Working in Los Angeles


Jobs in Los Angeles – ExpatFinder Articles


Work opportunities in Los Angeles are not limited to those in Hollywood. The “Creative Capital of the World” is also home to many artistic and creative individuals. The city also a laid back working environment than other major destinations in the country bet expats should never let their guards down because competition in Los Angeles is nothing but cut-throat. 

Los Angeles, parallel to its cultural diversity, is also economically varied. Significantly, the city is known for being home to Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world. But this city is more than just bright lights and camera. Together with its neighbouring port in Long Beach, the Los Angeles port is the fifth busiest in the world that holds the key trade in the Pacific Rim. The variety of industries in the world renowned ‘City of Angels’ opens doors to numerous opportunities not only for American citizens but qualified expats as well. 

Thriving Opportunities in Los Angeles 

From the fashion industry to the "gig-economy", many can be tried out while in LA. One of the most booming industries here is, of course, the film and television industry. For decades, many doe-eyed young women and aspiring men have been enticed by moving to Los Angeles just to get a chance to work at Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world. Many expats in this city nowadays are employed not only for motion pictures but also for video games production and film. 

"They are strict about permits in general. You can’t buy a snowmobile or a gun easily at all."- Hans Kristian, Expat in Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles is also the home of 13 Fortune 500 Companies and many foreign workers invest significant time and effort just to get accepted in any of these multinational businesses. Other well-known companies that are housed in the city are 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Guess, Sunkist Growers, The Jim Henson Company, City National Bank, and 21st Century Insurance.  

Despite the Hollywood fame, only 3.15% of the city's labour force is employed in the entertainment industry. In fact, the top contributors to employment in Los Angeles are the education and healthcare services. The manufacturing sector covers 13.20% of the labour force while the 12.92% of the populations is working in the professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste management services. 

Average Salary and Working Hours 

The average monthly salary in Los Angeles is USD 6,761 while the minimum wage is USD 600 per month. As with most destinations abroad, your salary usually depends on your professional experience and line of work. Below is some of the average monthly salary in Los Angeles based on job category: 

Fashion and Apparel

USD 2,900


USD 2,600

Publishing and Printing

USD 2,000


USD 2,083


USD 3,033


USD 4,361


USD 4,665


USD 5,833

Legal (Accounting & Finance)

USD 6,344

Executive and Management

USD 10,062

Health and Medical

USD 12,811

It is known how hardworking Americans are and with the nature of working for television and film, it is almost obvious that people invest a lot of time here. Because of the diverse work options in Los Angeles, there is no standard work schedule that everyone follows. But on an average, full-time workers must take a maximum of 47 hours workweek. In fact, 42% of the city’s actual population works from 9AM to 5PM. 

Time to Unwind 

Here is the list of all public holidays that are being observed in the City of Angels. These are the best time of the year when expats can hit the beaches or have fun in the busy and ever vibrant metoropolis. 

January 1

New Year’s Day

January 16

Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday

February 20

President’s Day

March 27

Cesar Chavez Day

May 29

Memorial Day

July 4

Independence Day

September 4

Labour Day

October 9

Columbus Day

November 10

Veteran’s Day

November 23

Thanksgiving Day

November 24

Friday after Thanksgiving Day

December 25



The LA Business Culture 

Americans deeply respect time, so punctuality in the workplace is essential. Despite the apparent ‘casualness' of the American, or in this case Californian workplace, they strongly believe that "Time is Money."  American bosses and colleagues place high expectations on employees, as they put great importance on personal competence and individual performance.  

At the first meeting, you may address your colleague or boss with his respective title, but you may find that they would encourage you to call them by their first name. Do not be surprised, this is part of their culture. Politeness is also highly appreciated in the workplace whereas a simple 'please' and 'thank you' can go a long way in keeping a good working relationship with your American colleagues.  

Always be prepared for the dynamism of the American workplace. The culture may be different depending on what industry you'd be employed in, so always be ready to adapt to it.


Photo: Public Affairs


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