What Jobs Are In-Demand in Belgium? [2022-2023 Guide]

Are you looking for a job in Belgium, but you aren’t a diplomat? Fortunately, Belgium has a strong economy, hence, plenty of jobs in other sectors. The country also has a sharp shortage and demand for professionals in particular areas. Consequently, foreigners might find employment in such areas easier.

Generally, most jobs with high demand in Belgium are concentrated in the following sectors:

  • IT
  • Services
  • Finance and banking
  • Medicine
  • Industry and production
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Retail
  • Transport and logistics

The highest diversity of in-demand jobs has been seen in construction and various industrial organizations.

Jobs in high demand are the best for foreigners looking for career opportunities abroad. Belgium is popular among expats working in the government but less so for other professionals. Yet, it’s an amazing place to work and live with competitive wages and high quality of life. Read this article to learn where the best job opportunities lie in 2023.

If you are curious what salary you can earn in Belgium, check out our guide.

Most in-demand jobs and skills in Belgium in 2022-2023

Belgium has more jobs than the candidates. In 2022 and onwards, more than three out of four Belgian employers (76%) are experiencing difficulties in hiring. One out of five businesses reports a massive problem in finding suitable candidates.

In Belgium, the majority of new jobs are created in the following areas (2022):

  • IT, Technology, Telecommunications, Communication & Media (+47%) 
  • Wholesale & Retail / Supply Chain & Logistics (+35%)
  • Public services, health, education and social services (+25%)
  • Finance, banking, insurance and real estate (+24%)
  • Hospitality, culture and leisure (+23%)

The percentage indicates the increase in the number of jobs.

Furthermore, employers in the IT sector struggle to recruit people like no one else. 86% of surveyed companies face the challenge of finding qualified workers.

According to official data from the Flemish Service for Employment, current professions have been on the shortage list for several years:

  1. Nurses
  2. Technicians in industrial installation
  3. Site managers and construction conductors
  4. Technicians in refrigeration and air conditioning
  5. Maintenance mechanics
  6. Tractor-trailer drivers
  7. Cleaners
  8. Technicians for construction, agricultural and lifting machines
  9. Industrial electrical installers

Working in Belgium

While Belgium contains three regions: Flemish, Brussels-Capital Region, and Walloon, the majority of jobs can be found in Flemish. This region also speaks Dutch, while in Walloon, people communicate in French. That said, you can also find a job in English if choosing the right sector and employer.

How many jobs are out there? Since the pandemic is over, Belgium companies are actively hiring personnel, yet, they have experienced a lack of qualified workers in the labor market.

For instance, in the second quarter of 2022, there were 213,822 open vacancies at Belgian companies compared to 205,877 in the first quarter of 2022.

That said, here is the comprehensive list of in-demand jobs in Belgium in 2022-2023. If you have qualifications and work experience in one of these areas, you have a great chance of being hired.

1. Jobs in administration

Bank specialists

Most jobs in this area that are in shortage require a combination of commercial qualities, technical knowledge, and language skills. The following specialists in banking and finance are in-demand in Belgium:

  • Credit advisor
  • Financial advisor
  • Insurance specialist
  • Insurance administrator
  • Insurance consultant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accountant
  • Human resources manager

Other in-demand jobs in administration

  • Call center employee
  • Commercial clerk
  • Other specialized administrative employees
  • Technical administrative assistant
  • Responsible accounting and financial audit and control
  • Property manager

2. Construction

Jobs in construction are in-demand all over the world and not only in Belgium. Moreover, there is a list of shortage professions in this area so that you will have the best chances of employment.

The following positions in the construction industry are in-demand:

  • Surveyor
  • Construction engineer
  • Construction conductor
  • Site manager
  • Construction calculator
  • Construction office technician

Building site workers

Site workers that are in demand:

  • Plasterer
  • Bricklayer
  • Deck carpenter
  • Natural stone worker
  • Construction handler

Shortage occupations in construction

As we mentioned, many occupations in construction fall into the shortage list, including:

  • Decking floor master
  • Flooring tiler master
  • Flat roofing roofer
  • Industrial roof roofer
  • Assembler of metal facade and roof elements
  • Carpenter
  • Exterior joinery worker
  • Interior fittings fitter
  • Glass worker
  • Painter
  • Installer of floor coverings

Other shortage jobs in construction (2022)

Minor shortages have been seen across the following professions in construction:

  • Installers and electricians in construction
  • Residential electrical installer
  • Network installer
  • Plumbing installer
  • Central heating installation technician
  • Installer of ventilation systems
  • Road worker
  • Machinery operator
  • Drilling and pile driver

3. Communication and knowledge professions

Consultants

If you are a consultant, your services might be sought-after in large and medium Belgian enterprises. For instance, the following professionals are highly sought after:

  • Business analyst
  • Senior IT staff
  • Professional for integration and implementation of IT and computer technologies
  • Managing IT staff
  • Network Administrator
  • Database Administrator
  • ICT application developer
  • Analyst Developer IT
  • Expert in R&D
  • Auditor
  • Tax auditor

4. Jobs in various services

Companies are always hiring lower-qualified service jobs. These jobs are also the easiest and quickest to get:

  • Hairdresser
  • Laundry worker
  • Industrial maintenance worker
  • Industrial cleaner
  • Cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Security guard

5. Hospitality, retails and sales personnel

Although many jobs in hospitality are service jobs, we have a dedicated list for them.

Hotel and kitchen staff

  • Hotel manager
  • Restaurant manager
  • Kitchen staff
  • Head chef
  • Assistant chef
  • Room staff
  • Bartender
  • Waiter
  • Assistant waiter

Jobs in retail

  • Food retail salesperson
  • Store manager
  • Retail store manager
  • Department store manager
  • Technical customer support staff
  • Technical-commercial advisor
  • Representative

6. Industrial jobs

Managers and technicians

  • Technical managers
  • Production manager
  • Industrial production manager
  • Process and production technician
  • Technician – production process and methods
  • Technician – research and development in electricity and electronics
  • Technician – research and development in the process industry
  • Quality controller

Shortage occupations in the industry

  • Electromechanical engineering technician
  • Technician – electrical and electronic appliances
  • Technician – electronic installations
  • Technician – industrial installations
  • Technician – designer industrial automation
  • Technician – industrial automation
  • Technician – communication networks
  • Technician – Elevator maintenance
  • Technician – refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Technician – heating system maintenance
  • Technician of vehicles
  • Other technicians
  • Furniture and wood technician
  • Draughtsmen

Other shortage occupations in the industry

  • Industrial occupations and trades
  • Woodworker
  • Welder
  • Metalworking machine operator
  • Mechanic for metal construction
  • Assembly and assembly operator
  • Pipe fitter
  • Machine builder
  • Maintenance mechanic
  • Vehicle mechanic
  • Maintenance mechanic of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
  • Maintenance mechanic of commercial vehicles or trucks
  • Bicycle repairer
  • Industrial electrical fitter
  • Chemical and plastics operator
  • Industrial production laboratory technician
  • Specialized production worker
  • Industrial painter

Food workers

  • Baker and confectioner
  • Pastry chef
  • Chocolate worker
  • Bakery assistant
  • Meat and fish worker
  • Butcher

7. Medical, paramedical and nursing jobs

  • Physician
  • Specialists, including general practitioner, geriatrics, emergency, psychiatry, ophthalmology and rheumatology
  • Physiotherapist
  • Physiotherapist in elderly care
  • Pharmacist
  • Hospital pharmacist
  • Paramedics
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optician
  • Nurse

Shortage occupations in medicine

  • Laboratory technician
  • Dental technician
  • Nurse
  • Head nurse
  • Specialized nurse
  • Caregiver

8. Teaching jobs

  • Managerial positions in schools
  • Secondary school teacher, especially in technical subjects as well as mathematics, French, and Dutch
  • Nursery or elementary school teacher
  • Instructional personnel
  • Driving instructor
  • Educator
  • Child care manager
  • Child care supervisor

9. Transportation and logistics jobs

  • Logistics manager
  • Forwarder
  • Freight forwarder
  • Goods dispatcher
  • Customs clearance clerk
  • Executive logistics employee
  • Mail and print distributor
  • Postman
  • Mover
  • Other transport and logistics professions

Shortage occupations in transportation

  • Driver
  • Tractor-trailer driver
  • Truck driver
  • Coach driver
  • Private passenger driver e.g. taxi
  • Skipper on inland waterways

You can see the complete list of jobs in demand in Belgium here.

Top five high-demand jobs in Belgium

To summarise our extensive list, here are the most prestigious and realistic in-demand jobs that you can get as a foreigner in Belgium:

  1. Site manager
  2. Store manager
  3. Business analyst
  4. Electrical technician
  5. Nurse
  6. School teacher
  7. Logistics manager

1. Site manager

Average salary 2022: €76,357

A site manager is a construction manager, in other words. They manage the construction process from the beginning to the end. This is a responsible position for supervising construction sites and running construction projects. A site manager is highly involved in hiring, necessary installations, and progress monitoring.

The primary duties of a typical construction manager include:

  • Supervising and overseeing the project, ensuring the client’s specifications and requirements are met.
  • Coordinating and supervising construction workers.
  • Reviewing building process to ensure compliance with forecast budgets, project management procedures and health and safety guidelines.
  • Implementing and updating documentation as required.
  • Checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings.
  • Maintaining quality control procedures.

Skills any good site manager should have:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making ability
  • Commercial awareness
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Teamworking skills
  • Good knowledge of building methods and regulations.

2. Store manager

Average salary 2022: €37,324 according to Payscale. However, with experience, a store manager can earn up to €50,000.

As the name says, a store manager manages the store or retail. They are responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day supervision of retail outlets, including sales, staff, stock, and resources management.

They oversee the daily operations, making sure it runs smoothly and effectively. A store manager is also in charge of all workers in the retail outlet. Fortunately, you don’t need a university degree to work as a store manager, yet working in retail might be required.

The primary duties of a store manager include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supervising store staff
  • Managing budgets
  • Maintaining statistical and financial records
  • Dealing with customer queries and complaints
  • Overseeing pricing and stock control

The skills you need to bring:

  • Verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Numerical skills
  • Managerial skills, e.g., organizational

3. Business analyst

Average salary 2022: €44,247. Experienced business analysts can earn up to €80,000.

Business analysts help a company by analyzing data, assessing processes and systems, creating solutions, and planning for the future. They identify areas that need improvement to increase the overall efficiency and profitability of the business.

As you might assume, business analysts, are needed in all organizations since every business can benefit from a comprehensive overview of its processes.

Tasks and duties of the business analyst include:

  • Using SQL and Excel to analyze large data sets
  • Identifying the major gaps and potential in the processes of the business
  • Analyzing business strategies, goals, and requirements
  • Planning enterprise architecture (the structure of a business)
  • Forecasting, budgeting, and performing both variance analysis and financial analysis
  • Compiling charts, tables, and other elements of data visualization 
  • Creating financial models to support business decisions

To work as a business analyst in Belgium, you will need at least a Bachelor’s degree and related experience.

Skills a successful business analyst must have:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to work under pressure on multiple projects within your project timeframes
  • Excellent analytical skills and an informed, evidence-based approach
  • Strong interest in business and business development
  • Understanding of IT and technologies that businesses use

4. Electrical technician

Average salary 2022: €42,000 – €60,000.

Electrical technicians can be employed in various types of businesses and organizations. This is one of the most common and sought-after jobs in many European countries.

They work in offices or factories, either supervising other electricians or as part of a production team. Electrical technicians can specialize in a particular industry where they design, inspect, construct, and repair the electrical systems of a device.

The main tasks of an electrical technician are:

  • Identifying, repairing, or replacing defective systems or components of a device or a machine.
  • Evaluating, testing, and maintaining electrical or electronic wiring, equipment, appliances, and apparatus.
  • Troubleshooting and repairing malfunctioning equipment, appliances, and apparatus.
  • Supervising electricians.
  • Ordering of electrical supplies and equipment.

The basic skills required for this position are technical, problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and experience with hand tools and fault-testing equipment.

You can work as an electrical technician in Belgium with vocational qualifications or related, meaning no university degree is required.

Getting a work residence permit in Belgium

You must meet a minimum salary requirement to get a work visa to Belgium. In 2022, the minimum salary was increased to at least €54,115 for the most common visa among non-EU/EEA applicants, EU Blue Card.

However, in 2023, the salary will be set to €55,181 gross per year. If you are highly qualified, you shouldn’t face many challenges finding an employer that pays this amount. Yet, of course, it depends on your profession.

Below is an overview of salary requirements for various resident permits in Belgium. These thresholds apply to the largest region in the country, Flanders:

Residence permit typeSalary threshold (annual gross salary)
Highly skilled professionals€45,096 euros in 2022 and €45,984 in 2023.
However, you only need 80% of the average gross annual salary in Belgium (€36,079 in 2022) if you have an employment contract with a Belgian company and are younger than 30 or are a nurse.
Shortage occupationsNo salary requirement
Managers€72,154 in 2022 and €73,574 in 2023.
EU Blue Card€54,115 in 2022 and €55,181 in 2023.
Intra-corporate TransferSpecialist €45,096 in 2022 and €45,984 in 2023. Trainee employee €28,056.
Locally hired highly skilled staff under 30 years old€34,819
Source: www.vlaanderen.be

Where to look for a job in Belgium

The best to search for a job in Belgium is online. The largest online job boards in Belgium are:

You can also look for a suitable position directly on the company’s website. Here are large Belgian employers that might be hiring foreigners:

  • Ageas (insurance)
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (brewing)
  • Bekaert (steel wires)
  • Banque Nationale de Belgique (banking)
  • Colruyt Group (food retail)
  • D’Ieteren (vehicle distribution)
  • Elia (energy)
  • KBC Bank (banking)
  • Proximus (telecommunications)
  • Solvay (chemicals)
  • UCB (biopharmaceuticals)
  • Umicore (materials technology)

Best job opportunities for foreigners in Belgium

Foreign workers are often employed in embassies and other governmental organizations in Belgium, but it should be the only case. In fact, Belgium is a great place to work whether you are skilled trade professional or a marketer. This country has plenty of job opportunities for people looking to grow further.

Arguably, the majority of jobs can be found in Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent. If you speak the language of the region, you have better chances of getting a job also in other locations.

That said, the best job opportunities indeed lie in the areas with the skill shortage that include:

  • IT
  • Finance and banking
  • Medicine and health
  • Industry and production
  • Construction
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Retail
  • Transport and logistics

Following workers are on the list of labor shortages:

  • Accountants
  • Administrative staff
  • Architects
  • Electricians, plumbers, joiners and plasterers
  • Engineers, technicians and mechanics
  • IT staff
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Project managers
  • Teachers
  • Technical and commercial sales representatives

Salaries in Belgium

In 2022, an average full-time employee earns €3,624 gross per month gross. After taxes, that’s about €43,488 annually or about €2,060 net per month. In Brussels, the average salary was €3,417 a month in 2022.

With that amount, a single can have a decent lifestyle in most regions, yet less likely in Brussels. For instance, the current cost of living in the Belgian capital is €1,948 for a single.

A family living in Brussels needs around €60,000 to maintain a good quality of life.

That said, the minimum wage in Belgium in 2022 is €1,658 per month for workers aged 18 and above, working between 38 to 45 hours per week. So you don’t have to worry about being underpaid.

Here are some examples of salaries in Brussels:

JobNet monthly salary
Business analyst€2,500
Consultant€2,925
Manager€4,600
Analyst€2,679
Trainee€1,260
Junior consultant€2,331
Senior associate€3,160
Nurse€2,165
Medical manager€6,000
IT consultant€3,157

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