The food, the wine, the culture, the architecture, the history…the reasons for living and working in Italy are too numerous to count. You do need a source of income, though, and Italy is still feeling the effects of the economic crisis. However, there are jobs to be pursued; you just need to know how to go about it.
The Job Market
First, you need to choose where in Italy you want to live. Southern Italy is still very rural and relies heavily on agriculture, so your best chance of finding a job in business will be in the north. Even in the north, however, certain segments of the economy are still struggling, including automotive, construction, economics, logistics, and finance. On the other hand, tourism has rebounded nicely, as have as have jobs in green technology, food and drink, and mechanical engineering. Other industries include precision machinery, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods, fashion and clothing. Except for some positions in IT, teaching, and tourism, speaking Italian is essential.
How to Find a job
Speculative applications are common and accepted in Italy. That means it’s perfectly fine to send a CV and cover letter even if there are no posted vacancies. It’s also common for companies to post openings online. Some of the most common job sites include:
You may also want to check the websites of the individual companies. Major Italian employers include:
- Enel (power)
- Eni (integrated energy)
- Fiat (automotive manufacturing)
- Intesa Sanpaolo (banking)
- Telecom Italia (telecommunications)
- UniCredit (banking)
Newspapers can be another effective resource in your job search. Major papers include:
Visas and Work Permits
- EU members need neither a visa nor a work permit to find work in Italy. However, EU members who plan to stay in Italy for more than 90 days need to register with their local police station before those 90 days are up.
- Non-EU members need both visas and work permits. You can get these from the Italian embassy or consulate where you live.
Other Things you Need to Know
- Italy has a progressive income tax, which means the percentage you pay increases along with your income, ranging from 23% to 43%. Your taxes are also determined by how long you’ve lived in Italy. If you’ve been there more than 183 days in a calendar year, you have to pay taxes on your worldwide income. If you’ve been there 183 days or less, you only have to pay taxes on money earned in Italy.
- The interview/hiring process moves slowly, sometimes taking as long as several months. It’s a good idea to ask at your initial interview when the company hopes to make a decision.
- Psychometric testing is common, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to take one or more tests.
- The working week averages 40 hours, and employees get a minimum 4 weeks of leave each year – plus 11 national holidays.
Italy is a beautiful country with a rich history. Living and working there can be the experience of a lifetime. Jobs for expats may not be plentiful, but they are there for the adventurous and persistent.