Engineering/Physics/Science Jobs in Taiwan

Hi guys,

I’m currently a PhD student at a state university in the U.S.A. I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and plan to finish a doctorate in Physics in about two years. I’m almost 30, spent a few years in the military, and frankly after spending so much of my time abroad I don’t really care for the United States so much anymore. I worked for a while in Japan after leaving the armed forces, and I really only came back to the states for the education. My question is this:

Are there many science jobs available to foreigners in Taiwan? I spent about two months in Kaohsuing City and Taipei with a Taiwanese colleague of mine last year and ever since I have seriously considered moving. I mainly work in the semiconductor industry, but it has been really difficult to find ANY available information on non-english-teaching jobs in Taiwan. It’s like the internet sees “Taiwan” and “Job” in the same query and BAM, 10,000 links about TEA pop up. I can’t even check out job postings in Taiwan since most of the major job sites that I am familiar with have almost no listings abroad outside of the EU. I am fully willing to take any additional coursework or develop skills in other areas if that is of any benefit. Right now I am more or less gauging the possibility.

I have quite some time to go still, in the mean time I am about to start learning Mandarin in hopes of having some degree of fluency in two years time. If I decide not to move, well, Mandarin will be useful to me either way. (I’ll keep post my questions with that in the appropriate section).

Thanks! (谢谢)

Edit: I should mention that, I am not specifically seeking PhD work, or a job in Academia. I would be comfortable utilizing my engineering undergraduate degree for employment. Thus far, I have been working on my PhD “for me”, and I have no delusion about making a ton of money. I am not worried about money in the slightest.

Not sure if this is the kind of thing you are looking for.

Academia Sinica they have career opportunities here.

Post doc positions in Academia Sinica and other top unis pay about 15-20K month (and expect about 60-70 hours per week). Absolutely laughable. Go to Europe or the USA if you have skills, or even bloody Australia.

and as for engineering jobs, get a job in a foreign company first, then make things happen so that you get posted here on 10x what a local gets paid. But make sure you’re good enough in Mandarin to play office politics, because the big nose will get shafted, behind their back and openly.

Thank you for your replies.

I’m not really looking for a postdoc, if I went that route I already have possibilities lined up in the USA paying more than 700usd/mo (assuming your 15-20k is in NT). As far as living comfortably, it looks like working a “local” job might just be out of the question, the best way would be to work for a foreign company in Taiwan then?

You should have plenty of job opps in local companies Taiwan given your semiconductor background and PhD. companies like TSMC and UMC and hundreds of others big and small. You could get paid anything from 50k/mth to 100,00 to 200,000 nt/mth depending on experience and skillset.
There are also foreign companies that sell equipment to local semiconductor manufacturers, they might be a good bet.
You could get a postdoc/RA academic position, I think they should pay 32-35ntd/mth at least, not worth it, also possible to look at lecturing opps.

Yes, there are jobs out there for you in Taiwan in the IT field.
It can be anywhere from an editor for an IT company (tech manuals, pamphlets, etc.) to an IT salesman who attends overseas tech shows (like the big ones in Las Vegas and Germany), to even on the manufacturing side if you are able to find the right “in”.
As mentioned above, there’s the biggies TSMC and UMC in semiconductor manufacturing, but then there’s tons of other fields as well that Taiwan leads in or has a decent global market share: optoelectronics (LED panels, etc.), notebooks (Acer, Asustek), IC design companies (like Mediatek) or so-called fabless IC houses as they send their products to TSMC and UMC for those 2 to manufacture for them, and many many other IT industries. I could go on, but you probably get the jist of it.
Been in Taiwan nearly 2 decades and I’ve met all kinds of foreigners in the IT industry working for Taiwan firms, with many of them having started at the ground floor. Once you get into the IT job loop in Taiwan, it then becomes very easy to move on to other better opportunities in the sector. The Hsin-Chu Science Park (like Silicon Valley) is a virtual haven of IT workers passing on job information to each other and doing all kinds of job networking.
At NT$40-60,000 per month, if you live right (there’s still cheap rent to be found for a single person even in Taipei area) and don’t spend it all on Taipei’s nightlife, you can save at least half of that or more, even after Taiwan taxes are paid.

Can PM me with specific questions or to help fill in some blanks, as there’s all kinds of IT sub-sectors that Taiwan leads the world in or is in the top 10 that many aren’t aware of.