Working in San Francisco



San Francisco's Montgomery Street is known as the Wall Street of the West, as such, the finance industry in the city is quite prominent and filled with career opportunities. The city is also a hub for high-technology and science research. 

Even as more people are found to be unemployed each year, major employers such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo continue to drive the job market and provide opportunities for qualified individuals. Currently, jobs for medical and IT professionals as well as teachers are in demand while construction jobs remain widely available.

Work Visa and Other Requirements 

Working in San Francisco is possible either through a Work Visa or an Immigrant Visa through employment. In both cases, a job in a San Francisco-based company must have been secured and documents proving that must be presented to immigration officials. While there are various other documents to secure when applying for a work or immigrant visa, a major requirement is a letter from the prospective employer proving that the applicant has a job waiting for him and that no local candidate has qualified for the position.  

Business Etiquette 

Time is sacred for the working people of San Francisco and tardiness is only excused for extreme reasons. Locals can also be focused on work and will not hesitate to give an honest critique. However, this is not to be taken personally. Business people are also expected to promote themselves and their companies and modesty will often leave one behind the competition. While handshakes are usually how business meetings begin and end, it is no big deal when somebody neglects an outstretched hand as locals can be very informal. During presentations, it is considered rude to leave after one's part. The exchange of business cards is also a casual activity and does not go by any rules. 

Working Hours 

Federal and state workweek regulations in California often overlap, leaving San Francisco employers to draw up policies accordingly. The maximum average working hours in San Francisco is 48 per week hours including overtime. High-skilled workers such as doctors and teachers usually require longer hours than the 40-hour standard while low-skilled, low-income positions require shorter hours. 

Employees can go on paid time off for sickness or holidays without any minimum requirement and are entitled to two weeks of sick leave and two weeks of paid vacation leave. Workers who have been with a company for many years may also be granted additional days.   


The minimum wage requirement for San Francisco workers is USD$8 per hour and applies to all employees putting in more than two hours per week. This rate is expected to change each year as the city government makes adjustments based on the regional consumer price index. So far, nurses are the highest paid professionals with an annual average income of USD$67,000 followed by teachers who earn about USD$56,000 yearly and IT professionals who make around USD$55,000 a year.



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