Online Jobs In Japan
By One Coin English | September 2, 2020
This article on online jobs in Japan is part of our series on jobs in Japan for foreigners.
Finding online jobs in Japan can seem like a challenge unless you know where to look. But the reality is that almost every industry is in demand for remote workers and the market for online Jobs in Japan has been growing. That's why we have created a whole list of places that offer online work for foreigners living in Japan! Below you will find some of the most common (and a few uncommon) Jobs that you can work from your home in Japan.
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Virtual Children’s Tutoring with CareFinder
CareFinder is a site that helps people find baby sitters and tutors for their children. The service has also started providing virtual tutoring for its users who need help with their kids during the pandemic!
Each session is about 30 minutes (group or private) and your main responsibility would be interacting with kids through reading, singing, drawing, storytelling, and more. The nice part about this online job in japan is, other than English, their users can choose different language options such as Japanese, French, Chinese, and German. If you speak any of these other languages it is a good opportunity to put them to use.
Typical salary: 1,500 - 2,000 / 30 min
Any language is welcome and there is no need to be fluent in Japanese or English! CareFinder provides sitters from all over the world!
Online English Teacher: Teaching Adults
A lot of schools and academies are providing online classes to their students since the pandemic started. Online classes and online teachers are getting popular these days, and a lot of students who have got used to it want to keep learning online.
If you’re looking for online jobs in Japan it is good to look into eikaiwas (conversational English schools). Most of the time the class sizes of eikaiwas would be smaller, ranging from 1 on 1 private lessons to small 6 to 8 people groups at most. Support from the schools that you work for can vary but usually, materials for the lessons will be provided. Still, it is always good to check on the specifics with the company so that you can find a place that works for you.
Traditionally eikaiwa lessons take place in person. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, many in-person eikaiwa schools in Tokyo such as our partners at One Coin English, have opened their first completely online school.
There are quite a few differences from in-person schools and online schools, so be sure to get familiar with the challenges and technology that comes with online teaching. You will need to have all the necessary equipment such as a good computer, microphone, webcam and most importantly stable wifi. One big positive about online teaching though is since online schools provide lessons all over Japan, it also gives you a nice opportunity to meet people from different prefectures as well!
Typical salary: 1,200 - 2,500 / hour
Online English Teacher: Teaching Children
The Japanese online job market is not only limited to adults, many children are studying English online these days too! With the pandemic in full swing, children are spending more time at home lately and have tons of free time (which most parents are probably not too happy about). As most aspects of their lives, from school to meeting with friends, have been moved to the virtual world, children these days are no stranger to learning online.
Being an online English teacher for children is one of the most popular jobs for foreigners in Japan. The pay for teaching children tends to be on the higher end of online jobs in Japan, netting around 2 to 3 times more per hour than you would make teaching adults.
However, it is good to keep in mind that children can be quite a handful at times and the challenge of keeping them engaged in the lesson is magnified by the fact that you are not face-to-face. A teacher’s energy level doesn’t always transfer perfectly through a screen so bringing your A-game each class is a must. One more thing to consider is that you will likely need to create many activities and materials for these lessons also.
Typical salary: 2,000 - 4,000 / hour
If you are fluent in English and want to learn more about English teaching jobs in Japan, read our full guide.
Freelancing: Graphic design/Digital marketing/Programming/Video & Animation Jobs
Are you a graphic designer, digital marketing, programmer, or illustrator? If so, this next section of Online Jobs is for you!
With freelance work, there are websites where you can upload your portfolio, website, and other information for people from all over the world to view your work and potentially ask for your services. Sites like Zehitomo cater to a wide range of professions, from photographers to personal trainers, and help with introducing you to clients.
One of the biggest pluses of using these freelancing sites is that even if you don’t speak the native language, you can do remote gigs for people all around the world. For this reason, Japanese or English skills are not required, but it is recommended that you use English as a way to "throw a larger net" so to say and reach out to more people (Japanese if you are looking locally).
Current Freelancers : Struggling to find good clients or having trouble starting out? Learn how to succeed as a freelancer in Japan written by a friend who has succeeded in creating a branding agency in Japan.
Typical salary: Since this is a freelance service you would decide the prices.
Are you fluent in Japanese and English? (or other languages?)
Then this may be the job opportunity you’ve been looking for. Translation work is usually pretty abundant at any time, though most would be freelance rather than working for a company. The JLPT N2 Japanese level is enough to start working as a translator in Japan.
The set up of translating gigs usually goes as follows: a client gets in touch with you through a platform, you talk about the project with the client and agree on a price/hourly rate, then translate the given text to the language they desire by the agreed-upon date.
Some translation companies such as Joho translation will hire talented freelancers directly from their site as well so be sure to check out and apply to these companies to increase your chances of getting translating work. One downside to working for a translation company is that they may have a set hourly or project wage that is not up for negotiation so you might not get as much as you would working directly for the client. Companies that have worked with you in the past may also reach out to you in the future, so if you do good work, this could become a pretty nice regular source of income!
Typical salary: 1,500 - 3,000 / hour
If you want to learn more about this job, read our guide to translation jobs in Japan.
If you are someone that enjoys photography and have some decent gear, this may be a nice option to consider. Stock photographs can be sold on sites to people or companies looking to download them for personal or commercial reasons.
Stock photography is quite competitive and probably the most “long game” source of income out of all the possible online jobs in Japan on this list. Each photograph will only net you a small amount of money so you would need to take a ton of photographs to make decent cash. These photos would also need to be something that many people would select as well (most are used for different ads and articles). That being said if your photos are used/bought frequently, it does become a good form of passive income and you would continuously be paid for work that you have previously done.
For those of you that aren’t walking around with high-grade DSLR cameras and lenses, not to worry! You don’t need to be a professional photographer, since most sites allow anyone to upload their photos. If you’re lucky, in addition to bringing in some extra income, one of your photos might even end up as an internet meme!
Typical salary: Varies (Based on sales of your photos)
Japan is rapidly growing in popularity as a place for people to travel to and every day more foreigners are becoming interested in living in Japan. With Japan rising in the ranks as a dream travel/living destination all over the world, the demand for digital content in English and other languages is increasing.
Many magazines, websites, publications, and blogs often offer freelance writing work. You will find yourself writing about things from the day to day life in Japan to hidden subcultures and oddities. For the creative people that love writing and diving deeper into topics while getting creative with them, this is the perfect chance for you to make some extra moolah doing something you enjoy. Becoming a successful freelancer takes time but is doable.
Usually, you would be paid a fixed rate for each published article. The compensation for these articles would depend on the length of the article but we’ve found that the going rate for an article of around 500 to 800 words was around 5000 yen. Certain companies will also reimburse you up to a certain amount for travel and other expenses you have incurred so it does become quite a good opportunity to travel to new places and try new things as well!
Typical salary: Varies, paid by article/article length (usually around 5000 yen per 500 to 800-word article)
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Online Tour Guide
ArigatoJapan provides the real Japan experience as an Online Tour.
It is a creative way to explore Japan from home with Japanese locals and other foreigners living in Japan. With this online tour service, people can experience Japanese tea ceremonies, Japanese food, or virtual tours around exciting spots in Tokyo from the safety and comfort of their own home.
Of course, every tour needs a tour guide! As a virtual tour guide, you will be sharing stories about Japanese culture and daily life. This is an especially good fit for adventurous people that know their prefectures well. Expect to be providing knowledge about the do’s and don’ts, best times and seasons to visit, restaurant recommendations, and more. If you don’t have the knowledge on it yet it is best to do the research beforehand!
Are you ready to show Japan from your home to the world?
*you can start as a freelancer as well
These days all it takes to open your own online store is a couple hours and some great ideas. The best part is, it’s free! You don’t have to worry about the production or the shipping as there are companies that will handle all of this. You just need to create original designs and upload them into different products like T-Shirts, Tote Bags, Mugs, Phone Cases, Socks, and more! If you use Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites you’ve probably seen the targeted ads for these items. Many social media sites and search engines will use information and profiles of people to make sure that your products are seen by people that might buy them.
You don’t need to be a designer or have any qualifications related to clothing or fashion, all that is needed is some creativity! Even if you don’t know how to design or draw, you just can simply think of creative or funny sentences and put them on the products.
Like the stock photo work, this is one of the “long game” types of Online Jobs in Japan. The online market business is very competitive and based on sales, as you would receive a small commission for each sale. If your products are often selected by customers, there is the possibility of a nice steady passive income.
With online marketplace designs, quantity is just as important as quantity. It is recommended that you upload as many designs/products as possible to cast a metaphorical wide net to get the sales you need.
Typical salary: Varies (You would receive a percentage of your products that are sold)
If you want to make a little extra on the side but are exhausted from your main job, taking surveys is one of the easiest Online jobs in Japan you can do. All it takes is a little time and some clicks of a mouse.
Survey companies in Japan are always collecting data for companies looking to get more information on a demographic or consumer base. Companies will search for specific people to take the surveys based on race, nationality, health status, work or school status etc through ads. Depending on the survey you take, the rarity of the demographic and the amount of questions, the pay can be anywhere from 500 yen to 10,000 yen per survey. Usually, medical surveys tend to pay on the higher end of this pay scale but some would require that you physically go to a location.
The two companies listed below are the most well-known and tend to cater mainly to foreigners. Both online and offline surveys are done by each company.
Typical salary: 500 - 10,000 yen per survey
Know anyone who has passed N1?
Want to escape the teaching trap?
Computer savvy and have the educational or work background to back it up? Many Japanese companies are open to hiring and even actively search for foreign computer programmers.
People with a background in computers will be pleased to know there are a great number of IT/computer programming jobs in Japan whether it be web development, the video game industry, or mobile application development. This online job in Japan is one of the more specialized jobs on this list, requiring credentials, but it does come at a much higher salary than the other jobs on this list.
Recruiters are a great choice to find employment in this industry, you can check out how to best utilize recruiters here. One group of IT recruiters for foreigners in Japan is WeXpats. The service is completely free and their priority is getting you a job that fits you and your skillset best.
Typical salary: Entry level 350,000 yen per month (Varies based on experience)
If you want to learn more about the IT world, read our guide to IT jobs in Japan.
Many employers, particularly smaller businesses and startups, don’t have enough workaround to offer a full-time job, but they still do sometimes need some extra help. With most businesses making a full or partial switch to online, virtual assistants have become a much more common online job in Japan!
If you don't speak Japanese not to worry, people look for virtual assistants of all languages. As a bonus, these jobs usually don't require any previous experience. If you do however have administrative skills and familiarity with certain basic programs such as Microsoft Excel, it may give you a bit of an edge in landing a position.
Most virtual assistant jobs usually involve helping out with very specific projects. The tasks that you do will likely depend on the type of project that you are working on but data entry is a common one. Not to worry, training will likely be provided. Many times, these projects will be assigned because the business owner either lacks the time or the skills to perform them.
To find these jobs you may need to search job sites and other online classifieds. Sites like Upwork have tons of listings available and can keep you pretty busy. Check them out!
Typical salary: Around 1500 yen per hour (Varies, more typical skills will be at the lower end of the pay scale, while specific marketing or web-related skills will pay on the higher end.)
Youtube Content Creation
Tons of people create youtube videos a hobby, to show their experiences, or spread a message. The nice thing about youtube is it does have the potential to earn you money as well! Video creation can be a full-time job, and living in Japan means having a lot of content and interesting things just waiting for you to show the world.
You can create videos yourself, promote them, and then monetize them through Google Adsense. You’ll get paid every time someone clicks on an ad on your video. The more clicks that are received, the more money you’ll make. If you get several videos going, you’ll be earning ad revenue from each of these videos which can add up.
You can create any kind of content you like: educational videos, video blogging, lifestyle in Japan, Japanese culture, teaching English/Japanese, the possibilities are endless. This is probably the most flexible and creative way to earn money online, though it would require quite a following to receive a steady income.
If you get popular you can also start collaborating with brands, magazines, or companies for some extra sponsorship money and items!
Typical Salary: Varies greatly as pay is based on ad views and clicks
In the end, there are tons of Online Jobs in Japan to choose from, you just have to know where to look. Regardless of your skill set and interests, there is a job for anyone that wants to work virtually. There were quite a few jobs to choose from in this list so you most likely don't have all of it memorized, but please feel welcome to check back on this article as much as you need. We hope you find an online job that suits you!
Find more jobs in Japan for foreigners and we hope you find what you are looking for.