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Getting a Mexican visa is not the hardest thing in the world. Compared to other countries, it is easy. There is no restriction on knowing the language or giving tests related to it. You do have to have a valid passport and other essential documents.
The tricky part about moving to Mexico is getting a proper job that matches your skills. Sometimes, people are lucky enough to get a chance to work in Mexico via their company in their own country. Working in a foreign land under the same banner is not uncommon. But if you want to start anew and are searching for a job in Mexico, it might take more than a few emails.
Major Industries in Mexico
Specialists at World Bank have predicted that by 2050, Mexico’s economy will become the fifth largest in the entire world[i]. This prediction means that there is still time for Mexico to grow. It also means that people can invest their time and money in Mexico to give them a good return.
While Spanish is understood well in the country, it is encouraged that you know at least the basics of Spanish. Understandably, you are more likely to find jobs in the capital Mexico City or other big cities like Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey, Juárez, or León. However, it would be of immense help to you if you fall under one of the following categories:
- Food & drink
- Iron & steel
- Oil and Gas
- Infrastructure & Transportation
- Renewable Energy
How to Get a Job in Mexico
Searching for a job in Mexico is no different from anywhere else in the world. If you are lucky, you may get a job in one of the branches of your company in Mexico. But if you want to start a new life from scratch, you’ll have to evaluate your skills and experience at hand.
If you are already a skilled person, you can search online on forums where employers post jobs regularly. It would be good to have an updated CV and a great pitch to send at any time of the day. It will cost you nothing to send an email to a potential company. But make sure that your credentials are good enough for the job for which you are applying.
Following are some of the major companies in Mexico that have vacancies available:
- Pemex – a government petroleum company
- Cemex – a multinational building materials company
- Grupo Bimbo – a bakery product manufacturing company
- Telmex – a telecommunications company
- Televisa and TV Azteca – both major media companies
- Grupo Modelo – a brewery that exports beer, including Corona, to most countries of the world
- IT companies and electronics manufacturers, including Mabe, Semex, Lanix, Falco Electronics, and Meebox.
In addition to this, if you know English as your first language, there is a high chance that you can get a job as a schoolteacher. It would be helpful if you get a TESOL/TESL/TEFL certificate[ii]. You can do any of these courses from your home country or Mexico. The chances are that your training institute will hire you after you finish your course.
Cities to Stay in Mexico
Obviously, you will stay wherever your job or educational institute is located. But if you have a choice to decide before landing and any job or education does not bind you, you have a handful of cities to try your luck. Mexico is a vast country, but of course, not every city will provide you with the same number of opportunities and luxuries. Keeping that in mind, you might have to do a bit of homework about Mexican cities to help you decide where to land.
1. Mexico City
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. It has the highest population for a city in North America and also the most important one. It is an economic hub for Mexico as well as the surrounding countries. It stretches to 573 square miles and is known to have a population of 9,209,944[iii].
Mexico City is a haven for expatriates. While many other countries have isolated expatriate communities, Mexico City holds everyone together. The locals and expatriates live and interact with each other as ordinary people do. The bars and clubs are a wonderful way to learn Spanish from the locals. The city has a lot to offer. It is a well-planned city with impressive apartment buildings. The rent might be a bit higher compared to the rest of Mexico, but the facilities provided there make it worth the while[iv]. A two-bedroom apartment can cost up to 26,000 pesos (approx. $1,250) per month.
On the downside, Mexico City can be a bit overpopulated and polluted. That is understandable given the population of the city and the growing number of expatriates. Also, the media portrayal of this city has been negative, which makes it look like Mexico City is unsafe. It has some shady areas like every other city in the world, but overall, it is a suitable place to start a new life or enjoy retirement days.
Guadalajara is the second most important and famous city in Mexico. It prides itself on being one of the few cities of Mexico that still holds the original Mexican essence. Unlike the modernized Mexico City, you will find bits of ancient architecture throughout the city.
Guadalajara has everything that Mexico City has. It offers a luxurious lifestyle but at much cheaper rates than Mexico City. You can live there for less than $1,000 if you skip getting a car or eating out every day. A small studio in the city can cost you 3,500 pesos, around $160[v]. For a grocery list of 10 days, you will only have to spend $75.
Oaxaca is among the most beautiful cities in Mexico, with a lot of colorful buildings. The city is perfect for expatriates as it is one of the cheapest yet luxurious cities they’ll ever witness. An “expensive-looking” apartment in Oaxaca will only cost you a little above $200, which is an insanely low price.
You can easily live in Oaxaca on a $1,000 budget. And that does not mean living like a miser. Oaxaca offers luxurious facilities at cheap rates all over the city. Street food is only a couple of dollars at best and sometimes even less than that. A can of beer is just over a dollar[vi].
Apart from affordable living with splendid views, the culture is strong in this city. People like to celebrate everything any day they want. You will see firecrackers in the sky in broad daylight or maybe at 4 AM. There is always some fiesta going on in Oaxaca, and you will love to join the locals in their extravagant parties.
The fact that only Mexico City has more universities than Puebla shows the actual class of this city. There are 35 universities in the city, making it a perfect place to start an academic career. You can easily enroll in an institute and hope to get a permanent residency afterward.
Puebla has strong historical roots that are seen in its architectural style. The buildings and houses are a mixture of Classic, Baroque, and Renaissance. The architectural style makes the city a place to have a walk or visit a historical site. The cost of living in Puebla is also not much. A decent two-bedroom apartment costs somewhere from $700 to $800. Eating out can cost $5 at max from a neighborhood café, and a week’s grocery is about $25[vii].
Cancun is one of the top choices for vacations among Americans. The beautiful tropical climate and the breathtaking beaches are what snow-stricken people from the cold parts of the world love about Cancun. Surprisingly, Cancun is a beautiful place to live too. It is affordable and has expatriate communities in and around the city.
The city can be expensive if you choose to live near a beach. The rent for a sea-view apartment may cost you up to $1,400, which is still cheaper than standard rates in America. You can rent a regular apartment in the city for $500 at the most[viii]. Healthcare for expatriates is also a plus point to this city. Foreigners can avail health care facilities with almost all the features. People with money often decide to retire in Cancun due to the affordable cost of living while enjoying a vacation-like life.
Another beauty of Cancun is the climate. It doesn’t get too hot nor too cold. The moderate temperatures attract a lot of tourists every year. You will get rain and some dry months, but it will be all bearable compared to extreme temperatures. Cancun is also an excellent choice for people associated with tourism. They can easily get a job in the tourism department given the experience they have.
Since Cancun is a Spanish-speaking city, so native English speakers can apply as English teachers in local schools. Overall, Cancun is a fantastic city to land in as your first Mexican base.
[i] “Working in Mexico.” Retrieved from https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/career-ideas/working-mexico
[ii] Ted Campbell (July 14, 2017), “An Insider’s Guide to Moving, Working and Living Abroad in Mexico.” Retrieved from https://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/living/articles/moving-working-living-in-mexico.shtml
[iii] “Mexico City.” Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_City
[iv] “Pros and Cons of Mexico City.” Retrieved from https://joyandjourney.com/pros-and-cons-of-mexico-city-9-things-i-miss-about-mexico-city-and-a-few-i-dont/
[v] “Living In Guadalajara: An Amazing Expat Base in Mexico with Great Quality of Life!” (March 21, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.psimonmyway.com/living-in-guadalajara-mexico/
[vi] “Everything You Need to Know About Living in Oaxaca” (February 28, 2019). Retrieved from https://clairesfootsteps.com/living-in-oaxaca/
[vii] Jen Philips April. “Mexico’s City of Angels.” Retrieved from https://internationalliving.com/countries/mexico/puebla-mexico/
[viii] “Want To Move to Cancun? Here Are 5 Great Reasons Why You Should.” Retrieved from https://www.cancun-adventure.com/en/blog/want-to-move-to-cancun-here-are-5-great-reasons-why-you-should