How high are our chances to score a decent job in Taipei?


Actually December is when the Big Companies strat recruiting here, as most people do the job hopping on Lunar New Year.


Sorry for co-opting somebody else’s thread, but I was hoping to ask about this, and didn’t want to add yet another “will I be able to find a job in Taiwan?” thread to the list.

Is it really as bad as all that, these days? I’m planning on coming to Taiwan in January to look for a job at a cram school. I’ve done a fair amount of reading about the job prospects but it’s hard to tell how relevant articles and posts written in 2009 or even 2014 are to the situation now, and I’m getting pretty conflicting reports anyway. Everything from “the buxiban industry is dead, almost nobody’s hiring and the only places that are hiring are sausage factories” to “it’s not idyllic or anything, but in the short term if you dress well, hit the pavement and hand out resumes and are willing to work hard, you can make a reasonable living for a while.” I’m not sure what to believe, and threads like this are spooking me a little!

(For reference, I’m a white American male with a bachelor’s, a background in languages and some informal teaching experience but I’ve never worked in Asia before.)

Thanks in advance to anybody who responds, and sorry if this is a derail.


The OP is (as I understand it) a German national. The quote you copied from Icon is in direct response to that point and is not relevant to your situation as a US national.

The OP also mentioned he’s targeting “creative industries, premium and luxury goods” and the like. Given what you’ve stated in your post, you would be better off checking out posts in this forum:

Good luck to you!



David, if you would have a Mechanical Engineering degree with HVAC and MEP background and 10 Years working experience, you would be welcome to send me your resume. I saw many, not All of the comments above and of course some of them are very subjective. Your Chinese knowledge is for sure good to make an impact. Keep learning is anyway a daily habit. A visit in Taiwan would be good before making up your mind. Some of the “foreigners” (British, German, American, French, Russian or or or) just come to Taiwan to learn Chinese and in the meanwhile look for a job. Some of my friends are more serious about a proper job, some less…
You just need to make up your mind, brainstorm with your wife about the possibilities and then decide which way to go…
kind regards, schoene Gruesse and wish you both good Luck


Have you been to Taipei before? In all honesty I would suggest maybe try visiting Taipei for a month or two without burning your bridges in Berlin.

Having worked (technical writing) in Berlin and then in Taipei, I experienced a significant drop in my standard of living / quality of life after moving from Berlin to Taipei.


I’d say the same thing about moving here from the USA.


Could you expand on that? Is this because of a worse pay to expenses ratio? Why did you go to Taiwan if that was the case?


I am a dinosaur. I remember the times when a person could stay in Taiwan if they wanted to for up to six months , with two sixty day extensions at the local precinct as long as they had a job. And companies were not restricted from hiring foreigners.

That was definitely the last century. Today, Taiwan is a place where tons of young Taiwanese people have MBAs and other advanced degrees and are working for very modest salaries. So there is a huge pool of “acceptable” talent for most enterprises.

The island is one of the most crowded places on earth. Supporting some 23 million people on a rock 300 miles long by 100 miles at its widest with two thirds of that mountains.

Competitive? Yes, very. With laws making it very hard for companies to hire foreigners, the days of rocking in to Taiwan and just job hunting is not usually workable, EXCEPT for those intending (and qualified , with the “right” passport) to teach English. Basically all other professions, you would be hard pressed to D-Day over here and expect to be gainfully and legally employed in a NON English teaching job in any quick time frame.

The laws are geared against companies hiring foreign passport holders except companies with a lot of pain in capital and then only for people highly specialized and qualified. WE are talking White Collar here folks.

Given all that, perhaps a good course of action (unless one had a huge stash of cash to draw from where you could spend years just doing visa runs and being opportunist) would be to contact the big Taiwan companies in the field you want to work in. See if you can get solid interest and interview over the internet and line up a suitable job before you got to the rock to stay.

Of course, best to visit for at least a month and just rove around the cities and the rest of the rock and gain a deeper understanding of IF you really want to Lunar Module onto the surface. If you do, make sure you have enough juice to lift off back the heck out if things get unworkable. And they most likely will .

Taiwan is a niche place . It is no Singapore or Pre China HOng Kong.

It is suitable for the young college grad with the right passport to goof around Taiwan and Asia for a couple of years. And unless that said person plans to marry a local and just feels at home on the rock, it will eventually sour.

You really have to be at least half Taiwanese in fact or at least in spirit and MIND to go long term on the rock.

Other then that just get in and get out. Do what it is you want to do, learn what it is you want to learn and high tail it out of Dodge when mission accomplished.

Taiwan is like eVA Airways. They train the young foreign pilots, make em work and then the pilots boot on out to other countries and other airlines once they have the experience and “time” under their belt.

Taiwan can be a great LEARNING experience. But it’s the dark side of the moon. Do you REALLY want to live there long term? Probably not, unless its in your BLOOD or you have been there long enough to be more Taiwanese then otherwise.

But if you have the funds and the inclination , by all means ADVENTURE away.


The pay in Taiwan appears ok. However, Taiwan proved harder than I expected to save money. Things appear cheap in Taiwan, but all the little trips to 7/11, takeout food, buying water etc add up. I just could not save decent money like in Germany or UK.

Then when you factor all the other stuff like air/noise/people pollution its not so rosy a place to live long term and you will end up wondering “why bother?”. Taipei looks pretty glam in the pictures of 101 and skyline, but in reality it is still dominated by overcrowded disjointed sidewalks you cant really walk on, dodgy-oil fried food joints and the never ending scooters and scooter repair shops.

If you have nothing much going on in your home country then 100% yes dive in and give Taiwan a go. But if it means leaving a good gig back home - think carefully and if possible try it for a couple of months first without leaving your current job.


That’s very interesting because most of my friends who have come over from EU or the UK have stated the opposite. However, most of them were on expat packages and didn’t pay for more than half of their living expenses.

You’re right about 7-11 trips. They do add up and convenient stores are not the cheapest option. A bottle of sports drink at 7-11 is a solid 25NT, but right next door at PX-Mart it’s 19NT. Those triple decker sandwiches that are 23-25NT are normally sold for 15-20NT at breakfast shops.


Biggest problem is low pay. There are other issues like working environment, career development but low pay is the killer for saving.
If one can score a high paying job it’s easy street to save money!
Now I’m on reasonable money and loathe to return to Europe because I’d be down a lot in savings due to higher tax and living expenses.


the actual tax rates seem comparable to those in the EU once you make decent money, so I’m not sure you’d save more in Taiwan because of that

I’m guessing health care and social security might be more expense in the EU though

when it comes to daily living expenses, many places in the EU are surprisingly affordable


You found a decrease in standard of living coming from the US to Taipei?! Holy cow. I don’t know what kind of set up you had in the US, but I find quality of life to be far better in Taipei. Better public transportation (better public EVERYTHING, really), cheaper rent, cheaper food, WAY cheaper healthcare, cheaper domestic help, cheaper massages, lower crime, lower taxes, politer people, better looking women (on average), more value placed on science/education/intellectualism, more value placed on democracy (especially recently), etc. I’d give the US an edge for air quality, price of clothing, gourmet burgers, and craft beer, but not much else.


Just for reference, 90 per cent of Taiwanese want to change jobs after Chinese New Year, menaing they grab their bonuses and jump boats. They believe changing jobs will lead to better salaries.

That also means 40% dissatisfaction with the job environment.

According to the results, 88.9 percent of the employees polled said that they plan to find a new job, the highest level since 2010, when the figure stood at 90.3 percent, mostly in the hope of higher remuneration.

In addition, 40.9 percent said they are downbeat about the outlook of their current jobs, 32.4 percent said they have no chance of promotion, 29.8 percent said their current jobs fail to allow them to use their talents, and 27.2 percent said they are dissatisfied with their current bonuses.


Absolutely correct!!

Currently I live in Sydney Australia. I have been in Taipei twice. It was such a nice experience. people are so polite and friendly. I really want to find a work and move to there.


Ummm… That is just the surface. Let’s see if your opinion stays the same when they tell you they don’t give non taiwanese credit cards, you have difficulty renting a place or you get backstabbed at work constantly.


Who says they don’t give credit cards to foreigners? I wish someone would inform my banker of that so he’d stop trying to push one on me every damned time I go in there. (I prefer to just use my Taiwanese debit card and American credit card, but I know tons of foreigners with Taiwanese credit cards.)

I find it quite easy to rent places here-- easier than some major cities in the US, actually.

Backstabbing at work can happen anywhere. That says more about your employer and coworkers than it does about a nation.

If you’re that unhappy here, why not go back to the US?


Nah, income taxes are much higher in most European countries. Then you got to include VAT at 20% and higher social and health contributions. Then add in higher car insurance and fuel costs . Add in way higher rent in big cities, double in many cases.
Only places Taiwan is more costly are groceries and some international brands and imported cars really.




Spoken like a true redneck. I didn’t even know nonredneck was from the US, until you mentioned it.