Working in Greece



With its reputation as the cradle of Western Civilisation, it’s no doubt why Greece is considered as one of the most stable and influential countries nowadays. It is a democratic nation that boasts an advanced and thriving economy that no aspiring foreign national can resist. 

This country has the largest economy in the Balkans and serves as a major regional investor to its neighbouring countries. Greece is the second leading foreign investor in Albania, third in Bulgaria, one of the top three in Romania and Serbia and the most important trading partner as well as the largest foreign investor in Macedonia. Having said those, it wouldn't take an Oracle to say that Greece is indeed one of the most successful and promising expat destinations in Europe. 

Major Industries 

The estimated labour force in Greece is about 4.2 million people; about 367,215 of these are non-nationals or immigrants. In the past years, about 26% of the employees belonged to trade unions. These unions help protect worker's rights and also ensure that the country's legislation will meet the needs of labourers, Greek or non-Greek alike. In later years, the largest chunk of employees is in the manufacturing sector, with about 319,893 employed individuals, both full-time and part-time. 

Greece’s strategic location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa is one of the main reasons why it has a highly successful shipping sector. One fifth of the immigrant population in Greece is involved in the agriculture and construction industries. As always, tourism is also one of the best sectors to find employment for expats. New employment opportunities are currently springing up in call centres and financial institutions. 

Average Salary 

The average monthly salary in Greece is €1,915 while the minimum wage is €500. As with other expat destinations abroad, salaries in this country also vary depending on the individual’s line of work and professional experience. Employees working in the teaching or educational sector receive an average of €950 per month while those employed in the tourism sector (food, hospitality and catering) take home about €1,088 monthly. 

Working Hours 

Employees in Greece work on an average of 42 hours per week or eight hours per day. The typical working day in this country starts at 8 am and ends at around five in the afternoon. Banks are open from Mondays to Thursdays from 8 am until 2:30 pm and from 8am to 2pm during Fridays. Most establishments in Greece operate from 10am to 9 pm during the weekdays and from 10 am to 8 pm on Saturdays. Only recently, a law has been passed ordering stores to open during Sundays, but only stores in major tourist areas in Greece follow this legislation. 

Income Tax 

Individual income tax in Greece is progressive and as of 2015, employees are taxed at a rate ranging from 22% to 42%. Expats working in Greece that are not ‘permanent residents’ are still required to pay their taxes but only on their local income. 

Taxable Income in Euro

Tax Rate %





42,001 and above


Business Culture 

Unlike with other business cultures, punctuality is not particularly important in Greece. Most locals arrive late for appointments but still expect their counterparts to be on time. Even though the Greeks do not pay much attention to punctuality, expats should still avoid being late to prevent wrong impressions. The locals of this country also love socialising with family, friends and colleagues. Most business dinners in Greece are considered as entertainment, and a laid back get together which lasts for several hours and are usually followed by a couple of drinks. 

Finding a Job 

In Greece, finding a job is a task you shouldn't trust to fate. One must check out helpful websites like Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity not only for job listings but for comprehensive information regarding working in this European nation. Enlisting the assistance of employment agencies can also help one find a job in a more skill-specific manner. Aside from the fact that they have a huge directory of contacts, employment agencies can also assist you in securing the necessary permits and paperwork before one can start working. 

As with most expat destinations, teaching is a job that's almost always readily available, including in Greece. There are many openings for this job in main cities like Athens. There are no strict qualifications such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), but primarily just a university education in either the UK or the US would do.


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