HOW TO FIND A JOB IN ESTONIA

More than 20 years ago, Estonia made a final break with its Soviet past and fully embraced economic and political integration with the West. Since 2004 the country is a member of the European Union and joined the euro zone in 2011. Today the Estonian economy is one of the most dynamic and stable not only in the Baltic region, but in all of Central and Northern Europe.

The unemployment rate in Estonia is 5.7%. This is an average index among the EU countries. For example, it is less than in the neighboring Lithuania and Latvia. In some sectors of the economy, there is even a certain shortage of workers, both skilled and unskilled.

Therefore, work in Estonia for foreigners in 2022, with the right level of perseverance and motivation, is achievable. When searching for a job in Estonia, special attention should be paid to information technology and automobile transportation in case of long-term employment, and agricultural work, which is more suitable for short-term employment.

Work in Estonia

Having a degree from an Estonian university and being proficient in the local language is a big plus. Even English may not be enough for a successful job. The population of Estonia in 2022 is slightly more than 1.3 million people. This small but fairly prosperous country is considered one of the safest and most comfortable places to live not only in Europe but also in the world.

Quite a suitable country for immigrants from the third countries. About 30% of the Estonian population are fluent in Russian. Further, we will learn how to go to work in Estonia, consider the most available vacancies in the local labor market in 2022 and outline the main ways to find a job for a foreigner.

How to go to work in Estonia

Despite rather acceptable level of unemployment compared to other European countries, Estonian authorities are interested in providing maximum employment first of all for locals. Besides, EU citizens have the right to work in Estonia without any special restrictions, while other foreigners, in most cases, can only take a vacancy if there are no necessary specialists among Estonians and the same Europeans.

All this shows the high level of competition faced by foreign workers from third countries, such as Ukraine. For this category of applicants it is mandatory to search for and approve a vacancy in an Estonian company in advance, obtain a work permit from local agencies, apply for a work visa and a residence permit at the Estonian Consulate in their country.

It is easy to guess that most Estonian employers are not eager to prove to local agencies the need to hire a foreigner, collect a lot of documents and most importantly spend personal time on it.

However the number of working-age population of Estonia is gradually decreasing, the economy is on the contrary growing, and young people, in their turn, are eager to leave for more developed European countries. Hence, there is a demand for highly qualified specialists and temporary workers of unskilled professions from third countries.

In case of successful search for a vacancy and signing of an employment contract with a local employer, as well as an affirmative decision of the Estonian Unemployment Office on employing an alien, the applicant applies to the Estonian Consulate with the corresponding application for a temporary residence permit on the basis of employment. Usually it takes no more than 2 months to process the application.

Continuous official residence in Estonia for 5 years allows obtaining permanent resident status and later obtaining Estonian passport. Some categories of foreign workers, usually for temporary employment, do not require a work permit in advance, for example:

  • Holders of a long-term residence permit from one of the EU countries.

  • Accredited journalists.

  • Teachers at Estonian universities.

  • Athletes, coaches, referees and holders of some creative professions.

  • Graduates of Estonian universities.

  • Managers and senior managers of foreign companies in Estonia.

  • Holders of the EU Blue Card.

  • Scientists for carrying out research work.

  • Top-level specialists.

  • Seasonal workers in agriculture.

Basic requirements for foreign workers in Estonia:

  • Language. In most cases, in order to take a decent job in Estonia, you will need to know Estonian. The exceptions may be international companies or unskilled labor, where English and sometimes Russian is enough.

  • Qualifications. Education diplomas certifying the qualifications of a foreign worker must generally be recognized in Estonia. You can check the list of regulated Estonian professions and recognition of foreign diplomas on a special website – eesti.ee.

  • Salary level. Generally, in order to obtain a residence permit for employment in Estonia the salary level of an alien must be at least equal to the average annual salary in the country.

How to find a job in Estonia. Search for a job without intermediaries.

According to statistics, only 30% of vacancies in the Estonian labor market are freely available. So acquaintances and relatives in Estonia is undoubtedly a plus. Even a short tourist trip to this country can serve as a great way to acquire the necessary connections and speed up the employment process.

Otherwise, open the Internet and start searching diligently for a suitable job. Start by visiting the official Estonian resource – workinestonia.com. In addition to direct job offers, you can find a lot of information about various aspects of life in Estonia. Next, move on to specialized resources.

Popular Estonian job search sites

cv.ee

cvkeskus.ee

International employment resources

careerjet.com

learn4good.com

Estonian Newspapers

Eesti Ekspress

Eesti Päevaleht

Be active in the professional social network Linkedin.com. Go to job fairs if possible. Carefully study sample resumes and cover letters directly to the Estonian employer. It is very important to use all the above resources in combination. In this case, a positive result is sure to be achieved.

Jobs and wages in Estonia

In 2022 the average net salary in Estonia is 1,305 euros per month. This is quite a good indicator, for example, higher than in the Czech Republic or Poland, as well as other Baltic and Eastern European countries.

In addition, there has been a steady increase in the minimum wage in Estonia in recent years. From 320 euros per month in 2013, to 654 euros on January 1, 2022.

Available jobs in Estonia in 2022, according to the latest research by various employment agencies, are seen for the following workers:

  • IT specialists

  • builders

  • technical professions

  • motor vehicle drivers

  • managers in business and management

  • health care and education professionals

  • various types of unskilled labour

The largest number of jobs is concentrated in the capital and the largest city of Estonia, Tallinn. Among popular jobs in Estonia the IT sphere, including jobs for foreigners, occupies a separate place. Every year the country is making significant progress in this area and in 2022 the demand for qualified specialists will only increase.

Quite often there are vacancies in the tourism industry. Mostly young and energetic people are required, and one of the conditions is knowledge of English languages. Relatively available and seasonal work in Estonia, as a rule, in agriculture for harvesting, where no special qualifications and language skills are needed, which actually attracts foreigners from third countries.

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