Bogota - 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?

Most telework for Canada given the time zone similarities, and the fact that virtually all local jobs require some degree of Spanish. A "good" salary in Colombia is around CAD $1.7k monthly and that's not that common to find. Many spouses did not work at all. A few started their own business or side hustles. - Aug 2023

The embassy is competitive for jobs. A few EFMs work at the different international schools. Other then that, there are not many options. - Feb 2021

The same as everywhere else. Most spouses work at the Embassy or as International teachers. Some freelance or have internet based careers. There is a new Global Employment Advisor at post. - Feb 2020

Spouses with professional telecommuting jobs seem happiest, although it can be problematic when there are Internet problems. There are a lot of EFM jobs in the embassy, but many of them require at least a two in Spanish. There are some teaching jobs at the international schools, but not much else available on the economy because all jobs will require fluent Spanish and local salary scales are very low. - Nov 2018

Spouses vie for eligible family members (EFMs) jobs at the embassy. Now that the most recent hiring freeze has been lifted, there are more jobs being listed. Some teach. Some telecommute. Some offer home-based business, like yoga. If you get hired locally, the salary will vary GREATLY depending on whether you're hired at the local rate or an expat rate. - Sep 2018

Locally-based jobs are going to pay practically nothing. I telecommute and have other expat spouse friends that do the same. Some teach, some are tutors, some have jobs at the embassy. - Aug 2018

Most spouses here do not work. Spanish fluency is a must for working on the local economy, even as an English teacher. Many jobs at embassies also require Spanish fluency. There is a work agreement between the US and Colombia, but I don't know anyone personally who has been able to find a job. Local salaries are very low and some companies/contracting agencies attempt to scam foreigners without diplomatic status. - May 2018

No - Apr 2016

Its a big embassy with plenty of EFM opportunities, but finding a job on the local economy can be a challenge. Colombians are mostly highly educated, so competition can be tough on the outside market. - Aug 2015

No, but sometimes they are employed through the embassy part time. - Aug 2014

Some if you speak fluent Spanish but pay is lower than in the U.S. - Jun 2014

No. - May 2013

Very few. - Oct 2012

I'm not sure of this. For an embassy of this size, there are relatively few EFM jobs, which is disappointing. There are teaching jobs available and I occasionally see opportunities for local-economy jobs announced in the embassy newsletter. - Jul 2012

Most jobs are low paying in comparison to US wages. - Apr 2012

I don't know for sure, but would imagine. - Dec 2011

no, no, no. - Jul 2011

No way, not even in the embassy. It is really difficult. I know people with master's degrees who have applied for 5 jobs at the embassy with no succes at all. To get a job in the embassy you don't need to be prepared, you need lots of contacts. It is so sad, but it hapens. - Nov 2010

No. - Sep 2010

No. - Aug 2010

Not really. Maybe if you can teach. - Aug 2010

I think so. - Aug 2010

No. - Jun 2010

No. It is very difficult to get a work visa here. - Jan 2010

Not really, but the CLO office at the embassy may be able to help. English teaching opportunities are available. - Sep 2009

Not really. Even in the Embassy, non-Spanish speaking spouses have practically no options because almost all the jobs have Level 4 (Fluent) requirements. Teachers may be able to get a job at one of the schools. - Dec 2008

It is hard to find a job that pays well. If you don't care about the salary, you can find work. Embassy jobs are also available. - Dec 2008

Not sure, but again, if you don't Speak spanish you will get nothing. - Nov 2008

Some, if applicant has good Spanish. - Nov 2008

Not sure. - May 2008

Yes, if you speak Spanish well. Same within the Embassy. Lots of jobs that require language ability. - Apr 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More