Finding work in Hungary
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Updated 3 weeks ago

Finding a job in Hungary as an expat can be a bit challenging, especially if youre not an EU/EFTA citizen. Although the countrys economy is growing and the unemployment rate is decreasing, there is a strong preference from the government to give jobs to Hungarians first. Expats fare better in specialized posts and English teaching positions, or at foreign-owned companies that seek a diverse and highly-skilled workforce.

The labour market in Hungary

With a population of almost ten million and an unemployment rate of just 3,7%, Hungary is doing rather well compared to other Eastern European countries. In fact, its GDP per capita is 19,651 euros with a growth rate of 4%, a rate that's above the average one for the area. Hungary's economy is robust, with the service sector making the 64,8% of the labour pool structure, followed by manufacturing at 21,4%. Construction and agriculture together make up about 11% of the labour pool. The best opportunities for expats can be found in engineering (and IT) as well as in tourism jobs.

Good to know: While Budapest is the obvious choice for job hunting if you're an expat, you should also consider smaller cities where big, international companies are based (or have a presence in). For example, there is a Mercedes Benz factory in Kecskemet, Hungary's eighth-largest city.

Advice for job hunting expats

Since Hungary is a member of the EU, EU/EFTA citizens can apply for work the same way Hungarian citizens do, without needing a work permit. If you're a third-country national though, things can get a bit more complicated. Consult our section on work permits.

A good idea, if you're a native English speaker or have a perfect command of the language, would be to look into English teaching positions. This may simplify things with obtaining your permit, as you won't really be competing with Hungarians in this field of work. According to the International TEFL Academy, by teaching in Hungary for about 20-30 classroom hours per week (plus your prepping time), you can make about 164,100 - 234,450 HUF per month ($650 - $950 USD) which is enough to cover your living costs in Hungary. Most ESL teaching positions open in early September and the contracts usually end in late June.

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Teaching English in Hungary

If teaching is not your calling, you'll be happy to know that highly specialised jobs like software engineering, power generation, environmental reclamation, and even computer graphics and marketing and advertising, are also available to expats who are qualified and experienced. You should also definitely look into international companies who do business in the country, as those tend to hire the most expats - and perhaps the smartest way to do that is by looking outside of Hungary, in the country where your company of interest is based. This may also help secure you a better salary if you're hired outside of Hungary. Finally, working for a foreign company in Hungary may also help simplify things with the authorities regarding your residence permit, as in some cases if your work is contracted to a foreign partner you don't need a labour permit in Hungary.

Where to look for employment in Hungary?

Newspapers in Hungary are a source of job postings, especially Budapest's English language newspapers: check out Budapest Sun and The Budapest Business Journal. There are also a number of websites for job search, like Monster and CV Online. There is also Job Online, which may be in Hungarian but many of the job offers are in English. Also, consider getting a free CV review at TopCV.

Good to know: If you are a student or graduate, you can also seek help from the Career Development Office of Corvinus University in Budapest. Find out more here.

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