Panama City - 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?

Local employment is a challenge, even more so after the pandemic. Local salaries are very low as well. Unemployment remains very high, of course, and some professions are restricted for nationals only. I have heard about long-distance telework arrangements (perhaps even more common now that we are operating remotely on a global scale), but I would assume that these are more common for established work relationships, prior to the pandemic. Still, because Panama is an air transportation hub, I can see opportunities for remote work increasing. - Dec 2021

There are a few EPAP and other employment options in the area. Some are successful telecommuting or traveling occasionally back to the US for work (MIA/DC). Don't know anyone finding the right salary match on the local economy. - Oct 2018

Local salary is low compared to the US and the schools are almost always hiring. - Sep 2018

Part-time embassy work but it takes a long time to find a spot and get a clearance. - May 2017

Many work at the embassy or telecommute to companies back in the States. Some work on the local economy, usually at the international schools. - Mar 2017

At the embassy it's good. - Oct 2015

Maybe if you speak Spanish and if they think you are in Panama for not short term. - Jun 2015

No, decent opportunities. There is a bilateral work agreement but one must have fluent Spanish and the pay is less than one would earn at the Embassy. Unfortunatley, competition for EFM jobs is high and there are many who cannot find a job even after looking for a year. - May 2015

Yes (i.e. NGOs, foundations, international organizations, international corporations, etc). Panama is the location of many regional offices for private companies, NGOs and the UN. - Jul 2014

Yes - if you are bilingual. Panama is a logistics and financial hub that is pretty plugged into the global economy. Many multinationals have operations here. Panama has a shortage of skilled labor. - Mar 2014

Many people look within their spouse's agency or at the international schools. However Panama has relatively relaxed rules and does grant resident visas to many people who want to invest here and start a business. - Jan 2013

I'm not sure - it might be hard if you are not affiliated with an Embassy or organization for permissions. - Sep 2011

If you are a banking professional or money launderer, it looks OK. - Apr 2010

not many jobs on the local economy due to wages paid here - Dec 2009

Not that I have found. - May 2008

Yes, for teachers but the pay is not comparable to the U.S. Unless you own your own business, expect to be paid much less than you would in the U.S. - Apr 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

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

Read More