Prague, Czech Republic – Every year the number of foreigners coming to the Czech Republic, and Prague in particular, to look for jobs and work opportunities grows exponentially.
According to the Czech statistical office, there are currently more than 200.000 foreigners living in Prague (twice as many as a decade ago), thus accounting for more than 15% of the city’s population and more than one fourth of its workforce.
According to officially statistics, the largest groups of foreigners living in Prague come from Ukraine (over 50.000), Slovakia (31.500) and Russia (24.000). The Czech capital city is also the home of sizable communities from Vietnam, Germany and Poland and, to a lesser extent, from nationals from China, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Hungary, Italy, France, Austria, India and Spain, to name a few.
Who are the foreigners employed in Prague?
Let’s dig deeper into the data: what kind of jobs and professional sectors are most popular among foreigners? Although no specific information is available about foreigners’ employment in Prague, the Czech statistical office revealed data about foreign-born nationals’ employment throughout the Czech Republic as a whole. Here’s a quick breakdown of the main jobs and industries where foreigners are employed.
- Manufacturing: nearly 168.000 foreigners, including nearly a third of Slovaks and a fifth of Ukrainians.
- Administrative and support service: 100.000 foreigners are employed in these support activities, including 29% of Slovaks, 25% of Ukrainians and 11% of Poles.
- Wholesale and retail: 56.000 foreign-born nationals, almost half of which are Slovaks (43%) and many Ukrainians as well (18%).
- Construction: more than 52.000, mostly from Ukraine (39%), Slovakia (32%) and Romania (10%)
- Professional, scientific and technical activities: 33.000 in total, including 43% of Slovaks and 10% of Ukrainians.
Other highly popular industries and professional sectors for foreigners include the hospitality and food service industry (28.000), information and communication (24.000), agriculture, forestry and fishery (15.000), health and social work (13.000, including 68% of Slovaks) and education (12.000, mostly from Slovakia, the U.K. and Germany).
In almost every single industry, Slovaks stand out as the most sizable group of foreigners, followed by Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians – workers who often immigrate to the Czech Republic for higher wages and to fill the vacant positions, including in low-skilled positions in the manufacturing and construction sectors.
How can foreigners find a job in Prague?
Social media-proficient applicants can also, of course, browse through some of the main Facebook groups offering advice and advertising current job offers and vacancies throughout the country in a wide variety of sectors while offering the possibility to directly communicate with recruiters and potential employers. This include groups like Jobs in Prague for English & Multilingual Speakers, Jobs for foreigners Prague or Jobs Prague (multilingual, students, graduates, professionals).
What are the most popular jobs and promising prospects for foreigners in Prague?
Based on aggregated data from all these platforms, there are five main categories of professional sectors with the highest number of vacancies and demands for applicants.
- Food industry & Service
This category is in particular high demand for students who can work part-time and limited hours. Every student who wants to earn a little money on the side can turn to jobs of the likes of waiter or bartender in a cafe or in a hotel, hotel receptionist, cook assistant, florist, souvenir seller, consultant in a shopping mall, barista, hostess, etc. Many students in Prague also work as dog sitters or nannies, although such positions may be more difficult to find and might require having connections or previous experiences.
For women aged around 45-65 who are looking for a non-permanent work, there are also several available vacancies in that industry (for positions such as dishwasher, hotel cleaner, baker, pastry chef, shop assistant, cashier at the supermarket, etc.) The average payment for such low-skilled jobs usually varies around 95-110 Kč per hour.
- Technology & IT
IT is probably the highest-paid and one of the most promising fields for young professionals in Prague today. Developers, technical support specialists, data engineer, software engineers, UX/UI designers, test analysts, system administrators, and others are in very high demand on the labor market, as companies in the sector struggle to address growing labor shortages.
Higher education, at least two years of work experience, as well as knowledge of Czech and English, may often be prerequisites before applying for such positions, that can offer salaries between 26.000 – 45.000 Kč per month.
- Accounting & Finance
In the past six months, accounting has quickly become a highly popular sector for foreigners in Prague. But potential applicants should know that the requirements for employees are quite strict: higher economics and/or financial education, strong knowledge of at least one European language (most often Spanish, French, German) and English, and availability to work from 40 hours a week.
Accounting positions may also be available for native speakers of lesser-known and rarer languages, including Finnish, Norwegian, Greek, Croatian, etc. Depending on the exact position and level of experience, the average salary for financial analysts, credit analysts, accountants, tax specialists or billing coordinators usually stands somewhere between 35.000 – 50.000 Kč per month.
English-language teacher is, as almost anywhere else, one of the most popular jobs for foreigners living in Prague and the Czech Republic. However, these positions, which are in high demand in both private and public schools, are mostly open to native English speakers, especially from the U.K., the U.S., Canada or Australia.
Finding positions of English-language teachers is relatively easy and common via job websites or Facebook groups. Although not as common, there are also a few vacant positions for teachers of German, Polish, French, Spanish or Chinese, to name a few.
- Sales & Retail
Sales & retail have always been an international-driven industry on the labor market and Prague has grown to be an important pool for both domestic or foreign companies selling their services and products all across Europe, if not the world. From call-center operators to head managers, many positions are available for foreigners, with salaries ranging from 1.000 to 4.000 euros depending on the exact position and work experience. Common prerequisites for these kinds of positions include knowledge of several languages and excellent communications skills.
One could argue that the Czech labor market is, as regards to foreigners, split right in the middle: on one hand, many foreign workers, mostly from Eastern European countries like Ukraine, Romania or Bulgaria, often come to Prague to fill low-skilled positions in the manufacturing, construction or hospitality sectors (mainly women for the latter), in search of job opportunities and higher wages; on the other hand, foreigners from the West (Western Europe, U.S., etc.) are also increasingly drawn to Prague to work in the fields of technology, marketing, sales, education or digital services – even if that means accepting lower wages in their home country.
By Alona Fedorova
Alona is a freelance journalist from Ukraine, currently based in Prague where she lives and studies. She joined the team of Kafkadesk contributors in May 2019.