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Working in Vienna

Are you ready to begin working in Vienna as an expat? The city on the Danube is not only Austria’s cultural center, but also an economic powerhouse with numerous business and career opportunities. Read our guide for information on job searching, business etiquette, and more.
Vienna's business sector is among the busiest in Central Europe.

At a Glance:

  • Vienna has a well-developed economy and although most jobs are found in the service sector, the marginal sector still plays an important part in terms of turnover.
  • The city has reacted accordingly to its international appeal by founding an Expat Center which serves as a contact point for expats who are looking for advice and support.
  • Several factors determine which permit you require and it is advised you familiarize yourself with the different permits before you move to Austria’s capital.
  • Every employee receives mandatory health insurance, insurance against work-related accidents and illnesses, and pays into a pension fund from the day of their first paycheck.
  • Although most businessmen make use German, you will most likely come across the Wienerisch dialect, which is unique yet widely popular in the city.


The Economy of a Wealthy Region

Vienna, which constitutes both a city and its own federal state, contributes some 25% of Austria’s gross national product. It is also  in the top 10 of the wealthiest regions in Europe. As is typical for the Western industrialized world today, most jobs in Vienna are found in the service sector. Roughly one third of these employees earn a living in trade, real estate, leasing and business services. Overall, the majority of revenue generated in Vienna (approximately 85%) is made within the tertiary sector.

But working in Vienna does not automatically imply leaving nature behind. While agriculture is a rather marginal sector in terms of turnover, its importance to the city is fairly large. More than 650 agricultural businesses are currently based within Vienna’s city limits. The agricultural sector was allotted about 3,000ha of Vienna’s municipal area. The most common crops are grain, potatoes and other vegetables. The sprawling vineyards on the outskirts of the city show that the city has a long tradition in the wine business.

Vienna’s Strong Service Sector

 Vienna is home to many historic sites and unparalleled works of art. Its beauty is often compared to places such as Paris, Berlin or Rome. Thus, Vienna profits considerably from the crowds of tourists that visit the city throughout the year. Not only does this benefit those working in Vienna’s many tourist hotspots, but it also helps establish and consolidate its reputation as a metropolis.

Vienna’s large media sector, with its numerous national and local newspapers, radio stations and TV channels, is also a popular career choice for many people. The big international media conglomerates have subsidiaries here, and, of course, many correspondents from major news agencies are present in the city.

In its function as an economic driving force and renowned metropolis, Vienna is a major hub in Europe, boasting branches and headquarters of countless multinational corporations. Many expats working in Vienna are employed at one of these companies. Nearly every Austrian bank and large national company has its headquarters in the city. Most companies in the Global 500 are represented here as well. Companies from the eastern regions of Europe value Vienna for its strategically favorable position between Central and Eastern Europe.

Expat Opportunities in a Growing Economy

The overall economic trend of the past few years has shown considerable annual growth. While Vienna has also suffered from the global financial crisis, the consequences have been comparably mild. The city still offers career opportunities to expats in virtually any line of work and business. This makes working in Vienna a prestigious, lucrative and sensible decision. If you are thinking of making the step abroad to Austria’s capital, you can find assistance at one of the many relocation providers located in the city. These consulting businesses offer valuable help and are often hired by larger companies. The city itself is also well aware of its international appeal, and it has reacted accordingly. A newly founded center for expats serves as a contact point and offers advice on different aspects of expat life. Please see our article on living in Vienna for further information.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Fernando Achutegui

"InterNations events and forums have provided me with an extensive network of business and personal contacts in Vienna. "

Jayanti Malhotra

"The group of InterNations expats in Vienna is so open and friendly that it was very easy to make friends."

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