- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Los Angeles Guide (PDF)
California is often credited as the USA's most fertile ground for innovation, and Los Angeles, alongside San Francisco, is one of the primary driving forces behind the state's spirit of ingenuity and sense of creativity.
Additionally, expats considering working in LA will find themselves at the heart of a well-oiled manufacturing machine and amidst one of the world's busiest ports.
Job market in Los Angeles
The city's economy is exceptionally diverse, but due to its impressive population – the second highest in the country – the varied nature of business in LA doesn't always equate with job opportunities.
First and foremost, Los Angeles is often seen as synonymous with the entertainment industry. For decades, the allure of Hollywood has nudged both local and foreign migrants to abandon dour nine-to-five jobs in favour of moving to LA to follow their dreams of stardom. Needless to say, not everyone achieves their dream of fame in LA – but as a hub of creative industries, the city may offer satisfying and exciting career development in related fields, perhaps behind the scenes.
The glamorous, star-studded city also attracts holiday-makers in droves, and the tourism industry is one of LA's strongest.
Other major contributors to the city's economy are business services and international trade. Additionally, expats with a background in finance will find a large representation of foreign banks and corporations in the metropolis, and an inter-company transfer may in fact be the easiest way to pursue employment in LA.
Aside from opportunities in these sectors, the Los Angeles working world is becoming increasingly technology-driven with some dubbing the city "the new Silicon Valley". Information technology, biomedical technology and environmental technology are dominating the new economy. Expats with specialised skills in these areas are more likely to find a job in the city.
Finding a job in Los Angeles
It is recommended that expats secure a job before moving to Los Angeles. Expats will find that many jobs in Los Angeles can be found on online career portals.
Networking is also a fantastic way to find a job in Los Angeles, and thanks to the access afforded by social media, even expats located abroad can start seeding queries and making contacts before making the big move.
Once expats have secured a job, they will need to obtain a work permit to be legally employed in LA.
►Doing business in the USA is a great resource for expat entrepreneurs in LA
Are you an expat living in Los Angeles?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Los Angeles. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.