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?

Telecommuting and Embassy EFM jobs. Jobs here are scarce on the local economy and don't pay well. - Mar 2023

Many Mission members' spouses work at the Mission, some in policy-related substantive jobs and others in sections like facilities. - Aug 2022

I know some people with jobs in the Embassy, some with teleworking jobs from the U.S. My family doesn't have personal experience with this so can't comment much on it. - Aug 2022

There do not seem to be enough EFM jobs offered through the mission given the number of EFMs who want to work here. The EFM jobs that are offered are very competitive despite being very low-paying, in my opinion. The PSC jobs offered through USAID offer more reasonable pay. It's possible to work on the local economy through NGOs, schools and universities, and the UN system however we have heard it can be difficult to get approval for anything human rights/journalism related. Local salaries are low, however so are mission salaries for EFMs. Teleworking is common and seems to be preferred among spouses and partners looking to work. - Mar 2022

Some teleworked and others worked in the embassy. I did hear of one EFM working on the local economy, but it is rare. - Dec 2021

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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