Although most people reading this blog are interested in retiring to Romania or just traveling here for an amazing vacation, I still receive a fair share o emails from people who would like to find a job in Romania and move here with their families.
And although I am far from being an expert in this field, I definitely know more than somebody who isn’t living here, so I will try to sum things up in this article and hopefully help potential job seekers in Romania.
At least a little bit, making it easier to understand how the job market is currently here and what to expect.
Is It Easy to Get a Job in Romania as an Expat?
Now, it is easier than ever to get hired in Romania as an expat, since some fields are in high need of workers.
However, most job openings for foreigners are in the somewhat lower paid fields, like restaurants, manual labor and construction (although pay is still decent at least, with salaries growing in Romania steadily).
In order to understand how easy or difficult is it to find a job in Romania as a foreigner, a few clarifications have to be made – and a few more things should be taken into account afterwards.
I might miss a few important aspects as well since, as I said, I am not really an expert when it comes to recruiting and finding jobs in a Romanian city – especially as a foreigner, but I am doing my best to paint an image as clear as possible based on my experience, research and talks I had with people who moved to Romania looking for a job.
So, in order to decide how difficult it will be for you to find a job in Romania, we have to first ask and answer a few questions.
1. Do you speak Romanian?
Most likely, you don’t speak any Romanian. Unfortunately, most employees will require at least some level of Romanian language skills to get hired.
While not being able to speak the language might be a disadvantage, things have changed over the years and as long as you speak English, you’re minimizing that disadvantage.
Lately, I’ve seen plenty of foreigners working in hotels and restaurants and fast food places, as well as construction and many of them speak no Romanian.
Since there is very high demand for these positions, employees will hire even those who speak no Romanian – but they will generally expect you to learn at least the basics.
There are courses that you can take and quickly learn the language – or give it a try with multi-national companies that are more open to hire those who don’t speak any Romanian.
In case you don’t speak the national language, but you speak English, you should still be good.
There are some companies that require fluency in various other languages, the most popular being German, French or even Japanese, but it’s a great advantage if you can speak English and, of course, Romanian.
2. Are you ready for some bureaucracy?
Make sure that you do some solid research if you’re interested in landing a specific job in Romania. Many old, outdated and plain stupid rules are still in place here.
For example, you can’t become a registered doctor in Romania unless you are a Romanian citizen (things are constantly changing here so don’t take my word on this either: do your research before as things could and hopefully will change!)
I remember hearing a while ago on a radio show that because of similarly stupid rules, Nobel prize winners wouldn’t be allowed to become University teachers in Romania – because they didn’t have the required number of books and studies published in Romania.
I am sure that the same goes for many other professions, so if you are interested in a particular job, make sure you do your research beforehand.
It’s even better if you can do the entire job hunting and actually getting the job before coming here.
The company that will hire you will know what has to be done for everything to work smoothly and they will handle all (or at least) most of these bureaucracy-related headaches.
3. Where will you live?
Larger cities – like Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Brasov, Timisoara, Sibiu, Constanta and so on – have more job opportunities both for Romanians and foreigners looking to get a job, as well as higher salaries on average.
Smaller cities have fewer opportunities, while it’s almost impossible to find any job in the smallest towns or villages unless there’s a large company that has a branch opened there.
So unless you have an offer on the table, choosing one of the larger cities increases your chances a lot (and could also mean a higher salary for you).
Out of them all, Bucharest and Cluj Napoca probably offer the best chances right now for you to find a job as a foreigner in more fields than those that are in high demand.
4. What salary should you expect?
Romania is a really cheap country if you compare it to other countries in the European Union or the world.
But this also means that the salaries are low if you also compare them with those in other countries.
Actually, most people working in Romania will complain that salaries are generally too low even for the low cost of living in the country.
This is one of the main reasons why many people prefer to move out of Romania in search for a job.
There are many cases where people who finished a medical school or the law school move in other countries and get jobs as unskilled workers just because they offer a better standard of living.
I have two friends who moved to the UK and started working in the hotel business. One is a driver and one works as a concierge.
The latter finished law school and even tried working in Romania for a couple of years. There are more similar examples so the situation is not really great.
The good thing is that things have improved over the years and salaries have constantly gone up, while opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers have also increased.
With so many Romanians leaving the country for better paying jobs, many positions are now open and some positions – including low skilled or manual labor ones – will pay really well.
There are also opportunities in some areas that pay better. I know for sure that there’s a boost right now in the demand of native English speaker for private school jobs, for example.
There might be other well paid jobs that are in a major need of workers but I don’t know of them because I am not actively following the job market.
As you can see, there are so many variables to take into account when trying to answer if it’s difficult or not to find a job in Romania as a foreigner.
In general terms, I would say that it’s definitely not easy but at the same time, depending on your qualifications and experience, some jobs might be very easy to score.
Of course, if you already have a job offer in place, things are going to be a lot easier.
Many companies who hire foreigners also offer them accommodation of some sort and even their own car or at least access to a shared company car and other benefits.
So it all depends on the company and the kind of deal you get… but the best approach in my opinion would be that of finding a job before coming here.
If you went through this – or are on your quest to find a job in Romania – don’t hesitate to share your experience with fellow readers below!