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USA Employment Prospects

Work in the USA
America is the self-proclaimed land of opportunity. With this in mind, why not explore what employment opportunities the country has to offer…

Job market in the USA
The job market in the USA is slowly improving year on year after the big financial crash in 2008, ending 2012 in a slightly better state than 2011. The unemployment rate is also on a slow road to recovery (down from over 8% to 7.8% in December 2012), although it is still much higher than the average rate of 6% that Americans had become used to before the economic downturn.

The USA is still known globally as an economic superpower. Its main exports include aircraft, chemicals, computers and electronics, food products, military equipment, and vehicles.

Popular areas of employment include the country’s manufacturing, construction, health care, technology and media sector.

The country’s media sector is the most advanced in the world. The film, TV and music industry have a global audience and there are more than 1,500 daily newspapers in the USA.

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small start-ups are one of the reasons why more people are finding work, especially IT and technology firms.

Job vacancies
To find the latest jobs in the USA, search:

•     USA Jobs
•     Reed.co.uk – Jobs in USA

It is worth checking the US online newspapers for areas of growth and job vacancies.

Work experience and internships
Students and recent graduates can apply for internship positions with the Fulbright Commission . Voluntary opportunities also exist, which often involve helping at graduate fairs and outreach events.

Alternatively, your university may have an exchange programme set up with a partner institution in the USA. Get in touch with your institution to find out more.

Volunteering in the USA
There are many opportunities for volunteering in America. Some examples of providers include:

•     Real Gap – USA – choices include volunteering in a wildlife sanctuary in Florida or on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains;
•     BUNAC – USA – offers you the chance to volunteer as part of a team and carry out conservation work in America’s national parks;
•     Volunteers for Peace – Volunteer North America – helps charities, non-profit organisations and community groups in the USA.

USA visas and immigration
Entering the USA for employment is complicated due to the country’s firm restrictions on immigration.

It can help if you have a relative in the country who can sponsor you, or your employer can apply on your behalf. Another possible way to gain entry is to find employment with a UK multinational company and then work towards a transfer to a branch in the USA.

There are two categories of visa:

•     Immigrant visa – This visa is required by anyone who wishes to live and work permanently. When entering the country these visa holders also have to obtain a green card, which is officially known as a Permanent Resident Card (PRC);
•     Non-immigrant visa – This is for those looking for a temporary stay in the country. It covers temporary work, a holiday or education.

Even when you have acquired a visa it still only entitles you to travel to the USA, it does not guarantee entry.

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