If you are looking for jobs in Italy, there may seem to be only a few suitable vacancies, especially if you are limited to job openings for English speakers. Yet, finding a job is possible if you know where to look for work. For example, you will likely land jobs with multinational companies seeking foreign workers with specialist skills.
SDC International Shipping has created this guide to finding work in Italy, including information on the current job market, Italian work culture and labor rights, and where to find jobs in Italy for Americans.
Work in Italy
In Italy, many people find work through different routes like networking, word-of-mouth, and contacting an organization directly to ask for a suitable job. This is especially true for small- to medium-sized companies. You should be proactive and look for job opportunities beyond conventional job search websites or agencies.
Job Market in Italy
Italy’s National Statistics bureau stated that Italy’s employment rate reached a record 59.9% in March 2022, and the unemployment rate plummeted to 8.3% – since 2010!
Italy has a large population retiring soon, and the country is estimating to replace more than 2 million employees as they reach retirement age. This opens up career opportunities for local young people and expats as well.
Despite the slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as an American, you can still find jobs in Italy in a number of sectors, including engineering, IT, sales, tourism, and automotive. Large global companies in Italy include:
- Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A (finances)
- Ansaldo (engineering)
- Campari Group (beverage)
- Capitalia Group (finances)
- Eni (oil and gas)
- Enel (energy)
- TechInt (engineering and construction)
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
- Ferrero (chocolate manufacturer)
- Leonardo (aerospace, defense, and security)
- Technica Group (sports equipment)
Job Vacancies in Italy
There are many jobs in Italy for Americans and other English speakers in various industries. If you are targeting technology and manufacturing jobs, you should know that northern Italy has the largest concentration of companies engaged in those industries. The southern region is more about education, fashion, and tourism.
You will most likely find opportunities in IT, engineering, service, finance, and healthcare. For example, the available jobs in Italy for Americans include:
- Software development, banking, engineering
- Graphics, digital production, and media
- Marketing positions, customer service, and sales
- Teaching English and translators
- Tour guides and hospitality managers
- Accountants and personal assistants
Teaching English is a popular source of employment for English-speaking jobs in Italy for foreigners.
Job Salaries in Italy
According to Salary Explorer, the average Italian salary is around 2,810 Euros per month (net). However, this may vary depending on region, occupation, and level of expertise and experience. The higher your wage, the more taxes you will pay.
Occupation in the digital industry pays quite well. For instance, digital marketing managers get around 45,000 Euros annually. Nurses earn about 3,520 EUR per month, which is 42,300 yearly. An architect will make approximately 41,00 EUR per year. Salaries for teachers range from the lowest at 1,380 EUR to the highest at 4,390 EUR per month. These are the average gross salaries for these occupations.
Work Culture in Italy
Italian business culture is more of a hierarchical structure. Decisions are made from up to high. As a subordinate, you are only expected to express your opinion, not advice or criticism.
Your business colleagues will want to know you better and your personal qualities, which is important for establishing trust in a business relationship.
There’s a tendency to maintain a healthy work/life balance through flextime and taking opportunities for remote working.
As for the dress code, Italians pay attention to what you wear. The more fashionable you are, the more it tells them about your social status. However, this may be different for small- to medium-sized companies.
Employee’s Rights in Italy
The average full-time week is typically 40 hours in most multinational companies with a one-hour lunch break. Workers are entitled to a 4-week paid leave, including national holidays. If for some reason you will have to work on holidays, you will receive double pay.
Female workers qualify for maternity leave from two months before to three months after childbirth.
The probation period is up to 6 months but can be determined individually by the employer.
How to Find Jobs in Italy for Americans
There are many job websites for finding work in Italy, including sites for certain occupations.
- Informatica Lavoro
If you are a graduate, you can search for multinational companies hiring graduates at Graduateland.
Teaching Jobs in Italy for Americans
There are also opportunities for teaching English in Italy but being a native speaker isn’t enough to secure a job. You stand a better chance if you acquire a TEFL certificate. Consider taking a course in your city. Check out the TEFL Jobs Center for listings in the country.
You might also be able to give private lessons and seek out your own English-speaking jobs in Italy. You can place an ad in a newspaper or use your networks.
Recruitment agencies help with finding a temporary job in Italy. You can check out Adecco, ALI, Eurointerim, Kelly, Manpower, Sinterim, and Vedior. You can also find local agencies in the yellow pages under Lavoro Interinale e Temporaneo.
Networking in Italy
Many jobs aren’t posted openly in Italy, and many positions are filled through personal contacts. So tell others you are looking for a job, network with people in similar fields, and join professional groups, workshops, forums, and networking sites such as LinkedIn.
Some business networks include:
- Italian Chambers of Commerce
- Professional Women’s Network in Rome
- Professional Woman’s Association of Rome
Build contacts with other expats with similar personal interests through meetup groups near you.
What Jobs are In High Demand in Italy?
European Union labor market data specialists Skills Panorama has revealed the following areas as shortage occupations in Italy:
- ICT professional
- Marketing, creative and design professionals
- STEM occupations
- Teaching professions
What Documents Do I Need to Work in Italy?
Since Italy is a member of the EU, jobs in Italy are easily available for people from other EU countries. Many Americans of Italian ancestry can acquire dual Italian citizenship, which allows them to live and work in Italy without additional paperwork.
Otherwise, you will need a visa, which, for example, you can get based on summer jobs in Italy for English speakers. Then, you will have to apply for a residence permit at the local Police Headquarters within eight days of entering the country. If you are relocating overseas, make sure to check out the article Moving to Italy from the USA.