Is it easy for a foreigner to get a job in Singapore?

Ahmad Khaw, Photographer, Avid Traveler
Answered October 13, 2020

The success of landing a job in Singapore depends on many things for international workers. While the island nation’s economy is constantly growing, some areas lag in their growth. Also, a lot may come down to the candidate’s expertise, professional network, and how they apply. 

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Photo courtesy by mwitt1337 from Pixabay

To learn how easy it is for a foreigner to get a job in the Republic of Singapore, please continue reading. 

Working and Living in Singapore: Is it Worth it?

By many accounts, the Merlion City is an excellent place for living. Thus, many expatriates move to the city-state

As for working, you may wish to consider a few facts before applying for a work visa and, through it, residency:

  • Employers, in general, put a lot of emphasis on work. So, working overtime is a matter of fact.
  • Note that compensation for overworking is more an exception than a rule.
  • Since the regular costs are high, you need to secure a position granting an excellent income.

Job Market in Singapore: Unemployment and Other Factors

Unemployment is low here, no more than a few percent. However, there are other factors you need to consider when searching for employment:

  • Due to governmental regulations, companies prioritize locals when hiring.
  • To learn more about how attractive a candidate you may be to prospective employers, check out the governmental Strategic and Skills in Demand list.
  • You should specialize and apply for work in expanding areas. Some of these are banking, tourism, technology-related sectors, and computer science (gaming, particularly). 

Basics of Starting a Career in Singapore for Foreigners

The first step in your search should be taking the self-assessment test. What you should know regarding the assessment is that it is just an estimate, not the definite confirmation of your eligibility.

Next, apply for the intended position. Only by landing a job can you get a Singapore work visa. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting a business in Lion City

How Expats Search for Career Opportunities?

You can search for future employment via job portals. Connecting with Human Resources managers through LinkedIn, however, could be more promising. 

For a higher chance of being hired in the Merlion City, contact a reputable agency, such as Robert WaltersMichael Page, and Randstad Singapore. Their services may be costly, but the hire rate justifies the expense. 

If you studied in the Little Red Dot, that should be a big boost. Also, any referral from a Singaporean resident may be your card to finding employment sooner. 

Singapore Work Passes and the Salary Range

You can apply for several types of work pass. For most foreign workers, though, Employment Pass and S Pass are more common than the others. 

  • Employment Pass entitles professionals with high qualifications to work in the republic. To obtain this permit, the candidate should arrange a monthly salary of S$4,500, at least. 
  • S Pass authorizes mid-skilled employees (technicians, for example) to do business in Lion City. Your monthly income should be no less than S$2,500 to get this visa. 

Note: Salary requirements may change by the time of your application.

The average annual salary in Garden City is over S$50,000, even S$60,000 by some accounts. 

The lowest paying positions bring around S$25,000 a year. Top-paid professions can secure an annual income of over S$100,000. 


As you set your career on track, learn how to buy a property and where to hang out with fellow expats in the island city-state.  


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