Living and working in Vienna without speaking German? Can that happen?

Hello, I'm planning to move and live in Vienna, because the city has become my dream since some time. However, there is one shortcoming I'd like to ask here : can I find a job and actually get hired and live here without knowing a single phrase in German language?

I'm a very good English speaker, but hadn't have any contacts with the German language so far.

So, how is the labor market in Vienna for persons who don't know German?

I'm lucky to be an EU citizen, though a Romanian, so I still need a work permit. Any idea how long it takes to obtain a work permit and if the procedure is difficult? Can an employer do it for the employee?

Thanks a lot and looking forward to read you answers and perhaps experiences you had.


I can see special industries (international moving would be certainly one) where you could get into entry positions without a decent German.
Good luck,

Thanks a lot dezpapp. However, when looking for jobs, no matter the field, it seems everybody is looking for "excellent German and English". I've noticed this requirement even in multinational companies, for positions that don't involve daily contact with customers / shop activity.

Can you recommend an online source for seeking jobs in Vienna for English language speakers?

Best regards and thanks again!

Somewhere I have read that seeking a job via jobboards is a vaste of time 80% of the cases. And no, I am not aware of any of the specialized sites for people not speaking German in Austria.
My conclusion would be 1. take a crash course in German, 2. network more or better. I know seemingly simple plans are hard to put in practice.
Good luck anyway,

Thanks for the advice. As a matter of fact this is precisely the path I'm going to approach: more networking, combined with online job websites + a crash course of German. I'm also familiar with the general belief that jobbing online has low effectiveness. Perhaps job seekers are not applying targeted and perhaps employers are getting too many irrelevant applications, my guess.

Now, just out of curiosity, how is life in Vienna? I've visited a couple of times and ever since, the idea of relocating here sparked . This is why I'm looking to move abroad. Plus, if course, I like Western European economies and I think working here will be an immense advantage for my personal and professional development. I've checked out a comparison about life costs between Vienna and London. It turned out Vienna wins by a mile. If we also consider what it has to offer, than again, Vienna is the choice to make, right?

The cost of living in Austria (not just Vienna) is the third highest now within the EU, Denmark leading. But Vienna is still coming out top in best cities to live in worldwide. Thus it is probably up to you to figure your kind of living and give it a fair try.
I have read an article on applying for jobs 'out of the blue' vs hiring somebody whom the HR manager already knew before. The conclusion was that the HR manager will hire somebody they already knew before in 80% of the cases.
Still I wish you a good luck,


Hey Tiberiu,
I saw your post and I am thinking about moving to Vienna as well, but you are lucky because you are EU citizen, me not  and would be more difficult for me. I was wondering as well how can I get a work permit.

Here are some of international company in Vienna that hires English speakers.
English Language Companies in Vienna
Hewlett Packard ... ?Lang=ENen
IBM ... ities.html
Bosch ... /index.htm
BOC … &lg=at
Dell ... s=corp#top
United Nations ... ?lang=1200
Philips ... cale=at_de
S&T ... tellen.php
US Embassy
Scientific Games
Intesy ... latf=inter
Erste Bank
Western Union ... _intl.html
Dicom ... &c=AT&l=de
ISIS Papyrus
I would like to give you a little headstart!
I'm crossing my fingers for you and for myself as well. I am learning German in my country and hope to come in December,


@ rudinas > Just to inform you that you have posted on quite an old post but however, thanks a lot for your contribution here !! Woww, such a post deserves a +1 from the team !  :top::one


Priscilla  :D

How was finding a job in Vienna without german skills? We are here now and I have a job and speak somehow decent german but my wife is just starting to learn it.

Its not impossible

it is possible theres a company they accept people who cannot speak the language but this job is only for cleaning like room maid.. first time i come here i don't have the language but hilton hotel in innsbruck austria accept me i work there for almost 2 years. then i learned the language and search more better job..

Hello SerryChey. I was very interested in the post you wrote on May 3rd about how you found a job in a hotel without German as a cleaning maid. How did you do it? Because my wife aus Litauen is trying to do the same here in Vienna and we always get rejected with the job applications because she does not speak German. We thought that housekeeping positions in Vienna did not require German but so far, we have been unlucky in finding a position. Perhaps you can give us a recommendation on how to search for this kind of job?

I would really appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you very much for your attention.

Hi are you still in innsbruck? We are possibly moving to the area and are looking for work as well, my husband is a mechanic and home remodeler and I'm a clinical massage therapist and have been employed at a high end resort and spa, I have experience with cleaning, sanitation and customer service. Thanks :)

Jreynolds wrote:

Hi are you still in innsbruck? We are possibly moving to the area and are looking for work as well, my husband is a mechanic and home remodeler and I'm a clinical massage therapist and have been employed at a high end resort and spa, I have experience with cleaning, sanitation and customer service. Thanks :)

Welcome to the Forum :)

I have to ask why Austria :/

Don't get me wrong, I love the country/place/culture. A good understanding of the mother tongue is a must. But to get by it is not impossible if you are willing to learn. What attracts you to Innsbruck?

Expert Team


Currently I am learning German :) trying to increase my odds of being employed before we get there.

It's a long story of why we are going to that area...
But in a nut shell we have chosen Austria due to it being one of the best countries for quality of life, we have researched for years where to move and our family's safety and well being is top priority and Austria really fits what we are looking for.

Every person has certain things that are most important to them and the culture we are living in really doesn't embody how we really feel and we are really excited to finally be making the move.

We are working with another expat family who will be housing us. In the meantime we are on the lookout for work. We are lucky that Austria is very easy to immigrate to, compared to other countries we had previously looked into and I know there is talk of making it harder to immigrate to Austria so we feel the time is now or never. Plus our little one is growing so fast we would rather immigrate and her grow up knowing that as her culture.

Hello Rudina. I wanted to express my appreciation for the post you submitted a while back about English speaking jobs and links in Vienna. I am currently going through the list and I hope something materializes. I have been here 1 year without a jon and it's pretty tough. Only mcdonalds and cleaning jobs available. Did you relocate to Austria or are you in Ireland?

@serrychey Hey, can i ask you how is company called?

Hello Klara,

Please note that Serrychey's last visit to the website was 5 years ago... I am not sure you will get a response.

What kind of information are you looking for ?