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Work in Austria: Everything you need to know
Austria is a financially stable and dynamic country, and it’s a mecca for expats. In fact one quarter of their populations have a migrant background, and in the capital Vienna 40% of inhabitants are foreigners. With forests and mountains, the landscapes of Austria bring a peaceful energy. But the mountains are not the only captivating part of this beautiful country. Every season of the year holds charming views, from wildflowers in valleys in summer to cosy Christmas markets in December. Furthermore, their castles, palaces, and cathedrals featuring the 17th-century complete the list of amazing opportunities that living in Austria offers.
Basic facts about Austria
Vienna is the capital of Austria and the total population is around 8.949.000 people. The official currency is the Euro (€), and the official language in Austria is German – although Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian are recognised as official languages of autonomous population groups in some regions. Austria borders 8 countries: Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, which explains the many autonomous groups in the country. The climate in Austria is very humid, with warm summers and very cold and windy winters.
7 fun facts about Austria
- In Austria, it is considered bad luck if you toast with your glasses and don’t keep eye contact while doing it.
- The highest waterfalls in Europe are in Austria, the Krimml Waterfalls. They reach a height of 380 metres
- The Habsburgs were based in Austria.
- During the 19th century Vienna was involved in 9 political conflicts.
- The youngest political officer in the European Union is in Austria, Sebastian Kurz at 35 years old.
- Coffee is super important for Austrians: it has been served with passion since the second Turkish siege of Vienna in the 17th century. Approximately 90% of Austrians drink coffee and there is a mandatory coffee break at 3 pm.
- Some of the most known classical composers in the world were born in Austria: Joseph Haydn, Franz Liszt, Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, and Wolfgang Mozart
Work in Austria
There is a formal work culture with hierarchical characteristics in Austria. Austrians appreciate dialogue and cooperation with a consensus-driven approach. They value national businesses and they often cooperate with local companies. The average salary is €3104, and earnings are generally enough to let expats live a good life.
Expats qualified in engineering and construction have good opportunities on the job market in Austria, which also applies to the tourism sector. In the peak season between November and March, expats can find a lot of offers on positions like winter sports instructor, restaurant worker, chef and housekeeping staff in the picturesque Alps. Speaking German will for sure be advantageous.
Work in Vienna
Vienna attracts a lot of tourists as well as foreigners who decides to live and work there. The work environment is full of internationals, however, the work culture still tends to be old-fashioned. So while writing emails try to keep a more formal tone. But you can still be sure to receive a warm welcome from your colleagues.
As an expat in Vienna, you can find work in the sector of finance and consulting, good prospecting are also logistic, research, and project management.
Taxes in Austria
The tax identification number in Austria is called TIN, and it is a nine-digit code obtained by a local tax office.
The taxation system in Austria works on a pay-as-you-earn basis. E.g. if you earn between €11.000 and €18.000 your tax rate will be 25%, but if you earn €18.000 to €31.000, it will be 35%. Austria’s tax system allows you on tax rebates, based on exceptional situations such as special expenses like personal insurance, creation of housing, and refurbishment of housing by authorised professionals. The finance institution in Austria is called Finanzamt Österreich. A tax card is obligatory and it gives you health insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance.
To get access to all public administration in Austria, you will have to log into the FinanzOnline platform. There you can see and fill in all the formalities related to your person, including government mailbox and other government applications.
Popular cities in Austria
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Life in Austria
Moving to Austria offers a captivating blend of rich culture, stunning landscapes, and a high quality of life. The country offers plenty of picturesque Alpine mountains, charming cities, and endless options of outdoor activities year-round. Austria’s public transport system, healthcare, and education opportunities make it an attractive destination for young people and families. People should live in Austria for its dynamic and inclusive atmosphere. The vibrant cities like Vienna and Salzburg offer a thriving arts and music scene, exciting nightlife, and many cultural events.
Gemutlichkeit culture in Austria
Austrian culture is about enjoying life (Gemutlichkeit), which also means the feeling of friendliness, warmth, and happiness. This includes their way of socialising with other people and it’s very common to socialise during outdoor events. So if you’re the extrovert type who likes to meet and greet people, coffee shops are a perfectly fine way to approach people and have a nice talk.
Austrians have a deep appreciation for arts, especially in music due to their famous classic composers. Vienna is also known for two genres of music, the operetta and the waltz, and this is something that has been preserved even in the younger generations. There are many conservatories and private music schools in Austria so it’s common to see many children being part of a band or a choir.
The typical Austrian dishes are rich in dairy, meat and calories and vary depending on the region. It has been influenced by their neighbours’ kitchens containing a lot of different spices and sauces. They use a lot of vegetables and some of their favourite veggies are definitely tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and carrots. Different kinds of meat, various cheeses, mouthwatering desserts, and great wine and beer are also great bases for a culinary experience.
Cuisine in Austria is quickly associated with Wiener Schnitzel, Würstchen, Apfelstrudel, Goulash or Speck. But there’s much more to discover and the list of delicacies we prepared for you below could be much longer. Some of the popular dishes are:
- Sachertorte (chocolate cake)
- Käsespätzle (Austria’s answer to macaroni and cheese)
- Erdäpfelgulasch (perfect for vegans)
- Chicken Paprikash (paprika chicken)
- Topfenknödel (Austrian dumplings)
Finding accommodation in Austria
The majority of expats decide to rent a property while living in Austria. Finding accommodation remotely is not an easy task, but it is possible. You can do it after arrival, but living in a hotel or taking Airbnb for a few days or weeks might take a large part of your budget.
An easy way to find an apartment or room in Austria is to do it through estate agencies, however, you have to remember that the cost of their services may be between one or two months of rent. Alternatively you can look at websites with accommodation offers like this one: nestpick.com/austria/. You can also join Facebook groups about room and apartment rentals in Austria. Sometimes people are also looking for a flatmate, which is a way to get to know someone in the beginning in the new city.
Some seasons are better to look for accommodation than others. At the beginning of the academic year there is such a big interest in properties. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that utilities are often paid separately.
Cost of living in Austria
While accommodation prices in Austria are comparable to other European capitals, expenses for everyday living are one of the highest, and similar to cities like Berlin or Brussels. Prices of public transport are set by the European standard. The cheapest way to move around the city is by bicycle. The cities are incorporating bike lanes into city plans which make it safe and easy to get around. Unlucky for sports lovers, In Austria there are the most expensive gyms worldwide. In the table below we gathered some of the basic costs of everyday life:
Cost in Euro
Accommodation (1 Bedroom outside the centre – in the city centre)*
550 – 800
Fitness club pass
Mobile rate (per minute)
Public transport (single bus ticket)
Pint of beer
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Austria
When moving to Austria you will experience minimal cultural shock since the country offers excellent healthcare, transportation, and education. Many expats claim to feel right at home. You can find expat groups on social media – and don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. Many people are or were in situations similar to yours, so expand your network and exchange useful advice and tips. Having good contact with people from work is also good. Often your colleagues will become friends for life.
Be open to Austrians. Despite the fact that Austrians are slow in making friends with foreigners, once you make contact you will enjoy a great time in a local pub or restaurant. You can also practise speaking German with them: that is the best form of training you can get.
Where to learn German?
Talking about languages, the language barrier might be a challenge when moving to Austria. The national language is German, however Austrian German differs from German spoken in Germany. English is spoken widely in business environments, however despite the fact that a lot of nationals can speak English, they are not really willing to use it, unless there is a real need.
For this reason, it’s good to know some basic German. In the beginning you will find it helpful to learn courtesies and numbers. You can start by taking an online course or using an app for your phone. There are many platforms and both paid and unpaid ones. Do what fits you best and you will be able to learn even while commuting. For those interested in learning on-site, there are courses offered for expats already in Austria and you can find them for free or paid. Look for websites like https://www.actilingua.com/ and get to know more about what lessons look like.
And a good tip: speak German on a daily basis! E.g. in a grocery store or in a library. The Austrians will appreciate your effort for sure. Remember, practice makes perfect and it may also help you to make friends with Austrians easier.
Still not convinced about Austria?
Embracing the Austrian lifestyle means enjoying a rich blend of tradition and modernity, making it an ideal destination for young minds seeking diverse experiences. Austria is a modern country that efficiently develops. Even though costs of living and language might appear to be a little bit of a barrier, they are not impossible to handle at all. You get a very high standard of living, breathtaking nature, warm welcomings from nationals, and a professional work environment that will make you have the time of your life.
Austria’s central location within Europe allows for easy travel to neighbouring countries. The people are known for their welcoming nature and vibrant cultural scene, featuring classical music, art, and delicious cuisine. Austria’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices ensures a clean and green environment. Moreover, the country enjoys a high standard of safety, providing peace of mind for residents. Whether you seek adventure in the mountains, a rich cultural experience, or a comfortable and safe lifestyle, Austria offers a fulfilling place to call home.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, you can make it by clicking HERE and let us know how we can help you!
No, EU and EEA citizens can work in Austria for three months without work permit. If you stay for more than 90 days you need to register. You can read more about it here.
Talking about languages, the language barrier might be a challenge while moving to Austria. The national language is German, however Austrian German differs from German spoken in Germany, there are also slight differences depending on the region. English is spoken widely in business environments, however despite the fact that a lot of nationals can speak English, they are not really willing to use it, unless there is a real need.
For this reason, it’s good to know some basic German, for the beginning at least courtesies and numbers. You can start beforehand taking a course online or using an app for your phone where you can practise daily. The choice is big, paid or unpaid ones, different levels. Make it suitable for you and you will be able to learn even in a bus. For those interested in learning on-site, there are courses offered for expats already in Austria and you can find them for free or paid. Look for websites like this: https://www.actilingua.com/ and get to know more about what lessons look like.
And a good tip for the end, talk German on a daily basis! In a grocery store or in a library, foreigners will appreciate your effort for sure. Remember, practice makes perfect and it may also help you to make friends with Austrians easier.
The temperatures in Austria vary significantly depending on the region and season. In winter, especially in the Alpine areas, temperatures can drop well below freezing, with average lows around -5°C to -10°C. Summers are generally mild to warm, with average highs ranging from 25°C to 30°C. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn offer pleasant temperatures, with averages between 10°C to 20°C. Overall, Austria experiences a typical Central European climate with distinct seasons and temperature fluctuations throughout the year.
Austria has an extensive and efficient transportation system. The most common way to get around is by train, with ÖBB providing reliable connections between major cities and scenic routes through the Alps. Buses also cover smaller towns and rural areas. In cities like Vienna, Graz, and Salzburg, trams, buses, and metro systems offer convenient options. Renting a car is ideal for exploring remote areas and picturesque landscapes.
Healthcare in Austria is highly regarded for its quality and accessibility. The country provides a universal healthcare system, ensuring that all residents have access to medical services. It is funded through compulsory health insurance contributions and co-payments. Austrian healthcare facilities are well-equipped, and doctors are well-trained, making it a reliable and efficient system for residents and visitors alike.