Live, Work & Travel in Austria
A green and pleasant land in the summer, the main attraction for worker travellers is when the mountains turn white and the winter tourism season kicks in.
Working in Tourism
The hotels and restaurants using Hogastjob.com, a tourism job portal for the German and Austrian Alps, require employees to have an adequate level of German. Nevertheless the site says they will help English speakers whose German skills are not good enough to register themselves and apply online. German speakers can also use Gastrojobs. Austria Trend and Vienna International are two hotel and resort groups in Austria with English language careers pages.
German will be needed for most jobs with the numerous small B&Bs in Alpine villages that make up the backbone of Austria's summer tourism industry, though English speakers are sometimes specifically wanted by businesses catering to an international clientele. Applications will be aided by being available for the whole season from mid April to mid September.
Travel articles in the Guardian, Telegraph and other newspapers will give an idea of what goes on where during Austria's summer. Workers that enjoy walking, swimming and cycling will feel most at home here but sometimes a more specialist shared interest can lead to a job. One past advertiser in our Jobs Abroad Bulletin sought a cook with an interest in motorcycling for their gasthof, described on TripAdvisor as a 'biker's heaven'.
For campsite jobs European Camping Services interview park managers in January and February across the UK. Assistant park managers are also hired.
Sailing or water skiing instructors, banana boat operators and water slide attendants may find work independently around Austria's lakes and many foreign tour companies including Crystal Holidays, Thomson and Inghams are among those that unpack tourists here.
18 to 30 year old Canadians, who are full time post secondary students or recent grads, can apply to work in Austria for up to six months via the SWAP scheme.
Ski Resort Jobs in Austria
Though Austria has a healthy summer season centred around its lakes and mountains the interest of working travellers is most piqued when the peaks begin to accumulate their first coverings of snow. After France, the Austrian Alps attracts the most British workers looking to work a season.
Work in Austrian ski resorts can be found with the large tour operators, most of which also highlight their vacancies on numerous websites including Natives, Best Ski Jobs, Hotel-Jobs.co.uk, Season Workers, and our own Jobs Abroad Bulletin. Companies begin recruiting in earnest from May and continue with a few vacancies still needing to be filled right up until the season begins in October.
Most employers will expect staff for the full season but extra ski instructors in particular will be needed for peak weeks during school holidays. Halsbury Travel give a good idea of the qualifications needed by their ski and snowboard instructors: “Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have good English. The ability to speak German is an advantage, although not a requirement. A minimum BASI Level 2 or equivalent instructor diploma is required and previous experience in teaching groups of adults or young people is a distinct advantage. Ski and snowboard instructors should have outstanding interpersonal skills, great patience and a good sense of humour.”
Smaller chalet companies, many with at most a handful of chalets, will be another way to arrange a position well in advance of the season. Consumer websites, such as Catered Ski Chalets, can be used to find potential employers. We ran chalet names along with the resort through Google and quickly found, for instance, that Chalet Nina in St Anton belongs to Powder White, who have a jobs page. An approach via Facebook may suffice if a jobs page can't be found.
Chalet accommodation is sparser in some of the more upmarket Austrian ski resorts, such as Kitzbuhel. Guests here are more likely to stay in hotels such as the Grand Tirolia. Ski Austria lists more hotels in the resort and, while you are there, read this article on the realities of looking for work in an Austrian ski resort. A few situations vacant are listed here too.
Many tourist offices and independent guides to other resorts will also have a page of job listings but if not we once again recommend using consumer information in your job hunt. The tourist office of Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis and St. Anton am Arlberg are two links to get you started. Ski resort names and Information can be found here and here.
Teaching & TEFL in Austria
The English Teacher Training College of Austria provide a great way for native level English speakers to gain a free teaching qualification, with accommodation and other costs covered. Once qualified, teachers gain valuable classroom experience in rural schools.
Course graduates have gone on to find paying jobs around the world but for those wanting to stay in Austria there are schools needing teachers, though finding work won't as easy as it would in Southeast Asia or South Korea, for instance. Salaries are good here but learning some German is recommended. Quinn's World of TEFL provides a good overview of teaching English in Austria.
American college graduates looking to shove open that normally closed door marked 'Work Visas' can apply for US Teaching Assistantships at Austrian Secondary Schools. Brits can apply to be teaching assistants via the British Council. Language assistants from France, Italy, Spain and Russia are also sought to teach their own languages. More information (in German) can be found here.
Over the summer students may find low paid but enjoyable work with English summer camps, a European variant on American summer camps, combining fun activities with learning English. The English Camp Company and Village Camps both have operations in Austria. English Camp Austria has an evangelical side but they recruit a staff of American (and other native-speaking) English teachers and counsellors each year for their SWAT team.
Au Pair & Nanny Jobs
Most agencies will be able to match au pairs with families in Austria. AuPairWorld has information for those wanting to work in the country. Read our blog post Ski Resort Jobs in the Alps for Nannies and Childcare Staff if you would prefer to look after children in a ski resort. Jamie-Lee Philipson, VIP Ski's head nanny in St Anton, shared her own experience working as a ski nanny.
Low Cost Options for Volunteering
From local NGOs to work exchanges we track down and list a number of opportunities for free or cheap volunteer work in Austria on another website in our small group.
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link).You can get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here.
More Resources from our Sites
Directory > Switzerland & Austria Links - A selection of links for finding work, searching for a home and travelling in Austria.
Jobs in Austria, Germany and Switzerland - Current vacancies from the Jobs Abroad Bulletin.
More Working in Austria Resources
Migration.gv.at - A section on living and working in Austria.
SnowSeason Central - A good page of information for snow jobs.
About Austria - Working in Austria.
Living in Austria - Advice for British people living in Austria, including information on health, benefits, residence requirements and more.
Vienna Review - Advice for teaching English to adults.
Tefl Jobs World.com - Everything you need to know about teaching English in Vienna.
Articles on Living, Working & Travelling in Austria
Articles from our sites and blogs:
Paid Hedonism - If the world of the student is hedonism, working a ski season must be paid hedonism, says Iain Martin.
Articles on other websites and blogs:
A Day in the Life of a PGL Ski Rep - Euan Aitken, who has previously taken groups to Gerlitzen, Zell am See, Saalbach, and Axamer Lizum, in Austria, and to the USA, speaks to Natives about why he loves his job.
Got information about living, travelling or working in Austria? Write us an article or pass on a tip to other travellers here