How to Find Work in Austria as a Foreigner - Step by Step Guide


How to Find Work in Austria as a Foreigner - Step by Step Guide

Austria is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. It borders the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The official language is German.

Since the official language is German, most of the best job-finding resources are in German. If you know German, fine. If not, find someone you know who speaks German to help you.

A good starting point for your research in this country is to read this publication in the Public Employment Service in Austria. Not only do they have tips, but they often have job opportunities related to tourism and short-term or seasonal jobs, especially in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck.

Also, check the local newspapers in Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. The classified ads in these newspapers often have job offers. There's not much you can do online, so if you're determined to find a job in this country, book a flight to Vienna and use the resources below to kick-start your job search.

There are quite a few foreigners working in this country, so it's not impossible. Like everything in life, you have to go out and try, continually sowing seeds, before your plans to work and live in this country come true. Do not give up!


General Job Search Engines and Classifieds

With the sites below, you can expect to get a response rate of 0.5-1.0% (people who will respond to whom you have sent your application/CV). However, I encourage you to give these sites a try since you never know what you'll come up with or what connections you'll be able to make from a simple email or app.

How to Find Work in Austria as a Foreigner - Step by Step Guide

· Der StandardDer Standard is the job search arm of the newspaper Der Standard.

· KarriereSimple, clean interface that has a bunch of job vacancies posted.

· Career Jet: I’m sure you’ve heard of Career Jet. They have job search options for Austria.

· Indeed: The Austrian version of the big U.S. job search site

· Jobsbt – This is also  Austrian version of the big U.S. job search site

Teaching English

Teaching English is an option to consider (if you are a native English speaker). All of the sites below are quite similar and have a plethora of English teaching job options. 

Explore each of the sites to find English-speaking job opportunities in Austria. Also, be sure to check out this great TEFL international academy chart showing how much money teachers in various countries around the world can expect to earn.

· ESL EmploymentNot the most beautiful interface, but who needs a pretty website when you have so many English teaching job options to choose from.

· Total ESLAlso, an overly busy interface but a wealth of job postings for teaching jobs abroad.

· ESL CafeDave does a great job in compiling some of the best job openings from around the world.

· Tesall: Big teaching jobs aggregator.


Other Websites and Blogs

· Transitions AbroadTransitions Abroad has a really comprehensive list for anyone considering becoming an expatriate in Austria.

· Tricycle LoveThinking about moving to Salzburg? The information on this post is old but still relevant.

· ProspectsA no-frills discussion of the job market in Austria.


Overseas and Expat Job Portals

· Overseas Jobs:  I find that there is often significant overlap between the postings on this site and that of other sites. Nevertheless, this site has been around for a while.

· Go Abroad: I’ve always been a fan of Go Abroad. In fact, on the visa information portion of my website, you will find where I have linked to their global embassies directory. They have a good job portal too.

· Linkedin: Last but not least, this huge professional social network is a resource for building contacts in the field and location of your interest.

Here it is. The best places to find work in Austria as a foreigner. For information on Austrian visas, be sure to check out my Austrian visa page. If you're looking to spice up your love life, check out my post on the best online dating sites in Austria.


The Job Market in Austria

Austria is known for its highly skilled workforce and strong agriculture, green, service and tourism sectors, as well as its growing foreign trade. Energy, financial services, telecommunications and real estate companies are among the largest companies and employers in Austria.

How to Find Work in Austria as a Foreigner - Step by Step Guide

Requirements for working in Austria

Like other EU states, Austria offers extensive protection and rights for its employees. Those from the EU will easily find a job, especially if they speak German.


Work visas in Austria

If you are from non-EU and EEC countries, you will need to obtain a work permit to work in Austria. Fortunately, an Austrian employer can hire a foreign national, but they must apply for approval and a work permit from the regional employment office. Furthermore, foreign employees sent by their employer to work temporarily in Austria are covered by Austrian employment law.


Language requirements for working in Austria

Since the official language in Austria is German and the vast majority of the population speaks German, you'd better learn the language. Fortunately, there are many language learning apps and courses you can use to do this. And since many other EU nations also speak German, it will certainly come in handy if you plan to travel to the region. 

However, there are still opportunities for English-language jobs, and you can check out Tthe Expatica job board, as well as The Local's English-language jobs section. Another option is to keep an eye out for expat jobs for various openings for English speakers in different sectors and industries.


Qualifications to work in Austria

As with most things, if you're from an EU or EEC country, your university degree and other qualifications should be recognized in Austria and you don't have to do anything. However, if you are from another country, you will need a notification in Austria. 

How to Find Work in Austria as a Foreigner - Step by Step Guide

To obtain it, you will need to apply to the relevant public university. You must know within three months whether you have to take a supplementary exam. 

In Austria, regulated professions include architects, doctors, nurses, teachers, physiotherapists and some specific trades. Along with your recognized university degree, you will need to have knowledge of the German language to work in these fields.

However, for all unregulated professions, you can start your job search immediately as long as you have validation from the National Academic Recognition Information Center (ENIC-NARIC Austria).


Tax and social security numbers in Austria

If you are self-employed in Austria, you must register for social security (Sozialversicherung der Selbständigen). You must also register your business with the tax office and obtain a tax identification number (TIN). You can do both at your local district office. Conversely, if you work for an employer, they will register you on their behalf.


Other requirements for working in Austria

Several jobs in Austria require a criminal record check. This includes security, childcare and police work. This check can easily be obtained from the local police department in Austria or from abroad via this form. How to find work in Austria

Initially, you can start your job search by researching the industry and types of roles that interest you. Next, you'll want to explore the following:


Austrian National AMS Jobseekers

The AMS eJob-Room is the largest job market in Austria. You can download the free app to your smartphone and have access to job vacancies as well as a personal inbox for your applications, including internships.


EURES (European Employment Services)

EURES is a European cooperation network of employment services, designed to facilitate the free movement of workers from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland. It is a great resource for looking for work across the EU and a good starting point for looking for work in Austria.


Job search sites

  • Expatica jobs board – advertises a plethora of interesting positions in Austria at various levels
  • Jobs in Vienna – if you are living in Vienna, this is a great site for finding work, even if you are not German-speaking
  • Karriere – a large career portal in Austria
  • Career Jet – the international search engine with a filter for Austria
  • Indeed – another international site with an Austrian version
  • Jobsbt – another international search engine with an Austrian

How to Find Work in Austria as a Foreigner - Step by Step Guide


Recruitment and Temp Agencies

  • Manpower – leading recruitment and temp firm in Austria where you can get your name on the books and let them do the job hunting for you
  • Aviteus – specifically recruits specialists and managers in Austria
  • Hays – a global recruitment agency that operates across 33 countries with offices in Vienna and Graz
  • Michael Page – a professional recruitment consultancy that specializes in placing candidates in permanent, contract, temporary, and interim positions around the world


Specialist jobs

  • Euro Science Jobs – a good resource for finding work within the field of science in Austria

Job fairs


Self-employment and Freelance in Austria

Unfortunately, self-employment is not very popular in Austria. That said, there were 482,700 self-employed workers in the country in 2019. That's an increase of 17,600 from 2018, which means it's on the rise.

This is perhaps because starting a business in Austria is quite easy, especially since any citizen of an EU country, Switzerland or the European Economic Area can start a business. All other foreigners, on the other hand, must first obtain a residence permit. Also, you must be at least 18 years old and have no criminal record.

Then you need to apply for a business license from your local district authority. Afterwards, you can register your business with the Austrian commercial register. You will need to translate all documents into German with an official translation service such as lingoking. Official copies must also be certified by a notary. Then, after paying the registration fees, your company can trade legally.

This also applies to freelancers working in Austria, as they typically work with multiple clients on a variety of projects. In fact, there is a lot in common between the two and both will have to file taxes as self-employed, as well as pay social security and insurance. 

Unfortunately, both also have less protection under Austrian labor laws. Austria has recently added a new category called "newly self-employed" for those who do not belong to the self-employed category. Typically, this includes authors, pundits, translators, and musicians.

In Austria, being self-employed as an expat means you can register a company and sponsor your work visa. Conversely, this is much more difficult and is why most expats in the country work for existing companies.


Trainee-ships, Internships, and Volunteering Jobs in Austria

Essentially, there are two forms of internships in Austria. You can sign up as a volunteer or work as an employee. For students who wish to work towards becoming employees, normal employment laws apply.

Conversely, for volunteers, they do not apply. While German language skills are an asset, many of the opportunities are in the tourism industry where English and other languages ​​can be an asset. 

Advantageously, if you do an internship in a hotel or restaurant, you are likely to get free room and board. Otherwise, in places like Vienna, you'll find shared apartments fairly easy to find.

As mentioned, EU passport holders and EEC citizens are treated as Austrians and do not need work or other permits. However, non-EU residents require a work permit.

Here are a couple of sites that you can check to search for internships:

  • Erasmus – a renowned program where you can apply for internships and placements in Austria
  • Student Job – advertises volunteer, part-time, and internship positions for students all over Austria with a breakdown of each city.


Apply for a job in Austria

In Austria, you usually apply for a job by sending a CV and a cover letter. Hopefully this leads to an interview for the position. This can be with your main boss or it could involve multiple people from the company depending on how big it is. Second talks are also common in Austria. 

In general, Austrian employers are careful and tend to take their decisions slowly, so don't expect an overnight response.

We recommend that you carefully draft your cover letter and CV to meet Austria's requirements. For example, in Austria, the cover letter is considered even more important than the CV, as it contains more information about an individual's character and personality. 

It is important to note that it should be written in German if possible. Austrian employers usually want to see written references from each of your previous employers. 

These references should include your job title and the time you spent working at the position, as well as details of any activities you performed and your responsibilities. 

You should also have a summary of your achievements and personal behavior that reflects your character well. If you're not sure where to start with your CV and cover letter, it's worth trying an online resume builder like to make the process easier.


Starting a job in Austria

Once you land your dream job in Austria, you have nothing to worry about except surprising your employer. Fortunately, your employer will enroll you in all necessary health and social security policies, including retirement. 

However, you'll probably want to read up on Austrian corporate culture to make sure you understand it right from the start and don't make any noteworthy missteps.

For example, unlike some countries in the world, staying up late to look enthusiastic will actually make you look inefficient in Austria. Austrians also highly value work-life balance, which is good news for expats.

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