Working in Italy?

Aparna Image
08/18/2009 - 05:08

Hi all,I'm a New Zealand citizen and I want to come to Italy and work as an electrical engineer. Is it difficult to get a permit to work there? Also, do Italians feel comfortable with foreigners coming to Italy for work?Cheers,Aparna



 As far as I know, you will not be qualified to work in italy as an electrical engineer - you will have to have the italian qualification to work legally - this means a course in Italian and exams in Italian.   A shortcut might be to apprentice yourself to an electrician, but it would undoubtedly be frustrating - I would suggest you get in touch with your Italian consulate in new Zealand and see if they can help you as to job requirements. 

HI, I used an excellent Electrical engineer in the Monferrato area, he is from Valenza, his name is Andrea Lenti. Look for him on Facebbok and get in touch, he will be able to give you a few tips! ( or look for him within my frioend, my name is Paola Pasino, I think there are two, I am the one with dark hair) Paola

 I would look into it in detail - the Italian labour market (especially now) is not really dynamic and unless you are willing to be creative and flexible (i.e. self-employed) it may be hard to find a way in.That said it does not mean that there are no opportunities - it's just that it is not straightforward.

 I would suggest you decide for another European country, if you can choose.In my experience it is next to impossible, but then, the fact that I'm female and being a mother - and live in Central Italy  -probably makes it worse. Speaking italian is a MUST  in any case.Then, if you go up north, companies are perhaps not looking so much into the fact that you haven't studied in Italy, but more into your specific work experience, but  you need to have very high qualifications to get permanent employment in Italy.To be self-employed as a professional engineer requires that you become a member of the albo, ie. Ordini degli Ingegneri to be able to sign electrical projects. Also here you may find some difficulty since you're not a EU-citizen. In fact, EU-citizens can now get their "abilitazione" without sustaining the "Esame di Stato" if they were already abilitated for this type of work in their home country.Otherwise, to gain access to the Esame di Stato (for later registration with the Ordine degli Ingegneri) you first have to have your exam/title validated in Italy. As far as I know the only way is to sign up for university and ask for merit transfer for the exams already done and then see what the university says.I half-heartedly started this process myself, but gave up.I'm a chemical engineer. For civil, electrical and mechanical engineers entering the albo is easier, because traditional self-employed engineers do house-projects, geological studies, air-condition/heating, antiseismic calculations, electrical systems and so on. Only problem is that it doesn't necessarily guarantee that afterwards you'll have work. Of course, knowing somebody who knows somebody changes everything..The Ministero degli Esteri have information about riconoscimento titoli accademici stranieri, equipollenza etc. on their website.It is not straightforward and may take you several years to build up you own business, so inform yourself on the consulate, ask at the ministry, and at the engineering association in the area where you intend to live. Good luck, you'll need it!

 Sablanico is right, but not all jobs have the equivalent abilitazione from other EU countries, where the law is different in Italy.  To have a sandwich bar, for example - a health and hygiene certificate from the Uk would cut no ice with the need for a certificato per alimentari - for which you must do the 10 week course and the oral exam at the end of it.    If you have a 'modern' job the cross over is much more painless, but for the more traditional small family business type jobs, there is no escape from the requisite Italian certfication.