Austria is one of the richest countries in the world. The economy has regained its strength after the global economic crisis that crippled so much of Europe. The workforce is regarded as efficient and the people are known as extremely ethical making for an excellent work environment. The country is highly industrial yet stunningly beautiful; the jaw dropping natural scenery of the Austrian Alps and musical culture offer plenty to do on your off days and create a thriving tourism industry. Whether you work in Austria in well known cities like Vienna or Salzburg, or a little Austrian village nestled among the vineyards, you will marvel at the beauty and strength of Austria.
Vienna, the capital, offers the most job opportunities in Austria. Brimming with historical significance, Vienna is a juxtaposition between the past and present. The center of the city is quite modern, but surrounded by buildings and monuments dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Technology, healthcare, hospitality, and education are the main types of professions. For example, if you are in hospitality and speak another language you will be at a great advantage. Educators will also be at an advantage as the major universities are located in Vienna, while technology and healthcare are major industries and many global companies look for special skills in those fields.
Salzburg. The name means “city of salt” or “river of salt” and it wasn’t part of Austria until 1816. If music is your field of interest, then Salzburg is probably most known as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and if film is your area of interest, then you will immediately notice the center sculpture filmed in the Sound of Music. Tourism and specialty schools are also very prevalent in Salzburg because of its respected reputation in the arts.
Innsbruck is located in western Austria in the Karwendel Alps and was the host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. If you have experience in winter sports or tourism, Innsbruck is a natural place to look for a job in Austria. It is located halfway between Munich (Germany) and Verona (Italy). Winter sports are prevalent, however, in the summer, biking, swimming, and hiking are popular activities. It is more of a resort area catering to those looking for a winter or summer adventure. If you’re in the hospitality industry, Innsbruck is a hotspot for work in Austria. English and other languages are useful and will make it more likely for you to obtain a job in Innsbruck.
Graz is the second largest city in Austria, about 120 miles southwest of Vienna, and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural site list. It is known as the “student city” with over six universities and is an ideal location for university professors. Jobs in technology and education are significant and growing in Graz. Since Graz is slightly less competitive than Vienna, it can offer good job opportunities to foreign workers.
Jobs Abroad in Austria
Tourism & Hospitality. Austria is a popular tourist attraction no matter what month it is, so short term and seasonal work in Austria in the tourism and hospitality industry is available year round. If a seasonal job in Austria is what you’re looking for, then Innsbruck and Salzburg host the best and most rewarding potential tourism jobs for you. Those who want to work in Austria for 90 days or less will find work in the the tourism or hospitality industries to be a terrific option.
Technology. If you are a software engineer, web developer, or customer service technician with the most up-to-date skills and experience, then finding jobs in Austria shouldn’t be too hard for you. Many large global IT companies, such as Cisco, have significant offices in Austria and are always looking for experienced technology workers.
Education and the Arts have, throughout history, been part of the Austrian culture. In almost every city you will find exquisite museums, universities, theater, and of course, music. It is respected by the world over as a mecca of the arts for both teaching and learning.
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries globally and Austria is known for the best healthcare in the region. Since 2002, Austria has moved from primarily manufacturing to biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Strong growth in these research industries has provided for an increase in North American workers. Scientists are especially in demand for the many healthcare research organizations.
Work Schedule. The average work week is based on the industry, but is usually 37 to 40 hours Monday through Friday, except for the hospitality industry. If you are a full-time permanent employee, expect exceptional benefits, such as a minimum of five weeks compulsory vacation (holiday as it is called) and up to seven weeks depending on your age rather than your time at a company.
Language Requirements. Knowing the language or at least some conversational German is best and many companies will require it for jobs in Austria. English is used in many global companies and is surely an asset as a global language, but if you know at least some German it is a strong plus. Companies will hire for skills and experience and may require you to take German language classes. For example, Austrian universities require German as a language for their educators.
Salary & Affordability
Austria is one of the richest countries in Europe and the cost of living is high, but the salaries are mostly commensurate. Monthly incomes are between 2,000 to 2,500 Euros gross (around $1,400 to $1,600). If you work in Austria in the field of hospitality, you may have additional benefits, such as meals, and most full-time positions will offer training. Other industries, such as education and health care, may offer you assistance with accommodations.
Salaries are high in Europe but so are the taxes. In Austria, taxes can go up to 37 to 45 percent of your gross salary. However, all social needs such as healthcare are completely covered. The more in demand your skills, the higher your salary will be.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodation will depend on what city you live in and you specific job in Austria. For example, some universities and tourism jobs in Austria include accommodations. In Vienna, you will pay more for less space. The city is crowded and flats (apartments) are small. More than likely, a home will not be found in Vienna or Graz. However, if you want to commute into the city you will be able to find a home with more room, but not what you may be used to in the United States. Living quarters in Europe tend to be smaller than in the States in general.
You will need to have a workers visa to work abroad in Austria. Companies may have an easier time hiring you if you have specialized academic degrees, certifications, or work experience that is difficult to find in the EU, since sponsoring a foreigner’s work visa can be difficult. However, visas are not difficult to obtain if you have the right credentials, but the visa process does require special paperwork, including a recent FBI background check that will need to be translated to German. The hiring company will also need to provide the foreign police with the appropriate paperwork. For the most part your employer will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate documents.
Benefits & Challenges
- History & Culture. The country has been an epicenter for the arts for hundreds of years making it an excellent place to explore musical history as well as see some amazing performances. An afternoon at the opera is quite inexpensive and there are many concerts whether in Vienna or Salzburg.
- Music. No other country can boast the number of major composers, from Mozart to Shubert. There are 12 music festivals each year in Austria most notably the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna Festival Weeks.
- Christmas Markets. Known throughout Europe, the Austrian Christmas Markets are a delight and many European will travel to Austria just to partake in the revelry of various booths and concerts.
- Price. Austria is often expensive, but your salary should be proportional to your cost of living. Austrians are also famous for their efficiency and moderation, so living frugally is more of a cultural norm rather than a budgeting tactic.
- Workforce Perks. The Austrians may be known for the rather strict work ethics, but they also know how to take time off and enjoy life. You will likely enjoy seven weeks of vacation as a part of the Austrian workforce not to mention access to an efficient and affordable transportation system that will connect you to the rest of Europe.