Working in Bermuda: Things to know

Published on July 10, 2021 by Omar James

Bermuda Employment Opportunities

Before moving to Bermuda to live and work, a non-Bermudian will require a job plus a Work Permit. The work permit application is made by the employer and is issued by the Bermuda Department of Immigration.  

However, before the application for work permit can be made, the employer needs to advertise and ensure that there is no eligible Bermudian available for the job. And only once that is ensured, the hiring company can offer a job to an expat and make application for the work permit.  

The Bermuda Department of Immigration

Bermuda too has its own problem of unemployment. In 2018, the unemployment rate in Bermuda was 6%. The entire process above ensures that in a small country like Bermuda with a population of only about 65,000, the employment to Bermudians are not jeopardized due to foreign employees.  So knowing that a Bermudian will always be given preference for an available position, do you think it's a big challenge to get a job in Bermuda? Actually not. Firstly, there are large number of job positions where Bermuda does not have enough locally available skilled resources, and the employers in such cases have no options but to look for skills from outside Bermuda. This is however mostly applicable for certain categories of skilled jobs that are described in the sections below.  Secondly, there are jobs where the Bermudians themselves are not interested to work. So there is always plenty of job opportunities in Bermuda, both in private and public sectors. Note that over 25% of Bermuda's total job positions are filled by expatriates who live in the island on work permit.  

Bermuda Employment Statistics

In 2019, out of total filled jobs of 34,378 in Bermuda, non-Bermudians or expatriates held 10,537 jobs and this figure does not include jobs held by Permanent Resident Certificate Holders and non-Bermudian spouses of Bermudian citizens. (Data Source: 2019 Employment Survey results published by Bermuda Government)  According to Employment Statistics Report released by Bermuda's Department of Statistics in May 2019, there were a total of 33,810 job holders in Bermuda in the year 2018 (an increase by 151 jobs compared to 2017). Out of the total number of jobs, the Bermudians were employed in 23,579 jobs while expats or non-Bermudians (including their spouses) were employed in 9,426 jobs. The balance of 795 jobs went to Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) holders.  The average annual gross earning in 2018 across all employees in Bermuda was $65,338 (a 2% increase over the previous year). However, the average annual gross salary of expatriates (or non-Bermudians) was $80,328 (spouses excluded).  

High employment opportunities in Bermuda

Job categories such as Nurse/ Accountant/ Mason/ Waiter/ Landscape Gardener/ Chef offer the highest employment opportunities in Bermuda. These have been identified as job categories that have large number of active work permits and therefore the numbers are often subjected to scrutiny and change. In fact, employers who employ more than 10 work permit holders in the above mentioned professions are invited by the Immigration Department to boost the number of locals in these jobs.  There are however several other job categories where foreigners can apply and get jobs in Bermuda. Below are some of the professions and job categories that offer attractive job prospects. Go through the individual category links for respective details.  

Accountants and Audit With large number of offshore financial businesses, there are plenty of vacancies in Bermuda for qualified accountants.  

Banking  A review of Bermuda banking jobs in areas including fund management, trust management, finance, audit, IT department etc.  

Construction A review of construction jobs in Bermuda, the positions that are in high demand, how to apply and lot more.  

Healthcare If you are a medical professional like a doctor or a nurse and looking for a job in Bermuda, other than the usual work permit, you will also need a medical license. And this is necessary for both local and foreign healthcare professionals. Find out how to go about getting a job and license in Bermuda in healthcare.  

Information Technology (IT)  Information Technology Jobs in Bermuda, job positions commonly available, the offers, how to apply and more.  

Insurance and Re-insurance  Insurance and other financial services form the largest international market in Bermuda. Visit the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers to get an idea of how large this market is and what role it is playing in Bermuda (and the world's) Economy.  

How to find a job in Bermuda?

Note that as non-Bermudian, you can only apply for a job in Bermuda from outside Bermuda. Do not attempt to visit Bermuda as a tourist and scout around for a job... that won't work. The only exception when you can apply for a job while in Bermuda is if you are spouse of an expatriate who is already working in Bermuda and you have come to live with your spouse in Bermuda.  

1) An effective option to get a job in Bermuda is to go through reputed hiring agencies who specialize in Bermuda. They are always on top of the subject and would have a ready database of available jobs. Some of them also specialize in certain fields such as jobs in finance and insurance. They usually take their fees from the employers, so they act as your free yet powerful engines to find jobs.   Go through Bermuda Recruitment Agencies to know about the key hiring agencies for Bermuda.  

2) Employers in Bermuda advertise regularly in the local daily The Royal Gazette. You can see the job openings online under this Jobs section of Royal Gazette. You can get the full job description, employer details and even the contact details so that you can apply directly to the employer.   

3) The website Jobsinbda.com shows a list of available jobs in Bermuda that have been publicly advertised. You can search jobs by job type, industry or keywords, and apply directly. Note that all job descriptions and details are not always displayed in full completeness, so this site doesn't seem to be updated consistently, nevertheless it has a list of currently open jobs.  

4) There are other online aggregators like Glassdoor.com where you can enter the job location as 'Bermuda' and see the list of available jobs along with details. You can create an account, enter a resume, and apply for any enlisted job through their website. 

5) If you are a Bermudian and eligible to work, you should visit the Bermuda Job Board portal which is maintained by Bermuda's Department of Workforce Development and register yourself. All Bermuda based employers are required to enlist their job openings on this portal so that local Bermudians and Permanent Resident Card holders can find and apply for a job. However, job assistance through 'Bermuda Job Board' is not applicable for non-Bermudians.  

Closed and Restricted jobs in Bermuda

 There are some categories of jobs that are either closed or restricted for foreign nationals, and available to Bermudian nationals only. This is because such jobs require skills that are generally available in Bermuda. Exceptions for restricted jobs are done at the ministerial levels only. Closed job categories are not available to non-Bermudians unless one is a spouse (or a widow) of a Bermudian. The categories can change from time to time. Therefore check the website of Bermuda Depart of Immigration for the latest updates. 

As of June 3rd 2021 the restricted categories are: Bank teller, general bartender, commercial cleaner, residential cleaner, fisherman, travel agent/consultant, administrative assistant, room attendant, kitchen porter, dish/pot washer, kitchen assistant or similar, tennis instructors, golf instructors, handyman, reporters/journalists, HR officer/manager, recruiter, customer car/service rep and seasonal work permits, interns, carpet installer, entertainer/musician, technician salesperson, general carpenter, landscape gardener (entry level), photographer, waiter/server, personal/executive assistant, barber, senior clerk, warehouse clerk, security guard, laundry attendant, real estate agent, teaching aide, para professional, legal executive, librarian, public relations officer, child care assistant, electrician and plumber.