Careers & Jobs in Cambodia : The Essentials

Read our guide to looking for a career and jobs in Cambodia.

Work work work, you thought you’d left that all behind right? Well if you are reading this then you have realised you are wrong, very wrong. If you are planning to stay in Cambodia for a while and you don’t have a limitless pot of gold you will need to start searching through available jobs in Cambodia.

But where to start? Well luckily for you Cambodia Begins at 40 has had quite a lot of experience in various jobs in Cambodia over the years and here is our snap shot of where to start and what to expect.

Hospitality Jobs in Cambodia

If you have been having a great time back packing around and are looking for ways to keep the party train rolling then the most obvious thing is to look for work in a bar or hostel. There are tons and tons of these jobs in Cambodia up for grabs every year and many come with free accommodation plus food and drink. The best places are probably to head to the islands or Siem Reap but there are some options available in Phnom Penh as well.

The F&B sector in Cambodia, however, has changed in recent years with the emergence of five-star hotels in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh as well as excellent quality restaurants. Cambodia is a country where you can develop a career in hospitality rather than just partying.

Teaching English in Cambodia

Teaching English in Cambodia can be rewarding
Teaching English in Cambodia can be rewarding

Many people either come to Cambodia to teach English or teach English in order to continue their stay in the country. However, just like with the hospitality sector the market is changing. Gone are the days when all you had to be was a native English teacher in order to land a job, employers are becoming more demanding.

It pays to obtain a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification which will give you the basics when it comes to teaching English. There is a program currently operating in Phnom Penh here. One of the advantages of getting such a qualification is that you can use it anywhere in the world should you decide to move on from Cambodia. If you are considering moving to Cambodia you might wish to obtain your TEFL qualification before leaving home. Cambodia Begins at 40 founder Mark Bibby Jackson obtained his CELTA TEFL qualification in Berlin before departing for Southeast Asia – and look where he has ended up.

Alternatively, you might wish to teach at one of the many international schools in Cambodia such as Invictus International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP), Northbridge International School Cambodia and the French International School.  To teach here you really should have an internationally verified teacher’s qualification. We recommend that you contact the schools about requires qualifications and joc and career prospects.

Finally, you might consider teaching at one of the universities. If you have the prerequisite qualifications or experience you might just find this a great career opportunity.

Teaching English can be one of the most rewarding jobs in Cambodia especially if you enjoy helping others learn, you will find Khmer students to be attentive and very much fascinated in their foreign teacher so enjoy the experience as you may make friends for life.

Working for an NGO

Although the NGO sector is nowhere near as all-pervasive than a decade or so again, it till presents a great avenue for finding a job in Cambodia.

Many development professionals and consultants choose to establish their base in Cambodia partially due to the career prospects but also due to the excellent lifestyle.

While you might be able to find some work volunteering in Cambodia, we do recommend that if you are serious about working in the development sector that you acquire appropriate qualifications. Also, beware of any organisation that offers voluntourism, especially those that allow tourists to visit orphanages – this is an exploitative and dangerous practice.

It pays to carry out proper research before you start working or volunteering for any organisation in Cambodia.

Recruitment Consultants in Cambodia
Internet in Cambodia
You could start your own business in Cambodia

If neither of these sounds like you, then the good news is that there are recruitment and employment agencies in Phnom Penh that can suggest the right employment opportunity for your skillset. Although generally opportunities for foreigners are few and far between it is always worth a shot. As always, the greater your qualification and experience then the greater likelihood of you finding the perfect job in Cambodia. It might well be worth your while to get in touch with the highly respected Top Recruitment consultancy. At the very least they should be able to give you an idea of the current job prospects in Cambodia.

Start Your Own Business in Cambodia

Starting your own business is certainly a challenging and rewarding experience here in Cambodia but there are a few things to consider before you go running off to change the world.

Do you have enough capital behind you? How well do you know Cambodia and its culture? Are you aware of the rules in regards to Cambodian labour law? Are you aware of which ministries you need to register your company with? How to apply for a VAT patent?

There are so many things to take into consideration before you jump into your start up. Cambodia can be a fairly relaxed country but trust us when we tell you that making sure you are properly registered for tax & VAT is an absolute must. You would never dream of cutting corners back home so we advise you to not cut corners here or you will be caught.

For more information about this consult our Cambodia Business page.

Let the adventure begin.