Whether you love it or hate it, you will be spending most of your life working at a job. For that reason, you should find something that you love to do. Thankfully, my passion for learning languages and developing tools for doing just that is very fulfilling, especially when we receive positive feedback.
Having found myself thinking about working, I thought it would be fitting today to look into the names of different job titles in Thai. While this won’t be an exhausting list of all jobs, it is a good way to expand your vocabulary and give you something to talk about. So, what is your job?
Before jumping into different job names, I wanted to discuss a notable trend in the names of jobs. For the majority of them, it involves taking a particular verb, such as to write or ‘khien’(เขียน) and adding the word ‘nak’ (นัก) before it. So the job of writer is called ‘nak khien’ (นักเขียน).
However, this isn’t the case all of the time, with notable examples like the word for teacher or driver. If you are stuck for a name, it wouldn’t hurt to try this style as you would have something like a 50/50 chance of being right.
Asking someone what their job is can sometimes be interesting, especially when you first meet. To do this, just ask ‘kun tam ngaan arai?’ (คุณ ทำงาน อะไร). Then, they should answer ‘pom/chan bpen’ (ผม/ฉัน เป็น…), which would mean I am a/an… You can also say where you work using the phrase ‘pom/chan tam ngaan nai…’ (ผม/ฉันทำงานใน).
On the other hand, you can have a much deeper discussion by asking what they want to be or do for a jobs. To ask this, you can use the phrase ‘pom/chan yak bpen…’ (ผม/ฉันอยากเป็น), meaning I want to be. You can learn a lot about a person with this question, so I recommend you try asking it. You never know what you will learn.
If you are coming over to work in Thailand, there are a few common jobs that you may end up doing here.
Teacher in Thai is c. This one doesn’t follow the format mentioned above, but it is nice and short, so hopefully you can remember it.
Writer in Thai is ‘nak khien’ (นักเขียน), as we mentioned above.
Journalist, meanwhile, is ‘nak khaw’ (นักข่าว).
To say web developer, you use ‘nak pat hana web’ (นักพัฒนาเว็บ).
Cook or chef is ‘paw kruua’ (พ่อครัว).
Freelancer in Thai is ‘aa chip it sa ra’ (อาชีพอิสระ).
Photographer is ‘chaang paap’ (ช่างภาพ).
Here are some other job titles that you can learn.
|Architect||sa ta bpa nik||สถาปนิก|
|Artist||sin la bpin||ศิลปิน|
|Banker||nai ta naa kaan||นายธนาคาร|
|Farmer||chao rai chao naa||ชาวไร่ชาวนา|
|Fisherman||chao bpra mong||ชาวประมง|
|Lawyer||ta nai kwaam||ทนายความ|
|Nurse||pa yaa baan||พยาบาล|
|Painter||nak waat paap||นักวาดภาพ|
|Politician||nak gaan muuang||นักการเมือง|
|Secretary||le kaa ti gaan||เลขาธิการ|
|Consultant||tii bpruk saa||ที่ปรึกษา|
|Designer||nak ook behp||นักออกแบบ|
|Retired||puu rap nguhn bam naan||ผู้รับเงินบำนาญ|
|Unemployed||kon waang ngaan||คนว่างงาน|
While this is far from an exhaustive list of job titles in Thai, it does help to show some patterns that may help you identify different jobs. The next time you are in the country or if you are already working here, you should now hopefully have an idea of how to say what your job is. Whatever you do for work, I hope you find joy in it.
If you are looking to increase your understanding of Thai and expand your vocabulary further, you should check out the Ling Thai app. It is an effective way to learn and progress your Thai skills even further.