In central Europe sits the culturally rich, scenic country of Austria. Every year, more people are finding this German-influenced country to be a safe and enjoyable place to call home. With high standards of living come high costs of living, meaning you will definitely need a job to support yourself, unless you are retiring abroad and plan to live off of a pension.
Working overseas in Austria can be perfect for those who are looking to challenge themselves and change up their current career. The Austrian economy is performing well, following recent economic downturn. The country is one of the richest in the world and holds one of the highest standards of living.
If you are looking to find a job in Austria, you will need to get a good grasp of the German language. While English is used widely in business, you will need to know the language for almost any job you find in the country. A few exceptions include teaching English or working as an au pair.
Work Permit and Residency
As a non-EU citizen, you aren’t able to work overseas and live in Austria without the proper paperwork, which includes a work visa.
The most common visa for those looking to work in Austria is the Red-White-Red card. This visa is designed to grant residence to those who possess skills that can benefit the shortages in the Austrian labor market. The card is on a points-based system that enables you to work for an Austrian company for one year.
Another option is the EU Blue Card, which is a work permit tied to a specific job offer. To obtain this card, you must hold a university degree. The residency allows you to work for up to two years.
A jobseeker’s visa is the third option. This is for highly-qualified people looking to work overseas in Austria for up to six months. If you find employment that lasts longer than six months during this period, you must apply for the appropriate work permit.
Where to Work
The economy in Austria is strong and growing steadily, and it is run by small and medium sized businesses. Listed below are some industries to check out during your job search.
- Major industries: manufacturing, wholesale and retail, auto repair, real estate, construction, healthcare, communications, chemicals, food, wood and paper.
- Recent growth areas: electrical engineering, IT, manufacturing, healthcare, social work, and construction.
- Shortage occupations: engineers and skilled manual workers are in demand, and people skilled in the interface between business and technology.
- Major companies: Spar Österreich, Rewe International AG, Trenkwalder International AG, Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB), Voestalpine AG, Wienerberger, OMV, Red Bull GmbH, Swarovski, Telekom Austria.
There are also quite a bit of seasonal jobs in the tourism industry, especially in the snow sports sector as a ski instructor or working at any of the many ski resorts. During the summer you can easily find work in bars, restaurants, and cafes. There are also quite a few historical cities, like Vienna and Salzburg, that offer hospitality positions. If you have childcare experience, you may also be able to find work as an au pair.
Though Austrians are taught English as a second language at an early age, there are still many jobs available to teach English in the country. Competition is fierce, but if you are TEFL or TESOL qualified, you can easily find work as a teacher in public schools, private language academies, and universities at different levels of skill.
What to Expect
The average workday is roughly eight hours a day. The average workweek is 40 hours a week with 48 hours a week as the legal maximum for a full time job. Employees are entitled to five weeks of leave per year.
The income tax rates are a progressive at 0-50%. The amount of tax you pay determines what you earn. Income tax and insurance contributions will be deducted from your salary each month.
The Job Search
The best advice for those looking for a job in Austria is to begin the search as soon as you are thinking about moving. Austrians take administrative procedures very seriously, which means the application process can be long. Networking is always a good step as well.
A lot of jobs are posted in newspapers, found in the Karriere of Job section in both national and regional newspapers. Here is a list of a few examples:
You can also find jobs at recruitment fairs, such as those put on by the Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (AIESEC), which take place throughout Austria.
There are also many websites that list job openings to work overseas in Austria. Most of the websites listed below are in the German language: