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  1. #1
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    Default Emigrating to Miami?

    Hi folks,

    I just found this site and after a quick browse thought I'd join the forum and ask a couple of questions that I hope somebody could answer for me please

    First some background - I am a 25 year old engineer working in the oil and gas sector in Scotland. Recently I have grown tired of the same old same old as they say and I have been given serious thought to moving to Miami, though everything is in the real early stages of planning. A mate of mine wants to come to Miami as well though he currently lives in Australia, so we are coming from pretty far afield However I would rather take a chance and try moving abroad when I am free of commitments like kids etc. I have however a few reservations that I hope you could all help clear up for me please.

    1 - My friend and I are both engineers, between us we have experience in electronic and electrical engineering, project engineering and application engineering. I know Houston is a big engineering city in the USA but how does Miami compare as I do not want to go to Houston but I hear Miami is actually pretty diverse in industries there. I am just looking for a general feel of how well this city suits my degree. It wouldn't have to be in the oil and gas sector but I am worried about not being able to get a job with my degree and experience in the area.

    2 - Accommodation wise I would quite like the beach area - good outdoor activties available, good views, good nightlife, gorgeous girls what more could a 25 year old man want However I may hear from you guys that there is no hope of getting a job suitable within 30 then thats a no go. So is the beach possible in terms of commuting to other Miami areas easily or is it a Downtown flat or some other district for any kind of young professional or nothing?

    3- Silly question but where is the city boundary of Miami city itself as I quickly browsed some real estate places and I put in Miami and I got shown areas on a map for Miami but using wikipedia they appear to be cities in their own right like Sunny Isles Beach?

    4. Could people maybe recommend good trust worthy real estate agents and their sites for me to use. I am a bit worried as everytime I think I have found a good looking place to live in my budget I google it and suddenly the reviews make it out to be hell on earth. I am as I said only in the early stages of planning as I have said - it takes time to uproot a life and save enough cash and get VISA's and my mate wants to finish some stuff out in Oz first. How far would a max budget of $1800 go for someplace decent - I would like a nice condo - in your guys views as the place we rent MUST be furnished? I seen Intracoastal Yacht Club | 16900 North Bay Rd. - NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL 33160, Apartment Rentals on Move.com for example and the reviews seem alright but other places for that money are made to sound termite infested, rusty places with horrendous customer service all out for cash only.

    Anyway I will leave it at that for now, as I could go on and on. Oh and if it matters I am not expecting to land a job day 1 in my field - I actually considered bar work for a month or 2 to settle in whilst I look and meet new people and make new friends etc as well applying for a job from Scotland is ok but I find you dont get taken seriously really unless you are there or have years more experience than somebody of my age could possibly have. Thank you in advance to anybody who replies, all PoV's are appreciated.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Hi Scottish to Miami, welcome to 411.

    Miami as most people call it refers to Miami-Dade county. Within this county is small cities, comprising of Miami, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbor and so on. So if you are wanting to move to the beach, you will be moving to Miami Beach within Miami Dade county. Most of us just call it Miami but there is a difference between the two. To most of the world though, Miami brings to mind a picture of South Beach!

    Most people check out craigslist for apartments and look at the realtors postings. Miami Apartment Locators are meant to be good and also Keller Williams. Young professionals do live on the beach but Miami is a big place and if you are thinking of commuting you will 100% need a car.

    As for the job market, I don't know anything about engineering. Jobs in Miami are not that easy to find but if you are thinking of coming here first to find one that is a help, people will not entertain job applicants who are not here. Also, how is your Spanish? Miami is a bi-lingual city and most jobs require Spanish.

    It is a big move but hey, I did it from London and it worked out so good luck planning your move.

  3. #3
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    Hi Scottish,

    I'm sure you've worked very hard for your Engineering degree. You should be able to make great money working in the US. Nevermind bartending for 2 weeks- register with a headhunter, or look on monster.com or careerbuilder.com You have good experience in a field that's in high demand!

  4. #4
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    If you don't mind bartending while you find a job, then you should be good to go.

    However, it may take longer than a month or two to land that engineering job.

    Off-hand, I'm not sure how the opportunities for those kind of jobs compare to other cities, but the metropolitan area actually consists of three counties; Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

    And they are all along the coast, so if you're not so set on Miami Beach, you can still find a beach to live by.

    But as a Miami native, I will be the first to tell you that Miami is where it's at.

    I would recommend moving down here just for the experience. Get a job bartending or waiting tables and make sure you join networking organizations where you can meet people in your field.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    One head up I just want to mention. The market might have a flood of engineers in the near future, as NASA no longer needs as many due to the discontinuation of the Space Shutte this Novermber. A good number have already sought employment elsewhere.

  6. #6
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    Hey,

    Thanks for the advice and info folks, much appreciated

    I am a bit worried as I speak no Spanish at all and I gather from a few of the responses that it may be hard to get a job but I don't mind a challenge as long as it is possible to obtain a job in my field in Miami. The challenge and just the experience will be half the fun Though you do hear horror stories about working in the USA in my field like the avg amount of holidays for example is 12-15 days (Here I have 30 days for example) which would make returning to visit family maybe troublesome. Also the work environments in engineering are supposedly much more cut throat hehe but I suppose it is just a different work culture and possibly all a load of BS anyway. Plus I can always try learn Spanish a bit before I head over and will make a monster.com profile and look for a head hunter perhaps as well.

    I dont mind being a bartender at all, I think it could be fun to just ease myself into the city and could be a good way to meet new folk though would I be screwed in this aspect as well unless I speak Spanish? Also what would you guys say the avg wage of a barman etc is per month just so I can perhaps make up a potential budget on what to live on whilst I search for an engineer job.

    I will keep checking craigslist as well for accomodation but would you say generally speaking in the beach area $1600-1800 could get a good 2 bedroom furnished condo or apartment or if perhaps for a condo or whatever I am seriously over estimating what we can get?

    I was also wondering if cost of living in Miami is pricey? Everything from supermarkets to utility bills to socialising in night clubs to gym membership.

    Thanks guys, I will let my mate know all of this but I am certainly wanting to do this. Miami just seems such a great experience that I want to try it and if I fail I fail but I want to say I tried and lived there for months and got to experience Miami life

  7. #7
    Member Jay2010's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emigrating to Miami?

    Hey Scottish2Miami,

    I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, I'm looking to emigrate in about a month or two once I get all my paperwork through.

    I visited South Beach last year and knew that I had to live there, I fell in love with the place.

    It's pretty difficult getting things sorted from this end though, I literally have no idea of what places are nice/affordable to live in. I guess I'm gonna have to look once I get there. Like you, I'll be looking for pretty much any job as soon as I get there whilst I look for my "ideal" job in IT/Telecomms. Being a bartender seems like a good opportunity to really get to know people though, I'd happily do that for 6 months or so.

    Anyway let me know how you get on, it'd be good to share any problems/experiences you encounter!

    Jay

  8. #8
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    Just to reply on a couple of the questions you had: yes you need Spanish. If you are lucky enough to find a job where they don't ask for it you will still want to be able to at least hold a conversation with people. Please do not assume, well, this is America, I mean, yeah people speak it but they still speak English...sooo not the case. This is MIAMI! So first off, not America! More like capital of Latin America. And secondly, you will meet many many people who speak zero English. And when this is your cashier in CVS, or the guy repairing your AC you will wish you spoke it cos you cannot get stuff done.

    I am not being mean, I'm just telling you straight. South Beach is slightly better, you can just about get by. But staying only on South Beach gets old quickly. Also, I speak zero Spanish so I speak from experience. I wish I could speak it. I have had times when I literally have had to call bi-lingual friends and get them to translate for me on the phone. Very frustrating.

    Holiday wise, you will never have as many as in England. You are looking at 10 days on average.

    But here is some good news: cost of living here is so cheap. As England is ridiculously expensive, Miami is a dream to live in. The only time things get expensive is on a night out for drinks, but if you stay away from the tourist traps you'll be ok. Gym membership is maybe $50-$80 a month depending on where you go.

    $1600-$1800 is about right for a 2 bed condo. Check out craigslist and you'll see what is going on for prices.

    I wish you guys luck, I know how hard it is to plan a move from somewhere else.

  9. #9
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    I came to the US when I was about your age. I was a French software engineer. Here is some ideas/points:

    - You should have a job offer in the US before you come here for two reasons:
    1- You do not want to derail your career this young (6 months of bar-tending will not play well on your CV/Resume, as most of your competition will not have these gaps)
    2- Few, and maybe even less, engineering firms will hire you without the proper working visa (unless you are hired before you get here, most common working VISA is the H1-B, there is also an "intern type" visa J1).

    - The US is very strict on visa situations and modification to status. One offense could be extremely costly/fatal.

    - The job market in the US is at its worst since decades.


    - Be careful with what you get into. A cousin in France working for a bank gets 12 weeks of vacation per year (on top of the numerous national holidays). Every time I see him it hurts. In the US most get 2 week per year maybe 3 weeks after 5 years and 4 weeks after 10 years with the same company (this little perk is rare and usually only with large corporations). Again most here get 10 days at the most.

    You best bet is to contact the HR department of these energy companies and try to get a job that way. Your consulate in the US might be able to offer help (list of Scottish companies in the US).

    Good luck!
    Last edited by christophe; 05-25-2010 at 05:44 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
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    I agree with christophe. For a field like engineering, get the job and visa before coming, not after. He stated the reasons very well.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Emigrating to Miami?

    Hi

    Me and my boyfriend are thinking of moving Miami, not to sure on the time length maybe 1 year to possibly moving perm to Miami, I currently work as a customer service administrator and my boyfriend is a carpet fitter.

    Would be ape able to work in similar jobs in miami?
    We would like to rent hopefully an apartment near the beach, roughly what income between us would we need per month?

    Any tips on moving or any big things we need to think of would be a great help.

    Thanks

  12. #12
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emigrating to Miami?

    Well, customer service you'd need to speak English and Spanish. That's more or less a must in that field. SO if you've got that, yeah, you MIGHT be able to find work. Unemployment here is much higher than the national average, and we have tons of unemployed people as it is. Unfortunately, positions that require less education are the fewest and furthest between here as well due to our large immigrant population.

    So same for your husband's line of work, he'll be competing with a lot of Central American and Haitian immigrants for jobs. who may work longer and for less money.

    This will be especially difficult if you want to move to the Beach. Rent on a decent 1 BR there is about $1300 a month. That may or may not include utilities. Electricity is $85-$150 a month, depending on the season. Cable/Internet about 50. I'd say if you want to live in the Beach you'll need at least $3000 a month, and that's for one person. I'd guess for 2 more like a combined $5000. And again, that's skimping on groceries and not driving much.

    I'm guessing with those jobs you'll need a car too, and insurance here is about three times what it is in most parts of America. In other words, cost of living here is very high. And with the jobs you described it may be hard to live on the Beach. Perhaps look at Little Havana as an alternative.

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