Expats looking to work in Utrecht will find job openings in multiple sectors, provided they have the requisite qualifications and skill set. From financial services and banking to ICT and engineering, there are plenty of opportunities for career advancement in this Dutch city.
Job market in Utrecht
Thanks to the presence of Utrecht University, one of the most established tertiary education institutions in the Netherlands, the city produces excellent graduates every year. This academia and research presence has also served to attract many businesses across different industries, as a result, Utrecht boasts a strong job market.
Banking and financial services play a prominent role in Utrecht’s economy, while ICT companies have also seen value in setting up operations here. As Utrecht continues to build its reputation as a tech hub, it has experienced an influx of developers, which in turn has made the city a popular base for digital and game-development start-ups.
Health sciences are also a major employer, as Utrecht is home to one of the Netherlands’ largest medical research institutions.
Given Utrecht's central location within the Netherlands, the city is a key transport hub that attracts large transport and engineering companies. ProRail, the governmental organisation which oversees the country’s rail network, is based in Utrecht.
Finding a job in Utrecht
Many expats relocating to Utrecht will come with a job offer or on an intra-company transfer.
For those seeking employment, the internet is probably the best starting point. Job portals provide insight into the types of jobs available in Utrecht and the salary range an expat should expect. Employment agencies can also assist job hunters.
Often, one of the best ways to find a job is through networking. It is helpful to connect with people online or in person. For example, expats can connect with individuals working in a relevant industry at job fairs to receive alerts about an opening before it's advertised publicly.
Although Utrecht’s job market is growing rapidly, it still does not have the international presence that expats would find in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. So, while it may not be a formal requirement for expats to speak Dutch, it will definitely set them apart from the competition and help them get a foot in the door.
Non-EU citizens will require a work permit to take up a job offer in the Netherlands. This usually involves their employer proving a Dutch or EU citizen cannot adequately fill the position.
Work culture in Utrecht
The work culture in Utrecht, like elsewhere in the Netherlands, is known to be disciplined. When doing business, expats should also note that the Dutch may address colleagues in a direct tone. This is not to be blunt, but rather to deliver clear communication. The office culture may also vary across institutions and locally based and international companies. While hard work is valued, expats are likely to find a healthy work-life balance in Utrecht.
►Check out the Doing Business in the Netherlands for more information about the country's working environment
►For more on the country's economic climate, read Working in the Netherlands
"There is plenty of work, though it is difficult for an immigrant with little to no Dutch to find a job. This was a major problem for me, so I simply headed straight for the Chamber of Commerce here and started my own business."
Read more about working in Utrecht in our interview with Tiffany J.
Are you an expat living in Utrecht?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Utrecht. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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