In every country, including in your country of origin, finding the correct job can be difficult. You might need to find a job if you’re thinking about moving to Portugal, or you already have. The range of employment available to expats in Portugal vary greatly and depends on many variables such as:

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Qualifications
  • The sector you want to work in

This article will allow you to get an overview of the Portuguese job market for foreigners. It will also offer tips on how to find jobs.

How to Find a Job As a Foreigner in Portugal

You might be a student searching for a summer job. A digital nomad hoping to find remote work. A permanent resident trying to establish a career in Portugal. In any case, it’s always a smart idea to first do your research when trying to find a job.

We recommend that you read the information in this article about Portugal’s job market and the paths open to expats. You should equip yourself with some knowledge of employment opportunities in Portugal. That way you will be able to make better and more educated decisions about job opportunities in the country.

The Portuguese Job Market

The work market for Portuguese speakers is different from that for non-Portuguese speakers. However, don’t let this stop you. There are more and more businesses relocating to Portugal. Those are explicitly looking for native English speakers. In general, there would be more jobs for Portuguese speakers available in professional services. These may include:

  • Architects
  • Accountants
  • Account managers
  • Health professionals
  • Sales and marketing experts
  • Engineers
  • Lawyers

Another thing to know about the job market is the emergence of the IT field. IT is a relatively new business field. However, it is one field of services that is available to expats and English speakers. A large number of jobs are currently available in the IT business in Lisbon. So if you’re in the IT or social media industry, you might be able to find a job easily.

Over the past five years, Lisbon has become something of a start-up center. This has increased the number of jobs for foreigners in Portugal. This momentum in the start-up scene has certainly been supported by being the host to the Web Summit.

Other than these areas, Portugal is experiencing a boom in the tourism and hospitality market. The tourism business, especially restaurants, bars, and hotels is actively searching for English speakers. Though if you have even the most basic grasp of Portuguese, you can really improve your chances here. Keep in mind, however, that compared to professional hospitality jobs abroad, these jobs might not pay as well.

If you’re looking for a summer job, you can easily get a job at one of the many Lisbon-based call centers. The only requirement for getting work in that industry in Portugal is learning English. In some cases, knowing some other European languages won’t hurt your case.

The Most Common Jobs In Portugal for Foreigners

Portugal’s economy is ever-growing, which is why the job market is always looking for professionals to join from all around the world. Here’s a table of the most in-demand professionals and their monthly average salary:

Profession Monthly Average Salary
Accountant $1900
Architect $1800
Doctor/ Health Professional $2400
Help Desk Technician $900
Hotel Manager $7400
Marketing Manager $2500
Nurse $1100
Product Manager $3575
Receptionist $1200
Software Engineer $2000
Teacher $1200
UX Designer $2000
Web Developer $1400

Keep in mind that there are a number of businesses searching for people who speak multiple languages, such as German, French, or Spanish. Here in Portugal, it is a bonus for almost any professional industry if you can speak and write in two or more languages.

Job Opportunities in Portugal for English Speakers

Many expats moving to Portugal only speak English. If you search for a job in Portugal, you’ll see that jobs in IT and technology companies are abundant for English speakers. An understanding of the English language, including excellent written and verbal skills, is often compulsory. If you take a coding class, you’ll increase your chances of getting a job tenfolds.

The other way to go is to look at international companies with offices in Portugal and check for English-based positions. Finding a job in Portugal with an international company is often the best way to start.

Some co-working spaces in Lisbon could be an excellent place for networking. Second Home Lisboa, Startup Lisboa, and Heden are good examples. You can even chat with a founder in the coffee room and get yourself a job with their team that way.

Most English-Speaking Jobs Are Seasonal

Unsurprisingly, it’s easier to get English-speaking jobs in Portugal during the summer break. In the Algarve, for example, there are plenty of hostels, hotels, surf camps, and bars that search for summer employees. Particularly those with a good grasp of the English language.

Needless to say, it’s easier during the summer vacation to find English-speaking jobs in Portugal. For example, there are plenty of hostels, hotels, surf camps, and bars in the Algarve that will be actively searching for summer workers. Particularly those with a good understanding of the English language.

Teaching Language in Portugal

There are a high number of teaching jobs in the Portuguese job market available for foreign individuals. You can find English-speaking jobs at educational institutions all over Portugal. This may mean teaching English privately or teaching it through a school. You may also apply for some administrative positions depending on your experience. However, for these, Portuguese may also be required.

Some of the institutions where you’re most likely to find English teaching jobs are:

  • British Council
  • Oxford School
  • Wall Street English
  • Royal School of Languages

A TOEFL (Teaching Of English as a Foreign Language) course is always a good idea to participate in. This increases your chances of getting a teaching job almost anywhere in the world.

Freelance Jobs for Foreigners in Portugal

Since the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, freelancing has become a large part of the economy.

A high number of freelancers prefer to live abroad. Freelancing, while living in a haven like Portugal sounds like a dream. Sunny days, breezy lifestyle, and making your own work schedule. Doesn’t that sound like the best life ever?

There are a couple of freelancing opportunities with companies in Portugal, such as:

  • Marketing
  • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Copywriting and content creation

You might not have a very high salary freelancing in Portugal. However, you might want to consider being a global freelancer while choosing Portugal as your home base. You can work at coworking spaces in Lisbon. Thus, you can meet new people improve your network. 

Working In a Call-Center in Portugal

It is extremely easy to get a job in a call center. It needs virtually no qualifications at all. Speaking English is the only qualification you need. Though, it’s always helpful if you speak another language. Keep in mind that working in a call center means being on the phone all day. This means that you need to be patient and be able to connect with people easily.

There are many call centers in Portugal that are regularly looking for workers. Some of these are:


Teleperformance is a multinational call center with offices in Lisbon, Porto, Setúbal, and Convilhã. You can quickly look for jobs on their site and filter your search by language, including:

  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Italian
  • German

Positions in Teleperformance are often directly for the company. Sometimes the company subcontracts other corporations. This is not limited to customer service, but also other positions for organizations like Microsoft, for example. Wages start at around €9 an hour depending on the job. Additionally, employees generally rate the work climate positively.


You might find the best job opportunities at Apple. In Portugal, the famous American company also has a call center. They are continually searching for skilled, talented professionals who want to work for one of the world’s leading businesses. You’d most probably be doing customer support work. Depending on the job, salaries in the call center start from around €9 to €10 per hour, and roles are available in more than one Portuguese region.

Connecta Group

Connecta Group has offices in Lisbon and Viseu. It is one of the top call centers in Portugal. They actively look for English, Spanish, and Portuguese-speaking employees. You may apply for a job directly through their website.


Sitel is one of Portugal’s largest call centers. You can find a large number of openings, mainly in Lisbon and Porto. With more than 10,000 employees spread around the world, this organization is often searching for more workers. Salaries start at €9 hourly, and the company is known for its very comfortable work environment.

TAP Air Portugal

If you like traveling, TAP Air Portugal is a fantastic place to look for a job. They have many opportunities for employment, including a call center. TAP is a highly respected company, and they care about their employees.

Minimum Wages and Working Conditions

A full-time job in Portugal is equal to approximately 40 hours a week. Most full-time jobs require their employees to work around eight hours daily.

Portugal’s minimum wage is lower than that of most European countries and is currently set at €700 on the basis of 12 payments per year, or €580 on the basis of 14 payments. These types of wages are usually in the hospitality sector and call centers. Although, you may have a big boost to your revenue in tips depending on where you work in hospitality.

If you work in a start-up or in skilled services, the pay can jump up very steeply.


What Sort of Jobs Are Common in Portugal?

Tourism and hospitality-related work are the most common kinds of jobs in Portugal. Other common jobs include sales, restaurants, customer service, resorts, and hotels. In Portugal, tech-related jobs are also on the rise, and call-center work is in high demand. It’s a question of finding the appropriate business, really.

What Is The Process of Getting a Job in Portugal?

In Portugal, the process of working depends on where you come from. You need to apply for a visa to live and work in Portugal if you come from outside the EU (European Union). If you have a prospective employer who will fund your visa, this is better. EU citizens don’t need a special work visa in most cases.

Do I Have to Speak Portuguese to Work in Portugal?

No, in order to work in Portugal, you don’t need to speak Portuguese. There are plenty of job opportunities for non-Portuguese speakers, especially in hospitality and tourism. There are usually call-center positions for you if you speak a language other than English.

How Can I Get a Work Visa to Get a Job in Portugal?

Having a job offer from a Portuguese employer is the best way to secure a work visa for Portugal. Your work offer will be submitted by the manager to the Portuguese authorities, and they will begin the visa process. In your home country, you then complete a visa application and present it to your local consulate.

Do I Need a Work Visa to Work in Portugal?

If you are a citizen of an EU country, you don’t need a visa. However, for citizens of other countries, you need one.

How can I get a Residency and a Work Visa in Portugal?

There are a number of ways to get a residence permit in Portugal. Along with the residence permit, you also get the right to work in Portugal.  One of the easiest and most popular ways to get a residence and a work visa in the country is the Portugal Golden Visa program.  The Portuguese government allows investors to make an investment and receive a temporary residence permit.

Is Moving to Portugal Easy?

For citizens of the EU, it’s as easy as getting on a plane and landing there. For citizens from other countries, you might need some time to work on your visa. The process shouldn’t take so long, as the Portuguese authorities make it fairly easy to move there. If you need more information about it you can read our Living in Lisbon article.

Do I Have to Pay Social Security in Portugal?

Yes, you do. However, your employer will often take care of your social security payments for you. If you’re a freelancer, you might want to ask a local law firm for help with your social security payments.


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