Jobs Abroad in the United States

Back to Programs

A Guide to Working Abroad in the United States

Historically, the U.S. has always been known as “the land of opportunity.” This may be a bit of a cliché, but in many ways it is still true. Workers come to the U.S. to improve their skills, their education level, their quality of living, and for a new life in general. The U.S. is also a wonderful place for students to work abroad for a summer or spend a gap year. There are ample opportunities for part-time or seasonal jobs, and working in the United States gives individuals time to explore the country, while supplementing travel expenses and gaining international work experience.


Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital has job opportunities for almost every job seeker, and recent economic studies rate it as the area of the U.S. that has the highest number of jobs available across all industries and professions. The federal government and military are huge employers, and law and lobbying is a major industry. Within the city and its suburbs, there are academic and research job opportunities at several universities, including Georgetown, George Washington University, and American University.

There are also major healthcare providers and research centers, including the Washington Hospital Center, National Children’s Hospital, and the National Institute of Health. Washington D.C. is also a major media center and supports a high-tech industry corridor between the District and suburban Dulles Airport. On top of everything else, for part-time and entry-level workers, there’s a thriving service and tourism industry too.

Seattle, Washington gets high marks for combining economic opportunity with livability, provided you don’t mind the rain. It’s a center for computer sciences, aviation and aerospace production, and research, and it’s the gateway for international trade to Asia as well as cruises and wilderness excursions to Alaska. Seattle is also home to Internet retailer Amazon and cutting edge coffee technology, Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's were all founded or are based in Seattle. Major universities in Seattle include the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Seattle University.

Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the past few years, Raleigh has consistently been ranked as one of the top places to begin a business or pursue a business career. The cost of doing business in the area is low, and the region is growing steadily. The technology, healthcare, and education industries are key employers. The city is part of the North Carolina's Research Triangle, one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of cutting-edge start-ups and research centers, especially in the field of biotechnology. It’s also in the center of several major academic and cultural institutions, including Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, and The North Carolina Museum of Art.

Jobs Abroad in the United States

A little more than 15 percent of the U.S. labor market is filled by foreign-born workers, and most of those jobs fall at either end of the job spectrum. There are high-skill, generally technical, very specific, and highly-compensated jobs in the United States, for which potential employees are often recruited. On the other end, there are jobs that are physically hard, low-skilled, and at the bottom of the wage scale, such as agricultural, housekeeping and cleaning, retail and fast food, and landscaping and non-union construction jobs. 

The more fluent you are in English and the higher your education level, the better your chance of working abroad in the U.S. in a higher-paying position. Geographically, the highest number of jobs in the USA are available in the West or Northeastern parts of the country, and several industries stand out as areas in which workers will be in demand in the future.

Healthcare. Thirteen of the 20 occupations with the highest projected rate of growth are in the healthcare field. These jobs in the U.S. encompass a wide range of required training and projected salaries (which are typically on the higher side). Job titles such as personal care aide, registered nurse, and physician’s assistant are the most popular and are in the highest demand.

Retail Sales. Retail sales work abroad in the USA is one of the most fluid and easily attainable jobs. It is not particularly high paying as the median salary averages around $10 an hour. Sometimes it is supplemented by commission bonuses and employee discounts, and it is a good first job and typically takes place in a clean, secure environment. Retail jobs in the U.S. can be a career stepping stone, and shifts are generally flexible enough so the job can be fit around other responsibilities (such as family needs or school). 

Computer & Information Technology. This is one of the most rapidly expanding and changing industries in the U.S. and worldwide. IT or computer jobs in the United States range from computer programmers and computer support specialists to web designers and software developers. Though some moguls famously dropped out of college and started multi-million dollar franchises in their garages, most jobs abroad in the USA require at least a two-year technical degree or a bachelor’s degree. Starting salaries (although these depend heavily on the position and the size and location of the company) are typically quite high, and jobs provide enough room for advancement and salary increases.

Salary & Affordability

Salaries and the cost of living vary widely by geographic region and by whether the setting is rural or in a major metropolitan area. Either way, the cost of living in the U.S. is lower than in many European countries, but higher than in many other areas of the world. Education and age matters when it comes to pay scales. Typically, those with a bachelor’s degree will earn nearly three times as much as those with only high school degrees.

Each state has a different set minimum wage, and hospitality or restaurant jobs may be lower due to earning tips. Federal minimum wage is tough to live on comfortably no matter what part of the country you live in. Typically, the larger the city, the higher the living costs. The most expensive cities are Boston, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Mid-sized cities in the Midwestern region tend to be more affordable. Depending on what type of work abroad in the USA you are seeking, it is best to also bring along savings.

Accommodation & Visas

Housing is generally plentiful and affordable for workers who fall in the high skill range, and often housing is subsidized or arranged by employers, particularly if the employer is an academic, research, or high-tech organization. Sharing an apartment with roommates is the best way to cut costs while living comfortably.

Seasonal workers typically have more of a challenge as they are generally at the bottom of the pay scale. Seasonal agricultural workers face the biggest challenge since they are often moving from location to location, in rural areas where options are limited, and can be sub-standard. Seasonal non agricultural workers, such as natural or amusement park employees, resort employees, or those in the tourism industries may find options to be limited as well, but in many cases they will have access to dorms or subsidized housing on site.

Visas to work abroad in the USA vary according to the job and skill level. One of the most issued, most coveted, and the most highly-compensated is the H1B, given to workers with specific in-demand skills, such as computer systems and software engineers, software developers, electronic engineers, researchers, and medical specialists. These are issued for three years, with an option to renew, and an option to convert to permanent resident status. Seasonal agriculture and non-agricultural workers can be issued a one-year visa that can be renewed for three years.

Employers must get certification for the jobs offered, and employees must verify their immigration status. Up-to-date information on visa types, regulations, and the application process is available through the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or U.S. Embassy offices.

Benefits & Challenges

  • Limitless Opportunity. The country and its options have no limits or boundaries. Working abroad in the U.S. can be the first step to a rewarding career in almost any field, or it can be a temporary stop, a job that finances what amounts to a vacation in a country with more things to see and do than can be managed in a lifetime.
  • Ample Preparation & Research Needed. The U.S. is a vast place. Competition for jobs, especially in high-paying industries or the biggest metropolitan areas, is stiff. The U.S. economy is just emerging from recession, and is still uncertain. Whether it’s a summer job, an internship, career enhancement, or a permanent move you’re looking for, your move will take research and preparation.
Read More

A Guide To
Working Abroad in the United States


 Find Work Abroad in the United States Now


This listing has been saved 56 times

Recognized TEFL Courses & TEFL Jobs Abroad

Earn your TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate and get access to teaching Jobs across the world. Offering both classroom and online training across the U.S, the courses are packed full of practical information and teaching methodologies to help you become a great TEFL teacher. Once you're qualified, you'll have a top level TEFL certificate and the confidence to teach and tr...

happy kid

This listing has been saved 118 times

EA Ski & Snowboard

Can’t get enough of snow? We have the perfect program for you in the U.S! EA Ski & Snowboard training offers an epic opportunity to gain work experience as a paid instructor in Northstar, California. EA has come up with an instructor program, allowing convenient transition into the snow sports industry. Our instructor internship involves training, qualifying and working all in the same s...


This listing has been saved 191 times

USEH International Inc.

Experience living and working abroad for 12 to 18 months with USEH International. Program placements are available in a vareity of locations such as Atlanta and Chicago. Participants are required to have a Diploma or Certification in their chosen field, as well as an intermediate to advanced level of English depending on the placement.


This listing has been saved 314 times

J-1 U.S. Internships and Training Programs

Looking to intern and advance your career in the United States? You are in the right place. Cultural Vistas provides thousands of international students and professionals every year with the necessary visa sponsorship and support to enhance their skills and gain exposure to American business practices and culture through internship and training programs with U.S. organizations. In additio...


This listing has been saved 74 times

Get Paid To Teach English Abroad with your TEFL Cert

We provide the highest quality, accredited in class and professional level Online TEFL / TESOL courses. Our TEFL class graduates receive lifetime job guidance assistance to teach English around the world upon graduation. No previous experience or qualifications required.


This listing has been saved 85 times

Work and Travel Opportunitites in United States

InterExchange is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting cross-cultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs. For more than 40 years, InterExchange has been connecting young people from all over the world with life-changing international cultural exchange opportunities.


This listing has been saved 46 times

UNI-Prep Institute

UNI-Prep Institute's TEFL certification course is online, accredited and internationally recognized to qualify trainees to work as an English/ESL/EFL teacher anywhere in the world. The 120-hour TESOL/TEFL certification course offers videos, tutor support, free shipping, and many other benefits. The institute also provides job support and exclusive placement opportunities. With offices in USA an...


UNI Overseas Recruitment Fair 2018

Non-profit, University-based since 1976. Certified educators of all disciplines are needed for the 1,000+ PK-12 jobs posted through our service annually. Offering services since 1976, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Overseas Placement Service for Educators, a program area of UNI Career Services, connects American international K-12 schools with certified educators year round. By regi...


This listing has been saved 29 times

Backroads is hiring Travel Guides!

Get the chance to explore different places while working for a company in the forefront of active travel! Backroads, the #1 active travel company worldwide, has positions open for seasonal Trip Leaders (guides). Your role mainly involves leading and supporting our award-winning hiking, biking, and multisport vacations in the US, Europe, and around the globe. As a Trip Leader, you will enric...


This listing has been saved 17 times


Job Description: Our veterinary medicine courses introduce students to academic material while also giving them an opportunity to gain hands on experience in the field. The courses combine classroom learning, academic discussions, practical animal handling, and veterinary lab training.


This listing has been saved 249 times

IRES: Finding the Perfect Candidate!

Live, work, and earn money abroad with International Recruitment Exchange Services. Participants can develop skills and industry knowledge through various placements in locations across the U.S. such as Miami, FL and Knoxville, TN. There are a variety of program placements for individuals interested in multiple fields, including Tourism, Food Science, and Nutrition.


This listing has been saved 9 times

Live and Grow Herbs in Hawaii

Live and Grow Herbs in Hawaii Aloha! * We provide: - Free housing and utilities - 7 acre organic farm - 15 minutes walk into the old town of Hawi on Hawaii Island (AKA Big Island) Land and infrastructure for you to grow herbs for yourself/business - Instruction in qigong healing, Food As Medicine, and Korean Natural Farming * You provide: - 25 hours of work per week on the farm - ...


This listing has been saved 51 times


Kalani's Sabbatical Program is the best of our guest and volunteer experiences rolled into one fun and relaxing month. Whether you have a writing or creative project to explore, want to take time to discover who you truly are, or simply need a retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation, you'll find a nourishing home here. Connect with new friends while on sabbatical, and return home refreshed and ...


This listing has been saved 69 times


Work with a Californian non-profit organization dedicated to the field of Conservation. They offer staff positions and internships in their new office located in Irvine. Participants will working with a small team in a friendly and fun office environment.