In today’s lesson, we’re going to talk about jobs in Japanese. Many people wish to work abroad in Japan, but before you do it might be useful to know the names of the most common occupations.
This list can be very useful when learning the Japanese language for beginners and advanced learners as well. When you work in Japan, you will likely be asked what sort of job you have. Or if you study abroad and befriend the natives, you’ll likely want to talk about the job you want in the future. Below we’ll give a brief introduction to jobs in Japan, and explore some of the most common job titles in Japanese.
- 1 Jobs in Japanese
- 2 Types of Jobs in Japanese
- 3 Common Full-Time Jobs in Japanese
- 4 Common Part-Time Jobs
- 5 Jobs-related words in Japanese
- 6 Work Culture in Japan
- 7 Wrap Up
Jobs in Japanese
Before we take on the different jobs in the Japanese language, let’s get to know what the English word “jobs” is in Japanese. It can be expressed in a number of ways. It can be expressed as しょく (shoku), しごと (shigoto) or しょくぎょう (shokugyou). These Japanese words can also mean occupation or employment.
Types of Jobs in Japanese
There are three common types of job status you’ll likely hear about when talking about jobs in Japanese. There are regular full-time jobs, contract temporary jobs, and part-time jobs.
Due to the bad economy, contract and part-time job status have increased more and more among employees.
Full-time job in Japanese
Regular Japanese jobs are full-time. A full-time job in Japanese is called じょうきんしょく (joukin-shoku). The word “full-time job” is written in Kanji as 常勤職.
Employees who are working full-time are called せいしゃいん (seishain). This word is written as 正社員 in Kanji.
Contract temporary job in Japanese
People who work as temporary workers are called はけんしゃいん (hakenshain). This is written as 派遣社員 in Kanji. These temporary workers are usually hired by a company through an agency.
On the other hand, people who work as contract employees are called けいやくしゃい (keiyakushain). This type of employment is written as 契約社員 in Kanji.
Here are example sentences:
みやこ は とうきょう で はけん しゃいん として はたらいている。(Miyako wa Tōkyō de haken shain toshite hataraiteiru.)
Miyako works as a temporary worker in Tokyo.
けいやく しゃいん として はたらいてみました。 (keiyaku shain toshite hataraitemimashita.)
I’ve tried working as a contract employee.
Part-time job in Japanese
A part-time job in Japanese is called アルバイト (arubaito) or フルバイト(furubaito).
Typically Japanese companies or employers hire seishain employees if they’re likely to stay with the company for a long time (3 years or more). While there are many different job titles in Japanese, it’s understood there are a few special names when referring to career-oriented people.
Salaryman サラリーマン is a phrase reserved for men who work for giant conglomerates. They typically wear a black suit during their work hours and carry a briefcase. Office Lady オーエル, often shortened to OL is used to refer to working women.
Common Full-Time Jobs in Japanese
Full-time jobs in Japan often take weeks or even months of preparation and interviews before you’re offered the position. Full-time jobs typically come with a guaranteed monthly salary 給料(kyuuryou), health insurance 健康保険 (kennkouhoken) and social insurance 社会保険 (shakaihoken) paid out by your employer.
Unlike in the west, such as in the United States, full-time employees typically stay with a company or organization for a few years before switching to another company.
Below is a list of common jobs and how to say them in Japanese. Words that are borrowed from English and other foreign languages are written in katakana. There are a few words with gender differences in Japanese, but as the times change, it’s more common for people to use the male version of the word to refer to both genders.
|Barber||床屋 / バーバー||とこや / ばーばー||Tokoya / baabaa|
|Bus driver （Taxi, train, etc)||運転士||うんてんし||untenshi|
|Human Resource Specialist||人的資源スペシャリスト||じんてき しげん すぺしゃりすと||Jintekishigensupesharisuto|
|IT specialist||ITスペシャリスト||ＩＴすぺしゃりすと||IT supesharisuto|
|Marketing Specialist||マーケティングスペシャリスト||まーけてぃんぐすぺしゃりすと||Maaketeingu supesharisuto|
|Real Estate Agent||不動産屋||ふどうさん||Fudouyasan|
|School principal||校長先生||こうちょう せんせい||Kouchosensei|
|Social worker||社会奉仕家||しゃかい ほうしか||Shakaihoushika|
|Tour Guide||添乗員 / ガイド||てんじょういん / がいど||Tenjouin / Gaido|
|Travel agent||旅行会社||りょこう かいしゃ||ryokougaisha|
Common Part-Time Jobs
In Japan, it’s common for university students and even other full-time workers to take up part-time work. Students typically can only work 4-5 hours a day and can’t work past 11 pm. There are many unique and interesting jobs available to part-time workers.
Many students work at local themed cafes like cat cafes or maid cafes. Being an English conversation teacher 英会話先生 (eikaiwasensei) is likely the most common job for full-time and part-time student workers since it doesn’t require much Japanese. Some teachers can work for a dispatch company like NOVA or GABA, work in a cafe, or work online.
Other interesting jobs include being a model or a wedding celebrant. Many modeling companies like to source for foreigners to create diverse campaigns, so becoming a model is as easy as sending your picture to an agency. Wedding celebrants are people who stand in as fake wedding priests for clients. You might need to know some basic Japanese such as words, phrases, and grammar, but you certainly don’t need a license.
Below is a list of some common part-time jobs in Japan. Many of the job titles are also borrowed from English words.
|Kitchen Staff||キッチンスタッフ||きっちんすたっふ||Kicchin Sutaffu|
|Fast-Food Delivery||ファーストフードデリバリー担当||ふぁーすとふーどでりばりー たんとう||Fuaasuto Fuudo Deribari- Tantou|
|Hotel Cleaning Staff||ホテルの清掃スタッフ||ほてる の せいそう すたっふ||Hoteru no Seisou Sutaffu|
|Warehouse staff||倉庫スタッフ||そうこ すたっふ||Souko Sutaffu|
|English Conversation Teacher||英会話先生||えいかいわ せんせい||Eikaiwa Sensei|
|Daycare Teacher||デイケアの先生||でいけあ の せんせい||Deikea no Sensei|
|Convenience Store Staff||コンビニスタッフ||こんびにすたっふ||Konbini Sutaffu|
|Retail Staff||販売スタッフ||はんばい すたっふ||Hanbai Sutaffu|
The word “job” in English can be expressed in a number of ways. However, it’s important to note that these words can have slight differences. This goes the same with the word “job” in Japanese.
In the next few sections, we’ll talk about the different job-related words in Japanese
Occupation in Japanese
The word “occupation” in Japanese is しょくぎょう (shokugyou). This is written as 職業 in Kanji.
しょくぎょうはなんですか? (shokugyouwa nan desu ka?)
What’s your occupation?
Professions in Japanese
Professions in Japanese can be expressed in two ways. The first way is しょくぎょう (shokugyou) which similar with the word “occupation.”
The second way to say “professions” in Japanese is せんもんしょく (senmonshoku). This is written as 専門職 in Kanji.
Work in Japanese
The word “work” in Japanese is expressed asしごと (shigoto). This word is written in Kanji as 仕事.
しごと が おおい です。(shigoto ga ooi desu.)
I have a lot of work to do.
Career in Japanese
The word “career” in Japanese is しょくぎょう (shokugyou). This is written as 職業 in Kanji.
わたし は ぎんこうぎょう を しょくぎょう として せんたくしました. (watashiwa ginkougyou o shokugyouto shite sen takushimashita.
I chose banking as my career.
Workers in Japanese
The word “workers” in Japanese can be expressed in two ways. The first way is ろうどうしゃ (roudousha).
それ は ろうどうしゃ の ため の きゅうじつ です. (sorewa rōdōshano tameno kyūjitsudesu)
It is a holiday for workers.
The second word is きんろうしゃ (kinrousha).
Work Culture in Japan
Japan’s work culture is deeply ingrained in Japanese society and reflects the values and traditions of Japanese culture.
Punctuality and diligence are highly valued, and the concept of “ganbaru” (doing one’s best) is a central belief of Japanese work ethics. Employees often work long hours (sometimes without extra pay) and prioritize company loyalty. Meetings and communication tend to be formal and respectful.
However, many Japanese and foreign workers find their jobs fulfilling, and it can be eye-opening to work in a new environment.
In conclusion, learning about different jobs in Japan is a great way to understand various industries and learn new words. If you’re interested in the jobs we talked about earlier, like the most common ones, it’s clear that knowing Japanese well is very important.
While numerous career prospects exist, many of the most common and desirable roles often require speaking Japanese fluently. So, if you want to think about working in Japan in these areas, remember that being really good at Japanese is the way to open up many chances and succeed in this exciting country.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoyed this lesson.
がんばってください (ganbatte kudasai)! ^^