Big Kahuna

Working in St. Thomas

One of the big decisions to be made when you commit to a St. Thomas relocation is ‘where will I work’?

This depends on what you currently do. I can tell you my experience, as some of you may relate.

When we decided to move I was close to beginning my fourth year in a corporate job, a small company south of Boston. I knew one thing about working in St. Thomas: I didn’t want to sit in an office for 40 hours a week. Tourism is a huge industry on the island, and I was excited to dust off my comfy waitressing shoes and start serving drinks to tourists. One question – where? A month or two before the move I put some calls in to a couple of places; the conversations went something like this,

“Hi! I’m moving down to St. Thomas in December, can you let me know if you have any open server positions?”

“We might have some open positions, contact us once you’re ‘on island’.”

The most I got from the phone calls were some names – that was about it. As soon as we arrived I called again and set up some appointments - as I was now ‘on island’ they were happy to meet with me and I secured a position.

There are many jobs to be had in the tourist industry – retail positions in the many stores, a variety of careers with hotels and resorts, joining the team at a tourist destination like Mountain Top or Coral World. Once you get on island you should be prepared to set aside some time to get in the car and go from place to place. Face to face contact always beats a phone call!

One thing that worked in my favor? We moved there at the beginning of the high season (Dec through April), so there were jobs to be had. Had we moved during the slow season I would have had a more difficult time as businesses cut down on hours and positions.

Looking for a job outside of tourism? St. Thomas has schools, government offices, healthcare options, real estate positions, law offices, banks…etc. If you’re currently working in a position in one of these fields it would not be as necessary for you to be on island to apply for job opportunities. Get on the internet and phone, fax in your resume, contact as many people as possible and let them know when you’ll be arriving, what your experience is and when you can start. Newspapers are a great place for research - check out the St. Thomas Source and the VI Daily News. One thing to keep in mind, the salary may be lower than you hoped.

If none of the above options appeal to you then it might be time to hit the water! Snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing, charter boats – these are all acitivities that you could be a part of. Join a resort and spend your days teaching people how to windsurf. Check out our beaches and encourage people to up their fun level by renting them jet skis and other watercraft. Go down to a marina and see who needs a mate on their ship. The opportunities are endless.

Still want another option? Tap into your entrepreneurial spirit and open a business on the island – think of something St. Thomas needs that no one has thought of yet!

Then run it by us :)

Good luck!

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39 Comments »

  1. August 12, 2008 @ 9:17 am

    Alexis Karlin Said,

    Just to let you guys know my parents are allways looking for Office staff, assistants, etc. They own a Dentist Office (The Smile Center). So if you are looking to do dentistry or secretarial postions feel free to contact them at 340.775.9110.
    Here is their website:
    http://thesmilecenterusvi.googlepages.com/home

    Thanks@
    Alexis Karlin

  2. August 15, 2008 @ 9:58 am

    Simon Said,

    Thanks for the info Nicci. You are on target. That is why i put your blog on my web site. It seems to have nice topics and know hows. Simon

  3. August 15, 2008 @ 10:23 am

    Island Girl Said,

    Thanks for the comment Simon! Don’t forget to check out our message boards :)

  4. August 17, 2008 @ 1:33 pm

    Brian Said,

    Moving down to St.Thomas in December. Live in Scottsdale Az now and ready to get back to island life, I lived on Crete for 4 years. I can’t seem to find apt rentals and would love some help, also have a small dog. Where would you recomend to live? I’ve owned 3 nightclubs and worked for the state as well. Any help and advice would be great. Thank you. Brian

  5. August 17, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    Go to http://www.buysellvi.com and ask for Karen Korsgren. She’ll hook you up. Tell her we sent you.

  6. April 24, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    Catherine Said,

    I’m looking for work in Logistics or Purchasing/Procurement. Does anyone know of any such openings in St. Thomas? Any help would be appreciated. I’m available in about 2 weeks to relocate. Thanks.

  7. April 25, 2009 @ 5:45 am

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    I don’t but try the VI Daily News.

  8. May 4, 2009 @ 6:36 am

    Catherine Said,

    Thank you, Big Kahuna. Tried that and found something. Now lets see if I get it.

  9. June 19, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Debra/Rick Said,

    Great site we are visiting July 3rd for a week. Interested in eventually owning a small restuarant as my husband has owned 5 in his lifetime. He is currently a marine contractor here in south fl. and may want to procure a position in that until we can find our spot!

  10. August 26, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    Mark Said,

    Hey guys,i currently live on Tortola in the BVI and am thinking of moving to St Thomas or St John. Im Scottish though and im not sure if i need green cards and stuff to work there. Any help would be great Thanks

  11. August 26, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    Hey Mark, Whatever you would need to live and work in the states you’ll need here. I’m really not sure of the requirements.

  12. May 10, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    Amanda Said,

    Greetings,

    I happened on this site through a search about radio stations. I was wondering about the broadcasting industry in out there. I’m thinking of relocating, want to start networking before making a big move. I have been a radio professional for 8 years, and have worked in film as well.

    Thanx a bunch!

  13. May 16, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    Brenna Said,

    I have been to the island several times and have decided to move there permanently. I have 8 years of teaching computer information systems on collegiate level, owned 3 small businesses to include career transition coaching, and a training and certification program offered online. Most recently, I developed and implemented a career coaching and employer relations programs at two universities. The last one was recently (last month) identified as a best practice by our accreditation agency. I am most interested in building relationships between the university and employer partners to benefit the community and provide real-world experience for the students through internships and short-term projects. I have conducted some research on UVI website, but am wondering if you have a contact or could provide some insight into networking within the university community. Thank you!

  14. May 16, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    Sorry we don’t have any contacts at the University.

  15. May 30, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    Karen Said,

    Greetings, Big Kahuna.. question… I am a native New Yorker planning on relocating to St. Thomas and would like to change my career from Legal Executive Assistant (35 years experience) to working in the hotel industry as an Executive Assistant, Assistant Supervisor or Event Coordinator. Do I need to have hotel experience in order to work at any of the hotels there? If not, should I just apply directly with the hotels in St. Thomas?

  16. May 30, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    Um I would think you’d experience but just getting good quality, reliable employees is tough to find here as well so they may train you.

  17. June 12, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    Cristy Said,

    Hello!

    Just found this blog. Thanks for creating it!

    I’m in the early stages of moving to the island. I am a makeup artist, wardrobe stylist and body painter. Do you know how the industry for these types of services is in St. Thomas?

    I have over 10+ years experience working with individuals, on commercials, television, magazines and video assignments. Also, I have lots of sewing and design experience.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Cristy

  18. July 6, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Gordy M Said,

    I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I have had enough of the winter and -25 degree weather. I will be moving to St. Thomas in the next month or two and would like to stay busy. I have been doing IT work (computers, servers, webpages, tech support, etc….) for the past 25 years and looking for a postion with a company that may need a part-time IT person. I am open to anything IT related and want to enjoy the island life.

    If anyone could use my help, please let me know?

    Thanks,
    Gordy

  19. July 6, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    Gordy, head over to: http://www.lovetolime.com and sign up for some groups.

  20. December 19, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

    Zach Said,

    Hello,

    I just recently graduated from Columbia College in Chicago. I’ve got a great summer seasonal job but I’m interested in chasing the season as it moves south (Dec to April). I’m researching my best options and St. Thomas is up there. I currently work as a bartender but I would love to pursue my major in Event production/ venue management. So I have a few questions that follow, my first being: are there any resorts that stand out in front of the rest, that also offer concerts and large events? Any resorts that offer employee housing? If not, a source that could point me to cheap/ safe housing? And finally, I intend on building a relationship with the establishment that hires me and come back every winter season, essentially to chase the seasons and the money that comes with it. That being said, is it possible to make enough money to save, pay bills and have a little fun?

    Cheers,

    -Zach

  21. January 7, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    dave Said,

    Visited a couple years ago would like to relocate, read blog, lots of good info. What’s the limit of population on the island? getting close to max capacity? need pilots?

  22. January 8, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    people constantly vome and go so population is pretty much the same. And yes, Pilots are always needed.

  23. February 16, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

    mike Said,

    my wife and i are considering a move to st Thomas in the next 2 years she is an elementary art teacher and i am a firefighter paramedic we both have 20 plus years in our jobs. do you think we will be able to find jobs on the island?

  24. February 17, 2011 @ 6:46 am

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    The teaching job will be easier than the fire job. It’s all who you know down here so networking will be critical.

  25. March 17, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    hammer williamson Said,

    Getting ready to move to st. Thomas to sell custom dog tags. What do you think is best course of action so i don’t upset the locals before they can get to know me.

  26. July 3, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

    MM Said,

    Question how much money is need to start over in st thomas. I’m looking to move there…

  27. August 17, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    Anthony K Said,

    This site has answered so many questions, (some of which I didn’t even know I had) I really appreciate you building this site! I am currently a general manager of a large (~7,000 members) health club, I have A LOT of experience in personal training and fitness/management….any suggestions of a related field or company in the islands that would be good to inquire about a position?

  28. August 17, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    We have very small gyms here, I really wouldn’t know.

  29. September 27, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    Moving To St. Thomas US Virgin Islands – Everything You Need To Know Said,

    [...] Working in St. Thomas: http://www.stthomasblog.com/?p=934 [...]

  30. March 12, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

    tommy Said,

    Hi, i looking to moving in St-Thomas, But i was a little “worried” about work. I’m working in the jewelry from 5 years, are you know what is the average wage and if it’s a good way to work?

    Ho, i forgot. I’m french canadien, as you could see, english too ;) What’s about the french talker’s? And the working permit for canadien citizen?

    Thank for your help.
    Tommy.

  31. April 18, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Leah Said,

    Hi, my husband and I are considering moving to St. Thomas. We are both in hi tech with experience in software development and software quality assurance. Can you point me in the right direction online to look up these type of jobs. All your assistance is much appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Leah

  32. April 19, 2012 @ 6:41 am

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    You can try http://www.career.vi/ but your best bet might be an EDC company and you usually find those by word of mouth.

  33. June 6, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    SDJ Said,

    I’m looking to move to St. Thomas in the next year. I’ve been a licensed attorney working in Washington DC for the past 14 years, except for a two year stint in Hawaii. I’ve also served in the US Army Reserves as a JAG officer for 9 years. And I’m a licensed Realtor in DC. What would be my best option for employment when transitioning to St. Thomas?

  34. June 6, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    Whatever your passion is :)

  35. September 13, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Paul Said,

    If you do not have your own vehicle the main source of transportation are taxi’s Registered Nurse may be taking position with Schneider Clinic to check it out for a year and really don’t think it would be worth it to transport my current klunker…do have a couple friends already there-any other form of transportation system. I know the island is about 13 miles long 4miles width and very mountainous in spots….just looking for some info…THANK YOU!!

  36. December 24, 2012 @ 1:57 am

    Marcelo Machado Said,

    Good day to you all and happy holiday season!
    Fifteen years ago a flew into St Thomas and St Croix, and since then always had in mind living there. I grew up as a baker in South America, I am a pastry chef presently working for The Culinary Institute of America. As my youngest son will be off to college this coming year, I am in the search of a new professional opportunity in a creative-refined, but yet “unpretentious” setting.
    So please shoot me a line if you may know one! I can be contacted at
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/marcelomamaral/
    Thank you!
    Marcelo

  37. December 24, 2012 @ 5:27 am

    BIG Kahuna Said,

    You will easily find a job as a chef or cook depending on your credentials. When you come down start going in person to restaurants.

  38. December 26, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    Will Said,

    Thanks for the info in the blog. My wife and I recently visited for 10 days earlier this month and instantly knew we needed to make the move. We have had friends who lived in St. John and their experience was great. We both currently work in the “corporate world” and are ready to start fresh, similar to your story I guess. She is hoping to teach in the school system and has already started her application. I have experience in the hotel and restaurant industries so I know I can find something once I am on the island again. Our problem is that our lease does not end until the end of April and we are afraid that with it being the end of the high season, I might not be able to find something as quickly as I want to. What advice or help can you give to us for our future move? Thanks!

  39. January 13, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    Priscilla Smith Said,

    I am a CNA, hoping to live in St. Thomas. I have a paralyzed daughter on a ventilator, whom I take care of at home, with the help of some RN’s. One of them also wants to relocate, all of us in about 2 years or so.

    I’m sure an RN or CNA would find opportunities for work. But, what are the medical advantages there for my daughter? As a US citizen, would she qualify for some of her medical needs through a MediCaid system there?

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