For those of you who are thinking to start a career with a job in Jakarta, this article will provide you with a wealth of information to get off to a great start!

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Geography
  • People/population numbers
  • Economy, major industries, and career opportunities for a young professional
  • Job boards
  • Business Associations and Chamber of Commerce
  • Cost of living for a young single professional
  • Visa process
  • Expat sites
  • Expat Web sties

Profile of Jakarta


Jakarta is located on the northwest coast of java, at the mouth of he Ciliwung River on Jakarta bay, an inlet of the Java Sea. Jakarta lies below sea level while the southern area is relatively hilly. The Ciliwung River divides the city into western and eastern municipalities. Other rivers include the Pesanggrahan, and Sunter.  These rivers combined with Jakarta’s relatively low topography, make the city susceptible to flooding form swollen rivers during the wet season.

Jakarta has a hot and humid tropical wet and dry climate. Despite being relatively close the equator, the city has two distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season lasts for most of the year, running from November through June. The remaining four months make up the season. Temperatures hover near the 90° (32C) mark throughout the year.


As per the 2010 census the city of Jakarta has a population of 9.58 million people, with the ninth largest urban population density in the world.

In Jakarta, the Orang Betawi – natives of the city – are considered to be the hosts of a diverse culture formed by the melting pot that has resulted from the mix of races, ethnic groups that made up Indonesia during the 19th century.  Today they constitute one of the main ethnic groups along with the Javanese, Sudanese and Chinese.

Betawi culture is a wonderful blend of color, tradition, song, dance, cuisine, clothing, language and dialects.  The city hosts annual parades and other festivities in which nine feet tall Betawi mascot walk through the crows with large masks and decorated headdresses.

The language of the Betawi (Bahasa Indonesian) has been adopted by the younger people of Jakarta from all ethnic origins, whereas the more formal Betawi Malay is spoken only by the more conservative elder Orang Betawi. Other languages include English, Mandarin, German, Dutch, and Spanish.

Economy and Career Opportunities

The economic growth of Jakarta as of 2007 was 6.44 percent up from 5.95 percent the previous year with the major growth in the transportation and communication sector, along with trade, hotel, and restaurant. The largest contribution to GDP was by finance, entrepreneurship, and business services (28.7 percent); trade, hotel, and restaurant sector (20.4%), and manufacturing sector (15.97 percent).

Jakarta’s economy is heavily dependent on financial services sector, trade and manufacturing. Industry includes electronics, automotive, mechanical engineering, and biomedical science. As such, there are ample career opportunities for those interested in a variety of business careers, especially within the sectors of banking and finance, bio technology, hospitality, and engineering.

Median Monthly Disposable Income (after taxes): $471.45

Job Boards for Expats

In this list we’re only considering English-language job boards, except as where may be noted.

1. Monster Indonesia

Monster Indonesia is the Indonesian version of the international job board where you can search jobs and post your résumé.

2. JobStreet-Indonesia

Top job board for range of careers in all industries in Indonesia

3. JobsDB-Indonesia

One of the largest job boards in Indonesia.  Has great listing of jobs for diverse industries, many in Jakarta. You can also post your résumé.

4. Tiptop Jobs-Indonesia

Jobs listings throughout Indonesia, especially Jakarta, as well as other countries

Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce

Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce provides a forum to promote relationships between area businesses to enhance region economic growth The Chamber seeks to “encourage joint ventures, expand business relations and cultivate better understanding between and among businessmen, business associations, and the respective governments of the countries and independent economies in and outside the region…”

Activities include twice-yearly conferences; information exchange; a network of business assistance centers to help with arranging meetings and developing contacts. Due to its stated mission and array of activities the Indonesian Chamber, located in Jakarta, is a important resource for expats seeking job leads.

Visit: and for a listing of all business associations where you may network with professionals from diverse industries to obtain job leads.

Cost of living in Jakarta for a Single Professional

What follows is a breakdown of the average cost of utility and apartment various expenses in Jakarta by USD. Updated April 2011.

Monthly rent

One bedroom in city center:  $652.38

One bedroom outside of city center: $392.18

Monthly Utilities

Electricity, gas, water, trash: $95.34

1 minute prepaid mobile (no discount): $0.12

Internet (6 Mbps, Flat rate, Cable/DSL: $33.65

For a full cost of living including food, transportation, clothing, recreation, visit: This site offers the option of converting USD to different currencies.

Visa Application Process

1. Visa on Arrival (VOA): The Visa on Arrival is for those who are visiting Indonesia as tourists for a short period of time (30-60 days) as a tourist, to attend a conference, or for another business purpose (e.g. job interviews).  This visa is NOT intended for expats who are planning to work and live for an extended period of time. The VOA is a single entry visa and is valid only for as long as your stay. You must get a new VOA on any return trip.

2.  Work Permit (IMTA): The employment of expatriates in Indonesia is regulated by the Manpower Ministry. Visas for expats are issued the Directorate of Immigration, under the Minister of Justice. May documents are required and need to be process by each of these government agencies in order for a foreigner to legally work and live in Indonesia.

Requirements include:

  • Record of valid passport for at least 18 months in full page (whole book);
  • College diploma (most recent qualification is sufficient);
  • Job references (work experience) in English or translation into Indonesian language (from previous company);
  • Your current curriculum vitae/resume signed by the expatriate concerned (original);
  • Photos : 4 X 6 CM = 16 color photos (with red background)
    3 X 4 CM = 4 color photos (with red background)
    2 X 3 CM = 5 color photos (with red background)

For application instructions and detailed information on “Employing Expatriates in Indonesia”, visit:

Processing time for a work permit is usually between 2-3 weeks

Useful Expat Web Sites

1. Living in Indonesia: “Useful information about expat life in Indonesia to ease your transition. Extensive information on housing, schooling, leisure, medical, and many other topics – over 1,000 helpful articles written by expats for expats!”

2. Useful Links on Indonesia: Provides links to such information  as art and culture, embassies,  expat pages, sites for relocating expats, doing business, and newspapers/magazines.

3. Jakarta Expat: “ provides practical information for expatriates about living in Jakarta: entertainment, news, tips, travel, accommodation, restaurants, hottest happening and many interesting articles and facts regarding Jakarta. Welcome and enjoy Jakarta”!

4. What’s New Jakarta: Provides up-to-date information for expats on many different types of events, such as parties, business networking, arts, music and sporting events, restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs.

5. Allo’ Expat-Indonesia: Forums regarding different aspects of expat life: jobs, business and finance, housing, shopping, immigration, etc.