Thai Language Blog

Job Titles in Thai Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Beginner

People all across Thailand are enjoying an extra day off work today, in honor of National Labor Day (วันแรงงาน wan raeng ngaan hàeng châat). For more on the holiday, check out our post from last year, which includes information on the Thai workforce, wages, and more. In honor of all the workers out there, today we’re going to learn about job titles in Thai. Whether you’re traveling or living in Thailand, you’re sure to find that the people are quite friendly and eager to chat. As a farang, you’ll always be asked where you’re from, but people are also curious to learn what you do for work. Here’s how to ask/answer a question about your job:

What’s your job?
คุณ ทำงาน อะไร ?
kun tam ngaan a-rai

I’m a/an…
ผม/ฉัน เป็น
pŏm/chăn bpen

Remember that in Thai there are different words for “I/me” for men and women – ผม for men and ฉัน for women.

Take it easy today, it's Labor Day!

Take it easy today, it’s Labor Day!

Now to help you answer that question, here are 30 common job titles in Thai:

  • accountant: นักบัญชี nák ban-chee

  • actor: นักแสดง nák sà-daeng

  • agent: ตัวแทน dtua taen

  • artist: ศิลปิน sĭn-lá-bpin

  • assistant: ผู้ช่วย pôo chûay

  • athlete: นักกีฬา nák gee-laa

  • boss: เจ้านาย jâo naai

  • businessman: นักธุรกิจ nák tú-rá-gìt

  • chef/cook: พ่อครัว pôr krua

  • designer: นักออกแบบ nák òk bàep

  • doctor: คุณหมอ kun-ná-mŏr

  • engineer: วิศวกร wít-sà-wá-gon

  • freelancer: อาชีพอิสระ aa-chêep ìt-sà-rà

  • journalist: นักข่าว nák kàao

  • lawyer: นักกฎหมาย nák gòt măai

  • manager: ผู้จัดการ pôo jàt gaan

  • musician: นักดนตรี nák don-dtree

  • nurse: พยาบาล pá-yaa-baan

  • photographer: ช่างภาพ châang pâap

  • police officer: เจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจ jâo nâa-têe dtam-rùat

  • politician: นักการเมือง nák gaan meuang

  • receptionist: พนักงานต้อนรับ pá-nák ngaan dtôn ráp

  • scientist: นักวิทยาศาสตร์ nák wít-tá-yaa sàat

  • secretary: เลขานุการ lay-kăa-nú-gaan

  • shopkeeper/vendor: คนขาย kon kăai

  • singer: นักร้อง nák róng

  • teacher: ครู kroo

  • translator: นักแปล nák bplae

  • waiter/waitress: บริกร bor-rí-gon

  • writer: นักเขียน nák kĭan

You may have noticed a commonality across lots of those job titles – the prefix นัก nák is used in almost half of them. When attached to a noun or a verb, it denotes a job title:

  • นัก + แสดง (to act) = actor

  • นัก + ดนตรี (music) = musician

  • นัก + ร้อง (to sing) = singer

  • นัก + กฎหมาย (law) = lawyer

There you go – now you’ve learned some vocabulary and some useful grammar! Happy Labor Day to everyone out there. Enjoy the day off – you’ve earned it!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.