According to UNESCO, Japan spends around 3.4 percent of its annual budget on research and development, making it one of the world leaders in the field. However, the Japanese workforce has been shrinking for the past few decades, leading to an employee shortage. The good news, however, is that there are now a lot of opportunities for foreign engineers. Let’s have a closer look at:

  1. Engineering jobs that are in demand in Japan
  2. How to find an engineering job in Japan
  3. How to navigate your visa as an engineer in Japan

Japan’s Changing Workscape

For decades, Japan built its economy on research, development, and production – think mega-corporations like Sony or Honda producing cars or electronics. However, the rise of the internet and other technologies means that things have changed greatly in the past 30 years. There is now an effort to move from this traditional model to one that is more inclusive of start-up culture and innovation.

1. Engineering Jobs That Are in Demand in Japan

There are a number of industries that are actively scouting for foreign talent, for example:

  • Construction
  • Computer & information technology
  • Biotechnology
  • Transportation
  • Robotics

As you’ve surely noticed, many of these industries are technology based. Although there are opportunities for any sort of engineer in Japan, web-based services and the development of new software are particularly in demand. Companies are really looking for:

  • System engineers
  • Software engineers
  • Full-stack developers
  • DevOps Engineers
  • Data Scientists

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2. How to Find an Engineering Job in Japan

There are a few things to consider when looking for an engineering job in Japan, such as:

  1. Qualifications and experience
  2. Freelance or full-time?
  3. Applying
  4. Japanese proficiency

1. Qualifications and Experience

Almost all companies in Japan will require a bachelor’s degree, at minimum. If you have ten years of experience, however, this requirement may be waived.

If you don’t have a degree or experience, taking the ITPEC exam is a third option.

Freelance or Full-Time?

The next question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to work full-time or as a freelancer. Both, of course, have their advantages and disadvantages.

2. Applying

So your qualifications are in order – where can you find a job?

  • The Inbound Technology job board has a lot of great positions
  • LinkedIn is another great resource for connecting with potential employers.

Japanese Proficiency

Although it’s becoming less of a hurdle, many companies may still require you to speak Japanese. If you’re looking to learn, check out our article on what your options are.

3. How to Navigate Your Visa as an Engineer in Japan

Once you’ve secured a position, you will need a visa. The process will differ depending on whether you’re already in the country or not.

If You’re Not in Japan Yet

In order to get your visa, you’ll need to hand the following documents in at your local Japanese embassy:

  • An application form for a certificate of eligibility
  • Your passport
  • A photocopy of your passport photo page
  • A visa application
  • A passport-sized photo (taken within the last six months)
  • A copy of your resume
  • Copies of your educational certificates
  • A document that shows you’ve accepted a job with a company based in Japan.

Please note that each individual situation is different and that more documents may be required. Check with both your future employer and your local Japanese embassy.

If You’re Already in Japan

If you need advice on how to renew your visa, our article on getting a visa as a freelance engineer in Japan has lots of great information.

Need More Help?

Inbound Technology is here for you. Our friendly career advisors are standing by to help here, or on LinkedIn.