10 Overseas Jobs for Americans (With How-To Guide and Tips)

Updated July 25, 2023

There are numerous job options available to people who are interested in working overseas in another country. Working abroad allows you to discover a new culture, learn a new language and strengthen your skills in a job that aligns with your interests or desired career path. Learning about potential jobs that are available abroad and discovering how to find them may help you find the right international job for you more easily. 

In this article, we define what overseas jobs for Americans are, list 10 of these jobs and share how to find overseas jobs while also providing some helpful tips for working overseas. 

What are overseas jobs for Americans?

Overseas jobs for Americans enable people to move away from the United States to live and work in a foreign country. Overseas jobs allow you to either work for a U.S.-based international company or for a company in the country where you want to live. These jobs may require you to understand the language of the country you're moving to and recognize the cultural differences so you can interact with your colleagues and engage with the locals effectively. Gaining international work experience may help you strengthen your resume and broaden your cultural understanding.

Related: 10 Overseas Jobs That Require No Experience

10 overseas jobs for Americans

Here are 10 overseas jobs for Americans interested in working abroad to consider. It's important to note that these salary estimates reflect U.S.-based salaries and don't necessarily correspond to the salary a person might earn in other nations. 

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.

1. Freelancer

National average salary: $30,097 per year

Primary duties: Freelancers complete projects for clients on a contractual basis. They may specialize in a specific type of work, such as graphic design, writing, editing, photography or voiceover work. They're usually responsible for completing projects for multiple clients within a specific time frame. Since freelancers can work from anywhere, this position may appeal to individuals interested in working and traveling abroad.

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Related: 28 Great Jobs You Can Do as a Freelancer

2. Tour guide

National average salary: $34,801 per year

Primary duties: A tour guide accompanies groups of tourists to various attractions and shares information with them about those attractions. They lead excursions, plan tours and offer tourists sightseeing advice. They're responsible for ensuring the safety of all tourists in the group and helping them have a positive experience. This overseas job may appeal to people who have strong interpersonal and communication skills and a desire to explore unique attractions.

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Read more: What Does a Tour Guide Do? Definition, Types and Salary

3. Deckhand

National average salary: $36,309 per year

Primary duties: Deckhands help maintain large vessels like cruise ships, yachts and ferries. They're responsible for ensuring passenger safety and protecting all cargo. Deckhands prepare cabins for passengers or crew members, serve food and drinks to passengers on deck and perform general maintenance duties like sweeping, mopping and painting. This position may appeal to people interested in traveling to a wide range of countries and working at sea.

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Related: How To Find Deckhand Jobs (With 9 Types of Jobs)

4. Hotel housekeeper

National average salary: $45,322 per year

Primary duties: Hotel housekeepers work in the hospitality industry and spend their time cleaning guest rooms in hotels and resorts. They replenish dirty towels and soap, wash sheets, make beds, vacuum and sweep floors and clean bathrooms. They also inspect rooms and maintain cleanliness within other areas of the hotel, such as the common room, gym, pool and breakfast area. This position may appeal to people interested in working internationally in a hospitality-related position.

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Related: Learn About Being a Housekeeper

5. ESL teacher

National average salary: $54,408 per year

Primary duties: An English as a second language (ESL) teacher instructs students and helps them become proficient in the English language. They help them develop their speaking, reading comprehension, writing and listening skills. They may instruct a group of students in a classroom setting, but they might also work individually. ESL teachers who work abroad typically teach at schools, international universities or English-language tutoring centers.

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Related: How To Become an ESL Teacher

6. International researcher

National average salary: $67,667 per year

Primary duties: International researchers spend time researching a wide range of global trends and phenomena. They may work at a specific location internationally for a certain period of time to complete a research assignment, and they offer unique insights to inform international agencies, non-profits and government organizations. They can also work in a wide range of industries, including finance, information technology (IT), environmental science and marketing. This position may be beneficial to Americans interested in traveling while also gaining research experience.

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7. Consultant

National average salary: $88,048 per year

Primary duties: A consultant advises businesses on how to best solve various problems. Consultants usually have experience in a specialized field, which they use to strategize the actions a company can take to remain profitable and achieve its goals. Consultants can work in organizations that operate internationally in a wide range of industries, making this an appealing career option for people who are already experts in their field or who possess consulting experience and are bilingual or multilingual.

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Related: Top 15 Highest Paying Consulting Jobs

8. Travel nurse

National average salary: $120,751 per year

Primary duties: Travel nurses who work internationally travel to different countries experiencing nursing shortages. They provide quality care to patients at hospitals, medical clinics, doctor's offices and other facilities. These nurses typically need specialized medical skills, along with excellent language skills and a license and certification in their chosen specialty. Working as an international travel nurse may appeal to people interested in caring for patients in global areas where there's a critical need for nurses.

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Related: How To Become an International Travel Nurse

9. International lawyer

National average salary: $131,768 per year

Primary duties: An international lawyer typically practices law at an American law firm or U.S. embassy located abroad. They may support U.S. multinational companies or American citizens in court and function as legal liaisons. International lawyers typically need transnational experience working at a law firm, along with excellent legal skills. This job may appeal to Americans who already have extensive experience working as a lawyer and who want to enhance their skills and work in another country.

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Related: 11 Things To Know About Jobs for American Lawyers Abroad

10. International physician

National average salary: $160,178 per year

Primary duties: An international physician travels abroad to areas that are commonly in need of medical care. They diagnose illnesses, suggest treatment options, offer locals access to medications and educate residents on how to best treat different conditions. They may work for international aid organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and foreign medical facilities.

Find international physician jobs

How to find overseas jobs

Here are some steps you can take to find a job outside of the U.S.: 

1. Determine where you want to work

Research different countries that offer overseas work to Americans. If you want to work in a warmer climate, you might want to consider countries closer to the equator. If you're interested in working in a country with a culture similar to that of the U.S., you may want to consider a job in Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom. Be sure to research each country's unemployment rate, political climate, crime rates and methods of transportation. 

It may also benefit you to visit the countries you're interested in so you can more about the cost of living there and the lifestyle of residents. Understanding the cost of living and the income requirements to live there full-time can help you modify your expectations. If you're unsure where to work abroad, the following countries may offer appealing opportunities to Americans:

  • Germany

  • France

  • Italy

  • Spain

  • Costa Rica

  • Czech Republic

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • Finland

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Taiwan

2. Research available positions

Several factors may affect the demand for jobs in the countries you're interested in, including the time of year and the economic conditions there. Research positions that match your education and the experience you've acquired to locate jobs that appeal to you. You can use online job sites to search for international positions related to your chosen field. Many sites specialize in international opportunities and allow you to filter your search based on the country and job title. 

Related: 26 International Job Opportunities

3. Understand the legal requirements 

If you plan to work remotely or you want to work abroad for a longer amount of time, ensure to review the legal requirements. Research the type of visa required to work in the country you've chosen and the requirements for it. Keep in mind that some countries may have stricter requirements for Americans working abroad than others. International employers typically require that you have a visa before you work in a new country, so make sure you're eligible for one before you move.

Each country has its own guidelines for international employees, and it's crucial that you acquire the necessary documentation to become a resident before you move. For example, some countries in Europe require you to obtain a residence permit through the embassy before working there, while others allow you to apply for a work permit once you arrive in the country. If you're unsure of the specific requirements and restrictions, you can contact a lawyer in that country to gain a better understanding of the applicable laws.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Consult with an attorney or lawyer for any legal issues you may be experiencing.

Related: How To Apply for a Job Overseas

4. Practice your language skills 

If you plan to work in a country with a language that differs from English, consider practicing your language skills regularly. For example, while many Europeans are multilingual and speak English fluently, learning some of their local languages can show that you respect their cultures. Understanding the basic language can also help you converse with locals more easily and understand cultural differences, regardless of where you're working. 

If you're still a student, it may benefit you to enroll in an immersion program or take language courses. You could also complete an internship or study abroad program to familiarize yourself with the nation where you plan to work. These opportunities can offer unique insight into living in a new country. 

Tips for working abroad 

Here are some useful tips for working abroad as an American:

  • Research the tax implications. If you move abroad but still have your U.S. citizenship, it may be necessary for you to still pay U.S. taxes. You may be able to reduce your taxable income, depending on where you work and how long you plan to work abroad, so be sure to research the tax requirements and consider meeting with a tax adviser. 

  • Recognize cultural differences. Regardless of where you decide to work, there are likely to be some cultural differences, so try to be aware of these and adapt your thinking. For example, in many countries, business personnel prefer to spend a longer amount of time deliberating before making a business decision. 

  • Engage with other Americans working abroad. Make an effort to network with other Americans in the area where you're working. People who've worked there for longer than you may be able to offer you advice to help you adapt to the culture and business environment.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Consult with a licensed financial professional for any issues you may be experiencing.  

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