Working in Croatia



Though Croatia was technically a young country having only gained sovereignty from Yugoslavia in 1991, it is still considered as one of the fastest developing nations in Central Europe. Croatia is more than just a pretty face whose pride is its miles of pristine white sand beaches. Today, it is one of the most significant members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union. 

Presently, Croatia has an employment rate of 72.1% and a population of 4, 508, 347 inhabitants. Employment of expats in this country is strictly regulated by the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act and it's a must that non-EU nationals secure first all the relevant employment paperwork to avoid legal issues with the local immigration. Finding a job in Croatia takes more than just skills and abilities; it also requires patience and determination. But once you are part of the Croatian labour force, it's double the joy to enjoy the fruits of your labour and the country's breathtaking landscapes. 

Major Industries 

Croatia has three leading sectors: the service sector which accounted for almost 66% of the country's total GDP, the industrial sector with 27.2% and agriculture accounting for nearly 6.7% of its total Gross Domestic Product. Aside from those, tourism also plays a great role in the country's revenue. It dominates the Croat service sector and is responsible for almost 20% of Croatia's GDP. With the booming tourism industry, job openings are mostly found in resorts that are located in Supetar, Bol, Makarska, Brela and Tucepi. 

Other major job industries in the country include chemicals and plastics, machine tools, fabricated metal, electronics, pig iron and rolled steel products, paper, wood products, pig iron, construction materials, textiles, shipbuilding, petroleum and petroleum refining and food and beverages. Expats can also seek for jobs that are related to environmental and social projects. 

Average Salary 

In 2015, Croatian Bureau of Statistics stated that the average monthly salary in Croatia is €745 or 5,716 Kuna. Employees in the air transport sector are the highest paid workers in this country with a monthly take home pay of €1,375 or 10,555 Kuna while those working in the financial sector earns around €1,170 or 9,001 Kuna per month. In October 2016, the average monthly wage in Croatia has increased to € 750 (5,642 Kuna). 

Working Hours 

Under the new Labour Act, working hours in Croatia has been extended to a maximum of 50 hours per week or if allowed by mutual agreement, up to 60 hours. The minimum annual leave in this country is 18 days while employees under 18 years old are entitled to up 24 days of leave. An employee who works at least six hours a day is entitled to a break lasting at least 30 minutes for each working day. Overtime hours rendered by a full-time employee should not exceed eight hours per week and companies are strictly prohibited from imposing overtime work to minor employees. 

Income Tax 

Income Tax in Croatia is one of the highest in Europe. It is progressive, depending on the individual’s earnings and is levied from 15 to 45%. All foreign nationals that receive their income from work in Croatia are required to submit their income tax returns. The current income tax rate in this country is displayed in the table below: 

Taxable Income in Croatian Kuna

Tax Rate %

Up to 36,000






252,000 and above


Business Culture 

Croatian business culture is mostly formal and conservative, although companies owned by locals who have been exposed to Western culture are a bit more liberal and open to new ideas. 

Punctuality is always appreciated but not necessarily always observed by the Croatian hosts. Suit and tie and business attire are a norm as well as the handshake for greeting. One should address a new acquaintance with the title and surname unless otherwise permitted to use the person's first name. 

Finding a Job 

For an expat on the lookout for employment opportunities, the most convenient and comprehensive search for jobs in Croatia is through the worldwide web. Most job portals are in Croat, but there are also some websites that display listings in English. 

As a golden rule, it is easier to find employment in major cities such as Dubrovnik or Zagreb. The largest companies in Croatia that recruit foreign nationals on a regular basis are Holcim, Adria-Mar, Blue Sun Hotels and iN2


See more

Continue reading:

Work Guide

Expat Services in Croatia

Don't miss our Expat Services in Croatia