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Expat Employment and The Hong Kong Job Market

As a major financial hub of the world, Hong Kong employs thousands upon thousands of expat workers that relocate in search of work and a better quality of life. Enticed by the area’s low taxes, efficient and well-developed public transportation system and heavy use of English, expats from areas like the United States, Europe and Australia are finding Hong Kong an alluring option when moving. However, recent economic downturns and increasing numbers of qualified workers have made the job market extremely competitive. This said, expats can rest assured that Hong Kong still holds many job opportunities, should they be looking in the right places.

Employment Options for Expats in Hong Kong

Expats have a variety of industries that they can choose to enter into when searching for work in Hong Kong. High-earning positions can be secured within the accounting and finance sector, architecture, urban planning, banking, healthcare, life sciences and international law among others.Additionally, though less common, expats that specialize in advanced manufacturing and engineering hold a fair chance of securing good employment.

Familiarity with local languages also increases an expat’s opportunity to secure high-earning employment. There are many locals that are extremely qualified to do the work of expats; therefore, the challenge is to demonstrate to an employer why hiring an expat is an invaluable resource. Finding a job can be the most difficult part of working in Hong Kong. Therefore, by searching for jobs in industries commonly occupied by expats, the chances of securing quick and high-earning employment increases exponentially.

Banking and Finance

Although it is difficult to navigate through this popular Hong Kong industry, it is not impossible for expats to secure employment. Banking and finance is one of the largest, and most profitable, areas for expats to enter into in Hong Kong. Many expats are actually transferred by companies that they already work for in Europe or the United States to work in this city. However, expats not being transferred do have some hope of breaking into this market, especially if they possess past experience with a bank in the Asian financial sector.

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English-speaking expats hold a certain advantage over locals; this being the fact that English is their first language. Although the educational requirements for teaching in Hong Kong are quite high in comparison to other cities and countries, the education system demands nothing less than the best. With numerous world-renowned international schools being taught in English, expats with the right credentials can secure highly sought-after teaching positions. Competition for jobs at the top schools is fierce, but if expats are able to successfully gain employment, pay and conditions are outstanding.

Publishing and Media

Expats with a background in journalism should seek high-earning employment at any of the local and international publishing houses and media companies situated in Hong Kong. Publications such as Hong Kong Magazine, Time Out and the South China Morning Post Magazine all accept English-speaking expats regularly for positions, given that they hold impressive qualifications. There are also many news organizations that hold offices in Hong Kong including BBC Magazines and CNN.

Restaurants and the Hospitality Industry

Restaurants are a common source of expat employment, especially for trained chefs and cooks. Due to the heavy British colonial influence that has been imprinted on Hong Kong, there are many Western-inspired restaurants in operation. This offers a particularly acceptable employment opportunity for expats from countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and United States, who are familiar in this cuisine.

In addition, the hospitality industry in Hong Kong offers extremely lucrative contracts for those qualified to undertake such a position. Any expats with backgrounds in hospitality work can expect to find comfortable, high-earning positions in this field.

Pessimistic labor market conditions have failed to materialize after years of anticipation. For this reason, Hong Kong remains an expat hotspot for those looking for work in some of the most prestigious industries in the world. Any expats with the right credentials and experience can expect to be a highly coveted commodity in this fiercely competitive job market. Although navigating the job market can be difficult, the work is well worth the outcome. For this reason, expats from near and far continue to seek out employment and relocation in Hong Kong, one of the world’s hottest expat destinations.

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