With its thriving economy, diverse culture, and high quality of life, Belgium offers the perfect setting for your professional and personal growth

If you are considering moving for work, don't let Belgium's small size fool you. Often referred to as the 'heart of Europe,' the country has a population of approximately 11.6 million, including an estimated 1.4 million expats.

Belgium is a federal state that consists of three distinct regions - Flanders in the north, Brussels-Capital Region in the centre, and Wallonia in the south. This cultural blend has three official languages - while English is widely spoken across the country.

With its distinct regions, Belgium offers a rich tapestry of experiences. When seeking employment in Belgium, it's important to enjoy the country's diversity, culture, and unique characteristics.

Jobs in Belgium

The job market in Belgium is highly competitive and having proficiency in at least one of the country's official languages can increase the chances of securing employment. The Flanders region in the north is where service and high-tech industries are concentrated, while coal and steel manufacturing are mainly found in the south.

In terms of employment, most Belgians work in the public sector, with significant representation in banking, law, media, retail, tourism, and transportation. However, there are relatively limited job opportunities in the industrial sector.

Popular graduate jobs

  • Engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Processed food and beverages
  • Transportation equipment and motor vehicle assembly
  • Textiles

Belgium has a thriving expat community and welcomes workers across a diverse range of industries. The capital city, Brussels, serves as the administrative hub for both the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), employing a significant number of international professionals.

Other large Belgian employers include:

  • Ageas (insurance)
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (brewing)
  • Bekaert (steel wires)
  • Banque Nationale de Belgique (banking)
  • Colruyt Group (food retail)
  • D'Ieteren (vehicle distribution)
  • Elia (energy)
  • KBC Bank (banking)
  • Proximus (telecommunications)
  • Solvay (chemicals)
  • UCB (biopharmaceuticals)
  • Umicore (materials technology).

You can search for jobs in Belgium at:

In addition, jobs are advertised in newspapers of all three communities (Flemish, French and German).

Skills shortages

Belgium provides ample job opportunities, especially for highly skilled workers in the service industry. Nevertheless, labour shortages have opened doors for global workers across a range of sectors.

Belgium needs:

  • accountants
  • administrative staff
  • architects
  • electricians, plumbers, joiners and plasterers
  • engineers, technicians and mechanics
  • IT staff
  • nurses and midwives
  • project managers
  • teachers
  • technical and commercial sales representatives.

How to get a job in Belgium

The application process in Belgium is similar to that in the UK, requiring an application form, a CV, a cover letter in the relevant language, and references. The process is completed with a subsequent interview.

It is important to write your job application in the appropriate language, which is either Dutch, French, or German, depending on your chosen place of residence and employment. Although some organisations may accept applications in English, it is always advisable to confirm their language preferences before submitting your application.

For non-EU citizens who wish to work in Belgium, it is recommended that they apply for jobs from their home country as a job offer is often required to obtain a visa. Another option is to secure a job in an international organisation based in their home country and then transfer to the organisation's offices in Belgium.

If you are currently living in Belgium, you can sign up with recruitment agencies such as Adecco, Randstad, and Michael Page. There are also sector-specialist agencies, a list of which can be found at Golden Pages Belgium.

Each of Belgium's four regions has its own public employment office. You can receive professional careers advice, and search for jobs and training courses at:

Summer jobs

Belgium is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The cities of Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, and Ypres all boast a rich history, each with its own charm and character. As a result, the tourism industry in Belgium is thriving, creating numerous job opportunities in the hospitality sector during the summer and part time throughout the year.

If you're looking to enhance your CV, improve your language skills, and demonstrate your ability to work in a multilingual environment, volunteering could be an excellent option for you.

Teaching jobs

Belgium is a wonderful destination for TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers due to its rich multiculturalism. The country boasts a diverse educational system, providing ample opportunities for educators to share their knowledge and make a positive impact on students of all ages.

To research TEFL opportunities, see:

Aspiring English teachers can also consider the British Council's Language Assistant Programme. This scheme offers a unique opportunity to work as a language assistant in either schools or higher education institutions across Belgium, sharing your English language expertise with students.

To be eligible, you must have completed most of your secondary education in the UK. You also need to have passed at least two years of university education and have a B1 level in French.


In Belgium, internships are widely available and highly regarded, providing a valuable addition to your CV and a stepping stone into a successful career.

Organisations such as Deloitte and PwC also offer internships in Belgium. Deloitte offers opportunities for those who have, or are studying for, a Bachelors or Masters in economics, commercial or civil engineering, accountancy, tax, law, IT or office management. Interns could work in several Belgian locations, including Zaventem, Bruges, Ghent or Antwerp. PwC also provides a variety of internships for school leavers and graduates.

AIESEC UK offers a traineeship exchange programme lasting six weeks to 18 months for students and recent graduates, while IAESTE UK offers summer course-related placements for science, engineering, technology and applied arts students. Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by organisations such as Euro Placements.

The UK government has the Turing Scheme for students looking to secure international work experience during the academic year. Check that your university is involved in the programme and offers the Turing Scheme.

Belgian visas

Individuals from non-EU countries, including the UK, will need to obtain a visa and/or work permit to enter the EU. Short-term visas are for those who intend to stay less than 90 days, while long-term visas are for those who plan to stay for more than 90 days.

If you're applying for a long-term visa, you'll also need a work permit, which your potential employer will need to apply for - usually a year in advance.

Contact your Belgian embassy for further information on visas, while you can also read more about work permits at Belgium.be.

Language requirements

There are three official languages in Belgium - Dutch (Flemish), French and German.

Dutch is spoken in the Flanders region to the north by the Flemish Community, but French is the first language for most citizens in Wallonia, which covers most of Belgium south of Brussels. French-speaking citizens are known as the French Community. German is also spoken in the southeast, where the German-speaking community of Belgium resides.

Although English is spoken widely in Belgium, many Belgians are bi or multilingual. Therefore, having a basic understanding of either Dutch or French before you arrive can greatly enhance your experience and make it easier for you to settle in. Once you're in Belgium, you'll find opportunities to take language lessons and immerse yourself in the local culture.

How to explain your qualifications to employers

The Bologna Process means that your UK qualifications should be recognised by employers. Those from countries outside of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) should contact NARIC (Flemish Community) or the Ministere de la Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles (French Community) to get your certificates recognised.

For certain professions, you may need your qualifications to be officially recognised before you begin work. To determine whether your professional qualifications will be recognised in Belgium, visit Europa or ENIC-NARIC.

What it's like to work in Belgium

The average working week in Belgium is 38 hours - approximately eight hours every day. Paid annual leave in Belgium is calculated based on the number of days you have worked in the previous year, allowing employees to take more time off each year.

Despite the generous annual leave policy, the cost of living in Belgium is fairly high. However, it is still lower than in the UK. Belgium also has one of the highest income tax rates in Europe, meaning that employees will keep less of their earnings after taxes.

There are ten public holidays in Belgium including:

  • New Year's Day
  • Easter Monday
  • Labour Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Belgium Day
  • Assumption Day
  • All Saints Day
  • Armistice Day
  • Christmas Day.

Management culture in Belgium is traditionally similar to the French-style top-down approach. However, more organisations are moving towards a Dutch-like open workplace, with increased delegation and greater democracy in decision-making.

Find out more

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