Employment and the Israeli Job Market: A Guide for Students

Accountants | Lawyers | Medical Professionals | Mental Health Professionals | MBAs | Hi-Tech | Engineering | Education | Speech/Occupational/Physical Therapies | Graphic Design | Secretaries | Non-Profit

See Also: Going to College in Israel

For most people, the process of choosing a career involves consideration of a variety of factors but, for those who intend to make Aliyah, there are additional considerations that play an important role, as well. Here are some practical guidelines and suggestions for Aliyah-minded students who are choosing a career path. We urge you to take these factors into account early on, before you start pursuing your career, so that you will be prepared professionally for Aliyah. We also urge you to start studying Hebrew well in advance of your Aliyah, in order to make your transition to the Israeli work environment, a successful one.

ACCOUNTANTS:
North American accountants are often able to find jobs in Israel even without taking the Israeli CPA exam. The large international accounting firms in Israel look for certified accountants from abroad, and some Israeli companies hire CPA’s, as well. Some North American accountants have developed businesses as financial consultants or filing tax returns for Olim. However, passing the Israeli CPA exam does increase marketability.
Accounting programs are offered in many universities throughout Israel – Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University and Ben Gurion University. There are also several colleges that offer accounting degrees, such as The College of Management, which has branches across the country.
Read more about Accounting

LAWYERS:
If you decide to go to law school abroad, it’s important to be aware that certain specialties are in demand in Israel while others are difficult to transfer. Those with corporate, contractual, international law or intellectual property experience find it easiest to secure jobs in Israeli law firms. Olim who come with expertise in litigation, insurance defense, or criminal, family, and personal injury law are often not able to find suitable employment in these fields.
For those who are interested in studying law in Israel, Hebrew is essential. The law that is studied in Israel is Israeli law, and all the texts and articles are in Hebrew. The programs are generally 3 1/2 – 4 years, and include a stage period. Law programs are available at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University and Haifa University. There are many colleges that offer law programs as well, however it is preferable to earn a law degree from a recognized university.
Studying law in Israel is beneficial because of the Israeli legal terminology that you acquire throughout your studies as well as the connections that are made. Your professors will become your personal contacts and may offer you internship or employment opportunities. Admission to Israel’s top law schools is competitive.
Read more about being a Lawyer in Israel

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS:

Physicians
Doctors trained abroad are generally able to become licensed and find positions in Israel. It is advisable to train as a specialist, as it is more difficult for general practitioners to find placements. It’s important to be aware that residencies are longer in Israel than they are in North America, and you may be required to complete the residency requirement before becoming licensed in Israel. Time spent working in a hospital abroad, even after the completion of your residency, does count toward the residency requirements. Therefore, it is recommended to stay affiliated with a hospital after your residency and not to immediately join a private practice.
Studying Medicine in Israel is very different than in the US. In Israel, medical programs are generally 7 years (as opposed to the pre-med and med track). Admission requirements are extremely competitive, as there are only a limited number of medical programs.
You must have a Psychometric score in order to apply to any Israeli Medical School, and some programs require applicants to hold Israeli citizenship at the time of applying. There are American programs available for students who have a BA from abroad (not from Israel). The American programs are significantly more expensive than the Israeli programs, but the acceptance requirements are also less stringent, and it is therefore easier to get accepted to these programs. These programs follow the US system of the pre-med and med track. There are several programs throughout Israel, such as Sackler at Tel Aviv University, The Bruce Rappaport Medical School at the Technion, etc. Keep in mind that students at Sackler must return to the U.S. for residency.

Physician’s Assistant
The PA profession does not yet have approval from the Ministry of Health. However, there have been a number of new opportunities in this field such as at Reut Medical Center (Tel Aviv)- who have been hiring PAs. Maital Stern- an olah of ours, is working there. Maital is available as a contact for PAs: maital.stern@reuth.org.il.

Also, Terem- Israeli Emergency Medicine centers, has just started running their own in-house PA program for paramedics and nurses, that hold an Israeli license, and are already working at Terem, and will continue to do so. Dr. David Zlotnick-head of Terem, and a former Oleh of NBN can be contacted at cdz@terem.com.

In addition, the Herzog Medical center have taken on a PA in the past. Please contact Dr. Adi Sasson:  02-5316814: 050-828850 adys@herzoghospital.org. You can also visit their website at www.herzoghospital.org.

For further information, or you can check with a Nefesh B’Nefesh employment counselor at employment@nbn.org.il for more details.

Dentists
Dentists trained and licensed abroad are required to take licensing exams in Israel. Most Olim in the field do successfully find employment either working in a health clinic or in private practice.
Like Medical School, dentistry programs are extremely competitive and difficult to get into. Psychometric scores are required for all applicants (SAT scores are not sufficient). The 2 main dentistry programs are offered at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University.

Read more about being a Dentist in Israel

Nurses
Nurses are in demand in Israel, but, unlike the other medical professionals, they must have a high level of Hebrew proficiency in order to pass the nursing exam and become licensed to practice. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, you may want to consider going to Nursing School in Israel.
There are many nursing programs offered throughout Israel. Usually, a nursing program will be associated with a specific hospital. The programs are very hands- on and include rotations in the various hospital departments as well as lectures. Hebrew is essential for this field of study. Nursing programs are easier to get into than medical programs.

Read more about being a Nurse in Israel

Optometrists
In Israel, training as an optometrist is a 2-year degree program, and optometrists are more limited in the scope of their responsibilities. Unlike in North America, they are not doctors and cannot write prescriptions. However, optometrists who are in private practice and also dispense eyeglasses have the potential to earn a comfortable living.
Bar Ilan has a great optometry program. Michlelet Hadassah in Jerusalem also offers optometry.
Read more about being a Optometrist in Israel

Medical Technicians
There are opportunities in Israel for medical technicians such as those who specialize in x-ray and ultrasound. These jobs, however, are not high paying.
Read more about being a Lab Technician in Israel

Pharmacists
After passing a licensing exam, pharmacists are able to work in their field in Israel. Some Olim find that it is more worthwhile financially to apply their knowledge and experience to industry, such as biotech or pharmaceutical companies, than to work as salaried pharmacists.
There is an excellent pharmacology program at Hebrew University.

Read more about being a Pharmacist in Israel

MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS:

NOTE: Due to the language- intensive nature of the mental health fields, it is imperative for professionals to have strong Hebrew language skills. We recommend that you start working on your Hebrew well in advance of Aliyah.

Psychologists
The Ministry of Health will recognize you as a psychologist if you hold an MA degree. However, in order to become licensed as a psychologist in Israel, you will need 80 academic credits in the field. Therefore, if you come with a BA as well as an MA in psychology, it is possible to satisfy this requirement without necessarily going for a Ph.D. There are opportunities for psychologists both in the public and private sectors.
While the acceptance requirements for an Israeli BA program in psychology can be difficult, the requirements for an MA are nearly impossible. It is VERY difficult to get into an MA program in psychology in Israel, and many students end up changing their degree tracks. Coming with an MA is definitely preferable. Clinical Psychology is the most difficult psychology track to get into.

Read more about being a Psychologist in Israel

Social Workers
Olim who come with a BSW or an MSW find it relatively easy to transfer their licenses to Israel, and there are opportunities available in both the public and private sectors. Social work is a relatively low paying field, though those with an MSW will command a somewhat higher salary.
Social Workers in Israel must be proficient in Hebrew. While there are several Social Work programs in Israel – Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, and Ben Gurion University – many students choose to obtain a BA degree only. Unlike MSW programs the U.S., you must have at least 2 years of experience in the field in order to apply for an MSW program in Israel. Those who pursue a graduate degree are usually interested in academia or research.
The Social Work degree in Israel is very much a hands-on degree. Starting in the second year, students are already doing field work. This allows BA graduates to be prepared for work straight out of university.

Read more about being a Social Worker in Israel

Family Therapists/Counselors
The Ministry of Health does not recognize degrees in these fields and will only officially license psychologists and social workers.
Shiluv offers a family therapy training program – http://www.shiluv.org.il/.

MBA’S:
The development of the global economy combined with recent changes in Israeli tax laws has broadened the types of work opportunities that are available in the world of finance and banking. It is advisable to come with at least a year or two of experience in a bank or investment firm.
MBA programs are offered in many of the Israeli Universities – Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Technion University, Bar Ilan University, Haifa University and Ben Gurion University. There are also a number of American programs that are offered at Bar Ilan, Tel Aviv University and IDC – the Interdisciplinary School in Herzliya. These programs are offered in English and range from 1 to 2 years. They are significantly more expensive than the Israeli MBA programs.

Read more about working in Banking and Finance in Israel

HI TECH:
The hi-tech sector is strong and generally commands some of the highest salaries in the market. The field includes not just developers and programmers but also QA, technical writers, tech support and hi-tech marketing. Even if you’re not a “techie”, experience that you’ve gained in the market is helpful. For example, if you’ve worked in PR or sales and marketing for a hi-tech firm abroad, it will help you as you approach the Israeli market. In contrast, PR experience in another industry is not necessarily helpful in landing employment in hi-tech in Israel.
Read more about being working in Hi Tech in Israel

ENGINEERING:
Engineers are in strong demand in Israel. Electronic and hardware engineers with experience in Realtime and hardware development find a particularly positive market, with jobs available throughout the country. Engineers’ salaries are on the higher end of the pay scale.

Israeli companies require job candidates to have academic degrees. A degree from a recognized academic institution is more valuable than a degree from a technical college.
The Technion specializes in all areas of engineering.  Any student considering studying this field in Israel should look into the programs at the Technion.

EDUCATION:
There are job opportunities for teachers in Israel but, due to language and cultural factors, Olim generally find it easiest to transition into teaching English. In order to become part of the Misrad HaChinuch (Ministry of Education) network and teach in the public school system, it is recommended to come with an academic degree that is recognized by Misrad HaChinuch and a Teacher’s Certificate from abroad. The pay scale for teachers is dependent on level of education and experience and compensation includes the benefits that are available to government workers, but salaries are generally quite low. Many teachers find that they are able to supplement their income by tutoring or running after school English clubs for children.
In order to attain an academic position in a college or university, you will need a Ph.D. Opportunities are limited.
Read more about being a Teacher in Israel

SPEECH/PHYSICAL/OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY:
There are jobs available in these fields both in the public and private sectors. It is important for speech therapists to have strong Hebrew skills.
Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are all degrees that are competitive and require high scores for acceptance. Proficiency in Hebrew is an acceptance criterion for all speech therapy programs.

Read more about being an Occupational Therapist in Israel; Read more about being a Physical Therapist in Israel
Read more about being a Speech Therapist in Israel

GRAPHIC DESIGN
There is a demand for graphic designers in Israel, especially those with expertise in web design.
Graphic Design is mainly offered in colleges, rather than universities, across the country (with the exception of Bezalel Art School). In this field, an impressive portfolio is far more impressive than the name of the college.

Read more about working in Graphic Design in Israel

SECRETARIES
There is great demand in Israel for bilingual secretaries and office managers. These jobs require, at the minimum, conversational Hebrew and good Hebrew computer skills.
Read more about being an Administrator in Israel

NON-PROFIT
Israel is home to a wide range of non-profit organizations, and there are jobs available in administration of these organizations as well as grant writing. Be prepared that high level administrative positions in the non-profit sector may include expectations of fundraising.
There are several universities, such as Hebrew University, that offer MA degree programs in Non-Profit Management. The program is very hands-on and offers a combination of practical management courses and organizational theory.

Read more about working in Non-Profit in Israel

For information about additional professions, please see our online professions index
Or contact: employment@nbn.org.il.