Jobs in Italy

Unemployment is quite a big problem in Italy, particularly for the nation’s youth and it is an issue which affects the majority of sectors. The severity of the level of unemployment is subject to regional variations but you should keep in mind that competition in the job market will probably be pretty fierce!

Some companies may only offer short term contracts and others may have bans on recruitment periodically.

Be sure to look into the conditions surrounding unemployment benefit just encase you do find yourself out of a job at any time whilst living in Italy.


Beyond a doubt the most useful skill any foreign jobseekers can possess is the ability to speak Italian. It will enhance all other skills/qualifications you possess, make you more attractive to potential employers and make your experience as an employee more rewarding.

All though official qualifications aren’t always necessary for finding work in certain sectors some experience is generally expected no matter what kind of work you apply for.

If the career path you plan to go down is one of the many which requires you to have certified qualifications be sure to check whether your existing qualifications are subject relevant and recognised in Italy. If they’re not (or if you need to gain qualifications you don’t have) you may need to retrain. EU regulations state that the qualifications of any individual who wishes to work in a member state other than their own should be taken into account but individuals from non-EU-member countries may find the situation more complex. Even applicants from fellow EU-member nations might discover that their foreign gained qualifications are not considered to be worth as much as the Italian equivalent. High level candidates will probably need both applicable qualifications and extensive experience.

Also important to note is that some foreign traders/artisans have to successfully complete a business course before they’re allowed to start working.

If you intend to start your own business the conditions and restrictions can be complex and subject to change so thorough research really is required.

Although some public sector jobs are often reserved for Italian’s (such as the police, armed forces and diplomatic service) other opportunities in areas like education and healthcare are theoretically as open to EU nationals as they are to Italian locals, though access to these positions does vary.

If your job search proves to be tough don’t get disheartened. If your expat dreams take longer to materialise you’ll appreciate them all the more when they do. That being said it’s always sensible to have a reasonable amount of savings in place if you plan to emigrate before securing a job just encase the process takes longer than you anticipated.

Top tips for finding work in Italy

Here are some top tips for finding work as an expat in Italy.

Be prepared in advance.

Explore the job market before you move, see what career options most suit you and your qualifications. Be aware that you may need to re-qualify or retrain to be applicable for the position you want. See if there are any skills you possess which are in demand. Make yourself marketable by knowing your market!

Refine your CV, and get it out there

CV’s are often formatted differently abroad, make sure yours is up to date and formatted correctly for the Italian market. Get your CV circulating through as many avenues as possible – utilise connections, new neighbours, local amenities etc. Put your CV on job sites and clearly present yourself to your target employers. Ensure you plainly state when you are available to start and be realistic about how long it will take for you to be in a position to commit yourself to a contract.

Ensure that appropriate work permits are in place

Where possible get any and all paperwork out of the way prior to searching for work.

Embrace new career opportunities

When beginning a new career abroad you have to be aware that you may not be able to start work at the level you previously occupied. You may have to take a pay cut or demotion and re-work your way up the career ladder. You may even have to rethink what type of work you wish to do. Don’t be disheartened. The skills you used in your old job might not be in demand in Italy, but maybe they could be differently applied or you could discover new ones!


Starting a new life abroad can be difficult, stressful and lonely. In general the quicker you get to know people the sooner you’ll settle in. Join clubs or fitness classes, get out and about – socialise. Don’t be afraid of rejection, for every person who tells you to get lost there’ll be someone else who won’t. Hold a party, get to know you’re neighbours and take advantage of every useful contact you meet. Children are great for bringing people together (as long as they’re reasonably well behaved of course). Help your child make friends by signing them up for clubs and help yourself make friends by dropping them off and picking them up. Joining an expat forum can also be an excellent way of meeting people who’ve been in the same position as you and they can be an invaluable source of comfort and advice.