Many international organisations, including EU headquarters and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) employ multi-lingual expats from around the world. Jobs in many industries along with Belgium’s rich culture, beautiful architecture, and famed cuisine have attracted over 750,000 expats who call Belgium home.
How to Get a Job in Belgium
If you are interested in getting a job or a work placement in Belgium, there is a lot of potential for work,especially if you are multilingual and can communicate in French, Dutch and any additional languages. There are jobs in the following industries.
- Accounting, Banking and Finance
- Education and teaching
- Leisure and Tourism
There is often a shortage of labour and the following are generally good professions to apply to:
- administration and secretarial work
- work as an electrician, joiners and plasterers; or plumber
- work as a technician or mechanic
- IT staff
- nursing and midwifery
- project management
- technical and commercial sales
If you are looking to work for a large company, you will have plenty of choices.
Some large employers in Belgium include:
Where to Look for a Job in Belgium?
Online job sites in Brussels, recruitment agencies and local newspapers are the best places to search for jobs. Here are some helpful links:
Recruitment agencies in Brussels:
Belgium has many recruitment agencies that specialise in particular career areas. You can get more details here: Belgian Golden Pages.
If you speak French or Flemish you can search for jobs in the following newspapers:
La Libre Belgique – Belgian national newspaper (French)
Le Soir – Belgian national newspaper (French)
De Standaard – Belgian national newspaper (Dutch)
La Derniere Heure – Belgian national newspaper (Dutch)
De Morgen – Belgian national newspaper (Dutch)
Applying for a Job in Belgium
Applying from your home country is ideal but if you live in Belgium, you can join general recruitment agencies like Adecco, Randstad and Michael Page. An application, a cover letter and a 2 page resume (in French/Dutch/English –depending on the job) is standard practice in Belgium.
Public employment offices in each region of Belgium allow you to search for jobs, take training courses and get career advice at ADG (German community), Le Forem (Walloon), VDAB (Flanders) and Actiris (Brussels),
Summer jobs in Belgium
If you would like to improve your skills and experience working in a multilingual environment, the European Commission (EC) has a scheme for up to 12 months for youth from 17- 30. You can get more information at the European Voluntary Service (EVS). You can also find seasonal work, summer jobs and gap year opportunities through recruitment agencies and government employment agencies.
Teaching jobs and Internships
Belgium is a popular spot for qualified teachers of English as a foreign language (TEFL). Here are places you can find work:
You can work as an English language assistant in a school or higher education institute. (Example: British Council offers this opportunity)
You can find a role with a business or a private language school. Check with i-to-i, TEFL.com and ESLbase for details.
You can find a teaching job through the International School of Brussels (ISB)
You will be able to find several internships in Belgium, even though there is a lot of competition. If you are a graduate, you will find these links helpful:
Search for Belgian Internships in Intern Abroad
Apply for a 5 month scheme with a generous living allowance (run twice a year) with the European Commission Traineeship Office.
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by organisations such as Europlacement and GoAbroad.com.
IAESTE offers summer placements for courses in undergraduates in certain fields lasting from 4 weeks to one year.
Getting a Belgian Visa
If you are an EU citizen you can work in any EU country without a Visa or work permit and can enjoy the same privileges as other nationals.If you are from a non-EU country, you will need a short-term visa (less than 90 day stay) or long term visa (longer than 90 day stay –requires a work permit). For more information about the legal requirements and your entitlements, including how to get your qualifications recognized, check with Europa.