Working in Czech Republic
The job market
What are your chances of getting a job?
As the Czech Republic is an EU member state EU citizens share the same working rights as Czechs, so working in the country is relatively easy. A lot of graduate opportunities can be found in the Czech Republic in international companies who have offices there.
English and German are widely spoken, with English being better known by younger people, but the ability to speak and write Czech is still an important requirement for job seekers. Tourism remains a lucrative and growing business with many ties to the UK, so tailoring your skills to this sector is a good option for those without Czech language skills.
Where can you work?
- Major industries: automotive industry, metallurgy, machinery and equipment, glass, armaments.
- Recent growth areas: electrical engineering, automotive, tourism.
- Shortage occupations: manufacturing, HR professionals, compliance and market access roles in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Major companies: Agrofert, AT&T, Budweiser Budvar, CEZ group, O2 Czech Republic, Pilsner Urquell, RWE, Škoda, Unipetrol, Zentiva.
What’s it like working in the Czech Republic?
- Average working hours: typically 40 hours per week, divided into eight hour days.
- Holidays: basic holiday entitlement is four weeks per year.
- Tax rates: foreign residents are only taxed on earnings from within the Czech Republic. The stipulated tax rate for nationals and non-nationals is set at 15%. Don't forget to check your UK tax and National Insurance position with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to ensure you're not losing any UK pension rights.
Applying for jobs
You do not need to be in the Czech Republic to apply for a job as advertisements are on websites.
Applications are typically made using a CV and accompanying brief covering letter. Most employers require knowledge of the Czech language, so aim to submit the application in Czech. Find out the language requirements of the employer if you're unable to speak the language.
The format of a CV is similar to UK applications. Get more applications and CV advice.
Selection processes are formal in the Czech Republic and you should dress accordingly. Large multinational companies may use psychometric testing along with other selection techniques at assessment centres. See Eurograduate – The European Graduate Careers Guide for more information on application in the Czech Republic and an example CV.
Will your UK qualifications be recognised?
Following the Bologna Process and the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), UK qualifications are usually recognised by an employer.
- EURES – European Job Mobility Portal maintained by the European Commission, provides information about job vacancies and a CV-posting service.
- Expats.cz – good for expat jobs, includes jobs where knowledge of Czech is not required.
- Jobs.cz – in Czech and English.
Details of agencies can be found in the Czech Yellow Pages – search for 'personalni poradenstvi’.
- Mlada Fronta DNES – national daily with a careers section.
- Prague Daily Monitor – English-language electronic daily, with job listings
Some companies have open days for vacancies. If you plan to attend one, prepare for it as you would for an interview. Open days are advertised on company websites.
The JOBS EXPO trade fair, held in Prague every spring, offers many job opportunities and is open to foreigners.
Public employment services are offered free of charge by labour offices throughout the country and are run by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The website gives details of local employment offices and more information about employment for foreigners.
Speculative approaches are worth making in all sectors and can be made through student organisations, personal contacts, or by contacting organisations directly. Create a profile on LinkedIn and try networking online.
Getting work experience
Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014–2020 and covers student exchange, work experience and volunteering opportunities. Both under and postgraduate students can study abroad for 3 to 12 months. Erasmus+ also provides opportunities for work experience for students to learn new skills or languages, as well as volunteering in different countries for between 2 weeks and 12 months.
AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) offers placements for students and graduates in business and related subjects, while IAESTE (The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) arranges placements for science, engineering and technology students.
The Centre for International Services (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) coordinates opportunities for overseas teachers wishing to work in primary and secondary schools. Also check ESL Base for a list of English language schools in the Czech Republic.
Gap year and volunteering opportunities
Gap year opportunities in the Czech Republic are almost always teaching positions. The country does not have a great need for outside conservation or community help.
Do you need a visa?
EU nationals do not need a visa or work permit. This is applicable for those who wish to stay less than 90 days. If you intend to stay for more than 30 days, you must report to the Foreign Police, within three days of arrival in the country.
As an EU citizen, staying longer than 90 days, a certificate of temporary residence is not obligatory, but you may apply for one if you wish. See the Ministry of the Interior for details.
Non-EU citizens need visas and work permits and should contact their local Czech Republic embassy, prior to travelling, to obtain these. If you are living in the UK, go to the Czech Republic Embassy in the UK. You're required to report to the Foreign Police within three days of entry into the country.
You might also find it helpful to contact your ministry of foreign affairs (or your own embassy if you are not living in your home country) to ask whether there are any issues to be taken into account when considering working in the Czech Republic.
How do you become a permanent resident?
Citizens of the EU can apply for a permanent residence permit after five uninterrupted years of temporary residence in the Czech Republic. Applications can be made to the regional office of the Ministry of the Interior (Asylum and Migration Department).
Non-EU citizens should also contact the Ministry of the Interior for details on how to apply for permanent residency.
Living in the Czech Republic
- Cost of living: Study in the Czech Republic states that the average living costs of a student, to cover food, accommodation, public transport and culture, ranges from £280–£615 per month, depending on lifestyle and spending habits. Prague remains slightly cheaper than most European capital cities for things like food and transport; though luxury goods are often more expensive. You can get discounts on transport, restaurants and more with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
- Internet domain: .cz
- Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)
- Health: the quality of healthcare in the Czech Republic is very good. Waiting times are short and services are affordable. EU citizens just need to have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in order to receive free medical care.
- Type of government: parliamentary republic.
- Laws and customs: the Czech Republic is one of the most liberal countries in the EU regarding drug liberalisation. While the sale of drugs is illegal, possession of small amounts of a variety of illicit substances is a misdemeanor, subject to a fine equal to a parking ticket. It is also one of the most liberal countries in Europe with regard to gay rights, and registered same-sex partnerships have most of the rights of marriage. Carry your passport with you at all times for identification.
- Emergency numbers: 112 – general emergency. 150 – fire brigade, 155 – rescue/ambulance, 158 – police.
- People: over 60% of the population is Czech national, with small minorities of Moravian, Slovaks and other immigrants.
- Major religion: Roman Catholicism is the most common religion, although the majority of Czechs describe themselves as agnostic/atheist.