If you’re thinking of moving or have already moved to Colombia for work, finding the right job is crucial.
Knowing what you want to do makes for a good start. However, you’ll also need to be aware of what employment opportunities actually exist as an expat.
To help you out, we’ve broken down four of Colombia’s most thriving industries in terms of foreign employment.
Let’s begin with one of the most popular choices for expats seeking employment in Colombia.
Digital services have hit new heights of demand worldwide.
In lieu of social distancing and work from home restrictions imposed to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, employees who are able to work online are needed more than ever. Colombia, in this respect, is no different from the rest of the world.
There are a growing number of opportunities for expats with experience in marketing, sales and client service roles in Colombia. In digital marketing alone, there are 68 companies that hire English speakers to choose from.
Depending on your level of experience and specialization, digital services roles pay considerably higher than other service roles in Colombia. Generally speaking, compensation ranges between 3.000.000COP – 10.000.000COP ($1,000 – $3,300USD) a month.
If you’re looking to find easy yet rewarding work in Colombia, bars and restaurants in cosmopolitan areas are always on the lookout for English speakers.
Bar work in Colombia is a great way to learn Spanish. You’ll be communicating in both English and Spanish with coworkers and clients alike, making for a rewarding language exchange that’s embedded in real-life interactions. Also, working in a bar is a fantastic way to make connections and settle well in a new city and culture.
Finding employment in bars is easiest when done face to face. There’s limited information about bar work opportunities on job platforms like Indeed and Computrabajo. Going to the physical bar locations, however, will help potential employers see you as a good-fit candidate to work behind a bar.
Financial compensation-wise, bar work doesn’t pay a lot in Colombia. If you have previous experience working in high-class bars, this will open you up to some of the nicer bars in some of the cities’ more exclusive areas of nightlife.
Work in Colombia for English speakers is no more commonly found than in teaching.
Whether you’ve got a TEFL certificate or you’re a professionally trained and specialized professor, being an educator is one thing that Colombia is always in demand for.
To become a teacher in Colombia, you’ll need a university degree and documentation that shows you’re qualified to teach. Most expat teachers, for instance, have done an online TESOL training course that states that they can teach English as a second language. If you want to teach at a language academy or volunteer at a public school, this should be sufficient.
If you want to teach at a top-quality international school that offers education’s most prestigious programs like IB and Cambridge, you may need a little more. Most of these private schools will require at least 2 years of teaching experience along with the relevant teaching qualifications, and some also want to see that you’ve studied education as your degree.
The difference in compensation between academies and international schools, however, is stark. Academy teachers can expect to earn in the region of 1.500.000COP – 3.000.000COP a month, whereas international school teachers will start at over 3.000.000COP. If you come with sufficient experience and good qualifications, it’s not uncommon to see expat teachers take home in excess of 6.000.000COP a month.
Translation work can be a highly lucrative business opportunity for expats who have the relevant qualifications to do so.
Translators for CVs, legal documentation and technical content are increasingly in demand from international Colombian businesses and individuals. As the world has become more connected with the rapid advancements of technology, the need for Colombia to become bilingual has grown simultaneously.
As a country, Colombia’s level of English is improving but still requires foreign help with specialized services such as translation. Many translation gigs will come as freelance opportunities, but there are some Colombian-based companies that look for full-time translators as well.
Final thought: Book a call with Expat Group for sound Colombian career advice
Finding work in Colombia can be a challenge initially. There’s no doubt that putting your CV and face out there can be a daunting experience, particularly if you’ve just arrived in a new city.
If you find yourself struggling to nail down some work in Colombia though, don’t sweat it. At Expat Group, we’ve helped dozens of foreign nationals like yourself find the job that’s suited to their personal and professional interests. Book an appointment with one of our career consultants today, and set your Colombian employment goals for lift-off.