With a tourist-driven economy, some of the most prestigious resorts worldwide, and the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico City, Mexico has something for everyone. From bumming on the beach, to building a career in hospitality or business, Mexico offers the opportunity to improve your Spanish among the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Expand your network of professional and personal relationships through jobs in Mexico, and spend your days off exploring the ancient Maya, Olmec, and Aztec ruins.
Jobs abroad in Mexico generally fall under one of two types of locations – coastal resorts or inland cities.
Mexico City. Most business and professional specialist job opportunities in Mexico can be found in the nation’s capital and largest city. Mexico City is the hub of Mexico’s political, economic, and social affairs, making it ideal for those looking to live and work in a relevant, bustling urban setting. Mexico City is also the most common destination for those transferring with multinational corporations.
Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico with all the draws and opportunities of big city life, which still manages to maintain an authentic vibe. Guadalajara is actually the birthplace of two core Mexican trademarks: mariachi and tequila.
Coastal Cities & Tourist Hotspots. Working in Mexico along the coast or in other tourist-attracting cities will provide foreign workers with a variety of employment opportunities to choose from, from seasonal work to professional long-term positions. There are countless resort cities and towns across Mexico, yet all manage to maintain unique qualities. Commercialized Cancún, for example, is in a prime location for visiting several nearby ruins, parks, and other attractions, including one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá. Puerto Vallarta boasts a small town feel in the midst of sophisticated resorts, and Cabo San Lucas seems more like it is for elitists.
Mexico City, Queretaro, & Monterrey are popular locations for foreign multinational corporations, so those looking to transfer or get involved in multinational companies need look no further than these major cities.
Jobs in Mexico
Teaching English. Mexico’s close ties with the U.S. and extensive use of English in business creates a high number of English teaching jobs in Mexico. As the most common job for foreigners working abroad in Mexico, there are several placement options, including those at: bilingual elementary schools, language centers, private tutoring, and company classes teaching business professionals. Since Mexican culture values face-to-face interaction, final interviews and arrangements may need to be completed once abroad, and the best time to apply will vary with each type of placement. Most teaching jobs in Mexico require a bachelor’s degree (though a specific teaching emphasis is not always necessary), and obtaining a TEFL or CELTA certificate will also prove a valuable resume booster.
Tourism & Hospitality. There are many temporary jobs in Mexico available in the tourism industry, including serving, bartending, entertaining, and organizing activities for guests. English fluency is often a minimum requirement to obtain resort employment and hours can be long and demanding, depending on your position. This is a great opportunity for workers who want to learn new skills, meet new friends, explore a new culture, and live in paradise abroad without breaking the bank.
Business Management. For those working abroad in Mexico with the intention of furthering their career in an economically sound country, Mexico is a good option. The tourism and hospitality industries additionally offer several professional and development opportunities for qualified candidates, such as management positions working at anything from a prestigious resort to a corner coffee shop.
Engineering & Technical Fields. Although tourism and oil are the biggest industries in Mexico, there are also several specialist fields with a constant need for qualified workers. Those with bilingual abilities, and extensive education or experience in engineering, communication, and technical fields, can find professional placements in larger cities throughout Mexico.
Youth Work. Jobs abroad in Mexico working as a trip or camp counselor remain somewhat of an outlier compared to the majority of job opportunities in Mexico. Generally requiring a bachelor’s degree and a high level of Spanish language skills, adventurous individuals can spend their summer months mentoring youth while traveling across Mexico.
Work Schedule. Regular business hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Most businesses are closed Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and sometimes Mondays or Tuesdays, and many still practice a daily siesta from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Salary & Affordability
The national currency in Mexico is the peso, and the cost of living in Mexico is significantly lower than that in the U.S., U.K., or other Western countries. However, especially touristy areas or activities will reflect a higher price, and it is important to budget a bit extra into the cost of most services to account for tipping. Tipping is customary and expected. Without tips, some service workers cannot earn a sufficient wage, and it is a good way to show gratitude for quality service. For service-industry workers, such as restaurant servers, taxi drivers, spa providers, or tour guides, 10 to 20 percent is a good guideline to follow. Smaller jobs, like bagging groceries, require only a standard five to ten pesos.
If you will be working in Mexico as a seasonal staff at the one of the many Mexican resorts, the pay is generally on the lower end of a living wage, though there will be plenty left over for weekend or post-placement travel if spent wisely. You can expect a monthly wage between $220 and $600, though many employers will pay for the travel expense of their workers upon completing the contract. Some jobs abroad in Mexico even provide medical insurance or the chance to travel in-country with the company for promotional purposes. Additionally, hospitality and tourism jobs in Mexico generally provide room, board, meals, and (non-alcoholic) drinks, and will most often take care of any necessary paperwork required for foreign workers to legally work in Mexico.
Professional job opportunities in Mexico come with a more professional wage. A general guide is that the more qualifications required of an applicant, the higher the pay will be.
Accommodation & Visas
To work abroad in Mexico, you must obtain a work permit. Some employers, especially in the tourism and hospitality industry, will take care of that paperwork for you. If you are being placed in a job in Mexico and will be paid by a non-Mexican based company, the company will be responsible for submitting required documents. If this is the case, you will be issued a temporary resident visa which you must then exchange at the nearest immigration office for a temporary resident card within 30 days of your arrival. Generally speaking, however, you will need to apply for a work permit before you can begin to legally work in Mexico.
In order to apply for a permit to work abroad in Mexico, you will first need to have a job offer or work contract. The hiring company will be required to submit various documents in addition to the copies of your passport and other forms of identification that you send in. If you are approved after the 20 day process, you must then go to the Mexican consulate in your home country and pass an interview before receiving your work permit.
Accommodation will vary depending on where you will be working abroad in Mexico. Nearly all hospitality and tourism jobs offer free employee housing in shared or apartment style accommodation. Jobs in Mexico at resorts often provide employees accommodation right in or near the resort itself.
For specialist positions and jobs working for larger businesses, employees are generally expected to find their own housing in or around the city where they will be working in Mexico. Apartment-style accommodation is the most common type of housing in bigger cities.
Benefits & Challenges
- Networking. Building relationships with your colleagues in Mexico is not only vital to your success while working abroad, but will also carry over in the form of opportunities, references, and life-long friends.
- Celebrate! Natives have a strong sense of Mexican pride so be aware of festivals or holidays and be sure to join in!
- Safety. As in any urban setting, be cautious and stick together when traveling at night. Safety in Mexico varies by location, so be sure to research or ask someone you trust before venturing to a new place.
- Relaxed Pace. While timeliness is always important, don’t be surprised if schedules run late.