Work & Profession in Linz

Before foreigners are allowed to work in Austria they have to fulfill various legal requirements. These must be precisely defined so that people will know what they have to do to attain a legal employment status.

Access to the job market

Before they can take on a job, foreigners need a work permit according to the Law for the Employment of Foreigners (AuslBG). Exceptions are:

  • Citizens of countries which joined the European Economic Area prior to May 1st 2004 and members of their families
  • Citizens of Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Cyprus (Greek part) and Malta and mmembers of their families
  • Family members of Austrian citizens. The following are regarded as family members: marital partners and children (including stepchildren and adopted children) up to the age of 18 who have legal resident status.
  • Under certain conditions older children, grandchildren, parents, in-law parents and grandparents of the aforementioned persons also do not need a permit.
  • Persons entitled to asylum and ones with subsidiary protection status.
  • Foreigners in the diplomatic or professional consular service as well as foreign employees of embassies and consulates
  • Teachers and researchers and their marital partners and children

The Job Market Service (Arbeitsmarktservice) will confirm that you are entitled to work in Austria without a permit. For the confirmation you must pay a fee.

The decisive factor is the country you come from, that is your citizenship:

Country Entitlement to work in Austria
You are: Austrian or a citizen of another EU/EEA country (“old EU/EEA country”) or of Switzerland You are free to reside in Austria and have free access to the job market. You can work anywhere in Austria without a residence or job permit.
You are citizen of a EU country You need a work permit
You are a citizen of a third country (that is of any other country) You need a residence permit and a work permit
You are a Turkish citizen Because of an agreement between the EU and
Turkey special conditions apply to you

What do you need to work in Austria?

There are some residence permits which on the basis of the Law for the Employment of Foreigners, entitle you to work in Austria: e.g.: „Daueraufenthalt – EG (permanent leave to remain)“, „Niederlassungsbewilligung – unbeschränkt“ (indefinite leave to remain) or „Niederlassungsnachweis”, Rot-Weiß-Rot + …)“. With these documents dependent employment is possible; there are no restrictions and no additional permissions are required. Further exceptions from the Law for the Employment of Foreigners can be found under » Bürgerservice » Service A – Z » Zuwanderung » Arbeitsberechtigung.

Persons who have none of the aforementioned residence titles need one of the following documents, all of which can be obtained from the “Arbeitsmarktservice”:

  • Beschäftigungsbewilligung (Employment license)
  • Arbeitserlaubnis (Restricted work permit)
  • Befreiungsschein (Exemption certificate)
  • Entsendebewilligung (Secondment approval certificate)

There are frequent alterations both in the laws for residence and in the employment laws for foreigners. Therefore we recommend that you inquire at the public employment office AMS whether approval is required and if so, what kind.

Arbeitsmarktservice Linz (AMS) 
Bulgariplatz 17–19, 4021 Linz
Tel.: +43 732 6903

Concerning Jobs

Finding a job

It is important to have completed training for the profession that you would like to pursue in Austria. Only with comprehensive training (apprenticeship, school or study at a university / higher school) is it possible to find a good job here. If you have learned a profession in the country you come from or have begun or completed training there, you should inform yourself as to whether and under what conditions your experience and/or qualifications will be recognized in Austria. 

What should you consider before making a decision concerning your future profession?

  • Interests (what are my interests, aptitudes, wishes, etc.)
  • Job expectations (what motivates me, what kinds of activities and what places of work do I find interesting, etc.)
  • What are my strengths?
  • Make inquiries about jobs (I get to know various professions –I find out which ones there are, etc.).
  • Define a goal.
  • Find alternatives (consider additional job wishes).
  • Think about the consequences (become aware of advantages and disadvantages).
  • Decision (decide upon a profession or a kind of training/school).
  • Implementation (I look for an apprenticeship or register in a school that offers continuing education). It is also possible to participate in practical job days.

Job exploration (practical job days)

The practical job days give you insight into everyday work in your profession and enable you to examine your professional wishes. They are an important component of your professional orientation in school. By observing, asking questions and trying out simple activities that are safe, school students have an opportunity to get to know the profession and everyday life in the firm. They can gain an impression of the professional reality directly at the workplace and thereby compare personal ideas of what a particular job is like with the real situation. Addresses of firms (including companies that train apprentices) where you can take a short placement course can be found at the office for apprentices or in the career counseling of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labor (Wirtschaftskammer OÖ). The most important sources to use when you are looking for a job are the job offers in the daily newspapers, information from friends and acquaintances and the information of the Public Employment Service (AMS).

Berufsinformationszentrum des Arbeitsmarktservice Linz (AMS) 
Professional Information Center of the Public Employment Service Linz (AMS)
Bulgariplatz 17–19, 4021 Linz
Tel.: +43 732 6903

In addition to job placement, AMS offers comprehensive services for everybody who is looking for work: It offers orientation help for the choice of a profession, informs about job tendencies, prospects for employment and the requirements that applicants have to fulfill. Tips about making successful applications are also provided – from formulating written applications to job interviews. It also helps people returning to work and offers possibilities for further education. 


For people who want to be self-employed, the Chamber of Labor (Wirtschaftskammer) is the first place to turn to. It offers support in founding firms and counseling for entrepreneurs:

Wirtschaftskammer Oberösterreich
Hessenplatz 3, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 5 90909 

Entering into an employment relationship

If somebody promises to do work for somebody else, that automatically constitutes an employment contract (Arbeitsvertrag). It regulates the rights and obligations of employee and employer to the extent that these are not automatically fixed by laws and collective agreements. The main obligation of the employer is to pay the salary of the employee, whereas that of the employee is to do the work agreed to. The employment contract can be in written or oral form, or it can be established when the parties involved take certain actions; for example, when somebody performs work for somebody else and the other person accepts it. Since the employment law only applies when there is an employment contract, it is of practical importance to differentiate the employment contract from other similar kinds of contracts, especially from:

  • Service contracts (freie Dienstverträge)
  • Work contracts (Werkverträge)
  • Authorization contracts (Bevollmächtigungsverträge)
  • Partnership agreements (Gesellschaftsverträge)

These various types of contracts are explained in more detail in the following website: » Arbeit & Recht » Arbeitsverträge

The collective agreement regulates benefits employees are entitled to that are not established by laws. Examples are Christmas and vacation bonuses* as well as the (usually) annual raises in salary. The agreements are annually negotiated by the union for all of the employees in a certain branch. In this way more than 450 collective agreements are concluded annually. The collective agreement creates equal minimal standards in respect to pay and working conditions for all of the employees in a branch. A copy must be made available in every firm. Which collective agreement applies to a given employment relationship is stated in the employment contract.

Wages and Salaries

In Austria the minimal wages or the minimal salary for employees is regulated in the collective agreement, and often in the minimal wage scales as well. If there is neither a collective agreement nor a minimal wage scale in a given branch, the employee is entitled to receive the wages that are appropriate and customary for that branch. This is however often difficult to determine. That is why it is important to have a written agreement with the employer. The employee will also not receive vacation bonuses or Christmas bonuses unless these have been agreed to – and it is best to have a written agreement. Detailed information about employment contracts and wages:

Social insurance

Persons who are employed by others or self-employed automatically have a social insurance (compulsory insurance). They are insured for illness, accidents and retirement. If a person is employed by others, his/her social insurance fee is deducted from the salary or wages each month (The amount depends upon the earnings).

*Vacation bonuses (Urlaubsgeld), also known as the 14th salary, and Christmas bonuses (Weihnachtsgeld) are extra salary payments.

Terminating an employment relationship

There are various ways to terminate work relationships. Usually an employment contract is ended when an employer dismisses (fires) the employee or the employee gives notice of quitting. A work relation can be terminated by:

  • Termination during the probationary period;
  • Ending of the term of the contract (in case of a temporary work relationship);
  • Termination by mutual agreement (termination agreement);
  • Dismissal or resignation
  • Dismissal of the employee by the employer (Termination by one party before contract ends)
  • Resignation of the employee (Termination by one party before contract ends)
  • Death of the employee

Further reasons and details can be downloaded from: (german)

Working papers

  • When a working relation is terminated employees have a claim to working papers.
  • These are:
  • Final invoice
  • Certificate of employment
  • Confirmation of notification of the health insurance
  • Confirmation of work and of remuneration
  • Pay slip
  • Job references

More precise information can be found at: » Arbeit » Beendigung Arbeitsverhältnis » Arbeitspapiere (german)

Severence pay provision

Under certain conditions the employee has a claim to severance pay upon termination of the work relationship. A distinction must thereby be made between the old and the new regulations. The old severance pay law is valid for employees whose employment relationship began before January 1st 2003. They receive a payment from the employer when their employment terminates. According to the new severance pay law the pay is outsourced to a licensed severance and retirement fund. This new law is valid for all employees who entered into new employment relationships on or after January 1st 2003. From the second month of the employment relationship on the employer must pay the health insurer 1.53% of the gross salary along with the social insurance fee each month, whereby Christmas and vacation bonuses are included. The public health insurance then checks this sum and pays it into the severance and retirement fund. 

The amount of the severance pay depends upon the interest that the investment of the fee yields. In any case, the sum of the severance fees that have been paid to the fund is guaranteed. If the employee quits the job, his/her dismissal is justified or he/she hands in notification at an early date without justification, he/she has no claim to severance pay unless he/she has been making payments for at least three years. In this case the sum remains in the severance fund. A claim to severance pay according to the new regulations exists if the employment relationship is terminated after payment has been made for a period of three years, if the employer dismisses the employee, if the dismissal is not justified, if the employer has a justified reason for quitting, if the termination of the employment relationship has been mutually agreed to, if the term of the employment has expired or if the termination is because of maternity. If you have claim to severance pay you can select one of the following variants: Variants that can be selected:

  • Payment of the sum
  • Continued investment in the same fund
  • Transferral of the sum to the severance fund of the new employer
  • Transferral the sum to a supplementary retirement insurance
  • Acquisition of shares in the pension investment fund
  • Transferral to the preexisting pension fund of the employer

Remember that you have to make your choice in writing within six months after the termination of the employment relationship. If you do not do so, the money will continue to be invested in the severance fund. Further information can be obtained from the Chamber of Labor (AK) and the unions. 

Details and conditions of the severance regulations can be downloaded from: (german)

Unemployment benefits

After the loss of a job the unemployed person should register at the branch of the public employment service that is responsible for his main place of residence as soon as possible – in Linz that is the AMS Linz. In addition to help in finding a new job, information about unemployment benefits, financial assistance and other benefits can be obtained there. The unemployment benefits are intended to secure ones existence during the period of unemployment. Basically, anybody who is jobless but is willing and able to take on a new job from the public employment service has a claim to it. The person must also be available to the employment agency – that is he must be able to accept a job and fulfill its requirements. Besides, the applicant must have worked in a position in which he/she paid unemployment insurance fees for a minimal length of time.

Advisory and service offices

Arbeitsmarktservice Linz (AMS) 
Public Employment Service (AMS)

Bulgariplatz 17-19, 4021 Linz
Tel.: +43 732 6903

AK – Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Oberösterreich 
Arbeitsrechtsberatung, Lohnsteuerberatung, Bildungs- und Berufsberatung, Lehrlingsstelle etc.
Counseling about employment law, income tax, education and profession, apprenticeship positions, etc.
Volksgartenstraße 40, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 50 6906 0

Wirtschaftskammer Karriereberatung
Bildungs- und Berufsberatung, Lehrlingsstelle etc.
Educational and professional counseling, apprenticeships positions, etc.
WIFI-Gebäude, Wiener Straße 150, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 5 90 909 4051 (german)

Bildungs- und Berufsberatungseinrichtungen der Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitute
(WIFI) und der Wirtschaftskammern Österreichs
Educational and professional counseling facilities of the Economic Chamber Institute
(WIFI) and the Economic Chambers of Austria (german)

Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund
(Austrian Federation of Unions)

Weingartshofstraße 2, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 732 665391

Support for persons who are founding firms – Counseling for entrepreneurs:

Wirtschaftskammer Oberösterreich
(Economic Chamber of Austria) 

Hessenplatz 3, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 5 90 909 » Oberösterreich