Finding a job in Austria isn't easy. The majority of expats relocate to Vienna as a result of a transfer from within their company. That said, there are a number of strong industries in Vienna, and highly skilled expats may find they have the expertise to fill a gap in the local workforce.

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.

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.

Job market in Vienna

As the capital of Austria, Vienna contributes approximately 25 percent of the country’s GDP. Vienna has prominent real-estate, engineering, banking and business sectors, while tourism is also a major employer in Vienna.

The city has a booming media sector and is home to the headquarters of several newspapers, radio stations and television channels. Many international media agencies have subsidiaries in Vienna and there is a large number of correspondents and journalists based in the city.

Vienna is also a major business hub within Europe and home to both branches and headquarters of major multinational corporations.

Finding a job in Vienna

Browsing online listings and social-networking sites such as LinkedIn before arriving in the country is a good idea as it allows for a quick cursory glance at the current state of the job market within a particular field. The classified section in local newspapers, and their online versions, are also a good source of information. 

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. 

Work culture in Vienna

Vienna may be a lively and cosmopolitan city but its work culture still has old-fashioned values and perhaps less egalitarian structures than some expats may be used to. Most companies have a definite hierarchical structure, and those in senior positions, particularly those who have high qualifications and many years of experience, are highly regarded and deferred to.

Viennese work culture prides itself on the concept of Sozialpartnerschaft, or social partnership, which promotes cooperation and dialogue in matters relating to industrial relations. It is important for expat entrepreneurs and business owners to work closely and cooperate with local business partners and Austrian subsidiary companies.