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Working in Columbus

Columbus has a fast-growing and diversified economy. An excellent destination for graduates and young families in particular, Columbus offers plenty of exciting work opportunities.

Four Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Columbus, including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, American Electric Power and retail giants L Brands and Big Lots.


Job market in Columbus

Columbus is home to a booming tech industry with a widespread start-up culture that brings exciting new ventures to the city. Those with skills specific to the tech industry should have little trouble securing employment.

Other industries employing large numbers in the city include education, healthcare, government, insurance, construction and retail.


Finding a job in Columbus

Though unemployment took a slight dive at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Columbus has a resilient economy and unemployment rates have already improved. 

To work in the US, expats will need a work permit, which can only be secured once they have a firm job offer in hand. Useful resources for making connections and finding possible openings include recruitment agencies, online job portals and networking tools such as LinkedIn.


Work culture in Columbus

Columbus has a relaxed and flexible work culture, with the wellbeing of employees treated as a priority. Locals adopt a more laid-back approach to business than one might find on the high-energy American coastal cities, for example, but Columbians are still driven and ambitious workers.

Relationships are valued, and collaboration is seen as an important tool. As in the rest of the US, it’s best not to bring up sensitive topics such as politics or religion at meetings or work gatherings.

Healthcare in Columbus

As is the case in many cities around the US, healthcare in Columbus is a contentious issue. Though the city – and indeed country as a whole – has good-quality healthcare available, access is very much limited due to high costs and little government assistance for low-income individuals.

To ensure access to Columbus hospitals and to cater for day-to-day healthcare expenses, we recommend taking out a robust health insurance policy. This can be either with a local or international health insurance company. These companies will often have a list of recommended healthcare providers, and some policies cover only select hospitals and doctors, so if insurees have a particular hospital in mind, they should check for limitations before signing up. Some employers will pay for or subsidise employees' health insurance.

Here is a list of recommended hospitals in Columbus.


Hospitals in Columbus

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Website: www.nationwidechildrens.org
Address: 700 Childrens Drive, Columbus, OH 43205

OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital

Website: www.ohiohealth.com
Address: 3535 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43214

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Website: www.wexnermedical.osu.edu
Address: 410 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210

Select Specialty Hospital – Columbus South

Website: www.columbussouth.selectspecialtyhospitals.com
Address: 1430 South High St, Columbus, OH 43207

Getting around in Columbus

New arrivals in Columbus will most likely need a car to get by due to the city’s limited public transport infrastructure which consists only of buses, a bikeshare scheme and taxis. Surprisingly for a city of its size, there are no trains or trams in Columbus. In fact, it’s the largest city in the US without any form of rail infrastructure.

The city is far from compact, and its vast layout certainly complicates matters of public transport, making driving a much simpler option.


Public transport in Columbus

Bus

Buses in Columbus are run by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). There are more than 440 buses across 41 bus routes. The bus system transports about 19 million passengers a year.

There are several special services available including express routes, night services and airport connectors. There is also a free downtown circulator and a bus rapid transit route. All buses have free WiFi onboard.

A COTA Connector smartcard can be used to pay for bus fare, or tickets can be bought onboard with exact change.


Taxis in Columbus

There are numerous private cab companies operating in Columbus. Reputable cab companies include Express Cab of Columbus and Columbus Taxi Service. Reservations can be made online or by phone. Ride-hailing applications are also popular, with the most prominent being Uber and Lyft.


Driving in Columbus

Most new arrivals in Columbus will come to realise that their own set of wheels is a necessity. Those with a driver’s licence from another state or country are usually allowed to drive in the US, as long as their licence remains valid. Those with licences in languages other than English should obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before the move.

Once a resident of Ohio, drivers should visit the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles in order to obtain a local driver’s licence.


Cycling in Columbus

The popularity of cycling is on the rise in Columbus as the local authorities are moving towards making Columbus more bicycle friendly with the creation of road facilities such as protected bike lanes and turn boxes.

Those who aren’t quite ready to commit to owning a bike can make use of the CoGo BikeShare service, which consists of over 600 bikes at more than 80 stations across Columbus.