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How to Do Arubaito (アルバイト) in Japan

Updated: Mar 31

Arubaito (アルバイト) is a Japanese loan word from German, arbeit, meaning part-time work. It is common for Japanese people to do part-time jobs, especially college students. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (February 2022), part-timers make up almost 24% of all workers in Japan.

Arubaito, or often shortened baito, is also common among foreigners in Japan. Japan Student Services Organization (Jasso) estimated that 70.4% of privately financed international students do part-time jobs.

Visa and Work Restriction

According to the residence status, you have to go through different processes to work part-time. Student visa and dependent visa holders have to get permission from the Japanese immigration office. To apply, you have to submit the Application for Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted form before finding a job.

Students and dependent visa holders can only work 28 hours per week. However, students have stricter limitations as they are not allowed to work in adult entertainment services. They also have to prioritize their studies and use the money solely to support their study and living expenses. Failure to oblige may end up with deportation.

Work visa and cultural activities visa holders have to pick part-time jobs that fit their visa category. Cultural activities visa holders have to submit applications individually for the job. The flow is to find a part-time job first and then apply for permission. Work visa holders can do part-time jobs immediately, as long as it falls within their visa category.

Part-Time Salary

By working part-time, you can make JPY 900 to JPY 3,000 per hour, depending on what kind of the job and where you work. The minimum wage is different across the country. Urban cities have higher minimum wages compared to rural areas. However, the living cost in urban areas is also higher.

Based on Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (2021) data, minimum wage in Japan ranges from JPY820 to JPY1,041 per hour. Tokyo has the highest minimum wage per hour, while Okinawa has the lowest number. General labor workers usually earn a little above the minimum wage.

Required Japanese level

If you just came to Japan and have limited Japanese proficiency, don't worry. There are part-time jobs that don't require Japanese skills at all–although you will find more opportunities if you have at least conversational skills. Here are 7 popular part-time jobs among international residents in Japan.

  • Language teacher

As a foreigner, your native language will always be an advantage in Japan. There are a lot of language teaching jobs, and it's not only English. It also pays quite well, particularly if you teach languages other than English.

Salary: ¥1,000 - ¥2,800 per lesson

Japanese Skill: Basic to No Japanese

  • Kitchen staff

While working as a waiter will require conversational Japanese, you only need basic Japanese to work as kitchen staff. You just have to interact with fellow workers, so limited Japanese is acceptable. You will also get a chance to improve your Japanese skill here.

Salary: ¥900 - ¥1,100 an hour

Japanese Skill: Basic to No Japanese

  • Warehouse staff

Jobs in warehouses are usually about manufacturing-related work such as assembly, processing, inspection, packing, sorting, picking, and quality inspection. It won't be hard to find openings because of the high demand for this role.

Salary: ¥1,100 - ¥1,500 an hour

Japanese Skill: Basic to No Japanese

  • Fast food delivery

If you prefer moving around instead of working indoors, you might like to work in fast food delivery. The companies usually provide the vehicles, but it will require a driving license. If you don’t have one, some companies also accept cyclists.

Salary: ¥1,000 - ¥1,200 an hour

Japanese Skill: Conversational Japanese

A man delivers food on a bicycle

A man delivers food on a bicycle (Pic: Splash)

  • Convenience store

There are more than 55,000 convenience stores across Japan, one of the most in the world. It's a popular choice among international students to work here due to flexible shifts. The convenience store is open 24/7, so the work hour is very adjustable to their class schedule.

Salary: ¥820 - ¥1,300 an hour

Japanese Skill: Conversational Japanese

  • Restaurant/Bar waiter

According to the Lifestyle Survey of Privately Financed International Students 2019 (JASSO), 40.2% of international students work in the food and beverage sector. Some restaurants offer flexible days and hours, so it’s beneficial for students. Another bonus is that these jobs usually have free meals included.

Salary: ¥1,050 - ¥1,300 an hour

Japanese Skill: Conversational Japanese

  • Front desk receptionist

Working as a receptionist in hotels will give you a precious opportunity to learn Japanese hospitality. Bilingual Japanese and English are highly demanded in this position. Hotel management also gladly welcomes other language speakers, such as Chinese and Korean, to promote foreigner-friendly accommodation.

Salary: ¥1,100 - ¥1,200 an hour

Japanese Skill: Fluent Japanese

Guest check-in (Pic: Wix)

  • Translator/interpreter

Translators usually work with written text, while interpreters translate orally. A lot of industries in Japan need a translator or interpreter. For example, gaming industries for localization purposes and medical institutions for patient assistance. The more experience you have, the higher your rate will be.

Salary: ¥1,200 - ¥1,300 an hour

Japanese Skill: Fluent Japanese

How to find part-time jobs in Japan

There are at least three ways to find part-time jobs, especially for foreigners.

  1. Ask people around you. This is the easiest way because not only do you get to know available vacancies, but you will also get testimony from them.

  2. Surf the internet. You can easily google “part-time jobs in Tokyo” and find open vacancies. You can also go directly to job search websites, such as Baitoru, Shift Works, or Nihon Arubaito.

  3. Go to the Employment Service Center (also known as Hello Work), the Japanese government-affiliated agency to help people find a job. They accept foreigners and some sites even offer foreign language services.

The recruiting process usually doesn't take long. Most employers will ask for your resume and/or interview you before taking the job. There is no harm in applying because many companies are willing to train if you don't have experience. Happy job hunting!


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