Updated 2 years ago

Find, in this article, an overview of the Scottish labor market and some tips to help you land a job if you are planning to settle and work in Scotland.

Like the whole United Kingdom, Scotland also attracts many foreign professionals every year. Thanks to its developed and vibrant economy, it has been providing many career prospects for highly qualified and skilled expatriates in different fields. Indeed, innovation is one of its main pillars, but you can still opt for traditional sectors, depending on your profile.


Scotland is deemed to be Europe's fourth major services hub, but its economy relies on many other sectors as follows:

Finance and trade

Scotland hosts the fourth largest asset management center in Europe, which brings together over 160,000 direct and indirect employees. Several big specialized companies have also set up their head offices in Scotland.

ICT and new technologies

Scotland is one of the leading powers in Europe when it comes to information and communication technology and new technologies which are in continuous evolution. Many career prospects are available for foreign professionals in these two sectors.


Food is another key part of the Scottish economy, bringing several billions of pounds every year. It particularly specializes in the production of whiskey and seafood.

Renewable energy

Scotland is a leader in wind and tidal energy. Indeed, the country is very conscious about the need for renewable energy. 50% of the gross electricity consumption comes from renewable energy.


Scotland has a world-class higher education system including not less than 19 universities. Indeed, higher education makes a significant contribution to the national economy along with some 26,000 local companies and leaders of the OECD.

Life sciences

Scotland hosts one of the biggest science centers in Europe with around 35,000 employes and more than 650 organizations involved in research, development, manufacturing, etc. What if inspiration was its secret?


The country provides textile products to many international brands, as well as world famous companies in the automotive and airline industry. In fact, Scotland exports its textile products to not less than 150 countries worldwide.

Gas and oil

Until it entirely turns to renewable energy, Scotland hosts the biggest oil reserve in Europe, involving around 2,000 companies and some 225,000 jobs. If you specialize in this field, why not turn to Aberdeen which is a major oil and gas hub, know as the European oil capital city.


Thanks to its breathtaking landscapes, its great historical heritage and its warm population, Scotland greatly benefit from the tourism industry which involves not only around 6.5 billion pounds a year but also hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Creative industries

Creative industries have greatly developed over the years, thus creating thousands of jobs in the country, namely in music, TV, movies, arts, architecture, etc. So if you have the required skills and talents, why not try your luck in this sector?

Find a job

Like elsewhere, there are various ways to look for a job in Scotland. You can start by browsing offers on the Internet and in local newspapers or by sending spontaneous job applications to companies operating in the country. Networking and word of mouth can also help if you have friends, contacts or relatives on the spot.

In case you are looking for a job from your home country, you are likely to be called for an online Interview via web-cam. If you are already on the spot, you can also register with a real estate agency provided you are a legal resident in the country.

 Good to know:

A good command of English is required for foreign nationals wishing to work in Scotland. Moreover, you will be entitled to a basic salary of £ 5.52 per hours for a 40 hours working week.

Labor market

Scotland has the highest employment rate in the whole UK.

Employees in the country are particularly protected by law.

Scottish companies can boast of having a particularly high employee retention rate.

Regardless of their age, foreign professionals can benefit from continuous training in the language of their choice.

Industry provides rather attractive career prospects at different levels.

The country is very open to ambitious and motivated professionals. In all cases, you have equal chances of finding a job in a major city as in a smaller one.


First of all, nationals of the European Union, UK, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania do not need a visa to work in Scotland. Nationals coming from other countries, for their part, have to apply for an appropriate visa from their home country. Find more information in the article Visas for Scotland.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Work in Scotland Forum
Expat.com – Jobs in Scotland 
Talent Scotland www.talentscotland.com
Blue Arrow www.bluearrow.co.uk
Manpower www.manpower.co.uk
Adecco www.adecco.co.uk
Search www.search.co.uk
IBM www-05.ibm.com

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.