This essential guide explains where to find jobs in Luxembourg, the current job market, job vacancies in Luxembourg, work permits and minimum wages.
Luxembourg can be an ideal location to find jobs abroad, particularly within the financial services and communications sectors which are popular and lucrative for skilled workers in Luxembourg. Here is a guide on job vacancies and the job market in Luxembourg, work permit requirements and where you can find jobs in Luxembourg.
Work in Luxembourg
The job market in Luxembourg
The unemployment rate in Luxembourg has remained relatively stable in recent time, sitting at 6.5 percent in March 2016. The workforce in Luxembourg is made up of nationals, cross-border commuters and foreign workers. Luxembourg’s job market is multicultural and multilingual and having knowledge of one of the three official languages (Luxembourgish, French or German) is essential for many jobs.
Typically wages are freely determined between an employer and employee, however, employers in Luxembourg must not offer less than the social minimum wage, which increases by 20 percent if you’re a skilled worker or decreases by 20–25 percent if you’re an adolescent worker. The social minimum wage is adjusted every two years.
The minimum gross monthly salary in Luxembourg for a 40-hour week in January 2016 was:
- 18 years and over, unskilled worker: EUR 1,922.96
- 18 years and over, skilled worker (+20 percent): EUR 2,307.56
- 17 to 18 years old: EUR 1,538.37
- 15 to 17 years old: EUR 1,422.22
Luxembourg also uses a system of salary indexation. This means that salaries should be adjusted by the amount that the consumer price index increases or decreases in Luxembourg. Read more about labour laws for job contracts and wages.
Available jobs in Luxembourg
Financial services are at the heart of the economy in Luxembourg, with the transport and communications sectors on the rise in the last couple of years. Luxembourg is the leading centre in Europe for investment funds and private banking, with around 150 banks operating out of the Grand Duchy.
With the economic upturn in recent years, recruiters have greater scope to employ cross-border commuters and foreign residents in sectors such as health, social services, retail, manufacturing, construction, science and hotels and restaurants.
In 2015, the largest private employers in Luxembourg were The Arcelor-Mittal Group (steelmaking), The Post Luxembourg group (postal and communications), The Cactus Group (retail), The CFL Group (rail), BNP Paribas (finance), The Dussman Luxembourg Group (cleaning) and Goodyear Dunlop Tires (manufacturing).
Business culture in Luxembourg
The workplace is traditionally hierarchical and decision making is often rational and pragmatic. Punctuality and deadlines are taken seriously, in both business and social contexts. Read more about business culture in Luxembourg.
In terms of employment contracts, Luxembourg is similar to other EU countries with permanent contracts (CDI), fixed-term contracts (CDD), part-time contracts and learning/apprenticeship contracts the norm.
The full-time working week in Luxembourg is typically 40 hours. The maximum number of hours you can work in a week is 48, with a daily limit of 10 hours’ work except in exceptional cases.
Each employee in Luxembourg receives 10 public holidays a year, with employers needing to pay extra money to employees who work on these days. Full-time employees must also be given a minimum of 25 days of paid leave each year. Read more on labour law for working time and leave and ending employment.
Luxembourg work visas and residence permits
If you’re a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen you have the right to freely work and reside in Luxembourg. In the majority of instances, your new employer will deal with legal formalities, such as tax administration and social security registration. You’ll also enjoy the same benefits as nationals concerning sickness and maternity leave.
If you’re from outside of the EU, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit before entering the country if you plan to stay longer than three months. You need to request a permit based on your individual circumstances, for example, employment, self-employment, study, research, or joining a family member.
Qualifications and references
If you’re a skilled worker, your employer cannot pay less than the social minimum wage of EUR 2,307.56 per month, although wages can be freely negotiated above this minimum.
To be considered a skilled worker, you must have one of the following:
- a recognised official certificate for your profession;
- a manual skills certificate (certificat de capacité manuelle, CCM) or certificate of vocational ability (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP) and proof of at least two years experience;
- a preliminary technical and vocational certificate and proof of at least five years’ experience (certificat d’initiation technique et professionnelle, CITP);
- proof of 10 years’ practical professional experience, if you don’t have a certificate for a trade that has qualifications;
- Proof of six years’ practical experience if your trade requires technical skills but doesn’t have a recognised certificate.
Luxembourg is signed up to the Bologna Process, and is thus part of the European Higher Education Area. This means that if you have higher education qualifications from other member countries, they’ll be recognised here. If you’re from a non-member country, you’ll need to contact Luxembourg’s academic recognition body.
Due to Luxembourg’s location in the centre of Europe and its three official languages, a command of several languages is important when applying to many jobs in Luxembourg. Depending on the job, knowledge of French, English, German and Luxembourgish will either be essential or at least appreciated. Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese can also be a bonus.
To increase your chances of securing a job, it is advisable to be proficient in at least two languages, at least one of which should be an official language of the country (Luxembourgish, French or German).
Where to find a job in Luxembourg
If you’re moving to Luxembourg, you can find a range of English-speaking or multi-language job at Expatica jobs.
The National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi, ADEM) is charged with helping people find jobs across the country. By registering as a job seeker, you can view and apply for vacancies on Portail de l’emploi. The administrative body for Luxembourg state describes the procedure of registering as a job seeker on its Citizens’ Portal, and where to find your local ADEM office.
If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can look for a job in Luxembourg through EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal, which is maintained by the European Commission. As well as looking for work, you can upload your CV and get advice on working in Luxembourg.
Job sites in Luxembourg
General job sites in Luxembourg:
English-speaking job sites:
Industry-specific job sites:
- IT jobs in Luxembourg – www.ictjob.lu
- Finance jobs in Luxembourg – www.efinancialcareers.lu
- Civil/government positions in Luxembourg – Public Service Portal
Details of the main Luxembourg recruitment agencies can be found on the website of the Luxembourg Union of Temporary Employment Agencies (Union Luxembourgeoise des Entreprises de Travail Intérimaire) or in online yellow pages (www.yellow.lu or www.editus.lu).
If you’re aged between 18 and 30 years old, there are several opportunities to work as an au pair in Luxembourg. The easiest way to find au pair jobs is to register with an agency, for example AuPairWorld although there are many to choose from.
Speculative applications are an acceptable way in Luxembourg to contact large companies, particularly by young graduates. You should not hesitate to apply in this way even if there are no job vacancies, as it might get you listed in a database of potential candidates if the company has one.
Industry bodies for advice on speculative applications include:
- Hotels and restaurants: www.horesca.lu
- Finance (Luxembourg Bankers’ Association, ABBL): www.abbl.lu
- Crafts and manual trades (Federation Des Artisans): www.fda.lu
- Industry and business services (Business Federation Luxembourg, FEDIL): www.fedil.lu
- Wholesale and retail trade and transport (CLC): www.clc.lu
Networking can be a good way of advancing your career in Luxembourg. There are various networking events taking place in Luxembourg, and even specialist groups, such as The Network, which host events for women at all stages of their career.
Traineeships, internships and volunteering in Luxembourg
Within the EU, traineeships for university graduates are offered via the European Commission Traineeships Office (Bureau de Stages). Internships or summer placements are arranged by AIESEC (for students and recent graduates), IAESTE (for students in science, engineering and applied arts), Europlacement, Intern Abroad and Graduateland.
Volunteers aged 17–30 years can find programs via the European Voluntary Service (EVS), where you work abroad for up to 12 months in exchange for board, food, insurance and a small allowance. Concordia and Anywork Anywhere are other organisastions for volunteer opportunities.
Embassies and foreign organisations
Check out opportunities at the embassies and consulates in Luxembourg. Most will expect a high standard of language skills.You can typically find jobs at your an embassy or consulate by looking on their post board or websites, for example:
- The British Embassy in Luxembourg
- US Embassy in Luxembourg
- French Embassy in Luxembourg
- German Embassy in Luxembourg
Set up a business or as a freelance worker in Luxembourg
You can also apply for a Luxembourg permit to start a business in Luxembourg.
Applying for a job in Luxembourg
You can find examples of CVs and cover letters online, for example at conseils-carriere.monster.lu. The public service ADEM also offers free job advice, such as preparing CVs or application letters. The Chamber of Employees website offers a useful series of standard forms of contracts and job-application letters.
By registering with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal, you can create your own CV under the heading ‘My EURES‘, and make it available to registered employers and EURES advisers who assist employers in their search for suitable candidates. The European Job Mobility Portal provides useful information on looking for jobs in Luxembourg below.
Writing a cover letter
The application letter is not simply an accompanying letter. It should be personal, carefully written, concise and relevant. It should highlight to what extent the applicant understands the post in question and the needs of the company, his/her strong points and the qualities that suit him/her to the job. Finally, it should spell out the applicant’s motivation, why he/she has chosen this particular company above any other.
Unless otherwise stated, letters should be in the language used in the advertisement. Letters sent with speculative applications should be written in French, or in English if applying to a large multinational.
A photograph is usually enclosed with the CV although this is optional. A CV generally consists of one or two typed (A4) pages giving details of the applicant’s training and previous work experience, language and computer/office skills and interests. The competences specified (especially linguistic competences) should be accurate, as they will be verified.