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Finding EmploymentBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Bulgaria - Finding Employment
Like in many other countries, a position would be given to an expat only if there is no qualified Bulgarian national who could fill the post. However, the contemporary labour market in Bulgaria requires highly qualified and multilingual specialists all the time. In addition, many international high-profile corporations that have outsourced some of their service, production or marketing teams need a multicultural staff. The foreign investment in different spheres in the country usually requires the know-how of international experts.
Most jobs in Bulgaria are full-time. The working week is usually 40 hours, and daily work is 8 hours or more, with an additional hour for a lunch break.
Salary standards in the majority of sectors in Bulgaria are lower than in other EU countries. Yet some spheres offer competitive and sometimes international level remunerations. Professionals who are well paid in this country are usually highly qualified IT specialists, visual artists and engineers with knowledge of foreign languages.
One of the best choices for expats in Bulgaria is to find a teaching job. Bulgarians, especially those in big cities, are keen on learning foreign languages, mostly English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and recently Chinese. Native speakers of those foreign languages are always needed in this country. Even if it is not a full-time job, teaching can always be a source of additional income.
Among the other sectors that are in need for qualified personnel in Bulgaria are private properties, construction, environmental companies, renewable energy sources, consultancies and recruitment agencies. The country also has a lot of business opportunities based on franchising. Though the procedures for setting up a business in the country could be quite challenging, they can still lead to successful and lucrative entrepreneurship, as Bulgaria is still a market that is developing in many areas.
Apart from tourism, job opportunities in Bulgaria are mostly concentrated in the urban areas. There are three industrial and technological hubs in the country where the chances for a foreigner to get a good job are the highest.
Sofia – the capital city of Bulgaria is the place with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The IT, customer care and marketing sectors offer competitive salaries to both Bulgarians and expats. There is also a demand for highly qualified personnel with degrees in engineering, accounting and law. In recent several years many multinational companies have outsourced important departments to Eastern Europe, in cities like Sofia.
Plovdiv – this is the second biggest city in Bulgaria that has also something to offer expatriates in terms of employment. The IT and marketing firms in Plovdiv are expanding and engineers in computer sciences have a good chance of finding a decent job here. Since Plovdiv and its surroundings have a lot of industrial factories, mechanical engineers with relevant experience can also find good positions.
Varna – in addition to the IT sector and customer service and marketing area, the biggest city on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast also offers employment possibilities mainly in the private properties and hospitality industries, due to the demands of tourism. There is a port and some ship manufacturers are based here, so experts in maritime vessels could look for a post in Varna. Gas and petrol extraction are also options in this eastern region of the country.
Those who are not citizens of EU member states must obtain a working permit for the EU countries of their choice. One way to achieve this is to apply for the Blue Card. However, this is only possible if expats have a university degree with an adequate position that is already proposed by the future employer. Prospective employers should apply for work permits for their new employees at the local Labour Office. Foreigners with an employment contract and a work permit can also apply for residence for the duration of the contract. Within a company, no more than 10% of the workforce can be foreign according to Bulgarian law. The internet is an excellent resource for tracking down job opportunities.
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