【For Foreigners Working in Japan】An Introduction to Electrical, Mechanical, Electronic Engineer

Recently, more and more foreigners have gained knowledge of electrical, electronics or mechanical engineering in their home countries and work as engineers in Japan. In this article, we will introduce the jobs, annual salaries and residential status of electrical, electronics and mechanical engineers. If you are a foreigner looking for electrical, electronics and mechanical engineering jobs in Japan, please refer to this article.

  1. What is an electrical, electronics and mechanical engineer?
  2. Annual salary for electrical, electronics and mechanical engineers
  3. Conditions for foreigners to work as an electrical, electronics and mechanical engineer
  4. Career change services recommended for those who want to work as an electrical, electronics and mechanical engineer
    • Recruit Agent
    • JAC Recruitment
  5. Summary

What is an electrical, electronics and mechanical engineer?

機械エンジニア/きかいえんじにあ (mechanical engineers) design and develop the moving mechanisms of the machines such as cars, aircraft and home electronics. They are sometimes called as メカニカルエンジニア/めかにかるえんじにあ(mechanical engineers). In order to work as a mechanical engineer, you are required to have knowledge relevant to mechanical engineering such as mechanical dynamics, thermodynamics, material mechanics and fluid mechanics. In many cases, knowledge of CAD is also required.

電気・電子エンジニア/でんき・でんしえんじにあ (electrical and electronics engineers) design and develop electrical and electronic circuits for products such as TV, refrigerators and smartphones. In order to work as an electrical/electronics engineer, you need to have knowledge of digital and analog circuits. Just like mechanical engineers, knowledge of CAD is often required.

When we say “electrical, electronics and mechanical engineers”, the job may differ greatly depending on the products and their manufacturing processes. When hiring new graduates in Japan, there are cases where the companies hire a student who majored in a scientific course for a position called 技術系総合職/ぎじゅつけいそうごうしょく (technical regular position) and decide their job type after employment in accordance with the employee’s adequacy. On the other hand, mid-career hiring requires specific technical and development experiences because industry-ready engineers are required.

Annual salary for electrical, electronics and mechanical engineers

According to doda, the average annual income for the technical engineers (electrical/electronics/mechanical) in 2019 was 4.69 million yen. The average annual income for those in their 20s was 3.83 million yen and those in their 30s was 4.98million yen. The average annual income for all industries was 4.08 million yen, so it can be said that annual income for mechanical and electrical engineers is high. In addition, engineers in Japan tend to have high annual incomes because they require technical knowledge and there are fewer human resources.

Conditions for foreigners to work as an electrical, electronics and mechanical engineer

As engineer resources are not sufficient in Japan, more companies want to recruit foreigners with expertise and technical experience. As the shortage of resources is expected to continue in the future, there will be great opportunities for foreign engineers who want to work in Japan for longer than five years to find a job or improve their skills.

In order to work in Japan, foreigners need to acquire a work visa for an Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services. To obtain a work visa for electrical, electronics or mechanical engineers, one is required to graduate from an educational institute majoring in scientific or technical engineering relevant to the job. Therefore, it is difficult for a foreigner who has graduated with an art degree to become electrical, electronics or mechanical engineers through self-education because of the conditions for obtaining a work visa.

Electrical, electronics and mechanical engineers have less chances to communicate with external Japanese people or create documents in Japanese compared to business side jobs such as sales or administrative jobs. Therefore, if you can speak Japanese at a general conversation level, you have a chance to work in Japan.

On the other hand, if your position participates in upstream (earlier) processes such as planning and designing of product specifications, you may be required to have a higher level of Japanese than general conversation, because the job has many occasions to have meetings with Japanese sales or planning divisions. The higher your Japanese language level, the more chances you have of getting a job, so you will have wider employment options if you keep improving your Japanese as much as possible.

In addition, Japanese manufacturing companies often have their headquarters in rural areas, as their factories require a large area of land. If you are a foreigner who wants to work as an electrical/electronics/mechanical engineer, you may want to consider an option to work and live in a rural area.

Career change services recommended for those who want to work as an electrical, electronics and mechanical engineer


image_meitec_nextメイテックネクスト(MEITEC NEXT), operated by MEITEC NEXT CORPORATION, is a  free career change support service specializes in engineers. It can introduce you to more than 10,000 engineering jobs on a steady basis, including non-disclosed jobs in areas such as electricity, electronics, semiconductors, machinery, mechatronics, chemicals, materials and biotechnology. More than half of its career change support consultants have experiences in technical fields of manufacturing companies so that they can analyze the job-seeker’s careers based on their technical knowledge, and introduce appropriate jobs. MEITEC TEXT is an agent recommended for those who seek career change by focusing on mechanical and electronic engineers.

Recruit Agent

image_recruit_agentリクルートエージェント(Recruit Agent), operated by Recruit Career Co., Ltd., is the largest career change agent in the industry. It has the largest number of jobs in the industry with 200,000 job postings, the highest number of successful career change supports in the industry with 410,000.  Recruit Agent also handles many jobs from Japanese-affiliated global companies and foreign-affiliated companies so that there are many high-paying jobs where you can utilize your language skills. It also has a full support system for job-seekers, including advice on your by its industry- and job-specific career consultants, interview seminars, and an original report called the “AGENT Report” that provides specific information of each company which is not in the job postings. If you are looking for a job as a mechanical/electrical engineer and are considering a wide range of job types and industries, this is the agent you want to register with first.

JAC Recruitment

image_jac_recruitmentJAC Recruitment is a career change support service operated by JAC Recruitment Co., Ltd., with a history of over 30 years in Japan, and has more than 430,000 successful career change support experiences to this date. It has a variety of experience in career change support at Japanese and foreign-oriented companies, as well as major and excellent companies, using its own global network across UK, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam and India. JAC handles a wide range of jobs, including many mechanical and electrical engineering jobs. Consultants who specialize in technical fields understand the job-seeker’s experiences and skills correctly and provide appropriate advice and suggest the best career path for you.


Japanese manufacturing industry is one of the most advanced in the world. If you can participate in Japanese manufacturing as an electrical, electronics or mechanical engineer, you will be able to acquire a high level of technical skills. If you are a foreigner who wants to work as an electrical/electronics/mechanical engineer in Japan, please refer to this article and take on the challenge of job-hunting and career change activities.

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