Updated 10 months ago

While Brazil is still struggling economically, Brasília's white-collar economy presents one of the best opportunities to land a well-paid job in Brazil. Many Brazilian and international companies have offices here. While you'll still typically need a work visa to work here legally, if you have the right skills, you have a chance at winning a job in this modern city. You can begin by reviewing Expat.com's general guidelines for working in Brazil.

The economy of Brasília

As Brazil's centre of government, Brasília's economy is based principally on services, with construction contributing a minority share. There is little industry here, although there is some food processing and furniture production. As this is a white-collar economy, the average salary is higher than elsewhere in Brazil.

Brazil is gradually emerging from a recession. The economy is not booming as it was a few years back. However, the government has a vested interest in Brasília's success, as the capital was created as a showcase. The government has made investments in selected sectors, including information technology and software, cinematography, and gemology. Also, the presence of the federal government, with all its employees and support staff, and the presence of representatives of many other countries as well, creates a stabilising effect on the local economy.

Sectors with potential

The public sector – including politicians, diplomat, the federal police, military personnel, their support staffs, and others – is collectively the largest employer here. If you can secure a foreign service position in your home country, it is possible that you could apply for an overseas posting in Brasília and sidestep some of the usual bureaucracy required to obtain a Brazilian work visa. But securing such a posting will, of course, mean contending with your own country's application process and bureaucracy.

Communications, including telecom companies such as Telebrás and Embratel, as well as all the major Brazilian television networks and other news agencies, are headquartered or represented in Brasília. However, it would probably be difficult for an expat to secure a position at one of these companies.

Many banks and financial institutions, foreign as well as Brazilian, have branches in Brasília. Management-level employees of foreign companies might be able to secure postings here.

As in many cities across Brazil, the information technology and software sector is expanding. This may represent the best way in for expats looking to land work in Brasília or elsewhere in Brazil. Well-known IT companies with operations in Brasília include Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, and Cisco.

As Brasília is the federal capital, there are many expats and their families residing there. Accordingly, several international schools are located in Brasília, which present many opportunities for certified teachers and educational directors. International schools in Brasília include the British School of Brasília, American School of Brasília, SIS Swiss International School, Brasília International School, and Affinity Arts International School.  

Living in Brasília

Brasília is a young, modern, planned city, only inaugurated in 1960. As such, it does not possess the history and, some would say, the charm of Brazil's other major cities. But it does have its own appeal. It is well known for its modernistic architecture, which earned it the title of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Interestingly, the city is laid out in the shape of an aeroplane (some say a bird).  

There are also some museums in Brasília, many of them about governmental agencies. There is no shortage of fine restaurants here. The city has many shopping malls. Brasília has large expat communities due to its being the federal capital.

The weather in Brasília is generally fine weather, and almost monotonously predictable, with only slight variation throughout the year.

The city centre is the best area in which to live. Outlying areas – referred to as antibrasilias – are much less appealing.

While Brasília would not be considered cheap by Brazilian standards, it is less expensive to live here than in either Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Rents, in particular, are considerably less expensive.

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International schools: British School of Brasilia, American School of Brasilia, SIS Swiss International School, Brasilia International School, and Affinity Arts International School.  

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