As arguably the most politically influential, economically advanced, and culturally diverse continent on the planet, North America is a top destination where to land a job abroad for workers from all over the world. In whatever field your global career aspirations lay, finding work abroad in North America can only be a positive leap forward; it will give you the opportunity to earn valuable professional experience while immersing yourself within a hardworking, competitive, and multicultural international setting.
With roughly 35 million citizens, Canada is the northernmost and least populous country in North America. It is also the second largest country on the planet by total area, and has one of the world’s largest economies as well. Canada is renowned as a very progressive country with a friendly culture, and can be a very fruitful place where to find work abroad in North America.
Directly to Canada’s south, the United States is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world to find work abroad. With the world’s largest economy and third largest population, the United States is a major global power where sky's the limit for global professionals. Securing a job abroad in the United States can understandably be competitive, but there are many avenues to make it happen for ambitious individuals.
To the south of the US lays Mexico, another populous nation of 120 million citizens which is also emerging as an influential global force. Mexico is the only developing country in North America, which will make for a different experience and different work opportunities than in Canada or the United States. It is also the only Spanish-speaking country on the continent, where many job opportunities can give you the opportunity to take your bilingual fluency to the next level.
Jobs & Positions
There are a few different paths you can take to finding work abroad in North America. The first is by applying through a temporary jobs abroad program, which can help you obtain a visa to work on the continent for a short period of time (generally lasting up to two years). Popular positions for this type of short-term work are generally in the realm of education, tourism, and hospitality.
Another way to secure a job abroad in North America is by going to work with an international company or organization, which then has the means to transfer you abroad. Those interested in launching a more permanent career path on the continent should consider this option, as they will generally need the endorsement of an employer for a long-term work and/or residential visa.
Canada and the United States have highly developed economies, so a large portion of potential career opportunities for international workers in these countries will be in high-level service sector positions such as as in finance, marketing, or media. The same positions can be found in Mexico, though because the southernmost country on the continent is less industrially developed, there is generally less of a global constituency in these fields.
Salaries & Costs
Salaries will vary significantly depending on your type of job abroad in North America, as the continent as a whole continues to battle a significant degree of income inequality. Costs of living in Canada and the United States are for the most part on par with each other, while Mexico is significantly less expensive for international workers. Canada uses the Canadian dollar, the United States uses the U.S. dollar, and Mexico uses the peso.
Accommodation & Visas
Some employers will help you secure housing for your job abroad in North America, while others will leave it to you to sort out accommodations. Because rent costs can be fairly high in North American cities, international workers often choose to find roommates to live with, at least during the outset of their employment. Real estate prices will vary significantly between cities, however, so in many places you might be able to afford an individual apartment as well.
The visa situation also varies quite significantly between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, with each country presenting their own unique restrictions on the process of obtaining documentation. Policies generally depend on your home country, the length of your stay, and the type of work abroad in North America you are doing. For more information regarding your specific work circumstances, check out our Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Diversity. Whatever preconceptions you may have formed about what life is like in North America, they are apt to be proven false, if not only by the sheer diversity of people, cultures, and lifestyles that exist there. It is impossible to pigeonhole life in North America – you have to go there and find your own niche.
Individuality. North America places a high cultural value on individuality and creativity, making it a great place to break out of your shell while you work abroad. If you’re unsure of what career path you want to take in the global arena, getting a job abroad in North America is a great place to start figuring it out.
Competition. No one said it would be easy; if you are able to get a work visa to pick up a job abroad in North America, then will you have to work hard to make your mark. Welcome to the land of opportunity!
Finding work abroad in North America is a great way to explore a large and diverse continent, while gaining impressive global work experience to have on your resume moving forward. Who knows, maybe it’ll even turn into a permanent move!