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, the leisure and lifestyle sector, IT/telecommunications/electronics, financial services - major international players in all fields from banking to management consultancy, and machinery and equipment.
- Recent growth areas: the construction and engineering industries, and the tourist industry continues to expand.
- Shortage occupations: IT specialists, engineers, skilled manual workers including craftsmen, machine workers and assemblers.
- Major companies: CEZ group, Agrofert, AgroPol, Zentiva, Škoda, Budweiser Budvar, Pilsner Urquell, RWE, Unipetrol.
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 Czrch 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.
There is also a job opportunities trade fair called Jobdays, which is open to foreigners and takes place in Prague every spring.
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.
If you want to stay for longer than three months, you must apply for a certificate of temporary residence or a permanent residence permit. To do so you will need a valid passport, proof of health insurance and a document that proves the intention of your stay. This may be work, study, economic activities or family membership. See Ministry of the Interior for details.
For non-EU citizens, short-stay visas are available for stays up to 90 days and long-stay visas for those who wish to stay for longer than 90 days. Contact the Czech Republic embassy in the country where you are currently residing about how to obtain visas and work permits. If you are living in the UK, go to 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 costs to cover food, accommodation and public transport for students ranges from around £200 - £450 per month. Prague remains slightly cheaper than most European capital cities for things like food and transport. But luxury goods continue to be higher than elsewhere. You can get discounts on transport, restaurants and more with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
- Internet domain: .cz
- Currency: Ceska koruna (CZK) or Czech Crown.
- Health: the quality of healthcare in the Czech Republic is good, and improving. It is available to anyone with healthcare insurance, and the price of services is considered below the average for Europe. EU citizens just need to have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in order to receive free medical care.
- Type of government: parliamentary democracy.
- 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.
- People: over 60% of the population is Czech national, with small minorities of Moravian, Slovaks, Poles and other immigrants.
- Major religion: Roman Catholicism is the most common religion, although the majority of Czechs describe themselves as agnostic/atheist.