What You Need to Know Before Starting a Part Time Job in Japan

Aug 12, 2018





Do you have a part-time job? Do know the average amount of its payment by the hour in Japan?

Actually, it is getting higher every year, and this article will explain the details.

If you get a part-time job without knowing the minimum wage decided by law in Japan, you may end up working for lower compensation than minimum wage.

It can happen especially among non-Japanese workers in Japan because the employers think non-Japanese workers may not know the minimum amount.

Let’s see how much the minimum wage is nowadays so you will not face such problems when you start a part-time job in Japan.


  1. The Average Wage of Part Time Jobs in Japan


The average hourly wage in Japan first exceeded 1,000 yen in September 2016. This was the first time to exceed more than 1,000 yen since the survey started in 2002. The study was conducted in 5 regions in Japan, Hokkaido, Kanto, Tokai, Kansai, Kyusyu. According to the survey, the area whose average was the highest was Kanto at 1,062 yen. Next is Kansai with 1,013 yen, Tokai with 962 yen, Kyusyu at 889 yen, and finally Hokkaido with 870 yen.


  1. The Average Wage Based on Job Categories

When it comes to job categories, the professional field was the highest wage of 1,143 yen, followed by transportation jobs at 1,094 yen, office jobs at 1,039 yen, sales at 1,035 yen, the hospitality industry at 1,033 yen, and finally the restaurant business at 969 yen.


  1. The Minimum Wage Based on the Law


In Japan, the minimum wage is decided by law, and it is different in each region.

The salary is higher in cities and lowers in the countryside. The minimum wage is getting higher every year in Japan, and it was decided that 848 yen would be the average amount all over Japan from October 2017.

The highest minimum wage is 958 yen in Tokyo, and the lowest is 737 yen in Kochi, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa.

You are able to claim money back if your wage is lower than the minimum wage based on the law.

When facing such problems, it is recommended you talk to a lawyer, so you can receive back payment based on the minimum wage decided by the law in each region.


  1. The Prefecture with the Highest Wage in Japan

As you may guess Tokyo’s hourly wage is the highest in Japan.

Among all job categories in Tokyo, the job with the highest wage are pharmacists at 2,750 yen. Next are cram school teachers at 2,038 yen, nurses at 1,829 yen, cellphone shop staff at 1,600 yen, and private tutors at 1,575 yen.

In a specific field like a pharmacist or a teacher at a cram school gets a high wage because they are required to have specific knowledge. Although the salaries of teachers at cram schools is high, they need to prepare for a classes, tests, and reports, but these tasks are not included in their working hours. Therefore the income is not comparatively high when calculating the hourly wage by working hours. In addition to that, the time they are able to work is limited because students come after finishing school, and it is only possible to get 3 hours of income-based work a day.

Therefore, nurses receive the second-highest wage in Tokyo.


  1. Popular Part Time Job among Non-Japanese in Japan

What kind of part time job do you think is popular in Japan?

Actually, working at a convenience store is one of the most popular part time jobs for expats and Internationals in Japan. One of the reasons is because fluent Japanese is not required for these jobs. If you remember how to use the cash register, you will be able to work there with a few Japanese words something like ‘arigatogozaimasu’ (thank you) or ‘atatamemasuka?’ (would you like to heat this up?)

Handing out pocket tissues is also an easy job for people who do not speak Japanese. It may be rare to see someone hand out a pocket tissue in the street anywhere except Japan, but you are able to see such scenes very often in Japan. It is popular because you do not need to speak, just hand out pocket tissues.

Another popular job is making beds in hotels. Cleaning is another job where the use of Japanese is minimal. However, when you first start the job, you will need to speak to other staff, sometimes in Japanese but this can often be overcome by gestures or through the help of other workers.


In conclusion, it can sometimes be hard to get a job in Japan after just starting a life here. But after you become accustomed to Japanese culture and language, you should be able to get a fitting job. Before settling on a suitable job maybe it’s a good idea to start with a part-time job?

When you start to work part time, you should remember there is a minimum wage decided by law, and you can claim money back if you are not getting enough compensation.

Aika Kaise / Japan


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