Working in Fribourg

Updated 2018-08-17 14:39

Located between the Western and the German-speaking parts of the country, Fribourg (or Freiburg) is one of Switzerland's biggest cities -- and as such, offers a lot of career opportunities. Surrounded by river Sarine, Fribourg’s exquisite medieval charm is juxtaposed by the city’s contemporary, multilingual character.

Economy & labour market

Fribourg may be a small city of only 38,413 inhabitants, but it is a highly developed one ' ranked fifth after Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, and Basel. Fribourg is also the canton of Fribourg's capital city and rich in opportunities. It has been attracting large numbers of expats seeking professional experiences, as well as investors from European and non-European countries. With an unemployment rate of only 3,8%, you will not face much trouble in finding a job in Fribourg, as several fields require foreign expertise. In fact, about one-third of Fribourg's population comprises expats.

Fribourg is one of the country's most important administrative and economic centers. Its economy is based mainly on agribusiness, trade, chemical manufacturing industries and metallurgy. Other important economic pillars are the pharmaceutical industry, watchmaking, the aircraft and automotive industries, electronics, robotics, etc. Sectors such as information and communications technology, financial services, tourism and catering have also experienced considerable growth during the past few years. Many European and international firms such as UCB, Tupperware, Vitro, Actuate, Bayer International, Nova Chemicals and Quebecor have their headquarters in Fribourg.

Fribourg is also a vibrant university town. Higher education institutes such as the University of Fribourg, the University of Applied Sciences of Fribourg and the School of Art and Multimedia of Fribourg, enroll thousands of local and foreign students each year shaping the next generation of highly skilled and specialised professionals.

Job hunting

The local labour market is very dynamic and open to expats. The major recruiters are financial services, manufacturing, precision industries, chemical and pharmaceutical, as well as information and communication technology. Jobs are also available in the fields of tourism, education, health care and public administration.

Good to know:

Fribourg is a bilingual city: its population mostly consists of French and German nationals. A good knowledge of either French or German is very advantageous, as most of the local job-hunting tools and official websites though are in these two languages.

You may seek the assistance of a recruitment agency or of public bodies set up by local authorities during your job search. You can as well check out classified ads in local newspapers and job websites. The City of Fribourg is also open to hiring expats for several positions ' in fact, if no indication to the contrary is mentioned, you should assume that any job postings you see published on the official City website are also open to expats. Of course, you will need to have a work permit: consult our article on Work Permits in Switzerland for further information.

Useful link:

Canton of Fribourg's official website

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