Cambodia is on the rise as an expat destination. Many industries are now moving their operations into the country from nearby China and the economy continues to grow. Government endeavours to develop local industry and encourage foreign investment mean that acquiring a work visa is comparatively easier than in some other Southeast Asian countries and once obtained it can be renewed indefinitely.
As an expatriate in Cambodia, looking for work will be easiest in the two main cities, the capital Phnom Penh in the south and Siem Reap in the north.There are two distinct types of jobs available in Cambodia. Casual work helping out in bars, restaurants and guesthouses is readily available, but you cannot expect to earn a great deal. The demand for English language teachers also means that informal teaching positions can be found. However, an English teacher, with a CELTA qualification or similar, can expect to earn considerably more than someone without experience.
Diversity can already be found in Cambodian workplaces, with foreign nationals moving with multinational companies. Skilled professionals can expect a higher rate of pay, but transferring within such an organisation is the only way to ensure a competitive salary; don’t expect to just turn up in the country and find work with one.
The demand for technical skills is also on the rise in Cambodia, in order to develop existing businesses and meet international standards. More importance is placed upon a candidate having the appropriate skill set rather than certificates and degrees. Within the professional industries, most jobs require a good command of written and spoken English, even for Cambodian employees. But be forewarned, a vacancy cannot be filled by an expatriate if a Cambodian with the necessary skills can be found. Most organisations, however, do not have a limit on the number of foreigner workers that they can employ.