Working in Cambodia

A guide to working in the stunning and fascinating nation of Cambodia.

Cambodia is becoming a popular destination for Western travellers because it has a stunning and diverse natural landscape, it has friendly people, it has enjoyed a rich and varied history and offers up a whole host of exciting and fantastic experiences to enjoy.

Many of those who visit Cambodia for an extended period of time fall in love with the country and its people. They are determined to work to help the nation and either settle down or later return to work in Cambodia.

For people with a dream of helping the country and its citizens to progress, there are various vacancies available annually for aid and charity workers, as well as extensive job openings for teachers. An alternative to these industries for employment for expats is the tourism industry which is growing rapidly and bolstering the economy – this fact means that tourism is now helping to stabilise Cambodia, and therefore jobs in Cambodia for Westerners can be found mainly in tourism, education or charity fields.

Anyone thinking about moving to live for a while in this fascinating and stunning country and who would like to know more specifics about the types of jobs available in Cambodia that expatriates usually take should find useful tips and insider advice in this article.

As stated tourism, charity work and education are the main employment sectors for expats, but in recent months a significant amount of exploration has revealed extensive oil and natural gas reserves in the territorial waters of Cambodia. This means it could be an alternative field of employment that will likely open up to external Western contractors in the future.

In the meantime, anyone determined to find employment in Cambodia will find it difficult to source anything remotely unless the individual in questions approaches a recruitment company specialist in either the field in which they wish to work, or in the country of Cambodia itself. An alternative is to directly make contact with the aid agencies who work in Cambodia, or international agencies which employ teaching staff for the country’s schools.

In terms of teaching jobs there’s one big complaint that you will hear from all those working in the education industry. That is the level of pay is very low and consequently the standard of living that teachers can aspire to in Cambodia is correspondingly low – however, you have to stop and ask yourself why you would want to teach in Cambodia in the first place. Surely those who commit to teaching in schools in Phnom Penh or even in smaller towns such as Battambang aren’t in it for the money!

The whole thing about working in a country like Cambodia is gaining invaluable life experience, at the same time as enjoying the travel and adventure that goes hand in hand with working abroad.

Teachers often find employment in one of the international schools located in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh or in one of the language schools dotted across the country. Others work alongside Khmer teachers in provincial schools, mainly teaching English or teaching other key subjects through the medium of English.

When it comes to the better paying end of the scale of jobs available in Cambodia, the charities and aid agency employees are relatively well remunerated which means that the standard of living they can enjoy is also correspondingly good. Having said that no job in Cambodia is going to make an employee particularly wealthy, in fact, the main criteria that anyone who is committed to working in Cambodia should have is a desire to assist rather than to take and to facilitate development and improvement.

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