Work in Singapore

Singapore is recognized as having one of the most stable economies in the world, in addition to having a high standard of living, lucrative salaries, and being one of the "Asian Tiger" economies along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. Find out more about the employment o

As a result of the eagerness of local employers to acquire the skills of international workers, local recruiters are offering competitive salaries in the hopes of luring in those workers. In point of fact, Singapore is home to one of the highest densities of millionaires in the world, with 8.8% of the country's population owning assets worth more than one million dollars in the United States. In addition, despite its reputation for being both safe and efficient, Singapore has a reputation for being quite crowded. When you add all of these factors together with Singapore's high standard of living and its welcoming multicultural society, it becomes clear why Singapore is so popular among graduates looking for work.

In your spare time, you'll be able to take advantage of your location in what is commonly referred to as the gateway to Asia by flying or sailing to neighboring countries and exploring places such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia.

Jobs in Singapore

Singapore is consistently ranked highly on global rankings of countries with the least amount of corruption, in addition to having a prosperous free-market economy. The unemployment rate is extremely low at 2.6%. Because exports are so important to the economy of this country, its port is consistently ranked as one of the busiest in the world.

The economy of the nation is heavily reliant on a variety of exports, including processed food and beverages, electronic goods, chemicals, scientific instruments, pharmaceuticals, and scientific instruments, as well as the transportation, business, and financial service sectors.

Workers in Singapore can be Chinese, Malay, or Indian, in addition to being made up of expatriates from all over the world. This makes Singapore's labor force one of the most multicultural in the world.

Despite the fact that the government has taken steps to lessen the country's reliance on foreign labor, particularly in unskilled roles, Singapore continues to be an open and diverse society, which is one of the reasons why it attracts a large number of international workers with graduate degrees.

Some examples of international businesses with a presence in Singapore are as follows:

  • Accenture
  • AXA
  • BNP Paribas
  • Citibank
  • Deloitte
  • Deutsche Bank
  • EY
  • ExxonMobil
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Johnson Johnson
  • KPMG
  • Novartis
  • PwC
  • Proctor Gamble
  • Shell
  • Siemens.


  • chemicals
  • electronics
  • financial services
  • processed food and beverages
  • ship repair
  • telecommunications equipment

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Skills shortages

According to the results of a survey conducted by the Manpower Group in 2021 entitled "Talent Shortage," employers in Singapore have reported that it is difficult for them to find candidates who possess the appropriate blend of hard and soft skills.

According to the findings of the report, the following industries are currently facing a shortage of talent:

  • operations and logistics
  • sales and marketing
  • manufacturing and production
  • IT and data
  • front of office and customer service.

How to get a job in Singapore

There are a lot of websites that let you look for work and apply for it online, so you don't even have to be physically present in the country to submit your application for a job. For instance, the website Contact Singapore, which is managed by the government, features both its own jobs board and an extensive A-Z listing of other websites that list available positions. Other helpful jobsite examples include the following:

Check the websites of the companies you're interested in working for, though, because the application process can range from sending a cover letter and CV to filling out an application online.

Signing up with recruitment agencies is another effective strategy for finding open positions in Singapore's workforce.

If you aren't currently located in the country, initial interviews may take place over the phone or via video chat. However, you should be aware that large multinational companies may require you to appear in person at an assessment center.

Since English is the predominant language used in commercial settings, both the application process and any subsequent interviews will be conducted in English.

In order to qualify for a work permit, you must first have a job lined up.

Summer jobs

Due to the fact that the nation is a popular tourist destination, it is possible for you to find temporary work in establishments such as hotels, hostels, bars, and restaurants.

If you're aged between 18 and 25, the Singapore Work Holiday Programme allows university students and recent graduates from eight countries, (including the UK), to work in the country for up to six months on a holiday visa.

There are also a plethora of volunteer opportunities available, including working with children and the elderly as well as addressing issues that are prevalent in the local community. You also have the option of participating in projects relating to the protection of animals, the environment, health, social care, sports, or education.

For volunteering opportunities in Singapore, see:

Teaching jobs

Because both education and business in Singapore are conducted in English, if you are a native English speaker or have a high level of proficiency in the language, you will be eligible to teach in the country.

If you want to teach in Singapore's public schools, you'll need to get your application approved by the Ministry of Education there first. However, due to the sizeable expat community, there are also opportunities to teach in international schools. To be eligible for consideration, you will typically need a Bachelor's degree as well as a teaching qualification. The National Institute of Education - Singapore is the sole location in the country that offers initial certification for teachers.

There is a demand for TEFL teachers in spite of the fact that English is a widely spoken language, despite the fact that there are not as many jobs available as there are in other Asian countries. If you want to teach English to speakers of other languages, you will typically need a TEFL certification as well as some experience in the classroom. In order to work for certain companies, you might be required to have a Bachelor's degree.

The new academic year begins in January, and students have the month of June off for summer break. In most cases, the hiring process for teachers begins in the month of July.

It's also possible to teach English in Singapore with the British Council.


The competition for opportunities to gain work experience and internships is extremely fierce. Take the initiative to set up interviews and placements with companies directly. You should send in your resume regardless of whether or not the position has been advertised. You should also make it a habit to regularly check the websites of the companies whose internship programs interest you to see if they have any openings.

InternSG is a useful resource.

You could also complete an internship as part of the Singapore Work Holiday Programme.

In addition, AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) provides students with training and internship opportunities at for-profit and non-profit organisations.

Singaporean visas

A valid work pass or work visa is required of any and all foreign nationals who wish to find employment in Singapore.

There are many different passes; the one that you require will depend on the conditions you are in and the level of your expertise. The following are categories of passes:

  • Employment Pass - for foreign professionals, managers and executives. You'll need to earn at least 4,500 Singaporean dollars (£2,469) a month and have acceptable qualifications.
  • EntrePass - for foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start a business in the country.
  • Personalised Employment Pass - for high earners.
  • Work Permit for Migrant Worker - for semi-skilled international workers. For example, those in the construction or manufacturing industries.
  • Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Workers
  • Work Permit for a Performing Artiste
  • S Pass - for mid-level skilled workers. You'll need to earn at least 2,500 Singaporean dollars (£1,371) a month and meet the assessment criteria.
  • Training Employment Pass - for foreign professionals undergoing practical training.
  • Work Holiday Pass - for students and graduates aged between 18-25 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for six months.
  • Miscellaneous Work Pass - for those taking on a short-term work assignment of up to 60 days.

For more information about passes, eligibility criteria and that of family members, visit the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

If you're not from the UK, contact the Singaporean embassy in your home country for information about work passes, visas and permits.

Language requirements

English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil are the four languages that are recognized as official in Singapore. The majority of Singaporeans are fluent in more than one of these languages. Since English is the language of commerce and education, it will not be difficult for you to communicate if you are a native speaker or have a high level of proficiency in the language.

If English is not your first language, you may find that certain jobs require you to provide evidence that you are proficient in the language.

How to describe your experience and skills to potential employers

Since degrees earned in the United Kingdom are generally acknowledged around the world and the educational system in Singapore is highly reminiscent of the British one, justifying your education should not be difficult.

Employers in Singapore are accustomed to dealing with applicants who have qualifications from other countries due to the cosmopolitan nature of the country's workforce. However, before submitting your application for a job, you should always confirm this information with the employer.

Visit ENIC-NARIC if you want more information on how qualifications are recognized in the workplace.

What it's like to work in Singapore

The vast majority of commercial enterprises are open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, and for half a day on Saturday; however, working five days per week is becoming an increasingly common practice.

The number of vacation days given to workers ranges from seven to fourteen, depending on how long they have been with the company and their level of seniority. In addition, the following holidays are observed nationally:

  • New Year's Day
  • Chinese New Year (two days)
  • Good Friday
  • Labour Day
  • Vesak Day
  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • National Day
  • Hari Raya Haji
  • Deepavali
  • Christmas Day.

Bear in mind that while salaries are competitive the cost of living in Singapore is high when compared to other Asian countries.

For more information on working conditions, visit the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower (MOM) - Employment practices.

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Orizu Ebube

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