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Finding work in Argentina as an expat is probably the biggest hurdle facing those relocating to the country, because it has strict employment laws and high rates of unemployment. Expats should consider transferring to the Argentinian branch of a multinational company from their home country or applying to jobs in industries that tend to hire foreign workers. In these cases, expats have a higher chance of employment. The company should also then sort out all the required visas and work permits.
Nowadays, there seems to be an increase in expats doing casual or online work rather than having a full-time job.
Job market in Argentina
Expats planning to look for work after entering Argentina may run into difficulties. Job opportunities for expats are limited and local wages can be considerably lower than those some foreigners may be accustomed to. Most of the opportunities for expats are in the big cities, specifically in the banking, IT and oil sectors. Foreigners who speak Spanish and are willing to work for Argentinian wages are more likely to find a job.
Alternatively, in recent years there has been a rise in casual jobs for those expats not wanting to stay for the very long term. Generally these jobs are more suitable for singles travelling for a limited time or for students. These jobs tend not to pay well and can often end up being dodgy with employers trying to avoid visas and legal routes of employment. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a popular example of these kinds of jobs. Other examples are journalism, call centres and working in bars or restaurants.
Finding work in Argentina
Getting a job in Argentina is not an easy task. There is no law prioritising locals over foreigners for jobs. However, the country is still recovering from the multiple economic crises which makes job opportunities for foreigners sparse. It is also necessary to speak a high level of Spanish in order to qualify for most jobs.
The easiest route to employment would be to find a job before relocating. Ideally, expats should try to find employment in an international company, an Argentinian company in need of highly skilled individuals or English speakers, or by transferring branches with their current employer.
Work culture in Argentina
Employment law (Ley de Contrato de Trabajo) in Argentina is very strict. It regulates all aspects of working life, from employee rights and conditions to wage protection and employee/employer obligations. By law, residents in Argentina must be 18 years of age before they can start working.
Generally speaking, the work day in Argentina is eight hours long. Outside of Buenos Aires, the siesta has to be taken into account. Working hours here are typically 8.30am to 12.30pm and then 4pm to 8pm. By law, employees should not work more than 48 hours a week. People are not expected to work on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, although most shops are open all day Saturday.
Employees are paid 13 months' salary per year. This is a built-in bonus system that is mandatory according to Argentinian labour law. Half the bonus is paid in June and the other half in December. Workers in Argentina are entitled to 14 days annual leave, after being employed for one year. This then increases according to years of service.
Working in Argentina?
Are you working in Argentina? We are always looking for local Expat Experts to contribute to our Argentina guide and to answer forum questions for people moving or planning to move to Argentina. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.
►For more details about finding work in the capital see Working in Buenos Aires.
►For more about expat living expenses have a look at Cost of Living in Argentina.
Are you an expat living in Argentina?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Argentina. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Gilly Rich is a writer and editor who has travelled and lived abroad for most of her life. Currently living in Argentina with her family, she runs www.sanrafaelatoz.com, which is an A to Z guide of how to get by in San Rafael, Mendoza. She has first-hand experience of the expat life and understands the need for support and encouragement when considering a new life abroad. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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