Chicago is one of the most important metropolitan areas in the United States, located in Illinois on the southwest shore of the country's largest lake, Lake Michigan. "The Windy City" (informal name) is considered the most powerful business, economic, industrial and financial core of the country. Working in Chicago allows you to immigrate to the United States, become part of the city's multicultural youth population, and eventually become a full-fledged American citizen.

Work in Chicago

Jobs in Chicago for foreigners in 2024 are available in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, information technology, finance, and medicine. There are jobs for experienced skilled professionals and workers without special qualifications. Many jobs are created because of Chicago's favorable geographic location, which has allowed it to remain a major transportation hub for the United States and a center of international trade for many years.

Specifics of labor migration in Chicago

Chicago is a very vibrant and dynamic city. Thousands of tourists and permanent residents can enjoy a multitude of gleaming skyscrapers and cultural attractions – monuments, museums, beautiful parks, and a variety of scenic arts. For those seeking a different kind of recreational activity there's a vibrant nightlife, and for those looking for designer gadgets you can shop in the famous Magnificent Mile. In the Windy City, foreigners won't be bored if they stay long term.

Chicago has a comfortable climate with warm summers and moderately cold winters. The local authorities pay close attention to improving infrastructure and public transportation, medical care is at a high level, and the educational system is very good. For example, the University of Chicago is considered one of the most prestigious American universities. The cost of living in Chicago is slightly higher than the national average, including rent, but the wages are very decent.

Chicago's population in 2024 is more than 2.7 million people. It is the third most populous city in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles. Racial composition includes about 45% white, 33% African-American, 3% Asian, and up to 20% other races. White citizens live mostly in the wealthier and more expensive northern part of the city. Up to 30% of Chicagoans are Hispanic. About 20% of the local population is immigrant.

Despite the city's economic potential and numerous job openings, competition in the Chicago labor market is fierce. The unemployment rate in the city is about 4-6%, which is 1-2% higher than the national average. Official employment in the United States, regardless of the specific state, requires the foreigner to meet a number of statutory standards, without which it is not allowed to legally carry out professional activities in the country. The only way to live and work freely in Chicago almost on a par with Americans is to get a U.S. Green Card.

Otherwise you need to find a U.S. company, sign a contract and get a U.S. work visa beforehand. It is quite difficult to pass this way, since the job should not be applied for by local citizens, and the applicant's profession must be of interest to the authorities and the economy of the city. Moreover, for many visas in the country annual quotas are established, for example, for temporary workers (H-2B) – 66 thousand and for skilled professionals (H-2B) – 65 thousand. Green cards for employment in the U.S. are issued in the amount not more than 140 thousand per year.

Jobs in Chicago for applicants from third countries – this is primarily an exit to the U.S. employer who will agree to take the time and financial costs associated with obtaining documentation and work visas for the foreigner. This is the main challenge and difficulty.

How to find a job in Chicago

For a successful job search in Chicago, it is advisable to visit the city beforehand as a tourist. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the local attractions, give you a chance to make business connections or get an interview, and choose the most appropriate neighborhood to live in.

How to find a job in Chicago

For example, lower rents are offered in a part of town called the West Side. The South Side has a high concentration of foreigners (especially students), the North Side – Lakefront will provide a quiet family life, the North Side comfort and safety, and Downtown is better to consider if the office is located downtown.

Chicago is home to more than 1,800 foreign companies with experience working with foreign professionals. Prepare a competent resume and cover letter, highlighting special skills and achievements. Write job offers to employers directly. Keep in mind that with few exceptions, jobs in Chicago without language skills are only illegal jobs, usually in physically demanding occupations with low pay. English proficiency must be at a high level in order to find a normal job. This applies equally to education and qualifications.

To find a decent and legitimate job in Chicago in 2024, you need to have a serious competitive edge, a scarce profession, and solid experience. A diploma from a domestic college will have to be verified. Analyze the job market and use all available methods. Visit topical forums and groups in social networks. Pay attention to the major companies of Chicago – United Airlines, Boeing, Sears, Tribune Company, Kraft, Allstate and many others. Even the head office of the American corporation McDonald's is located in Illinois. Get active online and search for open jobs in Chicago.

Search for jobs in Chicago

The best employers in the

Professional social networking

Popular job search sites in Chicago

Notable newspapers in Chicago

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Sun-Times

If you can't find a job in Chicago on your own (without an intermediary), contact a local staffing agency.

Jobs and wages in Chicago

Jobs and wages in Chicago

One of the main features of Chicago's job market is the large-scale diversification of areas where local professionals are employed. According to official statistics, there is not a single industry in the city that provides jobs for more than 15% of residents. Thus, jobs in Chicago for foreigners in 2024 will be found for holders of various professions. Key sectors to look out for are finance, manufacturing, biotechnology, medicine, transportation, logistics, information technology, and services.

Chicago's minimum wage in 2024 is $15 to $15.80 an hour. By comparison, it is $7.25 at the federal level and $14 overall for the state of Illinois. Overall, wages for Chicago workers are quite high, comparable to cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Boston and Denver. Average wages in Chicago in 2024 are in the neighborhood of $4,200 per month.

Jobs in Chicago are available for experienced programmers, engineers, and medical professionals. The abundance of international companies, developed industry and transportation system, the market of financial and banking services, allows qualified specialists to apply for jobs in absolutely different areas. In addition, a large number of foreigners work in Chicago in unskilled jobs – as nannies, caregivers, housekeepers, maids, drivers, handymen, and so on.

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