List of Popular Jobs among OFW

December 1, 2011

in OFW, Personal Finance


Many Filipinos these days are dreaming of working abroad because of the promise of high salary even though it means separation from their family and loved ones for a long time. I have never thought that I would work abroad, it is not my plan and dream to work in a foreign land. I grew up with my father working in Saudi and I could say, there are advantages and disadvantages of being an OFW.

Lack of decent job or employment is the number one reason why many Filipinos are now working abroad, away from their families. There are some good and bad effects of this scenario in our society. Based on studies, there is a higher probability of separation between husband and wife if one of the spouse is working abroad. I think you can see it in your own neighbor and the community you’re living. Despite of these problems, still there are many Pinoys who want to take the risk and work abroad to get higher salary or a decent employment.

Popular and In-demand Jobs Abroad

Maybe you’re wondering which job or jobs is/are the most in-demand by employers outside the Philippines. This list is based purely on what I read in other blogs and on my experience meeting people who worked abroad in the past.

1. Construction Worker

Probably, construction workers are the number one in-demand jobs abroad especially in the Middle East countries. Since the 1980s, there are many Filipinos work there as construction worker to build houses, offices and factories. My father worked in Saudi when I was in elementary and his job was a plumber for a construction company.

Filipinos are hardworking and adaptable to their current environment, characters that foreign employers are looking for. I know it’s very hard to work in construction because I experienced it when I was in high school and college. I used to work with my father in the construction of residential houses and business establishments.

If you have the skills such as carpentry or plumbing, you can apply easily get an employment because there are many hiring for this kind of job. The only hard thing when applying job abroad is the processing of documents like passport, visa and other papers you need to prepare for requirements in POEA and immigration.

2.. Engineer

I’m an engineer and working in a shipbuilding company in South Korea, where there are also many foreign workers. In our company, there are only few engineers who work primarily in engineering, design and business marketing. Other people work as welders, pipe fitters, electricians, painters, grinders, scaffolders and other jobs related to shipbuilding. Usually, the in-demand engineers abroad are mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical and computer engineers.

In the Philippines, I believe we have enough number of engineers that can work abroad and locally. Since there are many industries and factories they can work, engineers will continue to be one of the most in-demand jobs outside the Philippines.

3. Seaman

According to the study, this year 2011, the number of seaman around the world will hit 400,000. Filipino seaman are everywhere and almost in every ships around the globe. One contributing factor for this scenario is the fact that Filipinos accept lower salary compared to their Western counterpart. I wish our seamen will get higher salary in the future because they are hardworking and competent to their jobs. They also need to learn financial literacy and personal finance so they can multiply their hard-earned money and return to the Philippines with enough savings and investments.

4. Medical Worker

Medical workers include nurses, physical therapists, doctors, pharmacists and other jobs related to health care. In the early 2000, there is a high demand for health care or medical workers, that’s why, many students took nursing and physical therapy that resulted to over supply of graduates from these fields. Today, we can see the effects of this situation, there are many graduates without jobs locally. As a consequence, they look for jobs abroad which give better benefits and compensation. I hope the government can create a program that will ensure employments for our nurses and health care professionals because many people are also suffering due to lack of doctors and nurses in remote places of our country.

5. IT Professional

Information technology (IT) is rapidly developing these days and many companies need employees to cope up with the increase demand of clients and customers around the world. Because of this condition, many IT companies hire foreign workers that have the ability and competency as the locals. Filipino IT professional will not be behind with other nationalities. They performed better given the opportunity to excel in the field they are working.

6. Domestic Helper

Domestic helpers have one of the most difficult jobs among OFWs since they are working for longer hours and the compensation is lower than other jobs. Also, there are may reported cases of maltreatment and abuse from their employers among DH in other countries especially in Middle East countries where many DH are concentrated.

Despite these facts, there are still many Filipino wanting to work abroad as DH because of lack of employment in the Philippines. I think the government should create a plan to encourage more investors to do business in the Philippines. Tourism will also contribute in creating employment for the locals if we have a good marketing to foreigners. We should also build modern airports, increase our security and peace and order to encourage more foreign tourists to visit the Philippines.

7. Factory/Manufacturing Worker

There are lots of manufacturing companies and factories abroad that needs foreign workers to add to their workforce. Most of them are concentrated in Asia like Japan, Korean and Singapore. In the Philippines, we also have many factories and manufacturing firms so Filipinos have the skills and technical know-how. Normally, OFW are hired and work in electronics industry, garments, automotive and the like.

8. Entertainers

Last but not the least, entertainer is one of the jobs in-demand abroad. This includes singers, dancers and bands that performs in hotels, restaurants, clubs and other entertainment shows outside the Philippines. We know that many Filipinos are talented in singing or dancing. Most of them can easily learn the language their currently residing. They are friendly and also hardworking.


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