Tips for Finding a Job in Medellin

Medellin

Medellin

In order to stay in Colombia for longer than the tourist visa, which is a maximum six months, I have been looking for a job in Medellin so I can get a work visa.

As I understand it, work visas are obtained by first getting a contract from the company you intend to work for.  Once you have the contract, you must apply for the visa outside of Colombia, and then enter Colombia again under the new work visa.  I believe the visa is valid for as long as your work contract.  Of course I will give all the dirty details once I am that far along.

Right now, I have been keeping my job search very open ended.  I’ve been looking for almost any position that doesn’t require me to speak Spanish.  This is very difficult, but not impossible.  Most people have directed me to look for jobs teaching English.  I have found two job sites for Colombia that have provided me with a few leads.

The first is elempleo.com.  This site can be a bit hard to navigate without knowing any Spanish, as it does not translate with a web based translation service.  The jobs posted, however, are of good quality.

The second is computrabajo.com.co.  This site is a little easier to use.  The jobs posted range greatly in quality.  There is everything from telemarketing to established medical supply companies.

Overall, I’ve found the job prospects much higher than I originally expected, and I’m confident I will have a work visa long before my six months runs out.

2013 Update: Another, newer website, with job listings is Empleo en Colombia.

About Holly

I love relaxing and enjoying the view of life. Whether the view is from the top of a BASE object, or from my balcony in Envigado, Colombia. I love life when it's up, and I'm trying harder to love life when it's down as well. My biggest loves in life are (in order!) Family, BASE, Music, Boys that play music, and Alcohol. I get along with everyone that doesn't take me too seriously, and with people that are ok with the fact that you should disregard almost anything I say when I'm drunk!

Comments

  1. Hi Holly,

    I will soon be in the same position as you. Im moving from New Zealand to Medellin in Sept. Just wondering did you have a show an airline ticket out of Colombia when you entered on a tourist permit?

    Cheers,

    Dominic

    • Don McDermott says:

      bin here 15 months, never had to show any ticket at airport, can’t remember at Dian for visa extension if they asked, I don’t think so!

    • Yoann Nivard says:

      Guys, this new website have some great working experience in Medellin. They are actually offering paid internships which is a great way to get a job in Medellin. The website is http://www.internshipscolombia.com. YN.

  2. Nope, I never hade a return flight, and I had absolutely no issues. I have heard that having a return flight that is more than 60 days after your entry will give you very good chances of getting the 90 day visa, instead of the typical 60 days, which could be worth it to you.

  3. Juan Esteban says:

    Hey guys my name is Juan Esteban and I recently found this great website and I think is a really good tool to share ideas in “how to live in medellin.” I’m officially from Medellin, colombia but I’, currently living in the U.S and I’m thinking to moving back in approximately 2 years or less so I wanted to know any resources on how to find a job on the I.T. industry. I\’m currently working as a software Storage Engineer seeking for a job that will pay me a decent amount of money.

  4. Roger Velasco says:

    Hi there,

    im in the same situation. I came from Canada but i have my colombian papers.
    I am fully tri-lingual and looking for a job to hopefully be here a while.
    I was thinking of working using my languages but no luck. my exerience is I.T.

  5. Hey, in right now in Medellin searching for IT job here on one of the companies, some one can help me where i can start search?

  6. I am learning Spanish, would like to retire in Medellin. Anyone know about employment in the medical field? I’m a registered vascular ultrasound (and also xray) tech with 15+ years in OB-GYN, abdomen, vascular, and also ultrasound equipment sales and demonstrations. I don’t expect the same pay as in the USA. I’ve also done volunteer mobile work in indigent poor neighborhoods, the outback, etc. thanks. Gary Garythomas891@hotmail.com.

    • Dear Mr. Gary:

      I know a couple of nursing assistants who trained in some hospitals. I could ask them. You could look at jobs at:

      http://www.computrabajo.com.co/

      Once you find a job you like you can copy the email address and send them an email. You should create a cover letter in Spanish so that they understand what you are trying to do. I provide a translating service that can translate your cover letter (or letters) so that they are correct. There is software that do translations, but those are not perfect. Those translations need further work to make them be correct, not machine translations that normally will have a lot of mistakes. The service does English-Spanish translations and can translate resumes. There is the possibility that it will also do Chinese-English translations.

      Regards,

      Cesar
      http://www.CesarUSA.com
      CesarP12345@hotmail.com

  7. Hi All,
    Hope you all are doing great. my name is Karthik from India, I have a girl friend who is Colombian, i am marrying her in march. my question is how long will it take for me to get work permit if i marry a Colombian citizen and what are the formalities ? Can any one give me the best advise ?

  8. Hi everybody:

    I recommend to foreigners who live in Colombia to look for jobs from developed countries but that can be done at home. There are jobs that involve working at a call center, but those normally do not pay much. One of the jobs that can be done at home are programming and website design jobs. I might need to hire some programmers in the near future, especially the ones experienced in C++ or in .Net. Preferably with experience in text editors. I might start a job board too and people who sent me their resumes will/may be asked if they want to be helped in getting a job. There is also the possibilty that I might need language teachers since I am gathering a group for a language school. People interested in working with me or for me or for others may send me their resumes for consideration.

    Cesar
    http://www.CesarUSA.com
    CesarP2013@gmail.com

  9. anthony west says:

    i was think about moving too columbia at the end of the year im in the united states navy currently doing construction my spanish not that great but ive been studying and my fiance is curretly down there know if someone could give me some info i would be grateful

  10. Yoann Nivard says:

    Hi guys, I really like this blog. I did my internship within an web agency in Medellin. It was an excellent 6 month experience. I learnt a lot about SEO, SEM, Social Network. People in Medellin are so friendly and always happy, the weather is excellent, I love the dance culture (salsa, merengue, reggeaton…). Plus, Girls from Medellin are really beautiful.. I would like to share with you guys an exciting and innovative project, Internships Colombia (www.internshipscolombia.com). This program offers Internships to English speaking students in Colombia. Internships are initially offered in Medellin. Hope this information will help you guys. Have a good one.

  11. Hey guys

    Have just got to Medellin. An wanting to work here. I’m a professional photography in all areas. And also an artist. I can also teach English too.

    Any ideas will help alot.

    Thanks

    • Dear Mr. David:

      I am glad you are here and wanting to work. I have a modeling website and could work with you on some photography projects. I also glad that you are an artitst. Is it painter? I promote the work of artists such as painters, sculptors, singers, dancers, etc. I can also guide you in regards to jobs related to teaching English. I taught English at a high end elementary school and my brother has contacts in language schools from his work as a teacher in the past.

      You can contact me so that we could make plans to meet and get some things going.

      Cesar Pachon
      USA phone: (818) 26-0481

      • My phone number is (818) 206-0481. The zero in my numeric keypad is not working.

        Cesar

        • Hey Cesar

          Thank you for your reply, Iv got your number now, when is good to contact you?

          Yes i do Paintings and street morals also.

          David

          • My number here is (300) 348 4381, Cant call out for some reason.

            David

          • You can call me from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and at night on the weekends. I am also here Saturday and Sunday morning until around 1 p.m., but might have the phone disconnected. I will be on the Internet though.

            Cesar

          • Calls are still not going through, is it possible to call me, im very interested in more information you my have.

            David

          • I have been out for the last two days doing errands, but I am back and will be here for another 2.5 to 3 hours, until about 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

            Cesar

  12. Nathalia says:

    Hi everyone,

    I really like this blog. I am currently in Holland, finishing my studies and I am moving to Medellin in august. My mother is from Medellin and I was born in Curacao. I love love this city.

    I am bilingual, I can speak Spanish, English, Dutch and French. I really want to get a job in a company where they speak spanish and english. I have allot of experience in customer service. Could somebody help me out.

    Nathalia

    • Dear Ms. Natalia:

      I am glad that you love Medellin and want to come. I love it here too and offer my help.

      Regards,

      Cesar Pachon
      USA phone: (818) 206-0481

      • Nathalia says:

        Dear Cesar,

        I just bought my ticket to Medellin, and will be arriving end of august. Could you send me you e-mail. I am very interested in finding a job as soon as possible, and I hope you can help me with that.

        Thanks,
        Nathalia

  13. Hi everyone, I’ve just found this blog online and it seems I may be able to get some good help here. I am 28, from the UK and I have nearly 5 years working experience in IT sales and I am looking to stay for a while in Medellin and look for employment whilst there. Can anyone help? I have been learning Spanish nearly 3 years now and looking ideally for a job where the I can use both languages. Any help would be great, I am currently in Cartagena and will arrive in Medellin within the next week or so.

    Thanks John

  14. hello every body my name is bryan ive been in colombia for a year ive been looking for a job that i could use my english but nothing has showed up i just finished high school can somone help me out

  15. Hi guys, I was navigating the internet and I found this fantastic blog, my name is Diego, I used to work for an American Cruise Line for almost 13 yrs and now I am based in Medellin, I bought a mini van and that is what I am doing now, moving people where ever they want, airport, city and villages tours for a very cheap rates. Hope I can help any of you once you arrive in Medellin, city of the eternal spring….

  16. Hello. I am currently in Medellin visiting a friend and i dont want to leave! I have a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, and a Masters degree in digital animation. I work now as an art instructor in Washington DC. I like Colombia so much that i would love to move here. Hopefully this program can give me those first steps to achieving my dream. I have a website that displays some of my current work. ( Illwillfx.com ) Thank you!

  17. Hey Cesar, I’m looking to come to Colombia at around August time this year (2014). I have half of a degree (which basically means no degree, just knowledge and skills) in IT, and I am very passionate about economics, and study it relentlessly (though not officially). My nationality is Australian, and I speak fluent English and Russian. I think I can pick up Spanish very quickly, maybe within 2 or 3 months. What opportunities could I have in any city of Colombia?

    Thanks very much!

    • Hi,

      You could work in customer service from home:

      I already tried working for OnCall4You.com and they paid an hourly rate that depends on the project. The one I tried was about cold calling customers. That required installing some software in the computer to be able to access their system including an automatic dialer. The dialer dialed for you automatically and you were to offer the product to customers. This was cold calling back to back and paid $15 per hour. The training was to take about 2 days, but ended up taking about 3 days. The people was nice and helpful. They had an IT person who was able to help you install the software. The training was not paid. What I did not like about this project was that it was cold calling and the calls were back to back, but they have other projects that might not require cold calling.

      I tried Working Solutions, but there were some things I did not like: The hiring process was very long: I had to wait many days for an appointment for an interview. There were a few dates to choose from and were far apart. Then the start date was many days away. Then the training took two weeks and were several hours a day plus a lot of homework that were the equivalent of 20 more hours. The training was to be paid at a rate of about $8 per hour. The pay once passing the course was to be about $12 or $13 and you had to meet a minimum of conversions. The training was very demanding and it took a long time to get paid, but the pay was to occur about two weeks after submitting the bill. Therefore your first pay comes about 5 weeks after you started training. You need to spend no more than about 7 minutes per call and have no noise at home. The installation of the software is very complicated and involves several software program. I did not like the whole thing it was just too much and for very little money for the first 5 weeks, to then be paid for only 25 hours at $8 when you have already spent about 80 hours of your time in training. The project I had was not about an automatic dialer, but they do not give you a break when you want. You have to be connected and if you want to disconnect for a moment you have to ask for permission. Therefore you need to program your breaks, etc. so that you will not be overloaded. The time you spend doing the billing of your hours was not paid.

      The following page provides some suggestions.

      http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=5522191&page=1

      You could teach English, but if you have an Australian accent then that might not work since the accent is very different and most likely they would prefer an American or English accent.

      You could open your own little business, but it is hard to find a place for rent that does not require a cosigner. The rents in downtown are often high to very high. I recommend freelance work as a programmer or graphic designer for people coming to Colombia. Jobs that can be done from home through websites such as Freelancer.com, Elance.com, etc. You could also rent a garage or house with a garage and set up a shop if the garage if the landlord lets you. You could also start a little factory and then have people sell the products to companies, stores or regular people door to door, on the street, etc.

      You could provide a service to companies, to individuals, etc. You could open a little language school, etc. The difficult part is getting someone who would be willing to help you with a real estate property as a guarantee and/or be a cosigner. Quite often both need to have an income such as a job or a steady form of income in Colombia or proof of retirement checks coming every month.

      You could buy a taxi and have somebody drive it for you or you could drive it yourself, but will need to know the city very well (that takes several weeks). You could start some kind of business that could be done on the street such as a food truck, etc. You could also find a job, but the salaries are very low, quite often a minimum salary to up to twice the minimum wage in many cases unless you have a profession or skill that is in demand and speak Spanish.

      My suggestion is to work for a foreign company while in Colombia (such as translator and interpreter over the phone or some other work over the phone and the internet) or start a business unless you really have a good profession that would pay very well in Colombia. There are not too many language schools in Medellin. I am not sure how many in Bogota. A good number of companies that hire work at home customer service employees want the person to live in their country and have a local phone, not a voice over IP phone (such as Vonage or VoIP) because the quality is not as good with those and can drop more often.

      Regards,

      Cesar
      CesarCalifornia@hotmail.com
      (808) 218-4955

      • Wow, thank you so much for taking the effort to write that amazing response! I very much appreciate it, and it was an informative read. Is starting a business difficult in Colombia, regulations-wise? Is there much paperwork that needs to be filled out/submitted to certain agencies, or is it just like – you see demand, and you create supply? What about opening something like a brokerage or a financial institution? I’ve tried to pursue something of the sort in Australia, but the regulations dictated I be “qualified” in order to register a company, so I could not.

        And another thing, of all the places you suggested I work, how hard is it to actually get oneself employed? I guess what I’m really asking is, is it hard to find a job? Am I likely to get rejected from any/all of them not because of my characteristics, but just because?

        Thanks again, I much appreciate all of this!

        • We could talk using Skype. You can send me an invitation in Skype or send me an email where you provide your Skype account. That way we can go over other information. I wrote an e-book about living in Medellin.

          Regards,

          Cesar

        • My Skype account is cesarcalifornia and the location they have for that account is Northridge, CA (from when I lived there)

          Cesar
          (808) 218-4955

        • Dear Mr. Roma:

          The regulations ((the paperwork)) are not complicated in Colombia: usually what the person needs is to register with the local chamber of commerce (the words for that in Spanish are: Camara de Comercio), maybe get a bank account, if food is going to be prepared then an inspection by the Health Department, that the employees handling food have their training and food handling permit, if serving alcohol then a permit for that, and in some locations (such as a night club) a police occupancy permit. The whole process of requesting them should take very few days except for maybe the alcohol permit, which could take longer or be more difficult to get (I was told that the alcohol fee/permit is very expensive and take long to get it, but it can be purchased from a liquor selling place that is being sold).

          I suppose that creating a brokerage or financial institution requires the establishment of a corporation at the local Chamber of Commerce, which involves writing the document for the new corporation (the Chamber of Commerce sell a photocopy of a sample corporation and tell the requirements). For a corporation to be established the company has to have several people involved: a treasurer, a president, etc. and proof of sufficient funds and an address for the business that will back the corporation. The Chamber of Commerce will give you the details, one of them will likely be a bank account.

          It is difficult for foreigners to get bank accounts in Colombia. Colombian banks want safety and a foreigner does not show safety in regards to liabilities in case the foreigner leaves the country without meeting his obligations. Citibank is a US bank that has offices (for some business activities, but not really check cashing branches) and ATM machines in Colombia and some US people could benefit by having a Citibank account when moving to Colombia, but ATM withdrawals at Colombian Citibank branches are not really much cheaper than other banks.

          I do not know of Australian banks having offices in Colombia. Most likely there is none.

          CapitalOne360 is an online banking account that can be opened online and people can transfer money to that account and withdraw the money at some Colombian ATMs and branches.

          We could talk using Skype. You can send me an invitation in Skype or send me an email where you provide your Skype account. That way we can go over additional information you need. I intend to sell an e-book about living in Medellin. I want to keep making it better as time passes and as I get more information.

          My Skype account is

          cesarcalifornia

          and appears located in Northridge, CA

          We can set a date and time such as next Sunday or night times Hawaii time.

          Getting hired in Colombia is more complicated for people over 40-45 years of age since companies prefer new graduates with about 1 or 2 years of experience unless the position is very complicated and requires a lot of knowledge, advanced training. There are more jobs available in Bogota than in Medellin. There is a small number of companies that provide custom software development in Medellin, maybe the same for Colombia. There are some large US companies that already established large sites in Colombia. One of them is Hewlett Packard. They have a large location in Medellin. If you look at the jobs listed in Computrabajo.com.co you will see which skills are in demand in regards to IT, one of them is PHP.

          I suggest learning as much Spanish as you can, getting a job that can be done overseas from a foreign company and do the job in Colombia. If not then start a small company in Colombia, but have the funds to survive for about a year, at least 6 months, have a good business plan, do the market research before investing money, etc.

          One great business to have in Colombia is a pawn shop. The return on investment is very high.

          Regards,

          Cesar
          (808) 218-4955 US phone in Hawaii

    • There are several websites where you could look for a job. One that has many openings is Indeed.com. They also have a separate page for finding jobs in Colombia. Computrabajo.com.com (in Spanish) has many jobs in Colombia, but quite often the salaries are low.

      Best wishes,

      Cesar P.

  18. Brennan says:

    Hola,

    I just arrived here in medellin a day ago with my girlfriend. We are both going to study spanish for a month at eafit university. We are both English teachers just came from china, i have 4+ years of experience and my girlfriend about 8. Im from Canada and my girlfriend is from the philippines. I have been looking at a number of sites looking for teaching jobs but as my spanish is poor its hard to really get much use from some sites. We both have experience teaching kids and teens. Some experience teaching adults, as well as tutoring. Anyways we just got here and are still in the process of looking for jobs here, but if anyone could give any advise or helpful information our way we would be greatful.

    Brennan

    • Dear Mr. Brennan:

      You could contact “Colegio Cumbres” in Envigado. They hire teachers who only speak English. They teach several subjects in English such as Math and English. Several universities, colleges and schools need English teachers and want that the teacher speak native English to students, also prefer that only talk to their students in English. They also like if the teacher speak Spanish so that they can communicate with their staff. Some schools want that the teachers pass a couple of tests such as about linguistics and pedagogy.

      http://www.paginasamarillas.com.co/busqueda/escuelas+de+idiomas-medellin

      You can use Google Translate to quickly copy and paste texts to translate them.

      You could do jobs for foreign companies while in Colombia. You could get a translation and interpreting job over the internet, could teach English using Skype, and get customer service jobs over the phone. You could also start a small business and hire a bilingual person to help you with the Spanish. I know somebody who is bilingual and could help you with that. I intend to go back to Medellin, but I do not know when yet.

      I have some other contacts in Colombia, but most of them only speak Spanish. My brother intends to travel to Medellin around July. He is fully bilingual.

      I offer numerous services at my website and pay commissions on sales such as of software.

      You can also do sales in the US while in Colombia. There are call center jobs in Colombia, but those pay very little. You could do sales to US companies instead. There is always a high demand for telemarketers and salespeople.

      http://www.CesarUSA.com

      http://www.cesarusa.com/cesarusa/software/index.html

      Best wishes,

      Cesar
      CesarCalifornia@hotmail.com
      USA (808) 218-4955

  19. Hi Cesar,
    First of all, congrats on the great replies !!
    I currently live in Spain, and I am looking into moving to medellin.
    Is there a was I can talk to you, this way I can explain more in details my situation and hope you can give me some advise.
    thanks

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