Best European countries for a U.S. architect to find work?


I would like to eventually move to Europe and be able to still work in the architecture industry. My first choice is the UK, but my research suggests this is a difficult market to break into without being registered and many firms do not hire overseas workers. My other top choices would be the Netherlands and Germany (or any German speaking country like Austria or Switzerland since I can speak basic German). I am open to suggestions. Has any U.S. architects moved to Europe and how was the experience finding work?

Thanks everyone for your time!

Aug 27, 15 1:39 pm

I did exactly what you are looking to do. After college I moved to the UK and worked for a big name firm for seven years. It is not true that being registered will prevent you from being hired. Also firms in London and other parts of the UK hire many overseas workers, in fact some hire more foreigners than locals. I would suggest UK as a good entry into Europe since you are a native English speaker. Then once you are there relocating to another country could be an option. I assume you will need a work permit? I recommend spending a couple of weeks and take a trip over there to do as many interviews as possible.

Good luck!


Aug 27, 15 3:03 pm  · 

The UK is recovering swiftly from the economic recession, but Turkey is one of the fastest growing in Europe for Architecture and architecture related jobs (i.e. structural engineering, BIM modelling/integrated design technicians, etc). I would urge you to look there, as the countries proficiency in English is very good too. The only real danger with Turkey is the conflict in Syria spilling over. 

A few places to avoid include:

Italy- There's more architects in Italy than any other European country, and the standard rate is spiralling as more post-grads seek employment elsewhere. they're even integrating English lessons into the curriculum as students will likely have to seek work outside of the country.

Greece-For obvious reasons, Greece is not a viable option for work outside of the tourism industry.

The UK does have some good incentives, including the scheme to give more minorities the opportunity to study and practice architecture

Hope this was of some help, and good luck!

Sep 23, 15 11:37 am  · 

Re-igniting this thread, I was curious about a position posted in Switzerland and after doing some research I found that I would need a work permit. What kind of leg work does this take? I'm still pretty early in my career, but i was curious about foreign opportunities (I'm from the US). Anyone with relevant experience applying, getting, and moving overseas? There was another in Japan too...

Feb 1, 23 10:34 am  · 

for any EU/European country you need an office to sponsor you. Not so easy as it costs serious money and they have "prove" they cant find a European to do the job.

Feb 1, 23 10:49 am  · 
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its more difficult for an American to get the paperwork done in EU than visa versa. Some offices will take on ppl without doing paperwork knowing things are sometimes lax.

Feb 1, 23 11:14 am  · 
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Try the Netherlands, it is an international hub for architecture and design, and is a great place for an architect to find work. With a vibrant cityscape, the Netherlands offers a variety of projects, and has plenty of opportunities for talented architects.

Feb 1, 23 12:19 pm  · 
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