Working abroad in England provides individuals with a plethora of resources and opportunities at their fingertips, whether it is traveling throughout Europe on the weekends or working for one of the top companies in the world. Experiencing British culture first hand and gaining work experience in England will no doubt provide international workers with priceless skills to build their future on.
London. When considering where to work in England, individuals from all over the world will immediately look to London for job opportunities. A melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, London also serves as one of the largest job markets in the entire United Kingdom. In London, almost anyone can find the job of their dreams because the city tends to be a great place to work in any field.
Manchester & Liverpool. Keep in mind the north will be cold and rainer throughout the year. Both of these cities have a more urban feel when compared to other large metropolitan areas, like Bath or Cambridge. Both cities have great art scenes and trendy corners to explore.
Oxford & Cambridge. If pursuing a job in England in the fields of academics or education, working in Oxford or Cambridge is ideal. Home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities, if you are considering furthering your education while working abroad, these two cities are the perfect place to settle.
The Southwest. If looking for a more laid back pace removed from big city life, try searching for jobs in the smaller towns located in Southwest England. Providing a surprisingly beachy feel along the coast and beautiful green landscapes, tourists interested in the natural beauty of England (as opposed to the historical significance) look to this region of the country. Therefore, don’t be surprised if most jobs are centered in hospitality of tourism.
Jobs in England
Working in England is a great option for those who want to expand their professional skills and career opportunities, as well as creative thinkers looking for more inspiration. England excels in the field of education in almost every arena, so most jobs in England will include some component of education or learning.
Creative Fields. With a long history in the arts, it is no surprise individuals flock to England for jobs in theater, literature, journalism, fashion design, and music. The number of famous poets, writers, musicians, and performers from England is outstanding, so those interested in these creative fields should be prepared for a good deal of competition.
Service Sector. Due to the high numbers of tourists that travel to England annually to explore the country from top to bottom, jobs in hospitality, customer service, and other related fields are not uncommon.
Child Care & Teaching. Like most of Europe, au pair jobs are common in England, providing foreigners with an easy transition into the British way of life. Opportunities to work with kids outside the home through teaching are also available in England.
Foreign workers may find themselves working in the private or public sector, and jobs in England are most definitely plentiful in both. Regardless of the job or sector of society, employees are expected to be punctual, proper, polite, and professional at all times, in both manner and appearance. Though English language skills are a basic requirement of almost any job in England, Americans and other native English speakers may find themselves still on a bit of learning curve when it comes to British English.
Salary & Affordability
All jobs in the UK must pay workers sufficiently based on National Minimum Wage Legislation, which means workers over the age of 21 are paid at least between 5 and 6 Euros per hour of work. Obviously more professional or higher level positions will pay far more than this, but entry level jobs will usually be close to the minimum wage.
Some employers will arrange housing for employees, and if working as an au pair housing is usually included as part of compensation. However if your new employer is not willing to assist you in finding residence, expect housing to be quite hard to find for an affordable price smack dab in the middle of London, as there is already a great housing shortage for locals. If working elsewhere in England, locating affordable housing should not be an issue, especially in cities with a large student population.
England is generally in line with most other European countries when it comes to costs of daily needs, however prices tend to be slightly higher than in the United States. It will be difficult to find takeout for two for under 20 GBP, and in London that price will increase to easily more than 30 GBP. Buying food at the grocery store and cooking at home will always be cheaper, and when it comes to drinking, don’t expect to grab a couple beers with friends without spending 20 to 30 GBP. To travel via the National Bus System from London to South West England, a four hour journey, you may pay only 20 GBP, but via train the same trip may cost upwards of 70 GBP.
Accommodation & Visas
In cities filled to the brim with universities, except to find a variety of housing options for a range of prices. Apartments, referred to locally as flats, are the most common housing option for young professionals. Unlike apartments and houses in the U.S., don’t expect a flat in England to be enormously spacious - in general housing in England is modest and smaller in scale.
Obtaining the legal right to work in England can be quite a burdensome process. However your employer will be required to support you through it all, so be sure your employer is prepared to do so from the start. Those from the EU will find the visa process to be far less difficult.
Benefits & Challenges
Language. English speakers will have little to no trouble adjusting to work in England when it comes to language, as English is of course the national language. However, international workers should be prepared for a few linguistic misunderstandings, such as when they ask for chips or biscuits at a restaurant and receive fries or cookies. If foreigners work in England for long enough they may find themselves saying they “fancy a sandwich” instead of wanting to eat one.
British Humor. The sarcasm of British humor can take a little getting used to, as Brits tend to have a unique bluntness and honesty to their jokes.
Legal Right to Work. It is truly difficult to find a job in England if you are from outside the EU unless you get your foot in the door at a local company or you are applying for a highly skilled job.
Educational Inspiration. The number of world-renowned universities in England is beyond compare, so after working in England for a few months you may find yourself drawn to further your education.
Universal Health Care. If you get in a pinch, or literally pinch your hand in a car door for example, England’s health care system will have your back. In England even foreigners receive free treatment in the emergency room.