10 Steps to Finding a Job in Hawaii in 2020-2021 Step 1. Take Care of Savings Step 2. Get an Internship Step 3. Go Online Step 4. Research Your Profession Step 5. Connect With Local Communities Step 6. Write a Resume and Cover Letter Step 7. Get a Visa Step 8. Be Ready to Volunteer Step 9. Build Your Network Step 10. Study the Culture Most Demanding Jobs In Hawaii Conclusion
10 Steps to Finding a Job in Hawaii in 2020-2021 Step 1. Take Care of Savings Step 2. Get an Internship Step 3. Go Online Step 4. Research Your Profession Step 5. Connect With Local Communities Step 6. Write a Resume and Cover Letter Step 7. Get a Visa Step 8. Be Ready to Volunteer Step 9. Build Your Network Step 10. Study the Culture Most Demanding Jobs In Hawaii Conclusion
Updated 04/12/2020

10 Steps to Finding a Job in Hawaii in 2024

Do you want to start a new life in paradise? We will share the nuances of how to find a job in Hawaii, where to start, what to look for, and how to succeed. This guide will be useful for students, experienced specialists, and even foreigners.

Do you want to start a new life in paradise? We will share the nuances of how to find a job in Hawaii, where to start, what to look for, and how to succeed. This guide will be useful for students, experienced specialists, and even foreigners.

Pleasant breezes, waterfalls, turquoise waters, azure lagoons, endless beaches, year-round tanning, and other attributes of paradise life attract enthusiasts from all over the world to Hawaii. Many would like to move here to live, but it is worth remembering that the volcanic islands still have a high unemployment rate of 12.5%. With all this in mind, finding a job in Hawaii is quite realistic. The main thing is putting forth the effort. In this article, we will tell you how to find a job on the volcanic islands for US citizens and foreigners.


Step 1. Take Care of Savings

One of the most important things you should know about Hawaii islands is that no one here gets a job offer before moving. This is because most applicants who call from outside of the islands never come for an interview. Therefore, employers are only interested in those job seekers who live in Hawaii.

Another nuance is that the competition in the labor market is very high. So don't expect to find a good job in your first month. Make sure that you have savings for 4-6 months after you move, in case you are unable to receive adequate income. According to Real, Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is ranked as the 8th most expensive city in the US and 19th most expensive globally. The average salary on the islands is $66,000 a year, so finding a job with $60,000 would be a success. In general, the amount of savings you’ll need to move to Hawaii depends on your needs, but for a modest life on the islands during the first months, you should have at least $15,000.


Step 2. Get an Internship

This step is for students only, so if you graduated from college or university long ago, just skip this step. An internship is an opportunity to gain professional experience and get a good job after its completion. Most internships last from 1 to 3 months, with at least half of them unpaid. However, if the trainee shows their best sides and is ready to work hard, they have a high chance of getting an official position.

You can find over 100 different programs that offer students and undergraduate full-time and part-time internships in Hawaiian. The best resources for finding Internships on the islands are Chegg and Go Abroad, where you can find work in a variety of industries, from tourism to IT.


Step 3. Go Online

It's good if you have friends in Hawaii who can help you settle down. But if you don't know anyone here, the Internet is a great way to meet new people. Even though you have to be here physically, the online world opens up many opportunities for finding a job. Use local resources to find job vacancies on the islands.

  1. Hawaii Jobs On Demand / Kamaaina Jobs. It is a resource, founded in 2001, that provides a list of job opportunities in various industries for those who have just graduated from university and those who have professional experience but want to change jobs.
  2. Hawaii is Hiring. It is a handy job search that helps all those who live in Hawaii to advance their careers. Here you will find thousands of different jobs and training programs for skills and professional development.
  3. Department of Land and Natural Resources. This is a resource for all those who want to find work in the government sector. The site publishes new vacancies often, so keep an eye out for updates.
  4. Mānoa Career Center. This is an excellent board for students to find useful information about internships, training programs, additional courses, job opportunities, and more.
  5. HAWAII JOB CORPS CENTER. It is a government education program that helps young people aged 16 to 24 get vocational training and later find work.
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Step 4. Research Your Profession

Scientia potentia est - knowledge is power. Now you understand how hard it is to find a job in Hawaii. But do not despair, you have every chance of getting a good job. To do this, you need to know absolutely everything about your profession in Hawaii. This means that you have to learn all the available positions in your field, know what wages you can expect, what the employer waits for most, their priorities, and so on. It is important to study everything to the smallest detail to use this as an advantage further. The more you know about the job market, the more likely you will beat out other job seekers. Plus, as you learn more about what's going on in your industry, you gain valuable knowledge of the local culture. After all, you are still an outsider, and many employers will be wary of you.


Step 5. Connect With Local Communities

When looking for work in Hawaii, visit all local communities, fairs, parties, and so on. You need to understand what is happening on the islands and make new acquaintances. Having met the residents, you will get the opportunity to learn more about what is happening on the island, and one of them will definitely help you find a job. Be sincere. Hawaiians are unique and inimitable people who value dedication. If you help unselfishly, you will soon find out that the island inhabitants are ready to come to your aid at any time. Spend more time among local places to get comfortable and lose your status as an outsider.


Step 6. Write a Resume and Cover Letter

The next thing you should do is prepare a presentation of your professional talents. It is necessary to write two important documents - a resume and a cover letter.

A resume is a must-have in any job application; without it, the employer simply won't consider your candidacy. It is a formal document that briefly and concisely describes your professional experience, education, and skills. Even if you're just a student looking for an internship, you still need to prepare a resume that emphasizes your academic achievements.

The next equally important document is the cover letter. It is polite in tone but an ad in purpose. The essence of writing a cover letter is to tell the employer why you want to work in their business and why you are the best candidate for the position. Overall, a well-written cover letter can be a great employment opportunity, even for someone with no experience.

Note that both the resume and the cover letter must be individual for each vacancy where you apply. If you want to grow your chances of success, learn more about the company you are trying to work with.

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Step 7. Get a Visa

For foreigners, before moving to Hawaii, you must have permission to live and work here. The surest way to stay in the United States forever is to get a green card. It can be obtained through 4 methods:

  • Green Card Through Family. You can file a petition if you are a close relative of a US citizen.
  • Green Card Through a Job. This category is one of the broadest, as it means that you can get a green card not only with the help of your employer but by making an investment or if you have a unique profession.
  • Being a Refugee or Asylee. If you are a refugee and live in the United States, you can apply for a green card one year after entering the country.
  • By winning the Lottery. Every year there is a draw in which lucky ones from around the world receive a green card. It's completely free. All you need to do is fill out the petition on the website correctly and submit your documents.

The next option is to obtain an HB-1 visa. It applies to individuals who have a specialty that requires specific skills, knowledge, and professionalism. In other words, to receive such a visa, your profession must be in demand in the United States, and you must also find an employer who is ready to provide you with a job, vouch for you, and pay your salary. The HB-1 visa is valid for three years, after which you can extend it for another three years. Thus, to get it, you still have to find an employer. Please note that you can get a tourist visa to fly to the islands and start looking for potential jobs. As we mentioned earlier, finding work from outside of Hawaii is difficult, but keep in mind that a tourist visa does not entitle you to work. It just gets you in the door to find a job.

If you cannot get an HB-1 certificate, you can try to work legally in another way. Students who have received a B-1 visa can work up to 20 hours a week 9 months after arriving in the United States. In this case, you can find any position on campus, but it is worth remembering that it will be low paid.


Step 8. Be Ready to Volunteer

Once you get on your feet with a great job, there will be plenty of beaches and diving in your life. But while you are at the very beginning of the journey, grab any job. By becoming a volunteer, you will gain valuable experience and make acquaintances with local residents. There are many nonprofit organizations in Hawaii looking for volunteers for various purposes, from helping animals to helping victims of violence, and so on. You can choose any direction, depending on your preference. Volunteering should not become your main job, as it is often free labor. However, in addition to being a place of work, it helps you make more contacts and explore the local population and life. In the future, this experience will come in handy for the development of your career.


Step 9. Build Your Network

Building your professional environment is a necessary process, no matter where you live or look for work. Most vacancies find the right employees even before they are published online. Forge a friendly relationship with everyone you meet, especially in your professional life. Your work network will help you not only in getting a job in Hawaii but also in the development of your career. Add more contacts on Facebook and Linkedin to keep in touch.

Arriving in Hawaii, you will quickly realize that everyone here knows each other. And you must become a part of this world if you want to settle down here. Meet new people by attending local professional events, demonstrating your intention to become an essential part of society.


Step 10. Study the Culture

Hawaii is an entirely different world. Here people are relaxed and as good-natured as possible. And this is not surprising because living in such a paradise makes it impossible to harbor malice in the heart. Hawaii is the most international island, and here nobody cares where you are from. People are assessed by their personal qualities, so bad people do not stay here for long. Note that Hawaii has one of the lowest crime rates. To join the tribe, study the culture and pay attention to how the locals behave and speak. It is easy to be part of the island life here if you are willing to work and show your positive qualities. In the end, the first thing Hawaiians evaluate is what kind of person you are, and only then your professional experience.


Most Demanding Jobs In Hawaii

The most developed industry on the islands is tourism, so if you are thinking about how to find a job in Hawaii, any role in the tourism business is a good place to start. But, since many people want to get there, salaries are not the highest. So we'll highlight a few of the top-rated, best-paying jobs in Hawaii, according to Business Insider, to help you navigate your future career.


Psychiatrists treat and prevent psychiatric disorders with medication. They assess the patient's condition, choose the most optimal treatment type based on their needs, and prescribe medications. The main requirements for becoming a psychiatrist on the islands are a master's degree in psychiatry and licensing. There is a Psychiatric School in Hawaii, which you can go through and start practicing in 4 years. On average, such specialists get $269,000 a year.

Family and General Practitioners

This is another popular profession because the islands require specialized personnel, of which this is currently not enough. In this position, you can expect to earn $231,000 a year. They examine patients, diagnose, treat, prevent serious injuries, and appoint a patient to visit another, more narrowly focused specialist.

Physicians and Surgeons

As with the two previous professions, a degree in medicine is also required here. This category covers surgeons as well as urologists, gynecologists, physiatrists, allergologists, radiologists, neurologists, immunologists, dermatologists, etc. Overall, there is a huge demand for healthcare workers in Hawaii. On average, this category of professionals makes $229,000 per year.

Chief Executives

These professionals work in both the private and public sectors, shaping the overall policy of the organization. They plan, coordinate, and direct the operations of a firm or institution at the highest level and, on average, can expect $202,000 annually.

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Construction is actively developing in Hawaii. On the Islands, you will find many new hotels and apartments. Thus, the management staff is also in demand. These positions presuppose an in-depth knowledge of the principles of architecture and the laws of physics. Architectural and Engineering Managers coordinate activities related to the design and construction of new structures and conduct field research. On average, they get $145,000 a year.



Now you know the basic nuances of how to get a job in Hawaii. Hopefully, you can apply them successfully in practice. It's okay if you can't find a job on the first try. After the move, it is important not to despair, but to continue your search, making every effort. In case of refusal, be sure to ask the employer for feedback and explain why they did not hire you. This is an essential aspect of correcting your mistakes and finally getting your dream job. Also, remember that professional documents, namely a resume and cover letter, are more than 50% of your success.

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