Work in the United Kingdom - A Guide to Finding Jobs in the UK as a Foreigner

The United Kingdom is one of the most popular places in the world to work as a foreigner, and it’s easy to see why. With so many diverse opportunities and unique cultures, living and working in the UK offers something different to everyone. This guide aims to help you find jobs in the UK no matter what field you work in or which region you want to move to.

Work in the United Kingdom - A Guide to Finding Jobs in the UK  as a Foreigner

There are many reasons to live and work in the United Kingdom, such as the excellent education system, world-renowned healthcare, and fascinating history that extends back thousands of years. For new arrivals, one of the most important things to do once you move here is find work – after all, you’ll need some source of income if you plan on staying in the UK for any length of time.

However, it’s important to know that finding work in the UK isn’t always easy — especially if you’re not from there. Some employers prefer to hire people who already live in the country. But finding jobs in the UK isn’t difficult once you know where to look, how to present yourself, and how to apply correctly. For foreign nationals who want to find jobs in the UK, this guide will help you with every step of your job search, from applying and interviewing to taking care of necessary immigration forms.

Working in the United Kingdom

The UK has typically been a popular place for jobs, home to the sixth-largest economy in the world with many big cities hosting big employers and various international business hubs, the UK is the perfect place for ambitious graduates to start their careers. However, rules are changing following the country’s exit from the EU due to happen at the end of 2020.

Getting your head around the UK job market is the first step you should take when searching for new employment. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the overall unemployment rate in the UK was 3.8% in June 2022. Competition for graduate jobs is fierce but candidates with the right qualifications, skills, and experience stand a good chance of employment.

Working Conditions and Salaries in the United Kingdom

The employment contract contains the terms and conditions of your employment and cannot be amended by your employer after you have signed it. Every employee has the right to ask for a written contract. Moreover, the employment contract should contain details on your weekly working hours. These are typically 35-40 hours per week for full-time workers. However, the maximum working week is 48 hours.

Then, the UK national minimum wage is updated each year. From April 2022, it stands at:

  • £10.42 per hour for employees aged 23 and above;
  • Between £7.49 and £10.18 per hour for employees aged 18–22;
  • £5.28 per hour for apprentices

What are the Most In-Demand Jobs in the UK?

There are currently a number of shortage occupations in the United Kingdom. According to the Visa Bureau of the UK, the most sought-after jobs are in the areas of engineering, health, arts and entertainment, and some teaching positions (such as foreign languages). Here's an example of some popular jobs and their respective annual salaries.

  • Teacher - 24,300 GBP (31,500 USD) to 121,700 (157,000 USD), depending on years worked and location.
  • Accountant - 62,000 GBP (80,000 USD)
  • Nurse - 23,000 GBP (30,000 USD)
  • Software Engineer - ranges from 38,000 GBP (49,000 USD) to 79,000 GBP (100,000 USD), depending on experience level.
  • Architect - 27,000 to 35,000 GBP (35,000 – 45,000 USD)
  • Marketing Manager - 35,000- 39,000 GBP (45,000- 50,000 USD), depending on experience.
  • Product Manager - 55,000 GBP (71,000 USD) in London.
  • Web Developer - ranges from 19,500 GBP (25,000 USD) to 62,000 GBP (80,000 USD), depending on experience.
  • UX Designer - 62,000 to 87,000 GBP (80,000 – 113,000 USD)

Requirements for Work in the United Kingdom

In general, foreign nationals will need to secure a work visa before they can take up work in the United Kingdom. Another requirement for working in the UK is language. You will need to be able to speak English to get a job in the United Kingdom, To get a work visa, you may also need to prove your English language proficiency. However, if you speak another language other than English, you will have a big advantage over many British applicants.

How to Find Jobs in the United Kingdom

Getting a job in the United Kingdom is not going to be easy. However, you can check the UK government website which lists the skill shortages in the country. Moreover, there are also several job sites and resources for searching for employment opportunities as a foreigner. In the search bar on these sites, you should type “visa sponsorship” to get a listing of jobs that might offer sponsorship for a work visa.

  • The Guardian
  • The Independent (has jobs mainly in the areas of accounting, technology, and education)
  • Career Jet
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • Jobsite
  • Monster
  • (Government-run job site.)
  • Manpower: (Recruitment agency)

How to Apply for Work in the United Kingdom

Once you’ve found a job in the UK, you need to prepare your application. In the UK you can apply for most jobs online by sending a UK-style CV (resume) and cover letter or by filling out an application form. 

UK job applications tend to take the form of either an application form (often available online) that includes a personal statement where you need to demonstrate that you meet the person specification or a request for a CV together with a covering letter (which should cover the same areas as a personal statement). Learn more about writing CVs and cover letters.

Final Thoughts

The United Kingdom has been an employment hub for many years and will continue to be so. There are many different job opportunities in many different sectors all across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Many foreign nationals can work remotely from their home country, but some need to get a visa before coming over on employment-based visas. It is important to know what your options are and how you can find jobs in each region of the UK. As with any other job search, it is important to research companies that interest you and make sure they offer benefits that match your needs. It is also important to have a good understanding of how salaries work in each sector because wages vary greatly depending on where you live.