Living in Mexico. EVERYTHING you need to know (and then some)
getting a job is one thing, finding one to pay enough is another
August 6, 2021
Getting a job in Mexico is one thing. Finding a job that pays enough to cover the bills is another. While the country is globally known for its food, music and beaches, one thing Mexico cannot brag about is their salaries.
Mexico is not known for its high paying jobs. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite of what anyone really expects when living here. If you’re not coming to live in Mexico on a healthy savings account or pension, you will definitely be discouraged by your other options.
To work here, you need to either be hired by an INM approved company, who then approves you to have that one and only specific job or, you can wait to become a permanent resident then job-hunt for what suits you.
Where I live, in the state of Quintana Roo, the most common job is security. Mall security, store security, residential security…security. They are the most common and one of the lowest paying jobs, but have kept those employed in the industry floating through the covid pandemic since security positions were not really affected.
Other jobs here include tourism positions from selling tickets to hotel cleaners to dive masters to bus drivers. You name it, someone will have a position for it.
One thing a non-Mexican (foreigner) can never have is a government job. Regardless if its sweeping the floors or managing an office, you cannot and will not ever be hired for one. That means those high(er) paying jobs are off limits.
Below is a list of typical job hires for Cancun. The posts are from August 6 of 2021 and post the title of the job and the salary. As you can clearly see, most jobs pay between $400 USD and $750 USD per month for a full-time position. With these, you will receive benefits and pay taxes.
There is one job below listed for 4,251 Mexican peso per month salary. Yes, $210 USD a month for a full-time job. This is not a typo. As a matter of fact, it is common (not to be confused with liked or accepted). With these low-salaries, companies will offer to profit share or offer a higher than average commission based on the sales you make.
Many of the traditional locals make a living by fishing, selling food, selling clothing and / or offering personal services such as labor, gardening and mechanics. Those with an education can be hired as cooks, travel agents, university professors, managers, bank tellers / loans officers, real estate services, architects, dive masters, private school teacher, hotel and tourism managers, lawyers and health care professionals including veterinarian care.
Other common middle-of-the-road forms of work in Mexico include bakeries, public school teachers, barber shops and tattoo parlors, coffee shops, specialty food items (usually aimed at the foreigner market), car salesman, cashiers and general floor sales for shopping malls.
The goal here is to get the bills paid every month. Luckily, you truly don’t need a lot to live comfortably here. You may work the same job here in Mexico that you had “back home”, but expect to earn 75 percent less with a full-time position.
If none of this reality strikes your fancy and you’re thinking of opening your own business to go the self-employed route, that is an option and one I will explain in another post. Now, maybe it hits home a bit more as to why I freelance write for a living.