Working in Romania
The job market
What are your chances of getting a job?
There is steady growth in Romania, in both the business and property markets, and graduate jobs are available in cities such as Bucharest for graduates with language and IT skills. Some companies may prefer to hire locals but many businesses require English, French and German speakers, so if you can offer proficiency in one or more of these languages you’ll stand a better chance. Speaking the local language is also important for a normal life in the country. Graduates with specialist skills and experience are most likely to succeed in the job market.
Where can you work?
- Major industries: electric machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, metals and metal products, chemicals, food processing, mining, timber, construction materials.
- Recent growth areas: technology sector, property, international business – growth spurred by businesses expanding their operations into the country to utilise the low costs and position in the European Union.
- Major companies: A&D Pharma, ArcelorMittal Galati, Automobile-Dacia SA (car manufacturer), E.On Energie, Hidroelectrica, OMV Petrom SA (oil company), Orange Romania, ROMGAZ SA, RomPetrol Rafinare SA (oil refinery), Vodafone Romania.
What’s it like working in Romania?
- Average working hours: 8 per day and 40 per week. The working week cannot exceed 48 hours, including overtime, consistent with the EU working time directive.
- Holidays: a minimum of 20 days paid annual leave, plus 12 public holidays.
- Tax rates: the flat income tax rate is 16%. Employees also pay a contribution towards the social, health and employment security system. Don't forget to check your UK tax and National Insurance position with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to ensure that you are not losing any UK pension rights.
Applying for jobs
It’s possible to apply for jobs when you arrive in Romania. However, due to high competition you may want to secure a job before you go.
The application and interview processes in Romania are similar to those used in the UK. A CV and covering letter is the norm, although some multinational companies may use application forms.
Make sure you check the language requirements for the job. If the employer wants someone who speaks Romanian, your application should be in Romanian. Only apply in English if it’s an accepted language for the job. For jobs with language requirements, you may need two CVs – one in Romanian and one in the language needed for the job.
Many companies, especially larger ones, will conduct two interviews. The first will typically be with an HR manager and will be followed by another with the line/company manager. In some cases, interviews are followed by psychometric and other tests. When attending an interview, you may need to bring documents such as a transcript of your A-level and degree certificates.
In some cases, for example if you're looking for temporary work in rural areas, it may be best to contact the employer direct.
See application and CV advice for more details on how to construct a good 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.
- British Council Romania – for teaching English.
- EURES – European Job Mobility Portal – job search facility and network of careers advisers.
- National Agency for Employment (NAE) Romania – has a vacancy database (site in Romanian).
- Recruitment agencies are listed in the Golden Pages Romania. Use the search term: 'agentie de recrutare' and in Europages
- Some UK-based employment agencies deal with international vacancies or have branches in Romania. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has contact details of approved UK agencies.
- The Romanian Association of Temporary Work Agents (ARAMT) has a list of member agencies.
Online versions of the newspapers are mainly in Romanian.
- Nine O'Clock (in English)
- The Diplomat, Bucharest (in English)
- Ziarul Financiar (has an English section)
See Online Newspapers for a list of Romanian newspapers, including regional ones.
- Contact international companies with offices in Romania to find out about vacancies.
- Speculative applications can be successful, particularly for temporary work.
- Use online professional networks such as LinkedIn to make contacts and to search for jobs in Romania.
- Personal contacts made through networking may lead to employment opportunities.
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 undergraduate 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.
Work placements and internships
- Europlacement provides details of placements and internships in Europe, including Romania.
- Some large international companies offer internships and placements. Check individual websites for information.
The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) provides students on technical degrees (primarily science, engineering, technology and the applied arts) with paid course-related training in a range of countries, including Italy. Opportunities are available to students in their second year of study or above. Although the majority of traineeships take place over the summer, longer periods are also available.
AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) provides an international exchange programme for students and recent graduates. They offer voluntary and paid work placements in professional organisations, schools and charities in a range of countries, including Romania.
Opportunities exist to teach English in Romania in state, private and international schools or with Romanian and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs). You'll usually need a degree and a recognised TEFL or teaching qualification. For opportunities to teach English with the British Council, you must have a recognised Cambridge CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL qualification and at least two years’ experience teaching English to groups of students after initial training.
You are more likely to find a job in a large multinational company or volunteer agency that will have fixed terms of employment. However, you can search for casual opportunities via recruitment agencies and in job vacancy sections of newspapers. If available, they are likely to be in bars and restaurants, shops, childcare or cleaning and may involve seasonal work.
Gap year and volunteering opportunities
There are opportunities to volunteer in Romania, with some being specifically designed for gap years. Activities involve working with children and communities.
Do you need a visa?
Citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland do not require a visa to enter Romania and are able to stay in the country for a period of up to three months.
If you wish to stay for longer than this period of time or want to work, you need to apply for a registration certificate, valid for up to five years, issued by the General Inspectorate for Immigration. If you're intending to work you'll need to present an employment contract or certificate from your employer in order to get the registration certificate, along with your passport and application form. A separate work visa is not required. You can also register as self-employed.
If you're from a non-EU country you should contact the Romanian embassy in the country where you're currently residing about how to obtain visas and work permits. If you're living in the UK, go to the Embassy of Romania.
How do you become a permanent resident?
Citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland who have been living in Romania for a continuous and legal period exceeding five years can apply for a permanent residency certificate from the General Inspectorate for Immigration. You will usually need (along with your application form) your passport and registration certificate and proof that you have lived continuously in Romania for a five-year period. The permanent residence card is valid for ten years.
Living in Romania
- Cost of living: varies depending on the region and whether you're living in an urban or rural setting. The cost of living is considerably lower than in the UK. The larger cities, such as Bucharest, are more expensive, but are still generally cheaper than in the UK. Rent prices are lower than in the UK, although wages are also lower.
- Internet domain: .ro
- Currency: Romanian Leu (RON)
- Health: UK citizens should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as this entitles you to state-provided medical treatment on the same terms as a Romanian national. Medical insurance is still required on top of this as ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment is not covered by the EHIC.
- Type of government: semi-presidential republic.
- Laws and customs: money should only be changed in the official bureaux de change. It's illegal to exchange money on the street. Drug-related or sex offences are treated seriously and could result in a prison sentence. Homosexuality is not illegal but open displays of affection by same-sex couples are rare. Taking photographs at or of airports and army bases is forbidden. Permission should be asked when taking pictures of official buildings or police cars.
- Emergency numbers: The European emergency number is 112 for anywhere in the EU. UK citizens can get a range of services from the British Embassy Romania.
- People: the majority are Romanian with a small percentage of Hungarian and Romani.
- Major religion: Eastern Orthodox Christianity.