The labour market in Edinburgh

Edinburgh labour market
Updated on 15 October, 2019

One of the most popular destinations in Europe, Edinburgh has not only a rich cultural heritage but also a vibrant economy and a dynamic workforce. Many foreign professionals are choosing this Scottish city for boosting their career. If you also want to join in, here is what you need to know about the local job market.

Types of jobs available in Edinburgh

Popular sectors for employment in Edinburgh are the public sector (teaching, local government, NHS healthcare), banking and insurance, business services and other professional occupations, retail, and tourism and hospitality.

Edinburgh is known as the financial services hub of Scotland, with over 33,000 people currently employed in this sector. The Royal Bank of Scotland has its headquarters on the outskirts of the city centre, with a workforce of 6,000 at this location alone. Bank of Scotland, Sainsburys Bank and Scottish Widows also have their headquarters in Edinburgh, among other banks and investment specialists.

Tech is another industry in Edinburgh with a demand for skilled workers. Rockstar North produces the popular Grand Theft Auto video games, and has a workforce of 2,000 people in Edinburgh, while travel search engine Skyscanner is also based in the city. The digital technology marketplace in Edinburgh is one of the biggest in the UK.

Most roles available in Edinburgh are office-based or occupational. There are very few manufacturing jobs in the city, though there are a small number of food production roles. Scotland's famous whisky industry largely produces its product outwith of Edinburgh.

How easy is it to find a job in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has a higher rate of employability than other major UK cities, including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow.

As with the rest of the country, there is a constant demand for qualified medical practitioners to work in Edinburgh. The National Health Service Scotland (NHS Scotland) runs regular international recruitment drives. Details of current professions in demand can be found on NHS Scotland's website.

Edinburgh has a bustling tourism and hospitality industry. The ability to speak another language is highly valued, so this is a good career option for expats. It should be straightforward to find hospitality, retail or tourism work in the city. This is particularly true over summer and the Christmas period, where temporary contracts are often available.

Jobs in the medical, scientific, financial and technical industries are easier to find than in the arts and creative industries in Edinburgh. Depending on your industry, recruitment agencies may be able to help you find job opportunities.

It should be noted that the impact of Brexit is yet to be determined on the labour market for expats in Edinburgh.

How well do Edinburgh jobs pay?

The median annual salary of workers in Edinburgh is £30,700. That is higher than most cities in the UK. The cost of living in Edinburgh is higher than the rest of Scotland, yet it is still lower than in most other cities in Britain. This means taking a job in Edinburgh can work out well financially as an expat.

Working in Edinburgh, you can expect an hourly rate of around £8.20 - £15. As with the rest of the UK, the minimum wage is age-dependent. Professional jobs tend to be paid by salary rather than hourly.

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