Join now
Log in Join

Working in Estonia?

Join InterNations to meet other expats where you live and read more articles like Working in Estonia with relevant information for expats.

Francis White

Living in Estonia, from the UK

"With so many business opportunities in Tallinn, you just have to find the right partners. Guess where I found them? On InterNations."

Kim Demers

Living in Estonia, from Canada

"Settling as an expat women in Tallin was really hard. But when a friend invited me to InterNations, I quickly got connected."

InterNations - a community of trust

Estonia at a Glance

Working in Estonia

Estonia has been a member of the EU since 2004 and joined the euro in 2011. It has shown itself to be an adaptable country and reacts quickly when it needs to introduce change. There is very little bureaucracy, which makes it attractive to many an expatriate for working in.

Economic Overview

Compared to the other central European countries, Estonia has a relatively high GDP per capita. The economy has experienced growth in recent years, with several flourishing industries. Russia’s use of Estonian ports for some of its oil exports also contributes to Estonia’s growth rate.

Service industries make up 71% of Estonia’s GDP. The second largest industry in Estonia is wood, employing over 13,000 people in forestry and the manufacture of wood products and paper. A growth sector in Estonia is the manufacture of electronic and optical equipment, serving the computer, telecommunications, and medical industries.

Estonia is known for its engineering and one of the country’s key industries is machinery manufacturing. Metal is one of the major export sectors, with approximately 82% of metals produced in Estonia being exported, primarily to countries such as Sweden, Finland, and Poland. 

Work Permits for Estonia

As of September 2013, the Estonian authorities ceased to issue separate work permits. All foreigners who have a residence permit to live in the country are usually permitted to work in Estonia, unless there is a legal reason that prohibits it. However, if a temporary residence permit has been granted to a person on the basis of legal income, he or she is not allowed to work in Estonia. A spouse or other family member of an EU citizen will require their own residence permit in order to work in Estonia.

Job Hunting in Estonia

Sites such as CV Online and CV Keskus are a good starting point if you are seeking employment in Estonia. Once you are living in Estonia, job fairs can be useful for finding employment opportunities. 

There are plenty of career opportunities in IT and engineering and there is always a market for English teachers in Estonia. There are also many expats in Estonia who have their own business. 

Although many Estonians speak English, particularly in the cities, if you want to maximize your range of job opportunities, it is advisable to become reasonably fluent in Estonian. It is a complex language, but taking the trouble to learn it will allow you to access opportunities that would not otherwise be open to you.

InterNations Expat Magazine