The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Edinburgh

4 minute read

Popular with artists and history-buffs alike, the Scottish capital of Edinburgh is a flourishing creative hub filled with smoky gothic buildings, quaint cobbled streets and a diverse range of local businesses. After London, it’s the second most-visited city in the UK and the second largest financial centre.


A little bit of history…

  • Home of the first Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Edinburgh was the inspiration for the popular Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling wrote most of the books in The Elephant House Café.
  • The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world.
  • It’s the greenest city in the UK.
  • It boasts more listed buildings than anywhere else in the world.
  • It’s one of the fastest growing and most productive cities in the UK across all business sectors.
The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Edinburgh

Jobs in Edinburgh – where to start?

So, you’re considering moving to this thriving centre of industry and culture…but how do you go about finding a new job in Edinburgh?

No matter the sector, you’re likely to find a range of opportunities and businesses to work for. If you work in financial services, the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters are based in Edinburgh along with offices for international companies like JP Morgan. And for those working in the Energy sector, Cairn Energy, one of Europe’s leading oil and gas development companies, calls  Edinburgh home.

For those working in science and technology, Edinburgh hosts a number of research-based businesses and has a thriving tech scene.

Resources for job seekers in Edinburgh

Want to know what jobs are available? Explore a list of current not-for-profit Jobs in Edinburgh on CharityJob. And if you’re more interested in working in the private sector, here are a few recruitment agencies you can get in touch with:

Need some additional help with your CV and cover letter? Or maybe you just want a bit of career advice. Here are a few resources to help get you started:

The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Edinburgh

And what about working for a charity in Edinburgh?

As one of the most prosperous regions in the UK, Edinburgh is home to a number of international and local charities. However, it’s a popular destination, so you’ll have to be quick if you want to secure a position in the not-for-profit sector. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest opportunities, you can set up a job alert for charity jobs in Edinburgh.

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are plenty of options available to help out with local festivals, provide much-needed counselling and even work with youths, just to name a few.  Volunteer Edinburgh is a great resource for finding the right volunteer opportunity, with current listings, courses and even an extensive knowledge database that covers everything you need to know about volunteer work.

Some of the larger charities that are based in Edinburgh include:

Some great local charities include:

The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Edinburgh

Employment market in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a strong employment market, with a 76% employment rate and an unemployment rate of 3.6%, which is nearly 10% lower than the national average. Almost 68% of employees work full-time and 31.9% work part-time, which means there are plenty of options for those looking for more flexible working hours. Edinburgh also has a job density of 1.02 which is higher than the national average.

You can find a more detailed report on Edinburgh’s employment market on the Office for National Statistics website.


Living in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a lot to offer for locals and tourists alike. With plenty of amazing restaurants, independent shops and tonnes of arts and culture, the cost of living is slightly higher than some of its neighbouring Scottish cities. But it’s a small price to pay for life in this historic place.


With stunning Georgian houses and leafy streets, New Town is one of the most picturesque parts of town but is also the most expensive area in terms of housing. If you’re looking for a more affordable neighbourhood, Stockbridge and Morningside are great for young families. Calton and Leith are also cheaper up-and-coming areas to live in. If you’re thinking of buying, the average property price is £269,000. For renters, 2-bed properties average at about £1,370 pcm.

Traffic and travel

Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s major transportation hubs, which means there are several options for local transport – but why take the train in a small city where everything is within walking distance? The city’s winding cobbled streets are loaded with delightful restaurants, cosy pubs and plenty of hidden shortcuts and pedestrian passages.

Trains: Waverly Station in the centre of the city is the second largest station building in the UK, with transport links to several major Scottish cities (Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness) and England (Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and London)

Buses and coaches: Lothian Buses and First Edinburgh are the two major bus services in Edinburgh, with trams that run from York Place directly to the airport. From the Edinburgh Bus Station on Elder Street/ St Andrew Square, you can catch regional and long-distance buses to various locations across the UK, which makes for a cheap and convenient way to explore the stunning surroundings and nearby cities.

The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Edinburgh

What’s happening around town?

During the summer months, the city is brimming with people from all over who’ve come to experience the Fringe Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival. For six weeks in August, the city is an all-day, all-night carnival of culture, where everywhere and everything is a stage. During the rest of the year, Edinburgh is still an ideal destination for some of the nation’s top theatre and spending rainy days in one of many museums.

Outdoors – Locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to the great outdoors. For great views and stunning greenery, visit Arthur’s Seat. Portobello Beach isn’t far from the main town and is a great spot on a rare sunny day.

Sports – Rugby, ice hockey, football and golf are all popular sporting activities in Edinburgh. If you’re a bit of a golf fanatic, there are several outstanding courses within the city limits.

Theatre and music – There are many excellent performance venues scattered throughout the city, including the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, the Liquid Room and The Playhouse. For a more high-brow experience, the Queen’s Hall offers classical, contemporary and avant-garde music.

Shopping – Nestled in the centre of town, Princes Street offers up a diverse range of shops, from high fashion to high tech. There are also plenty of other options on the nearby George Street and along the Royal Mile.


With such a rich history and cultural appetite, Edinburgh is a fantastic city to consider when you’re looking for your next charity job. Take a look at what’s available right now on CharityJob.

Stephanie Dotto

Content & SEO Lead at CharityJob. Lover of fiction, films and food. In a previous life, she was a music and tourism journalist. When she's not writing and editing blog content, she is working on her novel.

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