Iceland has a highly educated and skilled population, so expatriate workers will face competition. The way to increase chances of employment is to build skills before moving to Iceland and gain a good grasp of Icelandic language in order to seriously compete with the local workers.

Iceland’s main sector, the fishing industry, provides 40% of the country’s export earnings. Other sectors providing jobs include biotechnology, tourism and software production. Geothermal and hydropower brought foreign investments which further increased jobs.

Icelanders work forty hours a week minimum, but many tend to work longer hours to maintain the high standards of living. Workers get a minimum of twenty-four leave days and thirteen public days off. Minimum starting tax rate is 37% but can go up to 47% with higher salary.

Everyone living in Iceland must obtain an identity number, or they can’t even get a doctor’s appointment or buy a DVD! You can register at the police commissioner’s office, the town hall or at the National Registry. If the stay is for more than three months, then you have to legally change your residence to Iceland also. 

Short term work can usually be found in tourism related businesses during peak season. Many people also advertise online for help with running small private or tourism farms. This is in exchange for help with food service and maintenance work, looking after the animals and some minor repair work. Workers may get a small compensation but generally they are offered food and lodging. Workers can stay as long or little as is mutually agreeable.


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