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United States of America (USA) - Tennessee

Tennessee is the 16th state of the United States of America. By population it is the 17th largest state in the whole of the country although it is only the 36th largest in terms of area. Located in the south east part of the country it is bordered by 8 other states, to the north there is Virginia and Kentucky, West is Arkansas and Missouri, to the east there is North Carolina and the southern part of the state is bordered by Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The state capital of Tennessee is Nashville although the largest city in terms of population is Memphis.

Tennessee has had a rich and varied history. It was in Memphis that Martin Luther King was assassinated, and the Ku Klux Klan was also formed within the state. Tennessee played a large part in the American Civil War, with the state supplying the largest number of soldiers for the confederacy.

In modern times the state of Tennessee is probably best linked to the music industry. Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash both got their starts in recording studios in Memphis, while Nashville has produced some of the world’s best loved country musicians. Because of this, tourism is a massive industry in the state, with over 600,000 visitors each year visiting Graceland, Elvis’s famous home in Memphis.

Tennessee – Employment

Although tourism is very big business in the state, the economy is also driven by agriculture. Tennessee produces soybeans, cotton and tobacco as its main crops. Cattle farming and coal mining are still largely present within the state and Tennessee is one of the country’s largest producers of enriched uranium.

For those expats looking for a career with the education sector, Tennessee might be just the right place to go. There is a shortfall of teachers specifically chemistry teachers and there are opportunities for those looking to work in the higher education and adult learning sectors. Healthcare is another sector that is seeing a shortfall in staffing levels.

Construction workers are needed in the larger cities, Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville mainly. These are areas that are under constant growth and redevelopment and suitably qualified and experienced workers are in high demand.

The main area that has a shortfall of staff is the healthcare profession, particularly registered nurses. Fully qualified health care professionals may need to take additional competency tests and apply for a licence to practice in their field in Tennessee. Nurses of all specialties are required, including OR, ER, adult, child and mental health nurses.

Other fields faced with a massive shortfall of staff are Physical Therapists and Social Workers, particularly those with experience working with people that have substance abuse issues and/or mental health problems. To gain a working visa, one must be sponsored by their employer, and each hospital or healthcare facility will have their own staffing requirements.

Also in demand, and a slightly different form of healthcare, are veterinary surgeons and nurses. With this profession it is possible to get a visa either by being sponsored by an employer whose established practice you will be working at, or by starting a new practice and gaining a visa through investment in a business.

Tennessee – Housing

House prices in Tennessee are gradually rising after seeing a downturn over recent years. The recovery is gradual but steady and is helping to keep the state’s economy strong. Although the housing market is still not as strong as it was before the down turn things are changing and now is a very good time to buy as house prices are forecast to continue increasing over the next few years.

Properties in Memphis can be snapped up for less than $10,000. These are foreclosed homes and short sale properties and as such will need work on them to bring them up to a liveable standard. For some expats this may not be a suitable arrangement and they may require a place that is liveable immediately. If this is the case then there are many homes for under $50,000 that are perfectly fine to move straight into after just a new coat of paint.

Nashville property prices are slightly higher than Memphis, although the quality of homes is very similar. Cheaper homes requiring work can be found for under $25,000, while homes that are ready to move into have an expected minimum budget of around $60,000.

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