Cairo - Post Report Question and Answers

What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

We both work at the Embassy, but I know some spouses telecommute, some work on the local economy as teachers. I don't know what local salaries are like but I imagine they are not great. - Jun 2018


This is a sore spot among embassy spouses - and rightfully so! The embassy in Cairo is large and there are jobs available in the embassy but obtaining a security clearance takes a very long time. With the current hiring freeze, things are getting worse. I know a few spouses who waited six months or longer to find work within the embassy, some were not able to find anything at all or they had to wait so long for their clearances that they were not able to begin working until very late in their tours. Working on the local economy will require approval from the Chief of Mission, with heavy input from RSO, and it's not guaranteed to be approved. Local wages are very low and most jobs on the local economy will require Arabic. - Sep 2017


I worked locally. It depends on your field. You likely will not earn much, but it's a chance to experience life there at a deeper level. It's a big city with a lot of opportunities. - Jan 2016


Hmmm...not so much, except through the Dmbassy or the schools, or the American University of Cairo (AUC). A lot of companies have shrunk their footprint and there is bilateral work agreement between the US and Egypt. - Jan 2016


Yes. There are teaching jobs, EFM jobs (I'm part-time at USAID in Education), online jobs, etc. I suggest looking right away, though, if you want to work. The interview process and security clearance process both take time. - Oct 2014


I don't know. I know of people working in schools. - Aug 2014


Some NGO's and American University of Cairo. Many major U.S. companies, although this footprint is shrinking... - Aug 2014


Some. That's always tough. There are a TON of schools in Cairo - and some pay decent salaries - but the commute might be a pain. There are fewer IGOs than in many other posts, but they exist. Jobs with the UN and private sector also. - May 2014


Local expat jobs exist, but are rare. - Apr 2014


Mixed. - Mar 2014


Not unless you want to work for 50 cents an hour. Lots of spouses get jobs at the embassy though. - Jul 2013


None at all. - Jun 2013


Not really, although there are some in CAC. - Jun 2013


No. - May 2013


No. - May 2013


Nope. - May 2013


The key problem for most folks in terms of jobs on the local economy seems to be the pay scale. Unless folks come in to Cairo as "out-of-country" contractors, employers will typically try to hire them on at a local pay scale, which is incredibly low. Among the USG community, many spouses choose to work in the mission, but these positions are generally poorly paid and "scut work" in nature. The embassy doesn't seem to have an interest in making better use of the skill sets that family members bring (or in reimbursing them at a US pay level). Other family members find employment at either CAC or, in a few cases, at the American University in Cairo. - Feb 2013


No. - Feb 2013


Not really unless you like working for less than minimum wage. If you have free time, there are lots of volunteer opportunities. - Mar 2013


No. - Mar 2013


No, absolutely not. - Feb 2013


There are plenty of jobs available for foreigners, but wages are pretty low. - Jan 2013


Not that I've seen. - Nov 2012


No, unless you speak some Arabic, or are willing to work for VERY little salary. - Sep 2011


If you are a diplomatic family member, you can work in the local market, otherwise, your employer will have to apply for a work permit on your behalf and many are willing to do so. There are many positions as English language instructors, editors, report writers, consultants, journalists, and other types of jobs, but it is very much about networking and knowing people who will refer you. It is more difficult to find jobs at higher pay levels, since there are so many expatriates available. - Jul 2011


Not really, their hard to come by and work out. Your best bet is looking at the schools. - Jun 2011


Yes, lots. - Sep 2010


I would say yes. - Jun 2010


There are a lot of EFM positions at the embassy and at USAID, as well as some positions at NGOs and teaching positions. There is a coordinator at the embassy who works with EFMs to help them find jobs. - Dec 2009


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