturing industries employ the highest rates of foreign workers.

Of course, this is a well-paid job all over the world. When the matter is of Japan we know this country is famous for its technologies and machinery. That’s why if you have an engineering background then you can get a handsome amount of salary in Japan.

  • Monthly salary: ¥380,000 ($3,549) – ¥830,000 ($7,500)
  • % Foreigners in the industry: 4.17%
  • Requirements: Can speak Japanese is a plus, Experience is a plus

7. Marketing & Sales

top jobs in japan

More and more foreigners are gaining jobs in Marketing and Sales departments in Japan Companies.

At number four, we have sales staff as a profitable job in Japan. In Japan, the sales staff is in high demand. In sales staff, sales manager, salesperson, sales representatives come. Japanese like to take these services from foreigners. Besides, marketing jobs in Japan can make a nice ¥4.90 million.

  • Monthly salary: ¥380,000 ($3,549) – ¥830,000 ($7,500)
  • % Foreigners in the Industry: 2.63%
  • Requirements: Business Level Japanese at least 3 years of experience, Visa Sponsorship available

6. Business Analyst

Business analysts are responsible for enhancing a company’s competitiveness and performance, with the attempt to find new ways to control costs, raise productivity, or boost sales.

Next, among the highest paying jobs in Japan, demanded one is Business Analyst. This is a particularly high-paying job as this position is accountable for better performance and competitiveness. For this job, the ability to influence change in an organization is important. Also, a professional in this field should be able to use quantitative techniques to analyze data and make decisions.

Requirements: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business administration is required. Employers prefer candidates with a graduate degree or specialization in a relevant field.

  • Monthly salary: ¥450,000 ($4,203)
  • % Foreigners in the industry: 2.63%
  • Requirements: Fluent in English & Japanese, 1-2 years experience

5.      IT Professional

best jobs in japan

There is a scarcity of qualified work force in the Japanese IT world.

No doubt use of technology is very necessary for every field of life. That is why IT professionals can get superior and high paying jobs in Japan. Among all in this sector, IT consultant is the highest-earning job, which offers on average a ¥6.04 million yearly. Web service engineers make around ¥4.25 million, while web designers can earn about ¥3.57 million.

  • Monthly salary: ¥376,000 ($3,400) – ¥830,000 ($7,500)
  • % Foreigners in the industry: 2.63%
  • Requirements: Can speak Japanese is a plus, Experience is a plus

4. Investment Banking

Investment Bankers Career provides one of the best pays in the job sector.

Of course, like all other countries, people working in Finance and Banking are typically on the list of highest paying jobs in Japan. The investment banking profession is a highly desired field with a lot of welfares including high job demands, higher salaries, and other financial awards that take you to a bright career. Banks or corporations that have large investments like to hire foreign bankers to increase the reputation of the banks in the international market.

  • Monthly salary: ¥458,000 ($4,175) – ¥1,083,000 ($9,881)
  • % Foreigners in the Industry: 0.62%
  • Requirements: Fluent in English & Japanese, Experience is a plus

3. Pilots

Aside from the excitement of traveling around the world, the pilot has to look after the safety of thousands of people every day.

According to Japan Aerospace Industry, Japan’s aerospace industrial market is not only the largest but also the most experienced in Asia. The blooming privatization of Japanese airports leads to higher quality standards and demands for pilots with expertise.

The job requires rigorous training programs and extensive experience to handle its huge responsibility. Aside from the excitement of traveling around the world, the pilot has to look after the safety of thousands of people every day.

  •       Monthly salary: ¥360,000 ($3,284) – ¥1,210,000  ($11,000)
  •       Requirements: Qualification, Extensive Experience

2. Surgeons / Doctors

Mature Male Japanese physician showing skull and spine x-ray imagery to a patient and discussing his diagnosis.

It is not easy to practice medicine in a foreign country, especially where the healthcare system is on the next level like Japan. A profound medical knowledge through a long learning path is a must. Working long hours under pressure is part of the job. But these are necessary ingredients for a noble profession that gets paid handsomely.

  •       Monthly salary: ¥900,000 ($8,200) – ¥3,020,000 ($27,500)
  •       % Foreigners in the industry: 0.4%
  •       Requirements: Japanese fluency, Qualification

1. Business Manager/ Director

The high-power role in an organization, Chief executive officer (CEO), earns no less than ¥21,600,000/ year ($198,220).

To land a job as a business manager or C-level in Japan, a foreigner needs good communication and cultural awareness of Japanese business ethics. The job also involves extreme pressure and high responsibility but the salary is rewarding. For instance, a country manager, who represents a foreign company in Japan, can earn around ¥14,900,000 ($136,675) a year. An operations director or a sales director normally gets paid ¥15,000,000 ($137,620) yearly. The high-power role in an organization, Chief executive officer (CEO), earns no less than ¥21,600,000/ year ($198,220).

  •       Monthly salary: ¥1,160,000 ($10,572) – ¥4,600,000 ($41,926)
  •       Requirements: Japanese fluency, Qualification, Experience

Job Search

There are many ways for foreigners to search for a job in Japan. The most simple and popular way is to look for jobs on job portal websites. Here, you can know which Japanese companies are recruiting and the kinds of jobs available in Japan. Some websites have nice advice and content about living and working in Japan, besides job listings.

Tips for Landing a Job in Japan

1.Understanding What the Employer is looking for in Applicants

Experience or certification: these may not be required when you apply for an entry-level job. But for higher-paying works, the employers expect experienced and certified applicants instead of risking their money and effort on under-educated amateurs. 

Reliability: this is one make-and-break point that Japanese recruiters particularly consider when choosing between two almost equally talented candidates. It is reasonable since Japanese companies dislike workers taking work as a paid vacation. They prefer someone who will always be punctual, polite, clean, and available. Therefore, they try their best to avoid hiring people regularly taking time off or not adhering to the corporation’s procedures. Therefore, you should illustrate in the recruitment process that you have worked in a position for a long time, your attendance record, or how you took charge of a project.

Native speaker: Some roles will need somebody who is Japanese or at least speaks Japanese fluently. Besides, some companies simply aren’t open to employing foreigners. My advice is that you should check in advance whether the Job Description mentions they welcome foreigners. If they don’t mention it, you should research their history and business model so that you won’t waste your time on places that not gonna hire you no matter what.

2. Resume & Cover Letter

The next step involves writing a CV or resume and cover letter which both on standard and stand out. First, make sure you avoid all these fundamental mistakes and catch up with some DO tricks to get you noticed:


  • Referring to the recruiter by his/ her first name. While in the US or Europe, you can address them by family name or title, Japanese prefer “last name + San” (San is the same as Mr. or Ms.), for example, Tanaka San.
  • Using speaking language and slang: If some teen code like “i c” or slang terms like “pimping” appear on your CV or cover letter, it is considered unprofessional. I recommend you use proper English in all business writing settings including the email. 
  • Be all about yourself. Remember that Japan’s working culture emphasizes team goals, not individual’s. So rambling too much about your future career paths and mentioning what benefits you get from the job as the reason for application will fail you. For instance, “I want to get a job here so I can improve my Japanese ability”. Focus on what you can contribute to the company by your expertise and experience.


  • Follow the format and content instructions. You may be surprised how many candidates are ignorant of the CV and cover letter requirement from the recruiters. At least, you do the opposite and you can get ahead of these people. Sometimes, the recruiters also ask for some detailed information about your contact, VISA status, and work permissions, the place you are staying in Japan, or your pictures. Make sure you provide them with adequate information. 
  • Tailor your CV and cover letter. The easiest way of this is to match the job description with your job achievements. For instance, the school is looking for “a teacher for 5-12 aged children”. Then, you can write “Attained 90% contract renewal rate with young students”
  • Get creative with the resume filename. This is definitely something unique in Japan. Screening hundreds of CVs a day, Japanese recruiters are prone to eye-catching names like experienced-bilingual-sales-resume.pdf rather than resume.pdf.

3. Interview

3.1 How to make a good impression

  • Dress in professional attire even though a Japanese interviewer tells you to be casual. You have to understand the definition of casual in Japan is totally different. Look, salaried workers in Japan all wear suits and black dresses. So wear formally since you can never be overdressed for a job in Japan.  
  • Practice your assigned demo at home. You may be asked to perform a demo for certain job positions, such as a teacher. Get somebody to listen to your demo and give feedback. Even though that person is not specialized in your work, he or she can still give you some insights on your voice volume, whether the content is too boring.
  • Properly greet with a slight bow and only sit once the interviewer signal you to 
  • Only ask questions when the interviewers suggest you. Asking questions out of turn is rude 
  • Coming not too early or late. In Japan, it is not a plus point to arrive fifteen to twenty minutes before the interview. You can even end up interrupting the interviewer’s workflow and waste their precious time.
  • Mind your body language and your gesture. Even if you do a Skype or Hangout interview, don’t let yourself be at home. What I mean is relaxing in the coach, drinking cola regularly, putting your arms over something are all unacceptable. This is an interview and they want you to be serious.

3.2 Most Common Interview Questions From Japanese Interviewers

Regardless of industries, Japanese interviewers seek some of the same things. They want their foreign staff to quickly adapt to the Japanese workplace, be professional, and comply with the contract. Most of the time, they will not ask you directly. So you should be able to interpret some following popular questions:

3.3 Questions to Ask Recruiters during the interview

At the end of the interview, the recruiters usually ask you if you have any questions. Careless questions revealing that you didn’t research the website in advance or pointless questions with no thought or creativity can cost you the whole interview. 


There you have it, 8 highest paying and rewarding jobs in Japan. Highly qualified professions were most prevalent among the highest-earning types of jobs. This included IT professionals and consultants in business, banking, and management. So if you’re looking for a big salary, consider seeking qualifications and experience in these areas. Together with your knowledge and experience of overseas markets as a foreigner, they would make you a valuable asset to global-oriented Japanese companies.

So, which job will you choose?

About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.