Work in Greece

Work in Greece

Table of Contents

If you are looking to travel, volunteer or work in Greece, there are various opportunities across different sectors that cater to international travellers.

Travelling and working in Greece you will find the country has a high proportion of small to medium-sized companies, often led by one manager. Self-employment is very common and many people have more than one job, especially if work is seasonal. After the Greek financial crisis in 2009, you will find the unemployment rate grew, especially among the younger generation.

The vast majority of the population speaks Modern Greek. When looking for work, the importance of Greek language should not be underestimated. People working in tourism or trade will usually speak some English, German, Italian or French and jobs for those who do not speak Greek are mainly in the tourist zones.

It is possible to find employment that does not require a knowledge of Greek which includes teaching English, jobs in the tourism industry, working as an au pair, manual and agricultural work.

Working Holiday Visa

Greece has made a Working Holiday Visa agreement with Australia, allowing young Australians to have the unique opportunity to travel and work in Greece for up to one year with this working holiday visa.

This visa will allow you to:

  • Travel and stay in Greece, including the Greek Islands for up to one year
  • Work for one employer for a maximum of six months
  • Study for no more than four months

Applications must be submitted in person, at the Greek Mission which is responsible for the area in which you reside in Australia.

Citizens from EU nations, have the right to live and work in Greece without restriction and a work permit.

Working in Greece’s agriculture sector

Greece has a significant agricultural sector, with opportunities in olive harvesting, grape picking, and other agricultural activities. Seasonal work in rural areas provides a chance to experience the Greek countryside.

Greece’s climate supports a variety of crops, and the agricultural sector often requires seasonal workers for activities such as planting, harvesting, and pruning. Olives, grapes, citrus fruits, and vegetables are among the key crops in different regions.

Many farmers hire seasonal labour during peak times, providing an opportunity for short-term employment.

Greece is one of the world’s leading producers of olive oil, and olive harvesting is a significant seasonal activity. Farmers often require additional hands during the olive harvest season, typically from late autumn to early winter.

This hands-on experience allows workers to engage in traditional agricultural practices and contribute to the production of a staple Greek product.

Greece has a long history of winemaking, and its vineyards offer opportunities for employment, especially during the grape harvest season. Workers may be involved in tasks such as grape picking, pruning, or supporting the winemaking process.

Picking oranges is just one of the many harvests others include potato picking (April), cherry-picking (May), apricot picking (May/June), pear picking (June), apple picking (October) and watermelons (June/July) which are picked in the north-west of the Peloponnese.

Although much of northern Greece is rugged, some of it is very fertile. The area west of Thessaloniki is a major peach growing area and shouldn’t be overlooked.

While English may be spoken in certain contexts, having a basic understanding of Greek can significantly enhance your communication and integration within the local agricultural community. Consider learning some key agricultural terms in Greek.

Working in the Greek tourism industry

Working in Greece’s tourism industry can be a dynamic and rewarding experience, offering opportunities to engage with visitors from around the world while being immersed in the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

The hospitality industry is a major player in Greece’s tourism sector. Job opportunities can be found in hotels, resorts, hostels, and boutique accommodations. Positions may include front desk staff, housekeeping, waiting staff and chefs.

Tourism in Greece tends to be seasonal, with the peak season typically spanning from spring to early fall. Many positions, especially in popular tourist destinations, are available on a seasonal basis.

Women travellers will find it easier than men to secure work in bars and restaurants, but the motives of some employers in hiring women may be less than honourable, so you should always be prepared to move on if you feel uncomfortable.

Proficiency in English is often essential in the tourism industry, as it is the lingua franca for international travellers. Knowledge of additional languages, especially those commonly spoken by tourists, can be an advantage.

Teaching English as a foreign language in Greece

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in Greece is a popular and rewarding option for many travellers.

While requirements can vary, having a bachelor’s degree is often preferred. Additionally, many employers prefer or require a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certification. These certifications provide essential training in teaching English to non-native speakers.

The majority of teaching jobs are in towns and cities in mainland Greece. There is an estimated 6000 plus private language schools called Frontisteria throughout Greece, which creates a huge demand for native English speaking teachers.

Language schools, both large chains and smaller institutions, often hire English teachers. These schools may offer a variety of classes, including general English, business English, or exam preparation courses.

Offering private tutoring sessions is a common practice in Greece. Many students, especially adults and business professionals, seek personalised English lessons. Building a network or using online platforms can help you find private tutoring opportunities.

During the summer months, English teachers are often in demand for language camps or intensive courses. These short-term positions provide a unique and immersive teaching experience.

Teaching English in Greece provides not only an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on students’ lives but also a chance to immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture. Whether you choose to teach in language schools, public institutions, or through private tutoring, Greece offers a welcoming environment for English teachers.