Finding a job in Boston
Updated 2023-10-04 07:36

Even though it is one of the United States' most historic cities, no particular industry sticks out as Boston's top moneymaker. Like many other major US cities, Boston's economy was significantly impacted by the pandemic, particularly in sectors such as tourism, hospitality, and small business. However, Boston weathered the storm, and the latest stats show that unemployment has fallen to 3.5% and labor force participation is rising. Though the recovery is incomplete, things are looking pretty good for Beantown. Job opportunities exist across various areas like health services, tech, finance, and tourism. And, of course, as the home of Harvard, one of the most renowned schools in the world, education is an important player here as well.

While Boston is a vibrant and thriving city, it can pose challenges to job-seeking expats. Top institutions and international companies draw top talent, and Boston already has a highly qualified and in-demand workforce. Be prepared for stiff competition when entering the market. While wages are higher in Boston than in the rest of the US, the cost of living is also one of the highest in the nation.


Anyone wanting to work in the US is required to have a work visa, and it can be one of the biggest challenges faced by expats looking for employment abroad. The process must be initiated by a sponsoring employer and is time-consuming and expensive. This means you must have an offer of employment before you may begin the visa application process. That said, expats with advanced degrees and specialized skills who are fluent English speakers will fare better than most when it comes to finding an employer willing to go through the sponsorship process. See the article 'Work Visa in the USA' for more information about types of work visas in the United States.

Popular industries in Boston

Boston's economy is a unique blend that offers something for everyone. As the capital city of Massachusetts, it is the center of state government. Boston is also one of the oldest cities in the US, and the many historical sites, monuments, and museums mean that tourism is an important sector as well. Because of its location on the East Coast, fishing and the Port of Boston remain steady contributors to the local job economy. Other important industries in Boston are listed below.

Tech sector

Over the past ten years, employment in the tech sector has soared. Boston has one of the highest concentrations of millennials and STEM talent (science, technology, engineering, and math), with the big names in tech like Google, Facebook, and Salesforce all being present in Boston. Akamai Technologies and Wayfair are among the local companies making big contributions to the technology and innovation sector. Boston's lively startup scene and renowned universities also fuel technological advancements, stir up competition, and create job opportunities.


Five of the ten largest Boston employers are hospitals, contributing to almost 20% of local jobs. These are Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Boston Medical Center. Organizations like the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital contribute significantly to Boston's healthcare and life sciences sector. There are employment opportunities in medical research, healthcare services, and pharmaceuticals.

Education and research

Boston is renowned for its prestigious universities, including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which drive the education and research sector. These institutions, along with Boston University and Northeastern University, contribute to employment opportunities in teaching, research, and administration. Additionally, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is headquartered in Boston, as well as several other printers and publishers.

Finance and insurance

Boston boasts a robust financial services industry featuring entities like Fidelity Investments, State Street Corporation, and Santander Bank. John Hancock and Liberty Mutual Insurance are prominent insurance and investment management companies present in the city. Employment opportunities in finance, banking, insurance, and related fields are available for qualified applicants.

The labor market in Boston

According to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Boston's employment scene is bouncing back with enthusiasm, showing growth in sectors that were knocked around by the pandemic. Sectors like accommodation and food services are making a solid recovery, as are professional and technical services. The employment growth in Boston has led to a drop in the resident unemployment rate, now at around 3.5%.

How to find a job in Boston?

Local resources are the best place to begin your employment search. Use job search engines that are specifically focused on the Boston area and check local newspapers such as the Boston Globe (these are online as well). If you belong to a specialized or in-demand industry, research and contact a local recruiting agency to build connections. Additionally, leverage your network and membership in professional organizations, as this is the best way to hear about newly listed or unadvertised jobs.

When sending out your CV, you really must stand out from the crowd. Besides updating your resume to reflect the American style, research the companies you're interested in thoroughly before you apply to highlight the skills and experience that would most interest them. Also, ensure your LinkedIn and business networking profiles reflect these same changes. See the article 'Finding a job in the USA' for more information about job searching.

Good to know:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics posts a quarterly review of the Boston unemployment rate and labor market, which may be helpful with your job search. Additionally, the Boston Planning and Development Agency publishes a yearly economic review, which includes an analysis of the labor market.

Useful links:

USCIS: working in the US

Bureau of Labor Statistics - Boston Summary

Boston's Economy Report 2017

Boston Globe Job Ads

Indeed - Boston Job Ads - Boston Job Ads

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.