2013-11-27 07:21:45

Fortaleza, located on Brazil's northeastern coast, is a popular destination. However, finding a job here will take some ingenuity and perseverance.

Brazil's fifth-largest city with a year-round population of about 2.6 million (4 million in the metro area), Fortaleza is the capital city of the northeastern state of Ceará. Located on a long and lovely stretch of coast, and blessed with good weather, the greater Fortaleza area is a highly popular destination for both  Brazilian and European holidaymakers. It is also a large regional trade and transportation centre. However, it is not a financial centre on the order of São Paulo or Rio, and fewer multinationals are represented here, so expatriate job seekers will need to have persistence – and knowledge of Portuguese. You can begin your search for a job in Fortaleza by reviewing Expat.com's general guidelines for working in Brazil.


Fortaleza, together with Natal and other cities along Brazil's northeastern coast, saw a huge real estate boom beginning around 2000 and continuing until the recent Brazilian recession when new construction and resales slowed. There are some signs of a comeback in the offing, but it would be premature to say that the local real estate market has recovered.

Services of various types compose the largest segment of the local economy. However, various industries are also represented, with food processing being among the largest.

Fortaleza continues to be a popular tourist destination. In fact, Brazilians who currently do not see the US or Europe as viable vacation options may look to Fortaleza as a more affordable alternative. A recession will not change the beauty of the local beaches. And for Europeans, Brazil continues to be an exotic and relatively inexpensive vacation destination.

Sectors with potential

While there are many positions in service and industry, these are principally in Brazilian companies, and it won't be easy for a foreigner to land one.

However, as tourism continues to be a linchpin of the local economy, those with a tourism or hospitality background might be able to find work. Airlines are an adjunct industry, and may also be worth a look. Note, however, that Portuguese is likely to be a requirement for any positions.

Although real estate construction and sales have flagged, there remain many units on the market. Someone with real estate experience and foreign contacts might be able to create an opportunity in international sales.

As in other cities throughout Brazil, IT is on the rise in Fortaleza, which has made a significant investment in recent years to develop this sector. Those with an IT background might be able to secure work.

For those with backgrounds in education, there is one international school located in Fortaleza, Sandbox International School. Certified teachers or education administrators may wish to apply there.

Living in the city

Fortaleza, as you might guess by its popularity as a tourist destination, is an attractive city, laid out in a grid that is for the most part easily navigable. It offers not only beaches but good weather and a wide variety of outdoor sports. There is a sizable core of young professionals in Fortaleza that you can approach and network with via forums and the social networks.

Nicer areas include Praia (beach) de Iracema and Praia Meireles. There are many clubs and upscale restaurants in these areas, which are near one another. Along Avenida Beria-Mar you will also find many great places to eat and also some crafts shops.

Despite its large size and popularity, rents are relatively low in Fortaleza – less than half on average than in with Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Prices will, of course, tend to be higher nearer the beaches.

 Useful links:

Expat.com job website
Linkedin jobs for Fortaleza
Indeed for Fortaleza
Cost of living for Fortaleza

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