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Working - Working in Crete
Working in Crete Jobs in Greece Employment Opportunities Work in Crete and the Greek Islands Summer Jobs in Crete 2017
Working in Crete - Jobs in Crete
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
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 companies.
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
Regulated professions and recognition of qualifications
Qualified professionals wishing to obtain recognition within the EU should seek advice in Greece from the following
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.
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,
also all non-Greek nationals teaching English in Greece should obtain a teaching licence (some degree of
fluency in Greek is required for this test)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 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
Partheniou Kelaidi 72
Tel. (0030) 28210 92622
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 Insurance).
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
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 recommendations.
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.
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 going.
- 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.