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Living in Crete
Working in Crete
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Working in Crete
Jobs in Greece, Employment Opportunities
Work in Crete and the Greek Islands & Summer Jobs in Crete  2016
Thinking of working in Crete or living on a Greek Island?  If you are coming to look for work in
Crete or Greece you'll find that the main work opportunities are seasonal or part time. A
number of summer jobs are generally available between April/May to September/October.

The main areas of work in Crete and other Greek Islands for non Greeks are in tourism related
businesses during the summer months.

The economic crisis, bailout and austerity measures in Greece has led to a large increase in
unemployment amongst the local population, with unemployment running at around 25% in
2016,  but
temporary summer tourism jobs are still to be had, although they may be harder
to come across than they were a few years ago.

Year-round jobs in Greece and Crete are much more elusive; year-round job opportunities
have always been very limited, even for locals and fluent Greek speakers but in the current
climate they are almost non-existant.

The majority of jobs in Crete and other Greek Islands are only seasonal or part time, and low
paid.... fine to keep a single person ticking over but pretty much impossible to support a family
on year-round without a back-up fund.

Here are some ideas on where and how travellers and residents can find summer jobs in
Crete, as well as information on professional qualifications and teaching English in Crete.

Tourism related jobs and businesses

Holiday Companies
British (and other nationalities) holiday companies generally take on overseas staff for
working in Crete and other Greek Islands from their home country.
You usually need to apply for seasonal positions, such as reps or overseas admin staff, in
October - November for the following summer, although some companies still advertise
vacancies in February, March and even later. Occasionally part time staff are employed locally
in Crete, e.g. transfer reps. Ask the reps at Heraklion and Chania airports whether they are
taking on staff -  on a Tuesday  there are plenty of charter flights from the UK  and lots of reps
milling around!

Hotels, Catering, Bars & Shops
There are seasonal jobs to found in Crete hotels, bars, cafés, tavernas and shops.
Many North Europeans book a two week holiday at the beginning of the season and start
searching the bar, café & taverna windows for ‘staff wanted’ notices.  Chat to local bar and
taverna owners, make connections, and they will very likely point you in the direction of places
looking for staff.  In the busy resorts this is the norm and hundreds of young people turn up in
Crete at the start of each season to job hunt on the spot.

Those who are already living on the island can start checking the local daily newspapers
(‘Haniotika Nea’ in Chania, ‘Patris’ in Heraklion and East Crete, and ‘Nea Kriti’ for Crete in
general) in February/March as this is when many places start advertising for seasonal staff.
Jobs are mostly advertised in Greek, with the occasional English advert. For jobs in the main
towns you will usually need to speak some Greek, but non-Greek speakers can usually find
work in the tourist areas.

Maintenance Work & Cleaning

There are a number of property maintenance and management companies who take
responsibility for the running and maintenance of holiday villas. There are occasional
opportunities for plumbers, electricians, general handymen, gardeners, cleaners and pool
cleaners, usually on a casual basis only. An internet search will provide you with details of

Self Employed - see Business in Greece

Estate Agents/Property Developers

The Greek property boom slowed down and almost skidded to a halt since 2011 as the
economy dived and mortgage lenders pulled back.

Estate agents and property developers have been hard hit; a few years ago they were
employing teams of sales staff, whereas now they have reduced staffing levels to a minimum.
There are still occasional vacancies so you may get lucky, but jobs are usually on a commission
only basis.

Visit local estate agents offices in person, or apply via email with a CV.  A web search will bring
up a host of companies.

Professional Qualifications

Regulated professions and recognition of qualifications

Qualified professionals wishing to obtain recognition within the EU should seek advice in
Greece from the following contact:

Ms Athina Plessa-Papadaki
Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs Directorate for European Union Affairs
37, Andrea Papandreou Street
GR - 15180 Athens

Tel: +30 210 34 43631

The contact point should be able to tell you whether the profession you wish to pursue is
regulated in Greece and the authority which deals with the recognition of qualifications.

Note that you may well need proficiency in the Greek language for your profession in Greece
and recognition of qualifications may be subject to Greek language skills.

For further help with getting qualifications recognised and translated go to any
KEP Centre
(citizens service centre) or lawyer.
Teaching English

In Crete there are literally hundreds of "frontistiria" (private language schools) and so there is
some demand for native English speakers to teach English.
Many Greek school children attend a private language school in Crete, which operate after
school hours. Some native English speakers work teaching English either in frontistiria or by
giving private English lessons to pupils. Frontistiria are open during the school year,
September to June, and usually close for 2/3 months in the summer.

EU Nationals are officially required to hold a university degree to open or teach in a 'frontistiro'
language school. Another, more recently enforced, requirement for all non-Greek nationals
teaching English in Greece is to demonstrate fluency in the Greek language in order to obtain
a teaching licence, however some language schools in Crete may employ native English
speakers who do not hold a degree or teaching licence.

A TEFL or TESOL certificate is useful and can greatly improve your chances of employment.
Also, perhaps more importantly, you will learn
how to teach English as a foreign language...  
which will include brushing up on your English grammar (can you distinguish the present
perfect simple tense from the present perfect continuous?). Much of the ESL teaching in
Greece is very heavily grammar-based as the aim is for students to acquire qualifications in
the Cambridge ESOL or Michigan exams.

TEFL / TESOL courses can be taken online as well as at many centres throughout the world.

Non-EU Nationals are required to obtain a work per permit in advance, which must be
sponsored by an employer, before applying for a teaching permit.

Information on Teachers' Certificates / Permits can be obtained from :
General Education Directorate
Ministry of Education
15 Mitropoleos Street
Athens 105 57
Tel: 210 323 0461, 210 323 0862-4

Finding a teaching job in Crete

Contact PALSO (Panhellenic Association of Language School Owners) and submit your CV by
email, or post on the notice board at your local PALSO office.
Click here for PALSO FAQ for Teachers

PALSO  Chania
Partheniou Kelaidi 72
Tel. (0030) 28210 92622

PALSO Heraklion
Demokratias St.
Tel. (0030) 2810 322002

Local newspapers in Crete, such as the Haniotika Nea in Chania and Patris in Heraklion, also
advertise vacancies for unfilled language teaching posts in frontistiria, particularly towards the
end of August and during September.

Pay is around  8  to 10 Euros an hour at the language schools, usually plus IKA  (National

Private Lessons

Private lessons are more lucrative and English teachers can earn between €10 and €15 + an
hour, although competition is fierce and in these challenging economic times many teachers
are lowering their fees in order to make lessons more affordable for parents. Many
established frontistirio teachers find that they are in demand to supply additional private
home lessons to their language school students, and to others via word of mouth amongst

There are occasionally classified ads in local newspapers from those seeking a private English
teacher. You could also insert an ad in the local newspapers offering your skills. However, this
is generally not the most successful route as locally many people rely on personal

Qualified nurses

In Crete, English speaking nurses may find employment during the summer season in  private
clinics in the tourist areas, or as private nurses in the main hospitals. See
Medical Treatment
page regarding hospital nursing.

Fruit Picking

In the winter months, usually between November and February, the olives and oranges are
harvested. Many local farmers take on workers to help harvest their fruit, but there is a stiff
competition for this type of work from migrant workers from Eastern Europe and wages are
low. If you are living or staying in a village, ask the locals at the cafeneon if there are any jobs


  • The secondhand shop, To Pazari, Daskalogianni St. Chania, occasionally have adverts
    on their shop notice board, in English, for job vacancies. Or you can advertise your
    services here.

  • The CIC newsletter, an English language monthly publication, available at 'To Pazari',
    above, and in Rethymnon has the occasional job ad.

  • Many jobs are advertised by word of mouth throughout the community. Ask around and
    tell friends and neighbours that you are looking for work.

Living in Crete guide book
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Chania harbour

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Living in Crete
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