How To Get a Job in Austria Without Speaking German?

Austria ranked in 12th place in the World Happiness Report 2018, where almost 9 million people enjoy a high standard of living due to its low unemployment rates and thriving economy.

You can, without a doubt, find a job in Austria without speaking German. If you aim to work in the pharma, banking, tourism, and IT industries, a lack of German won’t be a problem in most cases. Austria is a modern, international country that is home to over 1.675 million foreigners.

Do you want to find a job in Austria and relocate eventually? But your German skills are equivalent to zero or maybe not good enough for a corporate world? Then read this article to learn how to find a job in Austria without speaking German.

Also read our guide on getting a job in Vienna.

Jobs in Austria for English speakers

It’s possible to find a job in Austria without speaking their language, as the country has a large labor market, low unemployment rates (4.9%), good international connections, and a worldwide reputation.

Typical jobs and sectors with demand for English-speaking workers are:

  • Lecturers at university for English majors
  • Schoolteachers for English majors
  • English tutoring
  • Employment in international companies in various fields
  • IT industry, software developers
  • Tourism
  • Marketing – analytics, social media marketing, SEO, etc.

Austria isn’t that insignificant. It has the 12th largest economy in the world. But you need to consider a few other nuances and obstacles you might be facing when looking for an English-speaking position.

English-speaking jobs in Austria tend to be more specialized and competitive. If you are a native English speaker, you will have a better chance of getting a good position, especially in teaching. For non-native speakers, the job search might be less successful and more time-consuming.

Nonetheless, you will have better employment chances when looking for a job that is in a high demand.

Where to look for an English-speaking job in Austria?

It might be challenging to find job vacancies published in the English language on local Austrian job boards. Yet, there are some good places to look for.

For example, the website Englishjobsearch.at is dedicated to only English-speaking jobs across the whole country. The majority of offers are concentrated in Vienna. Other major cities with a high number of jobs in English are Graz, Linz, Innsbruck, and Salzburg.

Glassdoor.com is another great source of jobs in Austria and in many other countries. On this website, you can set filters for the desirable job, city, salary, etc. Currently, there are over 70,000 job listings posted.

For jobs in Vienna, check out the website Jobsinvienna.com. As the name tells, the offer is limited to one city.

General Austrian job boards

Vacancies in English are also posted on general Austrian job boards, including:

  • Karriere.at – one of the largest job sites in Austria
  • Careerjet.at – international job search engine
  • Indeed.com – an international site with many offerings in Austria

Read our guide on getting a job in Vienna.

What’s it like to work in Austria?

As one of the wealthiest countries in the European Union, Austria is a popular place for expats and foreign workers from neighboring countries.

Vienna, in particular, is a well-connected city with a high average salary and exceptional opportunities to enjoy culture, nightlife, and history.

Austria’s job market relies heavily on industries such as agriculture, construction, tourism, services, motor vehicle production, electronics, food, and transportation. 

Working days in Austria are typical to most counties – people work Monday to Friday and have Saturdays and Sundays off. You can expect to work an eight-hour day and a 40-hour week (38,5 hours is the most common).

What salary can you expect in Austria?

In 2022, the average salary in Austria is €52,000, which includes bonuses and social security payments. If you earn between €2,000 and €3,000 net per month, you will have a good life in Austria. That said, the minimum wage is €1,500 a month. 

Austrian employees receive 14 monthly salaries per year. In addition, you are entitled to a generous five weeks of paid leave per year, which will be increased to six weeks after 25 years of service.

Moreover, the country has 13 official paid public holidays every year.

You might also want to read: What is a good salary in Austria?

Visa and work permits for Austria

Depending on your country of origin, you might need to apply for a visa to be able to work in Austria. EU or EEA citizens entering Austria and looking for employment don’t need a visa.

That being said, you’ll face restrictions if you’re coming from Croatia. For this country, Austria has special regulations:

  • For Croatian citizens: you don’t need a visa to enter Austria, but if you intend to stay for more than three months, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit within 4 months of your arrival, which you’ll do through your local registration office.
  • For the application, you must submit financial proof that you can support yourself for the duration of your stay.  

If you aren’t an EU or EEA citizen, you’ll need a visa to enter Austria and find a job. There are several different visas available for various purposes, including:

1. EU Blue card

The main requirement for an EU Blue Card is a completed university degree with a duration of at least three years. EU Blue Card entitles non-EU citizens to live and work in Austria for up to two years.

To apply for a permit, you need a confirmed job offer beforehand. The card will only be granted if the AMS (the Austrian Labor Market Service) confirms that no Austrian or EU citizen is available to perform the work specified in the contract.

The qualifications of applicants must match the job profile, and the salary specified in the work contract must be 1.5 times higher (€66,593 – 2022) than the average yearly income of full-time employees in Austria. However, in 2022, the salary was reduced to €44,395; read more below.

2. Red-White-Red card

Non-EU citizens who qualify as “key workers” can apply for a Red-White-Red Card, which allows them to work for a specified employer and live in Austria for two years.

To qualify as a key worker, you must be exceptionally highly qualified, a skilled worker in a shortage occupation, a self-employed key worker, or a graduate of an Austrian university.

The Red-White-Red Card has a point-based immigration system. Depending on which of the above categories you belong to, you must fulfill specific criteria before applying.

Compared to the EU Blue Card, a university degree isn’t required for all groups but only for “very highly qualified workers.”

They will need to possess at least 4 years long bachelor’s degree in the MINT field or Ph.D.

After ten months of working and living in Austria, Red-White-Red Card holders may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus, which entitles them to free access to the Austrian labor market.

Family members of Red-White-Red Card or EU Blue cardholders are also eligible to apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus.

3. Job seeker visa

Similar to the two other permit types, you must meet specific criteria before applying for a Job seeker visa. This visa allows highly-qualified non-EU citizens to look for work in Austria for a period of six months.

To qualify for the Job seeker visa, you need to score a minimum of 70 points out of a maximum of 100 points in the point-based immigration system.

Points are awarded based on your age, qualifications, relevant work experience, English language level, and studies in Austria.

After receiving an offer letter from an employer, you can convert the visa to a Red-White-Red (RWR) card issued for 2 years.

See more about visas and residence permits in Austria on the official website.

Changes in Austrian immigration law from October 2022

To make the employment of non-EU citizens easier and more straightforward, the Austrian government implemented some changes to immigration law in October 2022.

That said, the application process for a Red-White-Red – Card or EU Blue Card will be more quickly in the future.

For example, IT professionals can now work in Austria on EU Blue Card without official related studies; they just need three years of work experience. 

Minimum salary

Previously, Austrian authorities required an EU Blue Card with a minimum salary of at least 66,593 EUR per year for applicants to grant a residence permit. Now, this threshold was reduced to 44,395 EUR gross per year. 

Furthermore, an applicant category Key Workers has two different wage requirements: one is for people below the age of 30 and one for 30 and older. Now, the government has eliminated a higher minimum salary for applicants who are older than 30. Now people of age have to present a salary of 2,835 EUR and above. 

Besides that, the minimum salary for graduates of Austrian universities isn’t longer applicable. Now, they must have a wage that corresponds to related collective agreement and common local pay.

Income tax in Austria

Unfortunately, many European countries are known for their high taxes, and Austria isn’t an exception. In the table below, you can see personal income tax rates for Austrian employees.

Income (EUR) Tax Rate (%)
11.000 and below0
11,001 to 18,00025
18,001 to 31,00035
31,001 to 60,00042
60,001 to 90,00048
90,001 to 1,000,00050
above 1,000,00055

Social security tax

Austrian social security tax is an element in employment taxation. It comprises health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, and accident insurance.

These figures are determined as a percentage of total monthly earnings. The tax is partially paid for by the employee and partially by the employer.

The maximum contribution per month is €4,980. Special payments, which are those payments that do not take place monthly, such as a bonus, are also liable for social security tax.

For these compensations, the taxation is limited to €9,960 a year. You can see in the table below the amount of social tax.

Type of insurancePaid by employerPaid by employeeTotal
Pension Insurance12.55%10.25%22.80%
Accident Insurance1.30%0.00%1.30%
Health Insurance3.78%3.87%7.65%
Unemployment Insurance3.00%3.00%6.00%
Others0.85%1.00%1.85%
Total21.48%18.12%39.60%
Severance Fund1.53%00.00%1.53%

Related questions

How many foreigners are living in Austria?

Currently, 1.675 million people with foreign citizenship are living in Austria. Many Americans, Australians, Canadians, and British people reside in Vienna. In fact, there is a whole community of non-German speakers in Vienna.

Do Austrians speak English?

The average Austrian is very eager to speak a foreign language – be it English or another language. In big cities, many people can speak English very well.

It could be difficult in smaller towns and villages, as people there tend to be older and usually not very fluent in English.

Will you eventually need to learn German?

Can you live in Austria and never learn German? Yes, you can. Will it be frustrating? Yes!

Living in Austria without learning German it’s not unpleasant, but it’s a limited experience. Usually, you can get by, but you must understand that you are missing a significant piece of culture when living abroad and not speaking the local language.

In urban Austria, not just Vienna, you can live without German. But if you decide to move to “rural” Austria, you can get in trouble.

Austria isn’t the same as the Netherlands or Scandinavic countries, where everyone, young and old, can speak excellent English.

Learning German is essential to integrate yourself, not to disappoint, and not to be disappointed. It will help you better understand the local culture and history.

Recommended products and services in Austria:

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Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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