Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, and the third largest economy in Latin America. Every year, more and more, individuals from all over the world choose to live and work in Argentina, amid the incredible natural beauty it has to offer. It is home to the renowned Patagonia and Chaco regions, the eastern edge of the Andes, and is one of the top wine producing countries in the world - which could partly be due to the many Italians and Europeans who have immigrated here over the last 150 years. Jobs in Argentina are available in everything from agriculture and tourism to the arts and sciences, and the expat network is extensive and easy to tap into.
About 92 percent of the population resides in cities, so most jobs abroad in Argentina will be in the urban centers of Buenos Aires and Córdoba. But for a less populated region, try Bariloche.
Buenos Aires. With 30 million people in the entire metropolis, this city offers the most when it comes to job opportunities in Argentina. The Porteños, people of the port, have an exceptionally high quality of life, especially considering the low costs of living in Buenos Aires. The old-world architecture radiates a colonial ambiance, and the city is often equated to the Rome or Paris of South America. There is a large and friendly expat community willing to assist newcomers in every department. In addition to the growing tourism sector, advertising, finance, and real estate are some of the principal industries in Buenos Aires.
Córdoba. Known as La Docta due to the high volume of universities and scientific institutes, Córdoba is the industrial and technological hub of Argentina. Centrally located at the foothills of the Sierras Chicas, Córdoba is home to the oldest university in the country and its Jesuit Block has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides education and technology, there are job opportunities in Córdoba’s manufacturing, textiles, and chemical industries.
Bariloche. With a population of a little over 100,000, this quaint destination city is legendary for all things skiing and trekking. Located on the Western edge of the country, just across the Andes from Chile, the natural scenery is exquisite. With numerous lakes and rivers, the fishing here is spectacular. Settled by German immigrants and built in a Swiss style architecture, it’s no wonder that the town is known for amazing chocolate. While tourism is the driving economic force of the city, there is also plenty of advanced science and technology research taking place. The Argentinian military also does a good deal of training in Bariloche.
Jobs in Argentina
Education & Teaching. Not surprisingly, the most common jobs in Argentina are in education and teaching, particularly ESL and TEFL positions. Native English speakers are always in high demand, and those with solid credentials will find higher paying teaching jobs in Argentina.
Hospitality & Tourism. Job opportunities are available in the hospitality and tourism sectors, including theme parks, front desk at hotels and ski resorts, or bars and restaurants as hostess, wait staff, or kitchen help.
Environmentalism. Argentinian geography draws many individuals interested in environmental areas, like conservation and sustainability, zoology and wildlife studies, or even those with a desire to work on local farms and ranches.
Business. Jobs in Argentina’s business world are plenty, whether you are interested in finance, legal, and management, marketing and communications, consulting, or international relations, like working as a diplomat for the U.S. Department of State.
Fluency. Some jobs in Argentina require Spanish fluency, so be sure to check the guidelines when applying for positions.
Schedule. The regular workday is eight hours, after which employees receive time and a half. All salaried workers are given two to four weeks of vacation time per calendar year.
Punctuality. Even though time is a more flexible concept in Argentine culture as a whole, punctuality in business is still encouraged. But you should still be prepared to wait, especially if meeting with someone important.
Appearances & the Social Environment. Physical appearance is important, so be sure you are well groomed and looking your best while working abroad in Argentina. Even though it is common to preface business with small talk and develop personal relationships, the professional hierarchy still needs to be respected. Don’t get too friendly with superiors. Also, Argentinians maintain strong levels of eye contact, which may take time to get accustomed to.
Salary & Affordability
Even with inflation and economic problems, Argentina is still one of the most affordable places to live and work in South America. The minimum monthly wage is $200 per month, though many citizens make more than that. The average salary for more educated employees is between $800 to $1,000 per month and for an English teacher is $500 per month, which is more than enough for one person to live on. It should be noted that Euros and American dollars go a lot further in Argentina than the local currency, the Argentine peso. Check with your employer to see if it’s possible to be paid in the stronger currency, as some positions in Argentina allow it.
Some jobs abroad in Argentina will provide assistance with accommodation or all expenses paid, but it depends on the employer. The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in a city center is approximately $450, and outside the city that number drops to around $350. An inexpensive meal is about $10, and a monthly transportation pass will set you back only $20. Vehicles especially can be outrageously expensive, so if you’re planning on commuting to work in Argentina, it’s best to make a plan ahead of time.
Accommodations & Visas
Some companies provide housing assistance and some do not, so employees will need to check their contract for accommodation specifics. Normally, work abroad in Argentina that requires a fee will provide either meals, housing, or both. Otherwise, apartments and shared rooms are typical, and the expat network is a great way to get good advice from experienced individuals, find what’s available, and where the best places to live are.
In order to work in Argentina, you will need to secure a work visa. The application process requires a copy of your employment contract, birth certificate (translated into Spanish), passport, and photos of yourself. There are a few different options for work visas, including short term and two types of temporary residence visas, so be sure to ask your employer what the requirements are and if they provide any visa assistance.
Benefits & Challenges
- Language: Argentina is a hodgepodge of languages, including many varieties of Spanish, Italian, German, and other common tongues. Fluency in Spanish is required for many jobs abroad in Argentina, and encouraged in most, so that, plus a basic knowledge of another local language, can really impress your colleagues.
- Geography: With the Andes to the west, Chaco to the north, the Atlantic coast to the east, and Patagonia to the south, there is simply no end to adventure and exploration in Argentina. Nature lovers flock here for the wild diversity - ski slopes in the winter, the beach in the summer!
- Job Scarcity: The recession hit the Argentinean economy hard, creating problems with unemployment and erratic inflation, making it challenging for foreigners to find as many job opportunities in Argentina. Additionally, there are still poorer villas miserias similar to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro that suffer from crime and drug use, though recent investment is helping with local improvements. Foreigners with at least some fluency in Spanish have a higher chance of finding work in Argentina, or those who are willing to work for lower Argentinean wages or in unpaid internships.
- Women in the Workforce: Women are simply not on an equal playing field in the job market of Argentina. They often face discrimination in both hiring and wages, earning only 70 percent of what their male counterparts make in similar occupations. It is rare to find females at the executive level of the nation's largest companies, as they make up much more of the administration or middle management positions.