He did his graduation in LLB from Government Law College Ernakulam, Kerala. Keen in politics, Jose began his political career by becoming a representative of Kerala Students Union (KSU), the representative student wing of the Indian National Congress.
When emergency was imposed in 1975, he was expelled from Indian National Congress. He subsequently got associated with the Janata Party in 1977 and immediately was raised to the scene of State committee member and later National council member of the party in 1980.
As the Union of Janata Party collaborated with Janata Dal in 1988, Jose persisted as District Vice-President, State Executive Committee member and National Council member. He also performed as the Chairman of Angamaly Municipality for a year. He was an active social worker and also was the office holder of many Trade Union Conglomerate. He also served as the Minister for Transport in the year 2006.
Jose Thettayil was originally an advocate and started his career as a Lawyer in the High Court of Kerala in 1975. He also performed as an exceptional Prosecutor, Senior Government Petitioner in High Court of Kerala, the Legal advisor of many Nationalised Banks and Insurance Companies and Legal Advisor for Central government.