How easy is it to take your job from the UK to the US?

It’s often said that the UK and the USA are two nations divided by a common language.  There’s similar mischief at play when it comes to jobs. Is the same job in a different environment still the same job? Well not if you’re a lawyer, architect or any number of other professionals. Different structures and standards mean that you’ll need to resit a different set of tough exams.

Truck drivers

Blue collar jobs can be quite different too. For example, truck drivers in both the United States and the United Kingdom do share a lot of similarities of obvious similarities, but their terms and conditions put them in different spheres.  On average, truck drivers in America make about 30% more than their counterparts driving in the UK. Another noteworthy difference is that in Europe, a truck driver may work a week of  48-60 hours, and sometimes more than this if there is a need. However in the United States, there are stricter regulations when it comes to how long a truck driver can be on the road for. In America, a truck driver is not legally allowed to work more than 60 hours in any 7 day period.


When it comes to being a doctor, your experience may vary greatly between the UK and the US due to their different health care systems. If you are working in Britain you will likely be employed by the NHS – the National Health Services, making you a government employee. While in the United Stated, it is more likely that you will be employed by a private hospital or clinic, or run your own private practice. Running your own private practice has some advantages such as being your own boss and in charge of your working hours. But you’ll also obviously face the challenges of being a business owner alongside a focus on the medical and emotional needs of patients. Whereas, when working for the NHS, you will get a fixed income and have income stability.


Being a teacher in the UK and the US are often quite different due to the inherent differences between the education systems in place. One major difference is that there are different grades where major assessment is done. For example, British students are approximately 16 years old when they take their GCSEs, and then A levels are done from ages 16 through 18, with AS levels typically being completed in the 16-17 age bracket, followed by A2 levels from 17-18 years. Meanwhile, in American schools there are a variety of standardized tests taken throughout one’s schooling career, and SATS being written for those wanting to pursue tertiary education. This means that, for example, if you taught 10th graders in America this would be slightly less stressful than in the UK, as you would have to be preparing the students for their GCSEs.

We may speak the same language but a familiar job or role can look quite different when it’s located in a different continent. Following a popular career path may still be a great route to being able to see the world while you work, but don’t expect to be able to do it without also being committed to continuous learning.

Image: US UK via Shutterstock

Leave a comment