Top 6 Jobs for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

Top OFW Jobs

A higher salary making it easier to provide for your family is the one incentive for Filipinos to leave their motherland and family for more attractive career prospects. There is a reason that roughly millions of Filipinos travel abroad to work yearly. However, you cannot just jump into a new country and expect to get accommodated. It is important to know the best jobs abroad. Listed in this article are the Top 6 jobs for OFWs.

Regarding the recent OFW situation, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the number of OFWs dropped to 1.77 million in 2022 from 2.18 million in 2019. Consequently, the remittance received from OFW contributions dipped as well, from 210 billion pesos in 2019 to 34 billion pesos in 2020. But due to the worsening economic situation in the Philippines, the PSA expects an increase in jobs abroad for Filipinos.

With many Filipinos leaving and the country’s economy crashing slowly, Philippine labor and employment continues to suffer as well. Regardless, the silver lining in more Filipinos leaving the country means a resurgence in the number of OFWs and an increased remittance from them.

Their remittance is supplemental and significant to keeping the Philippine economy alive amidst the current problems experienced by the Philippines. It contributes to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is this reason that OFWs are often referred to as modern-day heroes.

Whatever your reason may be, whether patriotic or personal, the best way to commence your overseas working journey starts with knowing the top jobs abroad for Filipinos.

The criteria for adding a specific job to this list is if it is popular among Filipino workers and if it is currently in-demand. Here are the Top 6 jobs for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

1. Construction Worker

Perhaps, construction work is the number one job in-demand of OFWs because Filipino laborers have developed the reputation of being hardworking, adaptive, and skilled in terms of construction work. Countries like Saudi Arabia and New Zealand look for these kinds of characteristics leading to many OFWs landing construction jobs in the said countries.

A lot of the structures that they build focus on residential, infrastructure, and commercial development. To illustrate, OFW construction workers build house and lot, long freeways, and tall skyscrapers.

If you possess skills in carpentry, plumbing, and the like, you must get ready with the arduous process of applying because of the many documentations required to submit like a passport, visa, and other paperwork necessary that you must be prepared to present to the Department of Migrant Workers and the immigration.

2. Factory Worker

Just like construction work, being a factory worker requires expertise in numerous practical skills like welding, plumbing, and electronics.

For example, your job may entail finding and assembling parts for machinery, manufacturing them, then eventually shipping them out. You may also need to check the quality of products wherein you may have to repair them if proven defect.

It can be tough staying in a factory all day considering the working environment and the effort needed to be exerted every day. In addition to this, certain factory worker trades like being an electrician or plumber require certification in other countries.

Nevertheless, foreign countries need people who are not only good with practical skills, but people who are driven enough to excel at their jobs. With the shortage of factory workers going on right now, this is the perfect opportunity for Filipino factory workers to make more money since the pay is exceptionally higher and the job is more secure.

3. Engineer

Engineering is a job not only popular amongst OFWs but foreign workers from other countries as well. One OFW based in South Korea works at a shipbuilding company with a lot of foreign workers across Asia and Europe.

Only a few works primarily in engineering. Just like factory working, most of the engineers do welding and electronics. As of now, the engineering jobs in-demand are civil, electrical, and chemical engineers. If you happen to be a skilled engineer, then you will be a hot commodity abroad as skilled engineers are highly sought after by international factories and industries.

Because of the number of engineers in the country as well as the rising number of industries and factories both locally and internationally, engineering is one of the best jobs not just locally but one of the best jobs abroad for Filipinos.

4. Administrative Work

If you are proficient in a specific foreign language, can work well in an office setting with your co-workers, and have good communication skills like speaking and writing, then consider working in administration.

Some of the tasks of an office administrator include making power points and spread sheets, fielding calls and interacting with external relations, and staying ready to fulfill whatever the bosses assign him/her to.

Companies abroad in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates look to OFWs to fill in administrative positions in their company to work as clerks, office staff, and secretaries.

Aside from a good pay to take home, not a lot of qualifications are needed as most of what you will learn will be done on the fly as you work for them.

5. Domestic Helper

A domestic helper abroad is high in demand because employers either need household help or someone to take care of their children or elderly without possessing a nursing background. They look to OFW domestic helpers because they can cook great food, clean your house and lot, and most importantly, take care of people in the house.

On the other hand, Filipinos who work in domestic help look to go abroad instead to provide for their family because the pay is substantially higher than working locally.

Unfortunately, just like any other job, being a domestic helper abroad is not without its risks.

First, while being a helper abroad is higher than being a helper locally, the job itself is still considered a low paying job. Second, being at home, you do not have fixed hours working and you might end up working all day. Third, on a more controversial note, many overseas Filipino domestic helpers have been subject to abuse and maltreatment by their employer, especially in Middle East countries where there are a lot of OFW domestic helpers.

That said, it is imperative for the Philippine government to act in protecting the rights and livelihoods of OFWs, not just the domestic helpers but every other job as well.

6. Medical Worker

The jobs under healthcare include nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, and being a doctor. The first three mentioned jobs are high in demand locally and abroad.

Unfortunately, here in the Philippines, while there is a high demand of nurses, most of them work abroad because they are paid more there. So, while many nurses are produced locally, they end taking their talents elsewhere because the pay is not good enough in the Philippines.

This is a sign for the Philippine government and private healthcare sectors to provide local nurses with a livable wage so that the nurses the country produces do not end up benefitting other countries instead.

Modern-day heroes

While the earnings that they remit greatly contribute to the Philippine economy, what makes OFWs heroes is their willingness to sacrifice being near their families to earn money for them.

As a parent, it is disheartening and depressing being away for your children and other loved ones. But, at the same time, it is hard to turn down a higher wage, especially if it will benefit your family.

Moving forward, the Philippine government must continue to promote working abroad while improving the labor and employment issue locally to help turn this economy problem around.

Written by Cholo Hermoso