Are you considering pursuing a career in Portugal? If so, you might be wondering about the Portuguese job market, work visas, salaries, work culture, and taxation in this southern European country.

In this guide, we'll delve into each of these topics to give you guidance on finding a job in Portugal.


Work in Portugal

Startup-VisaPortugal has been slowly and steadily improving its work infrastructure. With fast WiFi and internet connectivity, international company offices, tech start-ups, modern co-working spaces, and a range of visas designed to attract skilled workers into the country, work in Portugal is booming.

The job market in Portugal

The Portuguese labor market has undergone significant changes over the past decade, with the country gradually emerging from a recession that began in 2008.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Portugal's economy has shown signs of resilience, and the unemployment rate has been gradually declining. While the unemployment rate in 2013 was over 16 percent, as of January 2023, it stands at just over 6 percent.

One of the areas of growth in Portugal's job market is the technology sector, with Lisbon increasingly becoming a hub for startups and tech companies. Other industries that are seeing growth include the tourism and hospitality sector, real estate, and healthcare.

Job vacancies in Portugal

portugal biggest insurance companiesAccording to the European Commission, Portuguese companies are often looking for workers in sectors such as:

  • Information and communication technology (particularly IT engineers and software engineers)
  • Call centers, customer support, shared services centers (e.g., human resources, sales, administration)
  • Health (e.g., doctors and nurses)
  • Hotels, tourism, hospitality, restaurant, bars, and cafés
  • Agriculture (seasonal employment), particularly fruit and vegetable picking
  • Construction (plumbers, electricians, and other skilled workers).

Job salaries in Portugal

Salaries in Portugal vary widely depending on the sector, job type, and level of experience. The current minimum wage in Portugal is €820 a month, with the average gross salary being around €1,400 per month. However, this figure varies greatly depending on the industry and location.

For example, jobs in the technology sector tend to pay higher salaries, with software engineers, data scientists, and project managers often earning upwards of €2,000 per month. Similarly, the average salary on offer in major cities such as Lisbon and Porto tends to be higher than in other parts of the country.

Work culture in Portugal

1workingremotelyinPortugalThe work culture in Portugal is generally more relaxed and informal than in many other countries, particularly in comparison to other European countries such as Germany and the UK. Of course, the workplace culture will also depend on the company. You may find that start-ups are more relaxed whereas larger corporations may be more traditional in their approach. People generally tend to value a good work-life balance, and taking breaks throughout the day to enjoy coffee or lunch with colleagues is common.

However, this doesn't mean the Portuguese don't take their work seriously. In fact, many people work long hours and are highly committed to their jobs. It's also worth noting that punctuality is important in Portugal, so arriving on time for meetings and appointments is advisable.

Labor laws and labor rights in Portugal

Portugal has a comprehensive set of labor laws that protect the rights of workers. These laws include provisions for minimum wage, working hours, paid holidays, and overtime pay.

Portugal also has a strong social security system (segurança social), which provides benefits including unemployment benefits, maternity and paternity leave, and sick leave. However, it's worth noting that the country's labor laws and social protections can be complex, so it's advisable to seek professional advice if you have any questions or concerns.


Jobseeking in Portugal: How to Find Listings

If you're interested in working in Portugal, you might wonder how to find job opportunities. Here are some tips on where to look for the latest job openings and how to increase your chances of getting a good job in Portugal.


EURES is a job portal the European Commission runs that helps job seekers find work throughout the European Union, including Portugal. The portal offers job postings and advice on living and working in different countries. It's a good place to start your job search, especially if you're looking for work that matches your qualifications and experience.

The portal ensures that European citizens can benefit from work opportunities despite language barriers and cultural differences. EURES has listed over 3.9 million jobs to date.

Public job sites

The Portuguese government also operates several public job sites, including the Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP). These sites often offer job listings in various sectors, including healthcare, tourism, education, and technology.

Job search websites

Several private job websites offer job listings in Portugal. These include sites such as pt.linkedin,, Sapo Emprego, and Alerta Emprego. These sites allow you to search for jobs by industry, location, and experience level. You can also create job alerts that send vacancies straight to your inbox.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be an excellent resource for finding jobs in Portugal, particularly if you're looking for work in a specific industry. Agencies keep your CV on file and match you with potential employers or suitable vacancies.

Some of Portugal's most popular recruitment agencies include Hays, Adecco, and Randstad.

Foreign language teaching

If you're a fluent speaker of another language, such as French, German, or Spanish, you may be able to find work teaching your language in Portugal. Many language schools and universities offer foreign language courses, and there is often a high demand for qualified language teachers.

Alternatively, you can find work teaching English as a foreign language - especially if you have a qualification such as CELTA under your belt and you're looking for English-speaking jobs. This can be a great entry-level job and allows a degree of flexibility, whether you want to do it occasionally or full time.

Embassies and foreign organizations

Embassies and foreign organizations in Portugal can be a great resource for job seekers, particularly if you have expertise in a specific field. Many foreign organizations operate in Portugal, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Health Organization.


real estate contract portugal

Local newspapers can be a good resource for looking for expat jobs in Portugal. Some of the most popular newspapers in Portugal with regular job adverts and job listings include Público, Expresso, and Diário de Notícias.

Make the first move – speculative applications

If you're interested in working for a particular company, it's worth considering making a speculative application. This involves sending your CV and a cover letter to a company, even if they don't have any current job vacancies. If the company is impressed with your application, they may consider creating a job for you or contacting you in the future when a job becomes available.

LinkedIn is an amazing tool as it lets you search and network with employees in companies you'd like to work for. LinkedIn can be a great place to find companies and contacts in your job search. It allows you to filter vacancies by your preferences, e.g. whether you want an entry-level role, if you're looking for full-time work five days a week, or part-time work.

Finally, we'd recommend using the create job alerts feature which will send appropriate vacancies straight to your email inbox.


Jobs in Portugal for Foreigners

Image of people in office working surrounded by laptops and monitors giving tips on finding a job in Portugal | GetNifPortugal has recently opened its doors to foreign nationals, offering diverse employment opportunities across various sectors over the past years.

Just keep in mind that Portuguese language skills can significantly influence your job prospects in the country.

While proficiency in Portuguese is beneficial, there are many job opportunities in urban areas that prioritize English-speaking skills.

Before starting their job search, foreign nationals must obtain the necessary work visas and permits to ensure legal employment in Portugal.

Jobs in Portugal for English Speakers

To find English-speaking jobs in Portugal, specialized skills and a proactive approach are valued.

If you're a native English speaker or have a high level of proficiency in English, you might want to consider looking for jobs that require English language skills.

English-speaking jobs in Portugal could include positions in international companies, language schools, and opportunities in the digital marketing area and the tourism industry.

The most popular jobs for English-speaking expats in Portugal:

English Teaching

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a popular choice for English speakers living in Portugal.

Options range from teaching in language schools to private tutoring.

Relevant teaching certifications can enhance job prospects.

Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism-related jobs and hospitality jobs, such as tour guides, hotel staff, and customer service roles, often seek English-speaking employees.

IT and Tech

Portugal's tech sector is growing, and some tech companies seek English-speaking talent for roles such as software development and customer support.

Lisbon is one of the most attractive locations for tech start-ups in the world, and English is commonly used in the business environment in this field.

Over the past five years, the city became a startup hub, and it now offers a number of jobs in the IT business, especially for web developers.


Self-Employment and Freelancing in Portugal

freelancer in PortugalAround 16.9 percent of people in Portugal are self-employed or freelancers, and with good reason. Portugal has welcomed freelancers with visas allowing self-employment, such as the Digital Nomad Visa and the Tech Visa. Following the implementation of these visa programs, there are now also many digital nomads in Portugal, with many international companies now offerring opportunities for working remotely.

In order to legally work as a self-employed freelancer in Portugal, you must register with the Portuguese tax authorities (Autoridade Tributária). The first step in this process is to get a NIF - Portugal's tax identification number.

If you're considering working freelance in Portugal, we can help you get your NIF from anywhere in the world. Our guide, 'Self-Employment Registration for a Freelancer in Portugal,' talks you through everything you need to get set up as a self-employed worker in Portugal.


Traineeships, Internships, and Volunteering in Portugal

If you're looking to gain experience in Portugal, several options are available, including traineeships, internships, and volunteering. These opportunities can be an excellent way to gain practical experience, develop your skills, and build your professional network.


Traineeships are temporary work placements that offer young people the chance to gain work experience in their field of study. Many companies in Portugal offer traineeships to university students or recent graduates, allowing them to gain practical experience in a real working environment.


Internships are similar to traineeships but are often open to a wider range of applicants. They can last from a few weeks to several months, and many companies in Portugal offer paid or unpaid internships in various fields. Internships can be a great way to gain practical experience and make connections in your industry.

Many universities in Portugal have career centers that can help you find traineeships and internships related to your field of study.


Volunteering is another great way to gain experience and contribute to a good cause. Several organizations in Portugal rely on volunteers to support their work, and many opportunities are available in various fields, including healthcare, education, and social services. Volunteering can also be a great way to meet new people, practice your language skills, and immerse yourself in Portuguese culture.

Many volunteering organizations in Portugal, such as the Portuguese Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, offer volunteer opportunities in various fields. For holiday volunteering opportunities, you can check Workaway.


Applying for a Job in Portugal

When applying for a job in Portugal, it's important to remember that the job application process may differ from what you're used to in your home country. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the recruitment process:

Create a strong CV

In Portugal, a CV (curriculum vitae) is usually required and should include your education, work experience, evidence of your hard and soft skills (such as communication and teamwork), and any relevant skills or certifications. Ensure your CV is tailored to the job you're applying for and highlight your most relevant experience and skills. Your CV should be from one page to two pages long.

Write a cover letter

A cover letter is not always required in Portugal, but it can be a good way to introduce yourself to potential employers and explain why you're interested in the job.

Two people sat at a table discussing Jobs in Portugal, | GetNifBe prepared for an interview

If you're invited for an interview, make sure you're prepared to answer questions about your experience, job skills, and why you're interested in the job. It's also a good idea to research the company as part of your interview preparation so that you can ask informed questions. Have several references prepared from previous employers, as HR might ask you for them if the interview goes well.

Research the company culture

Make sure that the company is an equal opportunity employer, who will hire regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.


Support While Looking for a Job in Portugal

If you're struggling to find a job in Portugal, several organizations can provide support and resources. Here are a few examples:

Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP): The IEFP is a public organization that provides job search support, job training programs, and other resources to job seekers.

Career centers: Many universities and professional organizations in Portugal have career centers that can provide job search support and guidance.

Recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies can help match you with potential employers and may have access to job opportunities that aren't publicly advertised.


Requirements to Work in Portugal

If you are interested in working in Portugal, there are certain legal requirements you need to meet to work in the country. These requirements may differ depending on what your national origin is. Namely, whether you are an European Union/European Economic Activity/Swiss national or whether you are a third-country national.

If you're an EU/EEA/Switzerland member, you do not need a visa to work in Portugal. However, you will need a work visa and a residence permit if you're from a third country, such as the United Kingdom or the United States.

Work visas in Portugal

Depending on the nature of the work you will be carrying out in Portugal, there are different work visas available.

We'd recommend contacting your local Portuguese Embassy or Portuguese Consulate for more information on the visa requirements for your country.

Digital Nomad Visa

Recruitment agent in Portugal helping expats find jobs in Portugal, image of person in front of laptop screen with phone on table next to laptop | GetNifThe Digital Nomad Visa is catered to people working remotely in Portugal. The visa, launched in 2022, requires workers to earn four times the national minimum wage in Portugal, around $3,515 (€3,280) per month. As well as meeting the minimum income requirement, you must also provide proof of valid health insurance as well as have a rental agreement or proof of a property purchase as evidence that you have somewhere to stay in Portugal.

The D7 Residency Visa is initially granted for 120 days, during which you must present at the SEF to receive a temporary residence permit.

The residence permit granted through the D7 Visa is valid for two years and can then be renewed for a three-year period. After this, it can then be converted into a permanent residence permit.

After this five-year period of holding a legal residence permit under the D7 Visa regime, you’ll be able to request Portuguese citizenship and a passport.

D3 Visa (Highly-skilled Worker Visa)

The D3 Visa is a work visa for individuals with a high level of education and special skills who have an employment contract with a Portuguese company. This includes scientific researchers, professors, and Ph.D. students.

To qualify, your contract must have a validity of at least one year and your estimated annual pay must be at least 1.5 times as much as the gross national average in Portugal or three times the index of social support.

Seasonal Worker Visa

With this visa, you can carry out seasonal work in Portugal in sectors such as agriculture, accommodation, catering, and similar. This is ideal if you intend to enter the country as an expat to work a summer job.

To be eligible, you need to have health insurance, accommodation, and proof of the financial means to support yourself. Applicants obtain a temporary residence permit in the country for up to 90 days, which can be extended for a maximum of nine months.

portugal taxing systemLanguage requirements to work in Portugal

This will depend on the nature of the work you plan to carry out in Portugal. Some jobs, such as remote work, will not demand that you speak Portuguese, whereas others might. Most job listings will state what languages are required for the position.

Qualifications to work in Portugal

Qualification requirements will also vary depending on the role. Again, we'd recommend reading the job listing carefully and contacting the company to clarify what their qualification requirements are for the post.

Tax and social security numbers in Portugal

If you're working in Portugal, you need to get up to grips with the tax and social security system. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals need to appoint a fiscal representative in Portugal who will be a point of contact between the Portuguese tax authorities and yourself.

Your fiscal representative can also apply for a NIF on your behalf. EU citizens can apply for their own NIF and must register as taxpayers.

You might be eligible to benefit from the non-habitual tax residency (NHR) scheme. NHR tax status allows generous exemptions on foreign-based income and capital gains.

Finally, you will need a Portuguese social security identification number (NISS). Your NISS allows you to make social security contributions and access the social security system, which includes subsidized healthcare, maternity or paternity leave, and unemployment assistance.


Starting a Job in Portugal

If you're offered a job in Portugal, congratulations! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to start your new job:

Man signing papers and signing employment contract in Portugal | GetNif

Get a NIF

You must get a NIF if you're starting an economic activity in Portugal, such as receiving a wage or signing a work contract. We're experts on getting a NIF, so reach out to us today, and we can help you get a NIF quickly and conveniently.

Obtain a work permit

If you're a non-EU citizen, you'll need to obtain a work permit before you can start working in Portugal.

Open a bank account

You'll need a Portuguese bank account to receive your salary and pay bills. Click here to read our guide on how to open a bank account in Portugal.

Register for social security

You'll need to register for social security in Portugal to access healthcare and other benefits. Your employer will apply for the social security number on your behalf, and you will need to provide them with the following documents for them to do so:

Understand your job contract

Make sure you carefully review your employment contract and understand your rights and responsibilities as an employee in Portugal.

In Portugal, your probation period at a new job depends on both your contract type and your specific role. If you have a permanent contract, your probation period could last anywhere from three to eight months. For positions with shorter, fixed-term contracts or less formal agreements, the probation period is typically much shorter, ranging from two to four weeks. During your probation period, the notice period for ending your employment might also be shorter than usual.

In terms of benefits, your employer may give you the opportunity to opt into a company pension, which can be a good way to boost the benefits that you gain from the state pension.


To Wrap Things Up

Image of a boardroom meeting with employees scribbling notes into yellow notepads, starting a job in Portugal | GetNifPortugal offers a wide range of job opportunities for both residents and foreigners. The country's job market has steadily grown in recent years, particularly in fields such as technology, healthcare, and tourism.

Additionally, Portugal's relaxed and friendly work culture, beautiful scenery, and rich cultural heritage make it an attractive destination for those looking to start or advance their careers abroad.

With a little research, preparation, and determination, you can successfully navigate Portugal's job market and enjoy all this beautiful country has to offer. So, if you're considering a move to Portugal, now is a great time to explore the many career opportunities available and take the next steps toward building a fulfilling and successful career in this vibrant country.


Frequently Asked Questions About Jobs in Portugal

Which jobs are in demand in Portugal?

The most in-demand jobs in Portugal are:

  • Web developers and IT professionals
  • Healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses
  • Real estate agents
  • Customer Service
  • Banking and finance-related roles
  • Content creators
  • Jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry

Can you get a job in Portugal if you only speak English?

Yes, you can get a job in Portugal if you only speak English. While Portuguese language skills are preferred and knowledge of other European languages can be an asset, there are jobs in Portugal for English speakers.

How many jobs are there in Portugal?

The number of jobs in Portugal fluctuates over time and can vary by region and industry. According to the latest data, there are 61,626 job vacancies advertised in Portugal. 

Are jobs easy to find in Portugal?

The job market in Portugal can be competitive, especially in certain industries and regions. However, job opportunities are available, particularly tech jobs and various positions in the healthcare and tourism industries.

Which jobs are popular in Portugal?

The most in-demand jobs in Portugal include positions in the technology, healthcare, and tourism industries. Jobs related to education, social services, and government are also popular in the country. Additionally, there is a high demand for skilled workers in fields like engineering, IT, and finance.

What is the average salary in Portugal?

The average monthly salary in Portugal declared to Social Security in 2023 was €1,463, reflecting a 7.2 percent increase from the previous year. Some studies suggest potential average figures closer to €2,600 based on different methodologies.

What are some good tips to find a job in Portugal from the USA?

Important things to bear in mind for US citizens looking to find a job in Portugal include understanding visa requirements, adapting your application materials to the Portuguese format and highlighting language skills, actively networking within the desired industry, and considering the nuances of the local work culture to effectively transition and maximize your chances of success.

What jobs pay well in Portugal?

Portugal's highest paying jobs are:

  • General health director in the private health sector
  • Software engineer
  • Cybersecurity specialist
  • Surgeons and other specialized health professionals.
  • Digital marketers
  • Chief information officer (CIO)
  • E-commerce manager