Have you always dreamt of broadening your horizons and leaving The States? Keep reading to find out how to get a job in Japan for Americans. We’ll tell you about:

  1. Jobs in Japan for Americans
  2. Where to find jobs in Japan for Americans

How to Get a Japanese Work Visa

Once you’ve been offered a job in Japan, your new employers should provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility. Next, simply submit it, along with your passport, application form, and passport photos, to your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate General.

1. Jobs in Japan for Americans

Let’s start off by looking at which industries offer the most opportunities for native English speakers. Keep in mind that you’ll need at least an undergraduate degree to obtain a valid working visa.

The Tech Industry

As the government aims to turn Tokyo into a startup hubopportunities for foreign tech professionals are increasing. More companies are also willing to work in English, which means the tech industry is one of the easiest industries for Americans to work in.

The ESL (English Second language) Industry

Arguably most native English speakers in Japan work in the ESL industry. The industry is further divided into two sections:

  • Language schools (eikaiwa 英会話) where students study English after school or work. This means you’ll likely teach a wide range of age groups, from kindergarteners to businesspeople. Work hours are usually in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Some of the best-known language schools are Gaba, Nova, and Berlitz.
  • ALTs (Assistant language teachers) work at elementary, junior high, or senior high schools. The work hours coincide with the school day, so you’ll typically have weekends off. If this appeals to you, we recommend applying for the government’s JET programme. You can also apply through a dispatch (third party) company such as Interac.

We help tech professionals

With World in Pro, you will find:

  • English-language jobs – No need for Japanese proficiency.
  • A variety of job openings – Work for top tech companies and startups in Japan.
  • International applications accepted – Find a job before arriving in Japan.

2. Where to Find Jobs in Japan for Americans

Now that you know what your options are, let’s look at where to actually apply for work. There are a number of ways to go about job hunting in Japan.


Your best bet is to apply and interview online for a job before heading to Japan. This means that once you have a job offer, you can apply for a valid working visa before entering the country. Start by taking a look at the job listings on the following websites: 

In Person

We’ve seen that it’s much easier to enter Japan with a job and work visa already lined up. However, there are other routes you could take. You could, for example, start out on a student or designated activities visa, and switch further down the line. Job hunting on a tourist visa is also possible, but the time constraints mean it’s not recommended.

PRO TIP: The engineer/specialist in humanities/international services visa category is the most practical and flexible. It covers language teaching and engineering, as well as translation, interpreting, and copywriting, to name a few.

Recruitment Companies

Living and working in a new country can be overwhelming, but going through a recruitment company can help bridge the linguistic and cultural divides. World in Pro is a service that helps American tech professionals find jobs in Japan. Sign up today to gain access to lots of great opportunities. 

Want to Work in the Japanese Tech Industry?

Inbound Technology helps American engineers find work with Japanese companies. Get in touch with an English-speaking career advisor here or on LinkedIn.