Job Opportunities in UK for International Students

Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Mar 14, 2022 11:09 AM IST

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Job Market for Foreign Students in the UK

Being the fifth largest economy in the world, as per the latest data, the unemployment rate in the UK is approximately 4%. Which makes the great employment status of the country pretty evident to international students planning to work in the UK. 

In the past few years, the country has seen the largest annual rise, since 1997 in the number of non-EU nationals working in the UK. The numbers went up to approx 74,000 people making it a total of more than 3.5 million non-EU nationals that are currently working in the country. Although, unemployment is higher in Scotland, Northern England, north of Ireland and Wales. The economic growth is comparatively higher in London and South-Eastern parts of the United Kingdom. 

The job market in London, the capital city of the UK, is expanding continuously providing 10 times more job opportunities to students than in the other parts of the country. Due to this, the competition for these jobs is very high. 

Also Read: IT Jobs in the UK- TCS  hired Over 7,000 Employees in the Country in Last 5 Years

Want to Know if You Can Work in the UK?

Job Options in the UK for Indian Students

When it comes to job opportunities in the UK for Indian students, talent and apt skills are the qualities that are looked for by employers the most. Graduates who have good practical as well as academic knowledge of their field tend to attract more employers and have better chances of making a living in the UK. Many sectors of the job market in the UK demand freshers and youngsters that have greater power of brainstorming and coming up with innovative ideas. 

But, now the bigger question arises, “How to get a job in the UK for Indian Students?”. The 5th largest economy of the world with the GDP over 2.62 lakh crores USD, the cities of the UK are perceived as international business hubs and great places for ambitious Indian graduates to work. 

A number of universities in the UK provide international students with integrated work placements and internships opportunities. These universities help students in gaining experience and exposure to the practical world while still pursuing their higher education. In order to work in the UK, students will need to apply for Tier 2 Post Study Visa.

There are various factors that one needs to keep in mind while finding a job in the UK and its major cities like London. This article leads students to understand the factors that one needs to consider while finding the answer to ‘How to find a job in the UK’ and gives students a lot of insights on the availability of part-time jobs and other job opportunities for international students in the UK.

Also Read: Stay Back Period and Post Study Work Permit in the UK

How to Get a Work Permit in the UK

The international students who aspire to work in the UK while studying or after completing their graduation will have to apply for the UK work visa. But, in order to get a work permit in the UK, students will have to satisfy the following requirements for a UK work permit. 

  • The student must have received an offer of employment from an employer that will act as a sponsor for the student.

  • The employer must be a licensed UK employer. 

  •  Students must be able to pass the points specific assessments for the visa.

  • Students must also possess the Certificate of Sponsorship that is issued by the employer. 

There are different types of work permits or UK work visas for international students. The most common of all are Tier 2 and Tier 4 visa. 

The Tier 2 Visa is a primary visa for which, the students who want to remain in the UK to work after completing their higher studies, apply. In order to apply for a Tier 2 visa, students must have an offer with a minimum salary of £20,800. With the Tier 2 visa, candidates can work for up to 48 hours a week. After 5 years, candidates can apply to extend their visa, provided, they meet all the eligibility norms laid down by the UK government. 

Students who wish to do part-time jobs while studying in the UK will have to apply for the Tier 4 visa. With this visa, students are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week. In order to apply for a Tier 4 visa, students must be able to write, speak, understand and read English. The correct time to apply for the Tier 4 visa is at least 3 months prior to the commencement of their course. 

The documents required to apply for a work permit in the UK are:

  • A current and valid passport

  • Proof of legal guardian or parental consent (only for the students who are under 18)

  • A proof to support the tuition fee for the course candidate is pursuing 

  • A TB test results

  • A certificate of sponsorship by a licenced UK employer

  • Bank statements to show the availability of adequate savings

Find Out What You Need to Apply for a UK Work Permit!

Job Regulations for International Students in the UK

Many international students engage in a part-time job, work placement or internship while pursuing higher education in the UK. The type of work and hours will depend on the type of visa and the sponsoring university or college of the student.

On a student visa in the UK, you can:

  • work as a student union sabbatical officer

Note: It would depend on what you are studying and if you are working in or out of term-time.

On a student visa in the UK, you cannot:

  • work in certain jobs such as a sports coach or professional sportsperson.

  • be self-employed

In an event where a student is allowed to work in the UK, he/ she would be subject to a maximum hours limit per week in a term time. One can work full-time outside their term time. 

According to the UKCISA, “week” refers to a seven-day period that starts on a Monday. In case a student works irregular hours with more than one employer, a detailed record of how many hours he/she has worked will be kept in place.

Also, "term time" refers to the period when the student sponsor expects the student to be studying, and "outside term time" refers to any other time, including the period before the course starts and after it ends, as well as holidays (vacation).

After one is permitted to work during the study, they can apply for and take paid jobs at any level. In case the student earns close to £15,000 a year or more, the UK Home Office may question his/ her working hours. Although there is no limit on how much one earns per year, one must never exceed the maximum weekly working hours in term time. 

Once a student has completed his/ her course and is no longer in term time, he/ she may work full time, re-enter the UK and apply for a different visa or further immigration. 

Part-time Jobs in the UK for International Students

More often than not, in order to help fund their studies and social lives to manage the cost of living in the UK, international students opt for part-time jobs in the UK. The UK, being one of the most expensive countries in the world with one of the highest tuition fees, living in the country while pursuing a higher education cost a wealth. But, Indian students studying in the UK do not need to worry about that as there are plenty of part-time job options in the UK. Students must remember that in order to work in the UK, international students must have a Tier 4 visa. In many cases, students are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week, which creates a problem in finding them a job as not many options are there that allow them to work for only 20 hours. So, students can refer to the following list to check the kind of part-time jobs for Indian students with Tier 4 visa. 

Work on Campus

Many universities in the UK only allow international students to work inside the campus. These universities provide part-time job options to the students by giving them opportunities to work in the computer centre, cafeteria, students’ unions, etc. Students can also take up blogging as many universities take help from international students to promote them with the help of blog writing and using other social media platforms. 

Call Centres

If one needs to enhance her/his communication skills while still making good money, taking up part-time jobs in UK call centres is the best option. Students get paid a good amount of money by working at call centres. 

Restaurants / Cafes

When the thought of working 20 hours a week while studying comes in minds then, students tend to look for a job that does not consume all of their energy to leave feeling lethargic during classes. In such situations, waiting table at restaurants and cafes is a good option. Other than that, students can also work as a cashier at grocery stores and restaurants. 

Freelance Translation

Working as a freelance translator is a very good option for international students who are fluent in more than two or three languages. Students who have good command in the French and English language have better chances of getting an offer to work as a freelance translator in the UK.


International students who are expert in photography or have good photography skills can earn using these skills. There is always an option of freelancing for a photographer, in which, she/he can even negotiate the working hours to cope with the hectic college schedule. 

Other part-time jobs that international students can take up while studying in the UK are:

  • Personal Tutoring

  • Software Developer Internship

  • Admission Office

  • Pizza Delivery

  • Graphic Designing

  • Babysitting

If one has apt skills and knowledge for a field, it is not very difficult to find a part-time or full-time job in the UK for international students. Sometimes, the restrictions are paved by the universities to go for part-time jobs and sometimes, it is the work permit. Just because a university doesn’t allow students to work outside the campus or more than 20 hours a week, does not mean that the options are restricted. If students go for freelancing, these situations are taken care of.

Also Read: Various Part-Time Job Options for international students in the United Kingdom

Average Salary in the UK for Top 10 Courses

Course and University

Average Salary

Medicine and Dentistry-University of Warwick


Medicine and Dentistry-University of Hull


Medicine and Dentistry-Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine


Engineering and Technology-Havering College of Further and Higher Education


Medicine and Dentistry-University of Brighton


Computer Science-Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine


Medicine and Dentistry-University of Liverpool


Medicine and Dentistry-King’s College London


Medicine and Dentistry-University of Southampton


Economics-London School of Economics and Political Science


Employment Rate by Nationality in the UK


See if Your Documents are in Line With UK Regulations

FAQs on Job Opportunities in UK for International Students in 2023

What is the average starting salary of UK graduates?

According to a report published in 2019 by High Fliers, it was estimated that by 2022, the average starting salary of UK graduates can range anywhere between GBP 21,000 and GBP 25,000, meanwhile the median salary was estimated to be at GBP 30,000.

Can international students work after graduation in the UK?

Yes, the UK has recently announced the introduction of the new Graduate Route, which allows international students who have graduated from a UK university to stay in the UK and either look for jobs or work at any skill level for a period of two years (3 years for doctoral students).

Can working while studying in the UK be considered as proof of financial capability?

No, if you plan on working while studying as a means to support your lifestyle while you continue your studies in the UK, then it will not be considered as proof of financial capability. You will need to provide bank statements and other financial documents to support your financial capability of sustaining yourself and covering your tuition costs in the UK.

What are the rules for international students to work in the UK?

For international students aspiring to work in the UK, they are allowed to work 20 hours a week on their regular UK student visa, if stated otherwise. Moreover, international students can only work part-time during their term and full-time during their vacation period.

How can I find job opportunities in the UK?

While there are several jobs available for international students to apply to, one of the best ways to find relevant job opportunities is to stay connected with the placement or career office of your respective university. However, building your profile for entry-level jobs online, becoming a tutor or looking for job roles in hospitality and retail (usually found in abundance), are great ways to start your experience working in a professional environment.

What documents do I need to submit for a Work Permit in the UK?

Among the documents needed to apply for a UK work permit visa, students must submit a current and valid passport, proof of legal guardian or parental consent, proof of financial capability, TB test results, certificate of sponsorship by a licenced UK employer and bank statements.

What jobs can Non-EU/Non-EEA students take up in the UK?

International (Non-EU/Non-EEA) students can take up jobs such as Student Support Worker, Personal Assistant, Delivery Drivers for pizzas or pharmacies, Waiter/waitress, receptionist, admissions officer, promotional worker, etc.

What jobs are Non-EU/Non-EEA students not allowed to do in the UK?

Non-EU/Non-EEA students cannot be self-employed, initiate a business activity, full-time permanent employment, professional sportsperson including a sports coach, entertainer or as a dentist or doctor in training unless enrolled in a foundational course.

Can international students work while studying in the UK?

Yes, all international students can work while studying in the UK. However, for international students who are classified as Non-EU/Non-EEA, there are certain regulations and restrictions that should be followed, in order to work while studying.

What is the UK job market for international students like?

The UK has been a top study abroad destination for international students, especially since it is the 5th largest economy in the world with just a 4% unemployment rate. Among all the cities, London is the best place for job opportunities for students, with nearly 10 times more opportunities available compared to other cities in the UK.

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