How to Work in Ecuador as an Expat

Living overseas is a dream for many people, but it’s a dream that most think is unattainable for monetary reasons. What some don’t realize is that this dream is more realistic than they think. Working abroad can be a way to experience the beauty of another country.

The small South American country of Ecuador can be your next adventure and place of work. With three distinct climates to choose from, there is something for almost anyone. Whether you want to choose from the humidity of the Amazon, or the Spring-all-year climate of the highlands, you can live comfortably abroad in Ecuador for a pretty inexpensive price.

A minimum wage job in Ecuador won’t pay you a lot, roughly $340 a month. But don’t let this scare you away from working in Ecuador.

Work Visas

In order to get a job you must first obtain a work visa. The 9-IV visa is intended for technicians or technical experts that work under contract for a company based in Ecuador and legal representatives that possess unlimited power of attorney to represent a company in the country.

The requirements are:

  • Indefinite Work Contract, legalized by the Labor Ministry
  • Indefinite Work Authorization granted by the Labor Ministry.

The other work visa, the 9-V visa, is for professionals with a college degree who wish to practice his or her profession in Ecuador. If the profession doesn’t exist in Ecuador, they must be locally certified. Applicants must also complete the Ecuadorian requirements to practice the profession, such as the bar exam.

Here are the requirements required to work in Ecuador (all documents must be translated into Spanish):

  • The original and a certified copy authenticated by the Ecuadorian Consul (in your home country), validated by an accredited Ecuadorian institution of higher learning for equivalency, and registered with CONESUP.
  • If the applicant is taking advantage of an International Agreement, a certified copy of the agreement is required.
  • Original and a certified copy of the degree, legalized by the granting authority, and endorsed by the Ministry of Education (if the degree was granted in Ecuador).

Teaching English

One avenue that many people take to work abroad in Ecuador is teaching English – and it has proven to be profitable for many. In Ecuador, locals are realizing the importance of knowing English. Many universities and jobs are requiring applicants to have a grasp of the language. As the economy in the country begins to improve, professionals also feel the need to learn the language.

English is taught at all levels of both public and private schools. Some companies will even hire an English teacher. If you end up working in a public school, you may not be paid a lot, so many people set up their own classes. With your own class you get to choose when you work and you get to set your own price.

English teaching jobs are most likely found in big cities like Quito or Guayaquil, but you can find them in small towns as well. There are opportunities for the skill everywhere.

You won’t get rich teaching English, but with the low cost of living, you can live comfortably. You can expect to make $600 or $1,300 a month.

Tourism

The tourism industry plays an important role in the Ecuadorian economy as people all over the world are beginning to visit to experience the culture and beauty of the country and the rest of South America. As visitors increase, so do the tourism jobs available for foreigners.

Many employers only require the ability to speak English and have a friendly personality. To find these jobs, sometimes the key is good timing. Hit the main streets and check out travel agencies, tour operators, bars, and hotels. Some kind of desk job or bartending opportunity is bound to be available.Consumer Resource Guide

Adventure tourism is a big business, so there are many opportunities for guided outdoor activities like climbing, kayaking, rafting, and more. If you possess the right credentials or experience, or if you’re bilingual, you may be able to land a job as a guide.

Volunteer

Since paying jobs can sometimes be difficult to find, many seek volunteer opportunities. Many Ecuadorian organizations are understaffed and would be more than happy to help you fill your time. Though this is not paid, many organizations offer free room and board.

This option would be for those who are looking to make a difference while they visit and work in Ecuador. There’s no better way to experience a new culture than to immerse yourself and give back. Opportunities range from environmental conservation to helping local children and more.