Part-time jobs are quite popular in Japan and available even for foreigners or those who don’t speak the language fluently. If you’re in the market for some employment, this guide will explain everything you need to know about a baito.
How to find a “baito” in Japan
What is a baito?
“Baito” is short for arubaito アルバイト, taken from the German word “arbeit” referring to part-time or casual work. It is said that almost 75% of foreigners can easily get a part-time job in Japan, so the whole process is quite rewarding.
Know these limitations of a part-time job
Before jumping in and sending your resume to all prospective employers, it is crucial to consider certain legalities regarding your stay in Japan and how this affects your employment.
If you are a student visa holder or dependent visa holder in Japan, you must get permission from the Japanese immigration office to engage in casual work. Furthermore, these visa holders can only work 28 hours per week (up to 40 hours during long holidays), while students have stricter limitations such as being prohibited from adult entertainment-related work (e.g., hostess bars or host clubs, pachinko parlors, love hotels, adult stores or massage parlors).
It is recommended to thoroughly check the field and duration of work your visa allows to avoid penalties such as deportation. The kind of work you can apply for is also limited to your visa type. For example, work visas and cultural activities visa holders can only apply for part-time jobs fitting their visa category. One must first find a part-time job and then apply for permission to take on that job.
Another possible limitation job-seekers might encounter is the level of Japanese proficiency required for the job. A popular part-time job is language teachers because those who are fluent or native in English (or another language) can work in academies, schools, or tutoring companies and make use of their proficiency in teaching Japanese as their language. These jobs often require only a basic grasp of Japanese for conversing with staff and so on.
Other fields that require basic to zero Japanese proficiency are kitchen positions and warehouse staff work. Meanwhile, jobs that require frequent interaction with locals, such as convenience store staff, restaurant food or bar attendant, or front-desk receptionist, will need a higher level of Japanese. The level of Japanese is usually mentioned in the job requirements of the listing for reference.
How to get started
Once you have your special work permit, called “Shikakugai-katsudokyoka” (Engaging in Activities Other than Status Qualification), it is time to accomplish the requirements of the employers before you can get started. Once is obtaining your My Number, which will serve as your social security and tax number. This enables the government to track your working hours and ensure that there are no violations.
Other requirements include having a Japanese phone number for efficient communication with the company, your residence card or passport, which serves as proof to your employer that you are staying in Japan legally, and a Japanese bank book where your salary would be deposited. Perhaps the easiest bank to get approval is Yuucho (Japan Post Bank).
Lastly, you will need a resume, known as rirekisho (履歴書), containing your educational background, work experience, and basic identification details. Take note that a rirekisho is quite rigid and follows a certain format, so there’s little to no room for customization. It is also submitted in Japanese, so you might need to get a Japanese friend to fill it in for you or use pre-made templates on the internet as a guide. ]
Top sites for part-time jobs in Japan
There are many websites that offer jobs to foreigners and locals, some with specializations, such as the type of vacancies posted, and some are limited to the location. Here are some to get you started.
- Yolo Japan – a fully-English site that offers a variety of jobs not often seen at other sites
- Nihon Arubaito – allows you to input keywords and choose your own job, plus offers jobs throughout Japan
- Japan Job Seekers – caters more to students looking for part-time work in Tokyo
- Baitoru – A Japanese site with a vast pool of vacancies
- Jobs in Japan – mainly offers English teaching positions across Japan
- GaijinPot – features more highly-skilled positions
Other ways to find a baito
Did you know that there is a government agency specifically for helping people find a job and even offers some benefits if you become unemployed but have paid into the employment insurance scheme?
There are many Employment Service Centers, also known as Hello Work, across Japan which help job seekers find some work. Hello Work also has foreign language services to help ease the process of job hunting. Here is the process for applying through Hello Work.
If you have higher Japanese proficiency, you don’t need to look far for a job because restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments often have a poster on the walls looking for arubaito staff.
Part-time salary range
The salary of part-time work varies depending on the kind of work, although the pay should not be lower than the minimum wage of the area. Salaries can range from ¥900 to ¥3,000 per hour. Check out the following link for the minimum wage for each prefecture.
That concludes all the major details needed for finding a part-time job in Japan. As mentioned earlier, the percentage rate for success is quite high, so you will get a job soon!