Working in Lithuania



The Baltic state of Lithuania has a labour force of about 1.5 million and an unemployment rate of 8.80%. The country was severely hit by the debt crisis that pushed many European governments to the brink of bankruptcy. However, Lithuania remains resilient and continues to make rigorous efforts in putting its economy back on track.

Lithuania undoubtedly received a major blow from the 2008 financial crises, but it is also among the first nations that managed to recover rapidly. In 2016, this country has a total Gross Domestic Product of EUR 38.314 or USD 42.776 billion which made it the largest economy among the three Baltic States. Lithuania also scored high in the 2017 Ease of Doing Business Index whereas the World Bank Group ranked it as the 29th top country in the world to start a business. Expatriates bound to work in this European nation are about to participate in an industrial and knowledge-based economy.

Job Opportunities in Lithuania

Job opportunities in Lithuania are concentrated in its largest cities and towns namely, the capital city of Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, and Panevėžys. British bank Barclays opened its Technology Centre in Vilnius in 2009 while money transfer company the Western Union established a European Regional Operating Centre in 2011. Société Générale, Phillip Morris, GlaxoSmithKline and United Colours of Benetton are among the international companies operating in the country.

Most employers are also engaged in manufacturing, retail trade, construction, transportation and storage, and healthcare. Alongside, Lithuania is thriving to shift towards sustainable industries such as information technology, biotechnology and mechatronics. This country is currently the centre of industrial and diagnostic biotechnology in the Baltic region. Some of the jobs in high-technology sectors include Research & Development (R&D) managers, food technologists, research scientists, laboratory technicians and product design engineers.

According to the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, the following specialists and skilled workers are in demand in the Baltic state:

  • Accountants
  • Sales Agents
  • Finance and Administration Managers
  • Book Keepers
  • Engineers
  • Truck and Freight transport drivers
  • Builders and Carpenters
  • Welders
  • Industrial Machinery mechanics
  • Waiters and Bartenders

Average Salary and Work Hours

The current minimum wage in Lithuania is EUR 2.16 (USD 2.33) per hour or EUR 380 (USD 410.61) per month. This is the same minimum wage since 2016 and will possibly remain unchanged this 2017. The average monthly salary, on the other hand, is USD 1,465 which can still vary depending on one’s qualifications, occupation and sector.

As per Article 144 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania, the standard working time of all employees may not exceed 40 hours per week or eight hours per day. The traditional work schedule in this country is five days per week whereas employees usually start their day at around 8 or 8:30 in the morning. During Fridays, most companies close early and workers are allowed to leave at about 4 pm or earlier.

The Lithuanian Work Culture

The most common greeting in the Lithuanian corporate world is a firm handshake with direct eye contact and a smile. Once the professional relationship progresses, greetings can be more unreserved, but expats must wait for their local colleagues’ signal before offering a hug or a more intimate greeting. People in this country are addressed using their surname, or honorific title and newcomers should stick to that tradition unless they get instructed to call a Lithuanian using his first name.

When it comes to conducting business, expats will soon notice the difference between the young and the older business people. The older Lithuanians are more formal and conservative while the younger generation has a less bureaucratic approach and will do what it takes to close a deal. Generally speaking, these people prefer face-to-face meetings, and they are more comfortable dealing with people whom they trust. That is why patiently building a professional relationship with mutual understanding is a must in this country.

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