Working in the USA

Hard work is a respected virtue in the USA and expats should expect a rigorous schedule that is often more than 40 hours a week. There's less vacation time than what's given in Europe, with only two weeks annual leave in many positions. Business etiquette in the USA is similar to Europe, and it can be expected that the environment will be a bit more relaxed on the West Coast as opposed to the East Coast.

An Immigrant Visa will be needed by expats who wish to reside and work in the USA.


Job market in the USA

The American economy is comprised of many different industries that are largely driven by regional location. East Coast cities, such as New York and Boston, are strong financial players, the Midwest heartland lays claim to sectors relating to agriculture and natural resources, and the West Coast metropolises, such as Los Angeles and Seattle, are famous for technology and entertainment development.

Production and manufacturing contracts are increasingly being outsourced to smaller economies overseas, and Americans are becoming more focused on service jobs. Demand for low-wage service jobs, such as agricultural work and domestic help, have been fulfilled by a wave of Mexican immigration which has caused friction and made immigration a hot political topic.

However, expats in the USA from overseas generally sidestep the tumult and fill in more skilled parts of the workforce. American companies can apply for foreign workers if they can clearly show a lack of qualified American citizens available to carry out the job required.

The demand for employees in the medical profession – such as nurses, medical assistants and technicians – is on the increase. Jobs relating to care for the elderly are also growing as the baby-boomer generation is reaching retirement. The USA is particularly interested in skilled professionals for areas in which it competes for part of the global market, such as the burgeoning IT sector.  


Finding a job in the USA

Expats on the hunt for work can consult online job portals and the local classifieds, or enlist the help of an agency. If already in the country, local newspapers may also be useful, and it's always a good idea to ask around the neighbourhood and find out if anyone knows of an opening.