Updated last month

Working and living in Peru is a goal for many foreigners, with a low cost of living (by North American and European standards), rich culture and history, and great travel opportunities both within the country and its neighbours.

Finding a job in this Latin American country, especially before arriving, may be a difficult task, but it is not impossible. Where skills are matched locally, many companies would prefer to hire local workers because of the formalities involved in hiring foreign nationals. However, the local labour market is open to expatriates, thanks to the presence of many international companies, and the demand for particular skills and experiences that often can’t be found locally. It’s just about matching your skill set to the right opportunities.

In general, it’s best to start your job search prior to arriving. Find out what international companies are located in Peru that operate within your industry or have a need for your skills. If you find a vacancy for an international position, this is often a huge advantage, as certain benefits like relocation or housing allowances might be included that would not be included in a local contract.

Otherwise, it is possible to move to Peru, enter as a tourist, and then search for a job. If you do this, ensure that you have savings to keep you going for a few months while you search for work. Once you’ve been offered a job, you can apply for a resident work visa with the assistance of your employer. Make sure you have all the paperwork and proof of your qualifications needed. See the article Visas for Peru for more information.

Working conditions

Foreign workers working in Peru under a professional contract are subject to specific conditions. In general, the employment contract approved by the Ministry of Labour is for one year and can be renewed annually.

Note that companies established and operating in Peru are allowed to have a maximum of 20% of foreign employees, and must demonstrate that they could not find the required skills from the local workforce for that particular role.

The legal working week in Peru is 48 hours, but this will vary according to your contract and the type of work you’ll be doing. Income tax is usually deducted from your salary and is done at a higher rate for the first year of your contract, than for locals. Social contributions are made by the employer, based on a percentage of your monthly salary.

Peru’s employment law protects workers, with very strict laws regarding grounds for dismissal and severance pay.

Important:

In many fields, a professional level of Spanish is vital, as you’ll be expected to work in a Spanish-speaking environment. This may not be the case in some international companies. If your Spanish is weak or non-existent, a good field to consider is teaching English, whether within a school, university, or giving private lessons. The tourism sector, catering to foreign visitors, also has potential for English speakers and it can be an advantage if you speak other languages as well.

Promising fields

Peru's economy is very diverse, but leading industries include mining, manufacturing, exports, public and private investment, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and tourism. Career prospects are also available in the banking and finance sectors, with many international banks having a presence in Peru, especially in Lima.

Finding a job in Peru

You can start your job search online, by browsing specialised job websites, both international and local to Peru. You could also seek the assistance of the foreign Chambers of Commerce in Peru, particularly to find a list of international companies that operate in Peru. Don’t be afraid to send speculative enquiries to these companies, with your resume.

It’s good to be flexible with where in Peru you are willing to work and live, as some industries have far more job opportunities in certain areas. For example, the financial sector is concentrated in Lima, mining jobs are often found in rural areas, and tourism has certain hubs such as Cuzco and the Sacred Valley.

Once on the ground in Peru, search classified ads in the local newspapers. Take advantage of any local contacts you have. Peruvian employers value recommendations and many people find jobs by word-of-mouth. If you don’t know many people, seek out expat networks, both in person and online, share your resume and ask for recommendations – it won’t be long before something comes up. Good luck with your search!

 Useful links:

Ministry of Labor and Employment
Empleos Peru
Job Rapido
Compu Trabajo
Laborum
Indeed
Expat Jobs in Peru Facebook page

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.