Job prospects for expat spouses in France

Moving to a new country is a big decision. Finding a job as an expat spouse can take some planning and effort. In addition to one’s qualifications, finding employment in a country like France generally requires additional skills. Here are some ideas to get you started on your job quest in France.

The French job market

Leading French job portals recently reported that in June 2020 vacancies in the country had increased to 212,000. There is an evident shortage of skilled workforce in France. Many of the vacancies are in the fields of science, medicine, technology, and engineering. The country also needs more nurses, electricians, carpenters, construction workers, veterinarians, and researchers.

In 2020 the minimum hourly wage in France increased to EUR 10.15. This is among the highest in the region. The average hourly wage in EU nations is EUR 8.5, and the minimum is EUR 6. Salaries vary widely with industry, skill level, job position, and other factors. The average annual salary in France in 2010 was EUR 39,099.

The work environment in France is generally hierarchical and formal. Speaking French fluently is one of the most important criteria for getting a job. For anyone planning to move and work in France, taking a French language course is strongly recommended.

Finding a job

Many job portals advertise vacancies for expats. Recrut, Monster, Indeed France, The local, ABG, and Keljob are only a few of these. Recruitment agencies such as Adecco, Aizen Consulting, and Fyte can also help. Global networking sites like LinkedIn are also active in France. There are also French networking platforms like Viadeo.

Newspapers (Le Monde, Le Point, etc.) and magazines (FUSAC and others) carry advertisements for local jobs. Pages Jaunes is the local telephone directory of businesses in the country. Expats should also include Embassies and foreign organisations in their job search. Places such as The American Library in Paris have message boards with helpful job advertisements seeking English speakers.

Tourism

France is among the top tourist destinations in the world. Cities like Paris, Cannes, Nice, and Bordeaux attract millions of visitors each year. The massive tourism industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. Many of these are seasonal, while others are perennial. Bilingual people make excellent tour guides. There is also much demand for translators and interpreters. A translator in France can earn an hourly wage of up to EUR 24. Having a diploma in hospitality can open many more doors. Millions of migrants work in France, many of them in hospitality and tourism. They are able to earn several times more than in similar jobs in their home countries. These migrants support their families via remittances. The Ria Money Transfer App is practically a household name in France.

Domestic work

Working for a host family as a caregiver, au pair, or housekeeper is a popular employment avenue for expat spouses seeking both short and long term opportunities. International students sometimes take such jobs during term breaks. The requirements for applying to such jobs are minimal. For example, to be an au pair one only needs a working knowledge of the French language along with a high school diploma.

Teaching

Most teaching jobs in France ask for a university degree. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification is necessary for those who seek English teaching jobs. Training agencies and private schools like Notre-Dame and Victor Hugo hire qualified teachers. Local town halls like Place du Louvre and Rue de la Banque also run English language courses and require skilled teachers. A teacher in France can earn an annual salary of up to EUR 38,000.

Self employment

Only 11.6% of the workforce in France is self-employed. There are 2 choices to set up your business in France – enterprise individuelle and societe. The former involves registering as a sole trader. The business and personal finances are considered as one. With the second option the business is treated as a separate entity. This requires a separate filing of taxes. An expat in France can apply for the necessary permits and become an entrepreneur.

Another attractive avenue is Freelancing. This works much like anywhere else in the world. Freelancers can sell their marketable skills to French employers. Skilled professionals can earn hourly wages of EUR 30-40 for a variety of jobs.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.