Work in Austria | Everything you need to know
Austria, as a prosperous and dynamic country is one favourite for expatriates, till the point of 1 quarter of their populations have a migrant background, and their capital Vienna is has been the city with the highest quality of life over the past years, in the city 40% of inhabitants are foreigners. With forest and mountains, the landscapes in Austria brings that peaceful energy, but the mountains are not the only thing that captivates in this beautiful country, no matter the season, Austria always has charming views, from wildflowers in verdant valleys in summer to cosy Christmas markets in December, plus their castles, palaces, and cathedrals featuring 17th-century complete the particular experience that Living in Austria may bring you.
Austria has as capital the city of Vienna, their population is about 8.949.000 people and the official currency is the Euro (€). The official language in Austria is German but Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian are recognised as official languages of autonomous population groups in some regions. This country is limited with another 8 countries, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia, this explains why there are so many autonomous groups in the country. The climate in Austria is characterized as being very humid, with warm summers and very cold and windy winters.
7 Curiosities about Austria
- In Austria, it is considered bad luck if you share a toast 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 meters
- The Habsburgs was 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 with 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. About 90% of Austrians drink coffee and at 3 pm is mandatory a coffee break.
- 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
Gemutlichkeit Culture in Austria
In Austria, it is very part of their culture the way they enjoy life (Gemutlichkeit), which also means the feeling of friendliness, warmth and happiness and this includes their way of socializing with other people, this is why it’s very common to socialize during outdoor events, so if you’re the extrovert type who likes to meet people around, coffee shops are perfectly fine to approach people and have a nice talk.
Austrians have a deep appreciation for arts, especially in music since famous classic composers were born in Austria, and actually, Vienna is also known for two genres of music, the operetta and the waltz, and this is something that it’s preserved even in the younger generations, there are many conservatories and private music schools in Austria so it’s not weird to see many children to be part of a band or a choir.
Wide range of Austrian Cuisine
The Austrian diet is rich in dairy, meat and calories and varies depending on the region. It contains influences from its neighbours’ kitchens. With a lot of spices and sauces, the range of famous national dishes is very wide. They use a lot of vegetables, one of Austrians favourite ones are definitely tomato, potato, onions or carrots. Different kinds of meat, various cheeses, mouthwatering desserts and great wine and beer are great bases for a culinary experience.
Cuisine in Austria can be quickly associated with Wiener Schnitzel, Würstchen, Apfelstrudel, Goulash or Speck. But it’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)
Work in Austria
Work culture in Austria has more formal and hierarchical characteristics, Austrians appreciate dialogue and cooperation, often with a consensus-driven approach, they value national businesses and often cooperate with local companies. The average salary is €3,104, 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, the same applies to the tourism sector. In the peak season between November and March, expats can find a lot of offers on positions like winter sport instructor, restaurant worker, chef and housekeeping staff in a picturesque Alps mountain resort. Speaking German will be for sure advantageous.
Work in Vienna
Capital of Austria attracts not only a lot of tourists but also foreigners living and working 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 form. Anyway, your future national colleagues should welcome you warmly with a friendly attitude.
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 so as you can see the choice is big.
Taxes in Austria
Tax identification number in Austria is called TINs is a nine-digit code and it is obtained by a local tax office.
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%. Australia’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.
Finding accommodation in Austria
Majority of expats decide to rent a property while moving to Austria. Finding accommodation remotely is not an easy task, of course, 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 rental. Good idea is to look at websites with accommodation offers. This one might be helpful nestpick.com/austria/. Join Facebook groups about room and apartment rentals in Austria. Sometimes people are looking for a flatmate, it’s always nice to know someone at the beginning in the new city.
Some seasons are better to look for accommodation than other. At the beginning of the academic year there is such a big interest in properties, looking for it will be agony. Another thing good to know is that utilities are often paid separately.
Living cost in Austria
While costs of accommodation in Austria are comparable to other European capitals, expenses for everyday living are one of the highest similar to cities like Berlin or Brussels. Prices of public transport are set by the European standard, and communication is great. The cheapest way to move around the city is by bicycle. More and more cities are incorporating bike lanes into city plans. 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:
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Accommodation (1 Bedroom outside the centre – in the city centre)*||550 – 800|
|Fitness club pass||107|
|Mobile rate (per minute)||0.6|
|Public transport (single bus ticket)||2.40|
|Pint of beer||3.90|
* 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
Moving to Austria you will experience minimal culture shock since the country offers excellent healthcare, transportation and education and many expats claim to feel there better like home. Look for social media groups for expats in Austria and don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. Many people are or were in situations similar to yours, expand your network and exchange useful advice and tips. Having good contact with people from work is also good. Often colleagues become friends for life.
Be open for nationals. Despite the fact that Austrians are slow in making new friends with foreigners, once you make contact you will enjoy a great time spent in a local pub or restaurant. You can also practise the language with them, there is nothing better than training.
Where to learn German?
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.
Austria is a modern country, efficiently developing with good prospects for the future. As an expat, you will enjoy living and working there, similarly to people who decided on this significant step in their lives before. Even though costs of living and language might appear to be a little bit of a barrier, they are not impossible to handle. High standard of living, charming views, warmly welcoming you nationals and professional work environment will make you have the time of your life.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, you can make it by clicking HERE. Let our recruiter know what your doubts are, so we will be able to help you with them!