Living and Working

Edinburgh is a beautiful and compact city with a rich history and thriving cultural scene. These qualities are helping to attract, and retain, a highly skilled workforce that is driving the city’s growth. To continue this growth Edinburgh’s top companies are seeking to recruit the best people from around the world. Are you next?

Here are a few reasons why Edinburgh is a great city to live and work in.

  • Edinburgh is ranked the UK's Best place to live by USwitch.
  • 2nd highest average wage rate in the UK.
  • Average cost to rent a one bedroom flat in Edinburgh is less than half of the cost in London (£675 per month vs £1670). (Source:
  • 16% of people walk to work in Edinburgh. That's more than any other UK city.
  • This year the city's Festivals will welcome over 3,000 performers from 49 countries who will carry out 50,000 shows in 313 venues. 

Moving to Edinburgh - FAQs 

Who can I work for?

Within Edinburgh there are several industries with lots of firms ranging from large corporations to small start-ups. However, Edinburgh is perhaps best known for its Financial Services sector. Some of the largest employers in the city include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Baillie Gifford, Standard Life and Virgin Money.

Edinburgh has also seen rapid growth in the technology sector over the last 10 years. The city’s skilled workforce has attracted international companies such as Amazon, Dell and Adobe. In fact, Amazon chose Edinburgh as the location for their first software development centre in Europe.

There is also an expanding pool of home-grown start-ups and university spin-outs. Two of the most successful home-grown companies are Skyscanner and FanDuel who are enjoying international success; however they are just two of many successful tech companies in Edinburgh. You’ll find a list of some of the larger tech firms here.

If you fancy working for a start-up? Check out StartEDIN and CodeBase.

There are also world-leading companies in several other sectors such as Life Sciences and the Creative industries.

With a wide selection of potential employers it means that if your new job doesn’t work out or you’re planning to moving jobs again in few years you won’t have to relocate to another city.

What’s the money like? 

Edinburgh has a low unemployment rate as well as a high proportion of high skill professional jobs. According to jobs website Adzuna, which analysed more than 800,000 jobs advertised on the website during 2014, Edinburgh had the 3rd highest wages in the UK.

With lower living costs, especially accomodation, it’s likely you’ll have a higher disposable income than you would in London.

You can use Numbeo to compare living cost in Edinburgh to your current location. 

How would I get to work?

Edinburgh is a compact city which can make getting to work easy. There is a well developed, and much loved, bus network that is popular with commuters. A lot of people also walk or cycle to work.

Edinburgh's bus and tram network is popular way to move around the city.

In fact, 54% of city residents, who work or study in Edinburgh, commute on foot, by bike or by public transport.

If you live further afield the train is a popular option and many people commute in from Fife, Glasgow, Dundee and Perth.

However, a walk through a UNESCO World Heritage site is a great way to start the day - life is too short to spend lots of time commuting!

Where can I live?

Edinburgh has been ranked the best place to live in UK, according to a new quality of life index compiled by USwitch. Researchers assessed 138 areas on 26 different themes including employment rate, average gross income, exam results, house prices, average weekly rents, crime rates, hours of sunshine and energy prices. Life expectancy, working hours and the average price of household goods were also taken into account.

As with every city Edinburgh has several areas that are popular to live in with each offering their own characteristics. Popular areas in Edinburgh include:

City Centre - Georgian splendour of the New Town next to the historic charms of the Old Town.

Stockbridge - Very popular residential area, particularly for families. The Water of Leith runs through this lovely part of town, which very much has its own relaxed ‘village’ atmosphere.

Leith - Historic port town that is known for its waterfront views, smart apartment blocks, and award winning restaurants and bars. Leith is particularly popular with young people, though many families also live in the area.

Morningside and Bruntsfield - Adjacent districts that retain their own unique ‘village’ feel. Just a short bus ride from the buzzing city centre, they are quieter and very popular with families. Their primary and secondary schools are particularly sought after.

What is there to do?

The Festivals and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo attract millions of visitors every year.

Being a popular city with tourists there are countless pubs, clubs and restaurants to keep you entertained, including a few with Michelin Stars.

If you are interested in music and theatre check out the latest cultural offerings from various venues including the Usher Hall, Festival Theatre and the Playhouse.   

Edinburgh is also the world's Festival capital, with 12 international festivals and a host of other major events throughout the year.

The annual programme of festivals are a unique cultural phenomenon and attract over 4 million people, while only the Olympics and the World Cup exceed the number of tickets sold for Edinburgh’s festival events. 

For latest information on what’s on check out This is Edinburgh

Need more? 

Check out this from BuzzFeed - 53 Reasons Living In Edinburgh Ruins You For Life

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