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Singapore - Expat Jobs and Careers

What is available for expats? Portable careers and telecommuting are bringing more opportunity to trailing spouses who wish to continue having a professioanl life after following the partner's career move abroad. Let's explore!

The very large expatriate community creates its own employment opportunities in the fields of health, education and other services. The American Association has set up Career Resource Centre for Expatriates (CRCE), which specializes in helping trailing spouses to find employment.

  • Career Resource Centre for Expatriates (CRCE)
    American Association of Singapore
    c/o American Club
    21 Scotts Road
    Singapore 228219
    Tel: +65 6733 4257
    Email [email protected]

This centre provides employment links between organizations and individuals. Membership is open to all nationalities at a cost of  $100 per year including membership of the American Association. Members have access to an emailed job list and the resource centre. A one-time, free career counselling session is included. Regular coffee mornings and seminars are held with talks on topics such as writing a resume, networking and setting up a small business.

The types of jobs available through CRCE include part-time and full-time positions and often target people with European or Asian language skills. Types of jobs include:

  • Sales, marketing, public relations
  • Education-language teachers, kindergarten teachers, tutors, swimming instructors
  • Librarians
  • Office administration
  • Massage therapists, personal trainers
  • Catering, chefs
  • Accounting and finance
  • Relocation

Other jobs exist in the fields of health and education.

Trailing spouses usually find their best employment opportunities are with foreign-owned companies or companies run by other expatriates. Large Singaporean companies have managerial and business practices that are similar to foreign-owned companies. However, small to medium-sized Singapore companies may not have very good work environments. Many expect employees to work long hours.

Links for information on business registrations, licenses and permits, networking, taxation etc.

Portable careers

Portable careers are defined as all sorts of activities that do not require you to be in a geographical location. Therefore the list, thanks to the advent of the internet, is becoming quite a long one:

  • writing/editing
  • translation
  • consulting
  • artist (painting, sculpting etc.)
  • computer graphics
  • web design 
    With excellent internet connections and the availability of all the latest computer hardware and software, Singapore is an excellent place to pursue these kinds of careers.

Singapore visa and work permit requirements do not necessarily stop foreigners from easily setting up small businesses in their own homes or in a small office.
Teaching English or any language for that matter is another career that you could pursue in Singapore and take with you to other Asian destinations.


It didn't exist a few years ago, but with the advent of the internet, the possibility arose of being available to a company by remote access. Telecommuting is also a relatively new career choice for many people. 

This geographical freedom does not necessarily apply across country borders and thus there is a grey area.
This is a subject which needs further feedback from anyone who has experienced telecommuting, in order to avoid nasty surprises for those who plan working in a different country from their employer. At present, we are unaware of enough examples to scrutinise and advise.

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