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Working in Latin America

The technological ecosystem in Latin America has grown dramatically in recent years as a result of start-up programmes, which have allowed local entrepreneurs an opportunity to expand their resources and gain access to funding for the launch of their project. Alongside local entrepreneurs, a number of US start-ups are looking at opening offices in Latin America as a result of the pressure the area is putting on the US tech industry. The growth has resulted in a number of highly-skilled tech companies operating out of Latin America on a global scale, further improving the demand for roles in the area.

As the start-up ecosystem in Latin America continues to grow, expat tech workers will be offered more opportunities for roles, with an increasing demand for English-speaking individuals to fill customer service roles, alongside traditional tech roles such as UI/UX designers, digital marketers and web developers. Finding a job in Latin America will fall under one of four options for expats:

Work remotely for a US company

Whether the aspiring expat is a freelancer working with established clients based in the US, or an individual branching out into a new field while operating under an existing US company, one way to break into the Latin American tech hub is through working remotely. With a growing number of employed Americans spending at least some time working remotely, this is becoming a more attractive option for many employees. However, this employment option will only expose expats to a small percentage of the Latin American tech hub, with minimal opportunity to interact with the locals unless operating in a coworking space.

Work for an established company based in Latin America

Despite salaries being significantly lower when working for a Latin American company when compared to working remotely for a US company, many expatriates are set to look into this option in order to immerse themselves into the true local culture. Obtaining a working visa while holding a job offer from a Latin American country, such as Chile, can prove to be relatively simple. Latin American tech companies may not be as innovative and advanced as that of an American company; however, these challenges can be offset by a low cost of living and new opportunities.

Work with a Latin American start-up who target Latin America

According to Cisco, Latin America is likely to lack almost 500,000 IT professionals by 2019, meaning the demand for skilled and knowledgeable expatriates is set to rise. Expatriates with experience in video, cloud technology, mobility, big data, IoT, cybersecurity and other technical areas could see new opportunities and higher salaries when working for a Latin American start-up which targets the Latin American market. However, language skills are imperative here, as while members of the office may speak English, the majority of the marketing will be in Spanish (or Portuguese in Brazil).

Work with a Latin American start-up who target the US

For English-only speakers, Latin American start-ups who target US markets could be a more suitable option. While salaries are likely to be lower, monthly expenses are also likely to be lower in most Latin American countries and the overall cost of living offers an impressive quality of life for many expats. The booming industry is set to make way for a number of new opportunities for individuals looking to relocate while continuing to work with US markets.

Latin America as a frontier for British tech

While America is the obvious partner to further expand Latin America’s tech hub, there are a lot of opportunities for the UK to utilise the previously untapped region. Since triggering Article 50, the future of the British economy remains unclear. With the tech industry being the UK’s fastest growing sector, which has previously benefitted from collaboration with Europe (in particular talent, investment and creativity through partnering with other tech hubs such as Paris and Berlin), Brexit means the UK will have to expand their horizons and seek new markets and ecosystems beyond their traditional trade partners. This is where Latin America’s burgeoning tech industry could come in handy, with the UK’s impending partnership with the region offering a unique opportunity to position itself alongside leading tech hubs in the world. As a result, it is expected that more expats from the UK and other countries in Europe will begin to transition to Latin America in search of new employment opportunities.

If you’re considering relocating to Latin America to join one of the exciting tech hubs, get in touch with a member of our expert team.

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