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Old 21.05.2015, 11:44
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English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

I hold an Irish passport. I studied in Switzerland for 2 months and want to go back. The U.S. veterans administration is willing to pay for job training or another degree (I have a B.A. in political science but I haven't used it)
and that includes institutions in Europe!

After the recession, I'm skittish at going for yet another humanities degree. I'm awful at math. This makes me think about a trade.

Is there any way for someone who speaks only English to get a job there? I was thinking about training to be a chef or perhaps as a plumber, then applying for jobs in Switzerland or opening my own business. I understand that licenses are a requirement for being a plumber in Switzerland and I'd only able to service the English-speaking community.

My big questions are: What trade gives me the best chance at being hired, and what neighborhoods are affordable for someone on the low end?

I'm guessing I will have to stick around Geneva to have a chance, seeing that I don't speak any of the national languages.
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Old 03.07.2015, 09:48
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

You'll be better off in Zurich with only English. Basic German can be picked up rather quickly if you're motivated. Cheap rents will be found by flat-sharing, but trying to rely on Expats for your income without a proper license and insurance would be difficult. Also, without a job, I doubt you'll get a permit to move.
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Old 03.07.2015, 10:02
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

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After the recession, I'm skittish at going for yet another humanities degree. I'm awful at math. This makes me think about a trade.
Honestly: Trades are a bit difficult in good old Europe: you have to do your learning years and typically do people do so at the age of 16-18. Everything is very regulated and pretty hard to get in from the side.

Since you will be supported with the training: ever though of another degree which is not in humanities but "applied"? Switzerland has a lot of "Fachhochschulen" which are applied colleges. Many engineering fields, but also stuff with less maths. Many of those schools are in the smaller towns which translates to lower cost of living. (and the country is so small that you'd still be in a bigger city within an hour anyway...)
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Old 03.07.2015, 10:04
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

The problem you will have, is that for any job here such as electrician, plumber, chef, nurse, physio etc etc, you will either need to have your qualifications recognised or do a conversion or Swiss course. This undoubtably means needing to speak a Swiss language to some extent.

The thing that will get you work in Switzerland more than anything is speaking the language. Maybe you should do (get US to pay for) a German course or language degree, then do your professional training (plumbing etc) in Switzerland and get the qualification they recognise straight off?
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Old 03.07.2015, 10:13
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

Turn the question around. How many schools and colleges in the USA offer Mexicans a trade training without any knowledge of English?

I think you would find it impossible to find any trade training here with only the English language. How will you communicate with your employer, and more importantly with your customers?

Why don't you learn a trade in the USA? And also learn a national Swiss language? We all did it.

Yes there are a few people here on EF that work in English, but they are highly qualified & experts in their field, and they are very few, mainly employed in scientific and financial companies.
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Old 03.07.2015, 16:04
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

Understand that as a American citizen you'll still be required to file US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and may also owe the US tax on top of your Swiss ones.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

Any "foreign" accounts, i.e. those held outside of the US, will have to be reported annually on a FBAR if the aggregate amount comes to over $10,000 at any time of the year.

All American citizens have to sign a W-9 form to be able to open a basic salary/checking account (no business account, forget it or mortgage either) and this info will be passed on to the IRS.

No employer is going to hire you if you can only speak English to their plumbing clients, there simply aren't enough to make you worth hiring. Same for running a business yourself. Most people rent here so even in a city like Zurich it'll be the property management companies that will be wanting your services, not the tenants direct. Having English is a bonus, but doesn't substitute for speaking a Swiss language.

Sbrinz has it spot on - learn a trade in the US, preferably on a course whose qualifications will be recognised here, and also learn either German or French, depending on which part of the country you want to live/work in.
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Old 03.07.2015, 16:17
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

Some more resources for you:

English speaking companies + Web Sites for job searchers in Switzerland

[Swiss Job market] English-Speaking Companies
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Old 03.07.2015, 18:18
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Re: English-Only speaker-what blue collar jobs?

SRF Swiss television is running a series which follows four recent immigrant families in Switzerland: a Bavarian family, a mixed Scottish/ German family, an Italian family and a Syrian family. All have specific skills.

The family experiencing the most difficulty is the Syrian family, in spite of the fact that the family father is a physician, due primarily to his elementary French. In this episode he interviews for a job in English:

http://www.srf.ch/play/tv/dok---grue...3-5229a0d68592

If you can understand the German, the series might be of interest.
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