Finding a job and working in Austria as a foreigner

To obtain a work visa for Austria, your initial step is securing a job that can sponsor your visa.


4 minute read
Updated on 27 Mar 2024

Working in Austria is an excellent idea if you crave a high standard of living, above-average wages, and many outdoor sports opportunities. The country welcomes new talent with open arms, offering numerous job openings for foreigners.

In this article, we'll navigate you through the Austrian job market and the requisites for working in Austria while also furnishing vital tips to aid you in discovering English-speaking job positions within the country.

Is Austria a good place to work?

Absolutely! Thanks to its top-notch quality of life and thriving work environment, Austria stands out as a fantastic option for working abroad. The nation presents outstanding career prospects, especially for skilled technology, life sciences, and tourism professionals.

Austria offers a secure and pleasant atmosphere that prioritizes work-life balance and provides a robust social security system. With the practice of offering 13th and 14th monthly salaries and a stable economy, Austria ensures a high standard of living. Its strategic location at the heart of Europe adds another layer of appeal for those considering living and working in Austria.

Can you work in Austria as a foreigner?

Certainly, foreigners can work in Austria. EU/EEA citizens can work without a separate permit, while Non-EU/EEA citizens typically need a work visa and residence permit, based on job type, duration, and qualifications.

Requirements for EU and Swiss citizens

If you're an EU or Swiss citizen, you can freely move within the EU. While you don't need a work permit, you should meet these criteria to work in Austria:

  • Valid identification such as your identity card or passport.
  • Registration. Upon arrival in Austria, you’ll have to register your residence with the local authorities.
  • Social security. As an employee in Austria, you’ll be required to contribute to the social security system. It’ll provide you access to healthcare, pension benefits, and other social services.

Requirements for Non-EU citizens

General requirements for working in Austria as a Non-EU citizen include:

  • Work visa and residence permit: Non-EU/EEA citizens require a valid work visa and/or residence permit to legally work and reside in Austria. Usually, you apply for these documents at the Austrian embassy or consulate in your home country.
  • Health insurance. You must have health insurance that covers all potential risks in Austria. Once you start working, your employer must register you for social security, so you have access to the public healthcare services.
  • Accommodation proof. You need to provide evidence of having a place to live in Austria, including information about the length of your stay.
  • Proof of sufficient income. You must demonstrate that your income matches the permit's requirements.
  • Job market access: Depending on a type of residence permit you're applying for, you might need to prove that an Austrian or EU/EEA citizen cannot fill the position you're being offered. This is typically done through a labor market test.
  • Employer sponsorship: Your prospective employer usually needs to play a role in the application process by providing documentation and confirming the job offer.
  • Qualifications and skills: Depending on the type of work, your qualifications and skills might be evaluated to ensure they match the requirements of the job.
  • Language requirements: Depending on the job and industry, there might be language requirements to fulfill.

If you struggle to secure a job in Austria from abroad, check whether you meet the criteria for a Job Seeker Visa.

This type of residence visa allows you to live in Austria for up to 6 months while looking for a job. Once you've found a job, you must apply for a residence permit such as a Red-White-Red Card or EU Blue Card

Can I get a job in Austria without speaking German?

Working in Austria without speaking German can be challenging, but it's possible in some specific situations. There're certain job sectors where English may be more commonly used, particularly in international companies, startups, research institutions, hospitality and some tech-related fields.

Some of the international companies that actively hire foreigners in Austria include Siemens, OMV Group, and Red Bull.

What jobs are in-demand in Austria?

In Austria, there is a wide range of job opportunities available, but some professions are currently experiencing a shortage, making them particularly sought after. If your profession is among those in demand, you have the option to apply for either the Red-White-Red Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations or the Red-White-Red Card for Other Key Workers.

Here’s a list of the shortage of occupations in Austria for the year 2023:

  • Engineers and technicians: power engineers, engineers for agricultural machinery, telecommunications engineers, mechanical engineers, engineers for data processing
  • Healthcare professionals: nurses, physicians, medical technology specialists, denture technicians.
  • Gastronomy and hospitality employees: restaurant chefs, coffee product makers, butchers, estate managers, store assistants, bakers, waiters/waitresses.
  • Business specialists: payroll accountants, certified public accountants, business administrators, accountants, billing accountants.
  • Physical employees: floor and wall tilers, pavers, special floor layers, bricklayers, carpenters.

Where to find a jobs in Austria

To find job opportunities in Austria, start by exploring various sources such as online job boards, social media channels, and printed publications. Employers actively promote job openings through these channels and the public employment service, which also offers valuable information on labor laws, work contracts, and practical job application tips in Austria.

For English-speaking jobs in Austria:

For German-speaking jobs in Austria:

Another effective approach is attending job fairs and networking events, which provide an excellent opportunity to connect with potential employers. Some notable job fairs in Austria include:

  • Career Competence
  • Trade Fair Dates

Tips for landing a job in Austria

To improve your chances of finding work in Austria you should:

  • Thoroughly research the company: Showcase your eagerness to join the company through your motivation letter and interview. If possible, propose how your skills can make a meaningful impact.
  • Highlight relevant skills in your CV: Tailor your CV to match the job description. Keep it succinct, prioritizing quality in your applications.
  • Ensure your application includes essentials: If CV and motivation letter formats pose challenges, consult the Austrian government website for job application tips.
  • Enhance your German: Basic German proficiency streamlines job hunting in Austria.
  • Network: Attend job fairs, and through occasional visits to Austria, connect with fellow expats in person.

Are you prepared to start searching for your dream job in Austria? If so, find out how to secure important documents, such as an Austrian work visa and residence permit. Good luck with your job search!

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