Updated: Aug 24
Author: Sara Zanotto
Publications date: 16.08.2023
With its blend of culture, architecture and fine food, Italy represents one of the most popular destinations for travelers worldwide. That’s why the Bel Paese has many opportunities to offer to foreigners. As a matter of fact, many of them decide to move to the peninsula to fully enjoy the Italian lifestyle. However, finding a job in Italy is not an easy task, as the youth unemployment rate is quite high and many people have to face a linguistic barrier.
Job market in Italy
Currently, Italy has more than 5 million expats. This means that the country is home to many foreigners seeking fortune and happiness abroad. In fact, the employment rate has increased up to 23 million over the last year, but the gap between the North and the South remains remarkable. The North of Italy is more developed and relies mostly on manufacturing and private businesses. On the other hand, agriculture and farming are the main activities carried out in the South.
Moreover, the economy of the country is ruled by the services sector. This includes mainly wholesale, retail sales and transportation. In second place, we find manufacturing that concerns mostly fashion and cars. This is because Italy owns some of the most popular and profitable companies in the sector. Furthermore, agriculture and animal farming also represent an essential part of Italy’s economy. What’s more, Italy is a big producer of wine, olive oil, and fruit that are exported worldwide.
Is the language barrier really a problem?
Most Italian citizens don’t speak English. Thus, it is important to have at least a basic knowledge of the Italian language to be able to communicate during everyday life. For this reason, surprisingly, English is highly valued in specific branches. This increases opportunities for foreigners that want to settle down in Italy.
English-speaking jobs in Italy
English speakers can easily find jobs as teachers. Teaching English represents one of the best and most required options for foreigners who want to settle down in Italy. Since many Italian citizens don’t have a good level of English, there will always be a high demand for teachers. These kinds of instructors are not only needed in language schools but also in private companies.
Some employers can hire them to train their employees in business English. Moreover, teachers can also work privately with people who want to improve their knowledge of the language. On the other hand, unfortunately, teachers don’t earn a large amount of money. The average salary for an English teacher in Italy is about €1.129 a month, with a wage of 8€ per hour. For this reason, it could be challenging to cover all the living expenses in Italy with a teacher’s salary.
Working as an Au Pair in Italy is a worthwhile experience, especially for young people. The only requirement is a love for children. An Au Pair is a young person, typically a girl, who lives in a foreign country with a local host family. The Au Pair learns the family's language and culture while offering assistance with household and childcare responsibilities. In exchange, the host family offers accommodation and pocket money. The difference between Au Pairs and nannies is that Au Pairs are treated like a member of the family.
Here are the main and most trustworthy platforms that an Au Pair can use to find the perfect host family:
Both websites offer a free subscription. The Au Pair has to create a profile and fill out the application in order to find the most suitable family for her. Moreover, a cover letter is required at the end of the application form. In order to contact families, the Au Pair can simply send a message to them via chat.
Italy is one of the most popular destinations for people going on holiday in Europe. Tourism is probably the sector that offers the most opportunities for English speakers living in the peninsula. Usually, knowledge of the Italian language is not required since most tourists come from foreign countries. Moreover, working in tourism can represent an opportunity to interact with new people and cultures.
Whether you know the language or not, becoming a tour guide is quite easy in Italy.
In order to become a tour guide, it is not mandatory to have a University degree. However, to find a job more easily, it is recommended to graduate in one of these branches:
- Modern literature
- Foreign languages
- History and Geography
- Art History
- Cultural Heritage
In addition, volunteering within nonprofit organizations or tourist promotion associations is highly valued in the tourism sector. Italy has plenty of monuments and landmarks that attract people from all over the world. Especially in the summer, the streets of Italy fill up with millions of tourists. So, the main job of a tour guide will be guiding them across the city while showing them all the best spots. In addition, being a tour guide can be an opportunity to further expand your knowledge about the history of the country.
How to be a tour guide
To become a regional or national tour guide, it is compulsory to pass an exam to get the qualification needed to practice. Aspiring tour guides must attend training courses held by public and private institutions. At the end of these courses, the candidate takes a state certification exam to become a tour guide.
Italy hosts many military bases. Specifically, the peninsula counts one Air Base, three Army bases and two Navy Bases. These headquarters are designed to host soldiers and their families. Usually, they include supermarkets, schools, shops and even a hospital. Actually, it is sort of like the USA in miniature. Although soldiers don’t move to Italy on their own free will, military bases offer a variety of job opportunities for those who live with their loved ones. Clearly, the only language required to work there is English. Anyway, a job when living on a military base is pretty much guaranteed.
Software programming is one of the best-paid jobs in Italy nowadays. Since the demand for skilled programmers is really high, most of the time Italian language is not even a requirement. Big international companies look for qualified professional figures in order to build, develop and manage their websites. Also, the language barrier is not a problem when it comes to working with technology. This increases opportunities for foreigners that want to earn quite a high income while enjoying the Italian dolce vita.
Here are some platforms that can help software programmers to find a job:
These websites provide a list of companies that are hiring software programmers or workers within the Information and Communications Technology sector.
Real estate agent
Working as a real estate agent for other expats can be a winning move. Actually, it allows foreigners who live in Italy to work while meeting people from all over the world. In fact, the demand for real estate agents in the peninsula has skyrocketed in the last few years due to the boom of the Italian property market. So, most of the time, English is the main language required for this profession, since most international clients are not able to communicate in Italian.
A good platform that gives tips on how to become a real estate agent and how to publish your first offer is Idealista. Idealista is the n°1 Real Estate Agency website to sell, buy and rent properties in Italy. Moreover, the company offers Real Estate Marketing training courses to train professionals about news and trends of the Property Market.
How to legally work in Italy
EU citizens don’t need any type of Visa to move to Italy. However, non-EU residents need a work Visa to be able to work legally in the peninsula. In any case, if a foreigner is planning to stay in the country for more than 90 days, they will need to apply to the local town hall for residency. Furthermore, by obtaining a social security number, expats can have many benefits, such as free public health care and pension.
Work Culture in Italy
In Italy, the limited number of working hours per week is 40. Despite the Italian attitude that might seem relaxed and easygoing from the outside, Italian workers take their job very seriously. Punctuality and hard work are the key principles of Italian work culture. However, family and friends are very important for Italians, that’s why they strive to find a good balance between work, private and social life.
Are there English-speaking jobs in Italy?
Of course, there are English-speaking jobs in Italy! In fact, finding a job in Italy as an English speaker might appear challenging at first, but with good research and willingness, it will be easier than it seems. Italy offers diverse job opportunities for English speakers, from teaching and tourism to technology and real estate. If what you are looking for is a cozy atmosphere and friendliness, then Italy is the place for you!