OFW Guide to Living and Working in Macau

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “casino?” Normally, you would associate it with Las Vegas since that is where the biggest casinos are found, right?

Well, you don’t have to go to another continent just to plat the slot machine and Blackjack. Macau, which is also known as the “Las Vegas of Asia,” is few hours away from the Philippines and more than the casinos, it offers tons of job opportunities for Filipinos. There are many jobs waiting in the services, tourism, and hospitality sector, which accounts for Macau’s biggest source of income, but professional and skilled workers are likewise welcome.

If you are ready to see bright lights at night and give Macau a try, here are some things you need to know about this small but proud Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China:


Mandarin and Cantonese are the primary languages in Macau; however, you would notice signs and some people still written and speaking Portuguese. English is also widely spoken, especially since Macau is among the tourists’ favorite destination.

Still, it wouldn’t hurt if you learn few Mandarin and Cantonese words, even the basic ones, so you will be able to communicate with the people properly and easily.


Normally, foreign workers are provided living quarters by their respective employers. This is especially true if you are working in the hotel industry. In case none is provided, there are apartments available that you can rent. Many apartments have basic appliances like fridge and washing machine, but if you need more, then you will have to pay for it.


Public transportation in  Macau is commendable compared to the Philippines. Buses and cabs are available 24 hours, thereby making commuting easier and more convenient for you.

If you employer offers shuttle services, then make sure you take advantage of it to save more.

Working Condition 

Unlike in the Philippines, there is no mandatory minimum wage set in Macau, except for cleaners and security guards (about USD 3.75 per hour). It’s up to the employers as to how much they will pay you every month. Average monthly salary is MOP 17,000 or approximately USD 2,100. If you work in the gaming and recreational services, finance industry, or in the health and social services, you could be earning more since these are the industries that pay more to its workers.

The good thing is that the cost of living in Macau is lower compared to its neighboring countries like Hong Kong and Singapore. Despite earning lower, you will still be able to live a comfortable life and pay for the expenses while you’re working there.

Long working hours are something you need to prepare for as well. Most workers work six days a week and longer hours, especially if you work in the tourism sector. Nonetheless, workers are entitled to six working days of paid leave, eight statutory holidays, and 24 hours of rest day for every seven days of work. This is a big adjustment since rest days are handled differently in the Philippines.

At the end of the day, the locals will be favored more by employers. This is why it would be extra challenging for you to climb the ladder of success. Nonetheless, treat this as your stepping stone and part of your work experience.


Macau has a subtropical climate. This means summer could be hot and humid. It doesn’t snow in Macau, so no need to pack thermal jackets. Still, the wind can be cold by December to February, so make sure you have jacket on hand to keep you warm.

Working Visa

A valid working visa is required before you can work in Macau. Consequently, you should be registered as a full-time employee and carry with you a Blue Card. Don’t worry since this will be processed by your employer through the help of your recruitment agency.

Are you ready to work in Macau?

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