Remember when just about everyone went to nursing school? For a time, it seemed like a nursing diploma was the golden ticket to greener pastures: if you had one, you had a very good chance of finding work abroad.
All of a sudden, the trend seemed to wane just as quickly as it arrived. Freeze hiring policies, stricter immigration, and the mushrooming of far too many nursing schools led to hundreds of thousands of Filipino nurses stuck in the country without jobs.
The situation is perhaps just marginally better these days, although there are still plenty of medical professionals who continue to be underemployed or worse. What never seems to change, however, is the sheer number of Filipinos who aspire to be OFW’s. And who can blame them? Working in a first-world country presents several advantages, chief of which is that the exchange rate is heavily in one’s favor, not to mention the potential for eventually bringing one’s family over.
So, if you happen to belong to this category, which career paths are likely to improve your chances of a future abroad? Let’s take a look at the most in-demand and highest-paying jobs for OFW’s from last year as well as the countries that required them:
- Japan: Engineers, Construction Workers, and Nurses
- Papua New Guinea: Skilled Carpenters
- Russia: Precision Instrument Production Workers
- Diego Garcia, Central America: Civil Engineers
- Middle East: Domestic Workers, Nurses, Construction Workers, Engineers
- Taiwan: Production/Manufacturing Workers
- New Zealand: Skilled Construction Workers
- United States: Engineering Technicians
- United Kingdom: Professional Nurses
- Ireland: Professional Nurses
Regionally speaking, the general work, engineering, and food and beverage sectors offered the most employment opportunities for Filipinos in the Middle East. General work in this case pertains to driving, electrical repairs and maintenance (e.g., AC, refrigeration, and plumbing), and plumbing.
The Asia Pacific region, on the other hand, had significant demand for skilled carpenters, household service workers, caretakers, technical operators, factory workers, production and machine operators, and welders.
Interestingly, majority of the jobs in demand in the North American region were sea-based, with engineers, seamen, cooks, waiters/waitresses, and stewards from the Philippines constantly landing well-compensated positions.
Skilled work will always be in demand anywhere, especially if it involves doing jobs that no one else likes to do. Construction, manufacturing, nursing, domestic housekeeping, etc.; all these involve long, hard hours toiling away at very unglamorous, sometimes even downright dangerous tasks.
Yet, that’s precisely why Filipinos continue to be in demand abroad, be they nursing school graduates or not. When you come from a place where even what feels like the most superhuman effort is barely enough for you to get by, you’d pretty much take on any job to make sure your family won’t have to go through the same.