British Mechanical Engineer seeks work/advice.


Me and my wife are looking to move to Bulgaria, due to an ever-growing dissatisfaction with U.K lifestyle. I am a Mechanical Engineer with over 8 years in the oil and gas sector. I have currently been looking for employment in Sofia via the internet for the past 2-3 months and am now toying with the idea of going to Bulgaria for  2- 3 weeks and to try visit companies face to face and check newspapers etc.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this?  It does not seem that the internet is the best way to get direct contact with the companies.

I do not mind changing sector, any engineering role would suit me, I have design, construction and project engineering experience so I am quiet flexible. We are not over concerned on location as long as it is in Bulgaria.

Thank you  for taking the time to read

Yes, I did just that Adam.
Surveyed the market, tracked job opportunities, made a few contacts with agents and possible employers alike and then came for a few interviews within a couple of days.
OK, I may have had the added benefit of being multi-lingual but nothing more.
I am also an engineer too albeit in a different field from you and now work for a major US company, am based in Sofia and have been doing so for the last 3 years. So, it most certainly is very do-able.
Finding a new job opportunity is certainly not impossible you just neeed a positive attitude and get on with it.

Best of luck to you

Not a good time to be looking for construction or engineering work the concertina is in contraction.  Sectors you might consider are teaching conversational English for around 15-20 BGN per hour private.  A language school might pay upto 1500 BGn for 30 hours per week-ish. You can also get a 3 month part time qualification or one month full time certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) you can do it anywhere in the world but also now here in Sofia. You have to remember 500 Euros per month is considered a reasonable salary here even good so it is not going to be a stroll in the park and you will need savings or pension from UK to enjoy a high standard of living.

Sounds a very defeatist attitude to me.
There are always jobs round, even in engineering you just need to look and find. Of course there are alternatives like teaching and whilst there is nothing wrong with it I would not feel it should be the first consideration.
And myself, I neither need a pension nor saving to enjoy a good standard of living out of employment in Bulgaria. In fact with my purchasing power I enjoy here I would need to make over 60K in the UK.
So, it is well worth looking hard

Defeatist.....OK mate Ive been here in business for 10 years. You came here 3 years ago, check out the market right now?  If you are involved in civil engineering/EU infrastructure projects/agriculture there are still opportunities.  If you are in asset management/FM for a REIT then there were opportunities but not right now. Do not under estimate your bilingual status MOST (not all!) ex-Pats struggle with the lingo even after years of living here abou tthe most they can muster is ''kebabche'' Kamenitsa'' ''Lutenitsa''!  So well done for that, unless I guess if you are half BGN and learnt it from birth?

No mate, I speak no Bulgarian even after 3 years, sad but true, but it is not part of my job to do so.
But if your cost of living after apartment and food is less the 35% of your net income I would harldy call this kebabche territory. I bet you have trouble managing this back in the UK and no I am not British either nor is my mother tongue.
But back to Adam, he said that he could put his hands to a number of things within his area of expertise and there are chances regardless of the state of the economy.
Just have the guts and the drive to find it.
Dont give up mate!!!

Thanks alot for the insite guys,

The thing that attracted me to Bulgaria was the idea of buying property outright, being lucky enough to have some cash behind me from site trips to the UAE, I like the idea that I could actually be mortgage free and just have the cost of living. So I am not overly  bothered about high rates of pay, to be mortgage free and be able to have access to the outdoors/house with land would be unachievable in the UK.

Me and my wife are after a slower paced life, enjoying more outdoors time and could do without most mod cons really. The U.K is becoming a cattle market, its cost £250,000 for a house with rooms you can not even fit a double bed in.

You are quite right of course Adam.
You can quite easily buy a house with some land for 50K or less and do it up if you are handy.
And a slower pace of life it most certainly is.
For my money I would probably try to start looking round VT as it has most things and more. There is even a british estate agent in town and it does have a expat community.
I myself live in Sofia so I have no personal link to town other then liking it. And plenty of history all round you.
If you need anything more, just PM me.



and I know MK well, and yes you are very right

Hello Beahor et al.

You mentioned a house + land is in the range of 50k.
Is that in Euros?

Is it possible to find land w/o improvements reasonably priced around Sofia?

Also, what kind of standard of living could a couple expect w/ approximately 1000 Euro/month income?



P.S. Is there any market for Civil/Structural Engineers {Industrial Concentration} in Sofia area {English only}

It depends really on your standard of living.
But I can tell you that many Bulgarians can only dream of having a monthly income of 1000 euro.
But, it is also true that land nearer Sofia is not as cheap as in the country side. That would be unrealistic even to expect so.