Home to the ancient Inca empire, comfortably settled at the northern tip of South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean, and one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Peru can be a dream place to work abroad for ambitious individuals from all over the world. Whether settling in the high altitudes of the Andes or the lowlands of the Amazon basin, this beautiful Spanish-speaking country will provide an exciting challenge for foreigners interested in living and working abroad in one of the world’s most beautiful regions.
Lima, the capital and by the far country’s largest city with nearly 9 million people, will be the obvious choice of residence for many individuals who begin looking for work in Peru. Lima is the third largest city proper in the Americas and has been an important vein in South America since its establishment nearly 500 years ago. The financial and industrial center of the country, many foreign workers who find themselves working in Lima’s internationally connected sectors will find much enjoyment living in this fascinating and fun city, settled in the coastal plains of Peru.
Other popular cities for jobs in Peru include Arequipa, Trujillo, and Cusco. Arequipa and Trujillo are the country’s second and third largest cities, respectively. Both offer beautiful architecture and great historical intrigue to complement a fun and vibrant city environment. Cusco, the capital of the former Incan empire, is a very popular destination for travellers from all over the world, and offers great job opportunities in the tourism industry. It is also the launching point for many individuals who are preparing to embark on trips to Machu Picchu.
Of course, individuals who want to work in Peru will not be limited to city life by any means. A large and diverse country, certain job opportunities in Peru, such as teaching English, will place expats in a smaller rural location. The terrain of the country varies heavily between regions and living at high altitudes can be quite the (literal) headache, so do your research carefully before signing on to determine which location seems like the best landing spot for your job in Peru.
Jobs in Peru
The most commonly available job in Peru is teaching English or other subjects at local schools or for a private company. Native speakers with a TEFL certificate will especially have no problem finding teaching jobs in Peru, and ESL teachers will often have a tremendous degree of flexibility in determining their choice of location and length of stay. Jobs in Peru in translating, between English and Spanish, are also somewhat easy to find across the country.
Many international organizations and companies have branches in Lima so it is also possible that you may be relocated to Peru, or have the option to, if working in a such a company back at home. Obviously finding jobs in Peru with such organizations will depend on your resume, prior work experience, and career interests, but it is very much possible to begin an international career in Peru if you wish to do so.
Starting your own business in the tourism industry in Peru is also an intriguing option, though this requires a lot of hard work to get off of the ground. Mining and agriculture make up a large part of the Peruvian economy, so these are other large and fruitful industries in which to search for potential employment in Peru.
It is generally necessary to speak Spanish in order to work in Peru in most industries and positions, so if you’re planning to travel to Peru with only a few years of High School instruction under your belt, you may want to start brushing up on your language skills a bit more.
Salary & Affordability
Peru is a developing country, so expect your salary to reflect this fact. Most workers earn what is equivalent to just a few hundred dollars a month working in Peru. However teaching job opportunities in Peru will often pay upwards of $1,500, depending on your qualifications and experience. Obviously salaries will vary greatly between different fields of work in Peru, as in every country.
The good news is that it is very possible to live comfortably while spending only around $500 a month while working in Peru, so there is a good chance you can also save up some money. The local currency is the Nuevo Sol, which hovers around three PEN to one USD.
Accommodation & Visas
The type of accommodation you will be able to find varies with the region you are working in. In Lima, for example, you will be able to land anything from a cheap residential apartment for $100 a month to a luxurious penthouse for $2,000 a month. In smaller cities or in rural areas the living conditions will be more basic, and you may find yourself without, say, hot water or working Wi-Fi. Contact your host employer early on about living options to find what will work best for you.
The type of visa needed to work abroad in Peru varies by the length of the position and the type of employment you obtain. Tourist visas are often sufficient for short, temporary employment, business visas are often required for longer duration jobs, and you may even need a residential visa if you plan on settling permanently in Peru. Visa policies also vary based on your home country.
Benefits & Challenges
Working abroad anywhere in the world can be a fun and exciting, but at times being an expat can be a challenge too.
In Peru, you will have the rare opportunity to engage with a culture that is all at once historically fascinating, artistically vibrant, and rapidly modernizing. You will also have the chance to perfect your Spanish speaking abilities in one of the most geographically beautiful and diverse countries in the world, and check out the stunning visions of Machu Picchu while you’re at it.
Simply put – working abroad in Peru will be the experience of a lifetime, and you will not regret it.