How much does a software engineer earn in Japan?
It’s a hard question to give a general answer to as it obviously varies greatly depending on your skills and the company giving the offer. We could give a rough estimate and say a senior level engineer in an internationally focused company in Tokyo usually earns between 6-12M Yen/year. Top companies can go higher and we will help you find those opportunities when possible, but a salary of 20M or higher requires exceptionally high skills.
If we compare Japan to other markets: Japan does not not pay as much as most western countries, falling a level or two below the US, UK, Canada and Australia. It’s a level above most eastern European countries though and comparable to most other northern and western European countries. It’s generally a fair bit above other southeast asian countries.
What is required to get a working visa in Japan?
Either a bachelor’s degree in a related field or 10 years of work experience.
Some flexibility can be had in regards to the “related field” but you need to either have graduated from a university or worked at least 10 years.
There are a few IT examinations available that can substitute a university degree. http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/hourei/public_notice.html
It would take quite some time to prepare and get the results, but can be an option if you are really set on coming to Japan but lack a degree.
What are the main benefits of living/working in Japan?
It depends a lot on what you value, but below are a few points.
-It’s one of the safest countries in the world. Crime is almost nonexistent. The people are welcoming and generally very respectful towards others.
-Interesting mix of new and old. Even in tokyo you’ll find a lot of old shinto shrines and Buddhist temples next to super-modern skyscrapers.
I heard there is a lot of overtime in Japanese companies, Is that true?
Generally speaking there is a lot of truth in this. In some old fashioned companies employees stay at work doing nothing until their manager leaves work. Such companies often value hard work over results.
The tech related fields are usually the exception though. Especially companies that hire foreigners tend to put more focus on creating a good work environment. Top level tech companies in Japan often compete with generous benefits and flexible work cultures.
Career Craft will help you weed out the too traditional companies and focus on the ones offering a good work environment.
Can you get by in Japan without speaking any Japanese?
Japanese people in general aren’t great at English but everyone studies it for several years in school and understand more than you might think. In the larger cities there are plenty of English speakers and things like signs and restaurant menus are usually available in English as well.
If you are interested in experiencing more aspects of the culture, learning some Japanese could make it a more interesting experience though.