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Thread: Civilian Jobs on Okinawa

  1. #1
    先輩 Female
    Join Date Jan 22, 2007
    Posts 31
    United States

    Civilian Jobs on Okinawa


    国際交流パーティー
    Tokyo International Party

    Hello all, Im very new at this, but I am wondering if anyone has advice on the best way to go about getting a job on Okinawa. Details: I am 25, civilian, I only have an Associates Degree, also a vocational certificate. I will be going there soon on a tourist VISA, at least at first.

    What I am wondering is how to go about a job search and if there is a smart way to do it from here in the states. Are there reccomended jobs I should shoot for (entry level is just fine with me, I have no problem having to climb the ladder). I keep looking at government jobs on military bases there, but not sure which ones are best to apply to get my foot in the door, or if there is a better option.

    Thanks ahead of time!
  2. #2
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,403
    Japan-Gunma
    With your educational background you're pretty much going to be limited to working for the military, with the DOD sponsoring your visa. I'm not knocking your educational achievements, which outstrip my own. It's just that the immigration folks require a bachelor's degree in most cases.
  3. #3
    先輩 Female
    Join Date Jan 22, 2007
    Posts 31
    United States
    Mike, Thanks very much for your advice! I'll continue in that direction.
  4. #4
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    The US military doesn't often hire directly from the foreign (non-Japanese) population in Japan, first hired are spouses and dependents of active duty military personel. However once (if) you get your foot in the door the possibility exists to move laterally through the system.
    Also many of the entry level positions that may be open, like working at a club or for MCCS, and that are filled locally require at the minimum a valid working visa.
    The US military doesn't directly sponsor visa's, what they do do if a person is hired is give them SOFA status, which also gives the person all the rights and privledges associated with the base and which places them under the direction and governance of the US Government.
    Like Mike said Japanese immigration will usually require a bachelors degree for a work visa, unless you are coming over here with some specific skill visa.
    Here is a listing of the types and categories of visa's issued by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs listed in their website.
    mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/04.html#a/

    Please remember to add the necessary http and www before the address above as I do not have enough posts yet to add url's to 3rd party posts, sorry about that.
  5. #5
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,403
    Japan-Gunma
    I once responded to a civilian job opening working for the military. It was quite interesting.

    1. I would be required to give up my spouse visa and go onto SOFA status.
    2. I would not be allowed to use the base exchanges.
    3. My children could not attend base schools.
    4. I could not shop at base commissaries.
    5. I would not be in any pension program.
    6. The salary was somewhere between a joke and an insult. (about 160,000 per month for a bilingual kitchen manager at the New Sano Hotel in Tokyo).

    I didn't find it at all surprising that they were having trouble filling the position.
  6. #6
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    I once responded to a civilian job opening working for the military. It was quite interesting.

    1. I would be required to give up my spouse visa and go onto SOFA status.
    2. I would not be allowed to use the base exchanges.
    3. My children could not attend base schools.
    4. I could not shop at base commissaries.
    5. I would not be in any pension program.
    6. The salary was somewhere between a joke and an insult. (about 160,000 per month for a bilingual kitchen manager at the New Sano Hotel in Tokyo).

    I didn't find it at all surprising that they were having trouble filling the position
    I am surprised that you were being offered SOFA status and not being allowed to use the base facilities. Here in Okinawa the 2 go hand in hand, I guess mainland is different.

    I can understand the part about the DODD's schools though, as a VERY good friend of mine is a GS-14 with DODD's and has "educated" me about many of the in's and out's about the DODD's school system.

    I guess there are different "worlds" between the military in mainland and here in Okinawa.

    Personally I have PR status here in Japan and have absolutely zero desire or need to work for the US Military, even though I am a former Marine.

    How life changes.........mmmmmm
  7. #7
    先輩 Female
    Join Date May 28, 2006
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 93
    Japan
    [QUOTE=Mike Cash;430502]I once responded to a civilian job opening working for the military. It was quite interesting.

    6. The salary was somewhere between a joke and an insult. (about 160,000 per month for a bilingual kitchen manager at the New Sano Hotel in Tokyo).

    Sounds more like the salary you could expect in Okinawa, I would have thought in Tokyo you would get double that, since house rent is more than double what it is here!
  8. #8
    後輩 Female
    Join Date Feb 15, 2007
    Posts 14
    Australia
    Hi sorry to just butt in on the thread but I have a few questions on the same topic and thought i'd add to this one instead of making a new thread...

    My husband is ex military (was stationed in Okinawa) and we now live in Australia... however we miss Okinawa and are trying everything to find out how we can move back there...

    SO here are my questions about Civillian jobs on Okinawa... would it be possible for my husband to apply for jobs from Australia? or do you have be in the states?

    If he got a civillian job would we (our family) be granted sofa status aswell or does that depend on the job he's applying for?

    having civillian sofa status... is that different to the military sofa status?

    is it possible that if he got a civillian job that didn't pay for for living quaters would the family be able to live there and pay for own living expense? (i guess this is kind of like my other question)

    also are civillian job based mostly on "who you know?" would it be easier for him to get a job if he actually went to Okinawa or would it be better to wait and see what comes up on the websites.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanx
  9. #9
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    Hi sorry to just butt in on the thread but I have a few questions on the same topic and thought i'd add to this one instead of making a new thread...
    My husband is ex military (was stationed in Okinawa) and we now live in Australia... however we miss Okinawa and are trying everything to find out how we can move back there...
    SO here are my questions about Civillian jobs on Okinawa... would it be possible for my husband to apply for jobs from Australia? or do you have be in the states?
    If he got a civillian job would we (our family) be granted sofa status aswell or does that depend on the job he's applying for?
    having civillian sofa status... is that different to the military sofa status?
    is it possible that if he got a civillian job that didn't pay for for living quaters would the family be able to live there and pay for own living expense? (i guess this is kind of like my other question)
    also are civillian job based mostly on "who you know?" would it be easier for him to get a job if he actually went to Okinawa or would it be better to wait and see what comes up on the websites.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thanx
    Have you checked out any of the GS positions available from the GS website? It is not unheard of for people to get SOFA status positions from local hires but they are pretty rare from what I understand. SOFA is SOFA so outside of the military deployments and such no there is no difference between Military SOFA and Civilian SOFA status.

    Local hires from what I know do not get housing on the bases. From the information that I have heard base housing is allocated first to military members and their families, GS hires from the US, Dodds teachers and their families.

    There are also non-sofa positions available as well, however how much they pay I am not sure, but I wouldn't think that a non-sofa position would be one that a person would be able to support a family living off base, because only SOFA status ID card carrying military members or civilian employees can (legally) use the base commissary or PX's. So food costs and cost of living would be substantially greater. However it can be done, depending if you like to eat steak everyday.

    Another thing is that you need to think about is the fact that whatever you choose to do coming over here with SOFA means that you would not need to get an entry visa into Japan. To get a work visa you would need to have a sponsor, and the military is not going to hire someone on a tourist visa, private off base companies can not legally hire you either.

    So it may be easier to get back here with SOFA in hand, which means a job as well. Coming as a tourist to check things out might be one thing, but to get hired is another story.
  10. #10
    後輩 Female
    Join Date Feb 15, 2007
    Posts 14
    Australia
    ok thanx for that...

    what is the GS website? is that the usa job site?

    so say he got a GS job... do they allow family sofa staus aswell or does that depend on the position?

    I'm coming over end of April by myself (nothing to do with finding a job) thats why I posted in the other thread
  11. #11
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    ok thanx for that...
    what is the GS website? is that the usa job site?
    so say he got a GS job... do they allow family sofa staus aswell or does that depend on the position?
    I'm coming over end of April by myself (nothing to do with finding a job) thats why I posted in the other thread
    I am not sure, some are authorized dependents. I guess he would have to check that through the application process. And yes I was refering to the USA job site.

    You may want to look at MCCS positions or AF positions as well. Im sorry I dont have their links handy at the moment.
  12. #12
    後輩 Female
    Join Date Feb 15, 2007
    Posts 14
    Australia
    oh yeah, will do... I appreciate your help

    thank you very much
  13. #13
    先輩 Female
    Join Date Jan 22, 2007
    Posts 31
    United States

    More websites

    The MCCS Website is MCCSOkinawa.com, you can also look at 18Services.com, and aafes.com There is a GS website called mcbbutler.usmc.mil/chro but I can never get that one to come up. I have heard that they are not issuing SOFA status right now, they told me they dont know when it will change but they arent giving it right now, I have also heard not to let this discourage you because that doesnt mean they wont have a job they need filled that you qualify for and then they can make an exception. Im not sure how it works, so dont take my word for it, but do let me know if you find out any more!! What I have learned is, Do NOT take the first answer you get, keep searching and learning until you get answers you want or find out things for sure, just because one office gives you one bit of information does not mean that is absolutely how it goes.
    I did get a letter back from 18services when I applied there that said I have to be within 30 days of moving there to apply. Dont know if thats how they all work.
    Sorry I dont have any "solid" info besides the websites. Please PM me if you have any questions or if you find out any more solid information.
    Good Luck, and keep trying, dont listen to people who are discouraging, because there are plenty of those, and they dont do you any good.
    Last edited by SNMP; Feb 17, 2007 at 10:24.
  14. #14
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    dont listen to people who are discouraging, because there are plenty of those, and they dont do you any good.
    Care to be a bit more specific?

    There is a GS website called mcbbutler.usmc.mil/chro but I can never get that one to come up.
    That is because it is a part of the base network and you need to access the site from a secured computer on the (a)base itself.
  15. #15
    先輩 Female
    Join Date Jan 22, 2007
    Posts 31
    United States
    Obeika, thanks for that clarrification, now I know its not just my pain in the butt computer.
    As far as not listening to people who are discouraging, I just mean whoever says you "Can't do it". There are ways to do lots of things, and people always want to say why you Cant, but what I think dvyne is asking for are the "How Can I Do's". -I dont mean to your post if thats what you thought, (or any on this thread in particular really), I thought your post was very helpful and informative, I appreciated it.
  16. #16
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    Obeika, thanks for that clarrification, now I know its not just my pain in the butt computer.
    As far as not listening to people who are discouraging, I just mean whoever says you "Can't do it". There are ways to do lots of things, and people always want to say why you Cant, but what I think dvyne is asking for are the "How Can I Do's". -I dont mean to your post if thats what you thought, (or any on this thread in particular really), I thought your post was very helpful and informative, I appreciated it.
    I agree that she shouldn't give up either. I wish there was more information that I could share as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I wish her, and anyone looking for work here luck.
  17. #17
    Male
    Join Date Jun 3, 2004
    Posts 1,983
    Japan
    You can get on the mcbbutler website without being on a military base. I access it from home all of the time. SNMP I will send you the URL when I get home.
  18. #18
    後輩 Female
    Join Date Feb 15, 2007
    Posts 14
    Australia
    I appreciate all the help from everyone...

    and if I found out anything new i'll post it for others aswell
  19. #19
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    You can get on the mcbbutler website without being on a military base. I access it from home all of the time. SNMP I will send you the URL when I get home.
    Really would you send it to me as well please, the address I/we recieved from my wifes "office" doesnt work as well.

    I was given the same address http://mcbbutler.usmc.mil/chro as posted in the previous link.

    Also I called her office for confirmation and they told that it was only accessable from a base secure computer.

    If you can provide an accurate link it would be greatly appreciated.
  20. #20
    Male
    Join Date Jun 3, 2004
    Posts 1,983
    Japan
    http://www.mcbbutler.usmc.mil/

    This takes you to the main page. Then there are two buttons at the bottom. One is for .mil users and one for non .mil users...guess which one you pick?

    Then you can get around from there.

    Will not work in Firefox, but worked fine for me in IE just 2 minutes ago.
  21. #21
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    http://www.mcbbutler.usmc.mil/

    This takes you to the main page. Then there are two buttons at the bottom. One is for .mil users and one for non .mil users...guess which one you pick?

    Then you can get around from there.

    Will not work in Firefox, but worked fine for me in IE just 2 minutes ago.
    Thank you. do you have any explanation why the "other" link wouldn't work?
  22. #22
    Male
    Join Date Jun 3, 2004
    Posts 1,983
    Japan
    Because you tried to link straight to the CHRO page without going through the main page. At the main page it seperates you from the secure side, allowing you to access unsecure items only. You can not view everything on the .com that you can on the .mil side.
  23. #23
    Male
    Join Date Jan 23, 2007
    Location Okinawa
    Posts 2,113
    Japan
    Because you tried to link straight to the CHRO page without going through the main page. At the main page it seperates you from the secure side, allowing you to access unsecure items only. You can not view everything on the .com that you can on the .mil side.
    Thank you for the explanation, I'm also going to forward "this" information to my wife and let her know to inform her office people that the link that they are providing is incorrect.

    Once again thank you.
  24. #24
    Male
    Join Date Jun 3, 2004
    Posts 1,983
    Japan
    The link is not incorrect...rather to say it can not be accessed directly. No one likes having to explain go here, then here, then here...yada, yada, yada.

    People prefer being able to click right to it, unfortunately it is not possible on that particular site.
  25. #25
    後輩 Male
    Join Date Feb 1, 2009
    Posts 1
    United States

    jobs in japan

    I was wondering how i could go about getting an engineer job with the us military in Japan. I work for a military contractor here with a year of experience. I also have a four year degree in engineering.
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