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It’s well known that Italy is not the most bilingual society, with many locals, particularly in the rural parts of the country, speaking next to no English at all! This can present you with difficulties as an English speaking Expat if you’re looking for ways to support your Dolce Vita in Bella Italia!
As an Expat living in Italy it’s essential to maintain your financial security and although you may think that remote work is the only option for an English speaker there are actually many jobs and opportunities that you can take on to make an excellent income in the country.
The Perfect Employment Opportunity For English Speaking Expats In Italy.
Italy is a Western democracy and has a free market economy (not nearly as free as the United States). There are many employment opportunities for English speaking Expats and immigrants. Before looking for an opportunity, you have to make sure that you are legally allowed to work in Italy or setup a business in Italy.
Real Estate Agency.
The Italian real estate market is attracting increasing interest from foreigners who are looking to buy property in the country; either as an investment or as a second home. Most foreign buyers primarily speak English and so if you can set up and establish a real estate agency in Italy you can make an excellent income while helping other Expats to find a new home.
The real estate market in Italy is extremely attractive for foreigners because the prices are relatively low, certainly compared to the rest of Western Europe. There are a wide range of reasons why property prices in Italy are so low which include the slumping economy and the huge impact that the lock downs have had on the nation’s primary industry of tourism.
This means that demand for Italian properties from overseas buyers has never been higher and so if you can provide the real estate services that they need in English you will be flooded with clients! You will of course, have to work with local geometra’s and lawyers to run your real estate business but if you can be the voice of the company you will do very well!
When you are employing people to work for your real estate business you will need to hire bilingual locals to help you and although many Italians do not speak English the younger generations are far more likely to speak English as well as Italian.
If you aren’t ready, or don’t have the finances, to set up your own real estate agency you can also work with an existing local company. Italian real estate agents that are already up and running are often looking for English speakers to communicate with their foreign clients on their behalf. Naturally, it will help if you can speak, or are willing to learn, some basic Italian but your English speaking skills will be a massive asset to the company.
Tourism And Tourism Management.
Tourism is one of Italy’s major industries and employs hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Most of the people who work in the Italian tourist industry are locals however there are increasing numbers of foreigners who play a vital role in the sector.
There are many situations in which companies are looking for native English speakers to meet, greet and communicate with tourists on behalf of their business. Many resorts and hotels want English speaking staff who can make tourists feel comfortable and communicate with them in their own language.
Tour operators in Italy also employ English speaking Expats to lead groups on their holidays. You will need to learn about the local culture and history so you can tell the tourists all about the places you are visiting with them but the opportunities exist and are an excellent opportunity for Expats. Another benefit of working with a tour operator is that you get to spend your working life in some of the most beautiful places in the country!
Vineyards are another favorite attraction for tourists in Italy and they are often looking for English speaking hosts. You will have to study up on the vineyard’s wine and the local heritage of the region but when it comes to dream jobs you can’t do better than work on a vineyard in Tuscany, or elsewhere in Italy!
Long And Short Term Rentals.
If you own a property in Italy and are looking for an easy way to bolster your income then you can rent out spare rooms in your house. This is an excellent way to meet new people as well as make the most of your property in financial terms.
You can rent out rooms to tourists or other Expats on a long or short term basis. You can leverage higher rates for short term rentals however you will have to continually be making new arrangements to ensure your spare rooms are always full.
When it comes to finding new tenants for your spare rooms you can make the arrangements yourself or use excellent online platforms like AirBnB or Vrbo. The websites are easy to use and highly intuitive and they guarantee to get eyes on your property; taking the marketing headache out of renting your spare rooms.
Some Expats own more than one home in Italy, taking advantage of the low property prices. With a spare home in the country you can certainly rent the property out to tourists, Expats or local Italians. If you work with an estate agent, who will handle all the bureaucracy and paperwork on your behalf, you can make a lovely passive income without lifting a finger!
One of the most appealing jobs for many English speaking Expats in Italy is to teach their own mother tongue! Teaching English is a highly rewarding experience and you’ll always have plenty of work. There are several ways that you can approach this opportunity which include working in a local public school or university, working in a private English language school or working in a private capacity.
There’s a huge demand for English language teachers in Italy and you can easily leverage a very reasonable salary no matter who you choose to work with.
Private English language schools operate throughout the year although there is a major influx of new students each summer who tend to stay for a few weeks, learning English while enjoying the touristic sites of Italian culture.
Italian schools employ English teachers throughout the year and if you work with them you will have a reliable source of income while benefiting from the long school holidays in the summer!
If you choose to work in a private capacity then you will have to deal with all the contracts and marketing involved with finding new students but you can easily charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour, depending on who your clients are and what your experience and background is.
Working as a private English teacher is likely to be the most profitable way to teach English in Italy and although most people don’t realize it, your main client base is unlikely to be young students. As a private English teacher you can teach business people, diplomats and other Italian adults who need to learn English to further their careers. In these cases, you can charge much higher fees than if you were teaching younger students!
Another way that you can make use of your English language skills, provided that you are bilingual, is to do translation work. There are a wide range of ways that you can work as a translator including, but not limited to; translating emails, working in courts and other administrative capacities or working with companies that deal with foreign clients.
There are a growing number of Expats in Italy who have multiple homes or a properties which they only stay in on a seasonal basis. This has opened up a fantastic opportunity for more permanent Expats in Italy to manage other Expats properties on their behalf.
As a property manager you would be responsible for ensuring that the property is well maintained and that any tenants are complying with their contracts with the owner. You might also be required to find new tenants and screen them for suitability. Effectively, you will be the eyes and ears on the ground for the owner of the property and depending on the services you offer your duties will vary accordingly.
In some cases, when another Expat owns a property they might choose to rent it out through online platforms such as AirBnb which means that you can manage their account and the property for them. You can manage multiple properties and depending on how much money you want to earn you can work on a full or part time basis. This makes property management an ideal option for any Expat who lives in Italy for the long term.
Working In Italy As An English Speaking Expat.
It’s the dream of many people to live in Italy but unless you are independently wealthy then you will still have to make ends meet! There are however, many different ways that you can make a great living in the country by leveraging your English language skills to provide services to tourists, other Expats and local businesses.
In most cases, you will have to find work if you plan to live in Italy on a permanent basis but there are far more opportunities than you might have thought at first! English is the universal language of trade and commerce and so if you are already fluent you have a major advantage over many local Italians who cannot speak fluent English.
So if you’re considering the life of an Expat in Italy then it’s always worth being aware of the potential jobs and businesses that will be seeking your services and talents so you can make the most of your new life overseas.