Working in Vienna
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While Vienna’s economy did feel a knock from the global financial crisis, the consequences were relatively mild and the city’s economy has since experienced considerable annual growth. Expats will find career opportunities in a range of fields.
While English is generally spoken in business circles, expats who speak some basic German will certainly find it advantageous when it comes to securing a job in Vienna.
Expats who are citizens of EU-member states can legally work in Austria without having to obtain a work permit, but those from outside the EU will need to qualify for a work permit. Only those who are highly skilled or are considered ‘key workers’ by the Austrian labour authorities can obtain a work permit.
Job market in Vienna
As the capital of Austria, Vienna contributes approximately 25 percent of the country’s GNP. As is the case in most European cities today, most of the jobs in Vienna are found in the service sector.
Vienna has prominent real estate, banking and business sectors. Tourism is also a major industry in Vienna as each year thousands of foreigners visit the city to see its historic sites and famous works of arts. Tourism creates lots of service jobs at hotels, cafés and tourist hotspots.
Vienna has a booming media sector and expats will find the city is home to the offices of numerous national and local newspapers as well as radio stations and television channels. Big international media agencies have subsidiaries in Vienna and there is a large number of correspondents and journalists based in the city.
Furthermore, Vienna is a major business hub within Europe and home to both branches and headquarters of major multinational corporations. Most companies in the Global Fortune 500 have offices in Vienna.
Finding a job in Vienna
Finding a job in Austria isn't easy, the majority of expats relocate to Vienna as a result of a transfer from within a large company where they have been working in their home country.
Browsing online listings before arriving in the country is a good idea because it quickly allows job seekers to get an insight into the current state of the job market within a particular field. The classified section in local newspapers such as Der Standard, Die Presse, Kleine Zeitung and Kurier are also a good source of information and also have online versions that are updated regularly.
The AMS (Arbeitsmarktservice) is a government institution that helps unemployed people. EU citizens who are registered as unemployed in their home county can utilise this service and upload their CV on to the AMS system.
Expats should also make use of any personal contacts to find out about job opportunities. Networking and personal relationships are incredibly important in Austria. Austrians tend to trust friends so personal recommendations are highly valued.