This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2019
If you are a U.S. citizen who has developed an interest in jobs abroad, you are far from alone. In this day and age, a notable number of men and women from the United States are entertaining the idea of working and living abroad.
There are a variety of issues that you need to bear in mind when it comes to considering the prospect for employment in another country. With this understood, there are five primary categories of jobs abroad for which you may consider seeking employment.
U.S. Government Jobs Abroad
The U.S. Departments of State and Defense are two major governmental agencies that hire U.S. citizens to work in different locations abroad. The Foreign Service branch of the Department of State hires U.S. citizens to work in a number of settings abroad. These include positions of employment in embassies and consulates located in different countries around the world.
You do need to keep in mind that there can be some fairly stringent requirements when it comes to employment with the Defense and State Departments. For example, before a person can apply for many of the positions with U.S. Foreign Service, that individual needs to pass a foreign service exam. Some positions of employment with these agencies require a person to obtain a certain level of security clearance.
Other U.S. governmental agencies that employ U.S. citizens and station them abroad include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Commerce. In some instances, these two agencies may have less stringent requirements to get into a position of employment.
Although not a paid position of employment, many people join the Peace Corps as a means of opening the door to future opportunities abroad. The Peace Corps usually requires a two-year commitment. In addition to being a good avenue through which to identify potential employment opportunities abroad, spending time in the Peace Corps can be a highly gratifying experience.
U.S. Businesses Hiring for Jobs Abroad
U.S. businesses of all types operate in a myriad of foreign countries. A U.S. company with foreign operations can provide you a basis upon which you can find a job in another country.
Often a U.S. company with foreign operations will send a person already in its employ in the United States to take a position in some foreign country. As a result, if you are interested in taking a job with an American venture in a foreign country, you may need to begin your employment with the business in the United States first.
At first blush, you may think that foreign businesses would be eager to hire an English-speaking person from the United States. There certainly is value in a foreign company hiring a person well versed in the English language. Having said that, many non-U.S. citizens actually master English as a second language.
While there are opportunities available for U.S. citizens in some foreign businesses, there are limitations because of the laws in some countries. These laws tend to require a business to demonstrate why a citizen of the country where the business is located cannot be found for a position of employment before a person from another country, including the United States, can be hired.
The demand for English-speaking educators is significant. What is interesting about teaching positions abroad is that if you are an English speaker, you do not necessarily need to be able to speak any other language. There is a high demand for English speakers to teach adults and young people the English language in numerous countries the world over. These types of positions are often ideal for recent college graduates.
Take care when you seek a teaching position in a foreign country via the internet. You need to make certain that you connect with a reliable organization involved in placing English-speaking teachers.
Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs
A final general area in which you might consider seeking employment abroad is for a non-governmental organization or NGO. NGOs come in many different categories. They include
everything from the United Nations to the Red Cross. Other examples of NGOs include UNICEF, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Health Organization.
The employment and other needs of these different organizations vary significantly, depending on the activities they perform and their missions, and employment opportunities may be limited. By contacting NGOs individually, you will be able to determine their existing and future employment needs.
If living abroad is your dream, do consider one of these five kinds of jobs abroad available to US citizens. Working abroad will allow you to travel and explore during your free time.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.
This is a great round up and will apply equally to most other nationals too. I am from Britain and have taught abroad. I also worked in a holiday camp for kids
After getting to see most of America, we look forward to trying to visit foreign countries. One way for my wife and I to accomplish this would be to get a job. Your article is helpful and I think we could teach English as a second language. Thanks for sharing.
It’s a wonderful post for anyone looking for a job outside the US. These five kinds of jobs are perfect. I have worked in South East Asia for three years and totally loved the experience.
Interesting post – I’m not from the US but imagine many of the same principles apply to UK citizens too. I think as you point out it is good to find jobs within US businesses that have branches abroad, so the opportunity to transfer to at least travel elsewhere is there!
What a great list for someone who wants to be an expat. I hadn’t realized the Foreign Service still existed. Teaching English is another country would be a fun option.
This is a great list of options for anyone wanting to experience living and working abroad. I have many friends that have done the Peace Corps route and say it was life changing. Still they maintain friendships and get involved in activities all around the world.
This is a great resource for Americans looking to live abroad. I would love to work for an NGO. Especially now with the political climate in the US, my husband and I talk about working abroad more and more.
This is a good summary and resource for US citizens looking for jobs outside the US. As you mentioned, I have noticed lots demand for English teachers from countries like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., and many young American citizens are making it a career option. Working abroad also offers the opportunity of travel and learning about a new country and culture.
Interesting post. I also think if you are skilled in any area, including wellness, fitness trainer or in music and so on, the horizon increases and a lot of resorts could offer temporary positions. Anyway as travelers who wants permanent positions 🙂