2019 was a watershed year for foreign influx to Colombia.
A record 4.5 million tourists visited its shores, helping Colombian GDP to grow by 3.3% in the process. Over a million of these tourists have also stayed on to live and work in Colombia.
Increasingly, foreign nationals are looking to upsticks and grow their careers in the land of arepas and reggaeton.
The question is: how do you find work as a foreigner in Colombia?
To help you out, we’ve taken a look at the best possible steps you can make to finding yourself employment in Colombia, and the most important factors that can influence your success.
Let’s get started with where to look for Colombian employment opportunities.
Colombian job search resources
If you’re already living in Colombia, you’ve got the advantage of being able to go physically to different businesses and ask for work. It’s always good for Colombian businesses to be able to put a face to the name, so if you know what kind of work you’re looking for, this isn’t the worst of places to start.
If you’ve not got the luxury of being able to physically travel to business locations, don’t fret. There are a host of job websites containing a range of Spanish and English speaking jobs:
- Computrabajo: Computrabajo is a leading job portal in Latin America, helping businesses offer employment opportunities across 19 Latin countries. The site is written in Spanish. It’s rare to find less than 50,000 Colombian job opportunities at any given time on the platform.
- Indeed: Indeed will be familiar to most expats. And it’s presence in Colombia is undeniable. It hosts a good chunk of Colombia’s English and bilingual jobs, and alerts you when new opportunities arise by email.
- XPATJobs: XPATJobs was purpose built to put expats into Colombian employment. Still having a good presence in the Colombian job market, it offers useful tips on adapting your CV to suit what employers are looking for.
Need help finding work in Colombia? Get in touch with Expat Group to get your dream Colombian job.
Types of industries for foreign workers
There are many employment opportunities for foreign workers across a variety of industries in Colombia.
The most popular expat employment choice is teaching. With teaching, getting the Colombian work visa or Colombian volunteer visa is relatively straightforward, especially if it’s with an established educational institute like a private school. Depending on the type of school or university you work in, salaries can range from 1.500.000COP as a volunteer to 5.000.000COP starting in a top private school.
Likewise, the Colombian service sector is constantly in need of bilingual or English speaking workers. From volunteering at hostels to working in bilingual call centers, Colombia as a variety of B2C and B2B employment options from foreigners. The likes of Oracle and UPS have been known to recruit customer service representatives in Bogotá.
An up-and-coming demand is in Colombia’s thriving tech industry. Some of Colombia’s more cosmopolitan cities like Medellín, Cali and Bogotá are now becoming tech startup hubs, particularly with the improvement in their technological infrastructures (internet connectivity has drastically improved in these areas over the past five years). Whether you’re a developer, business analyst or marketer, there are plenty of growing tech businesses that are on the lookout for English speaking talent.
What is the average salary for a foreign worker in Colombia?
The average salary in Colombia is $692. In pesos, that converts to around $2.500.000COP. As a reference, this is approximately two and a half times the minimum monthly wage in Colombia.
Given that expats, for the most part, have a higher level of English than the Colombian workforce, this means your employment comes at a premium for businesses. Better said, your salary should be significantly higher than the national average. At Expat Group, we’ve known some foreign nationals working in prestigious colleges to earn up to $8.000.000COP a month.
Looking for a killer job in Colombia? Expat Group can provide you with the tools to find inspiring work experience.
Where are the majority of the expat jobs in Colombia?
The majority of expat jobs that provide a Colombian work visa are in the bigger cities like Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cali and Medellín.
If you’re interested in NGO or charity work, however, you can find opportunities in some of Colombia’s coastal towns and more rural areas. Foundations such as Heart for Change send expats across Colombia to help economically disadvantaged Colombians learn English and find employment for themselves.
Final Thought: Working as an expat in Colombia rocks!
Colombia is home to some of Latin America’s most rewarding and interesting job opportunities.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that so many expats travel to Colombia and end up staying to find work here. If you’re struggling to find the right job for you, don’t panic. At Expat Group, we specialize in helping foreign nationals like you find the role that’s right for your career development. If you’re looking for some friendly advice or a bit of Colombian career guidance, book an appointment to speak with one of our career consultants today.