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Ecuador - Employment

Those who move to Ecuador will find that getting a work permit is reasonably straightforward. It is easier for a foreigner who has specialist skills, for example, teachers of English as a foreign language. Once you have been offered a job with a firm they need to confirm the offer in writing and the process of applying for the work permit can begin. Most firms will help with this process.

Spanish is the country’s official language and the majority of workers will need to have a good working knowledge of the language. There may be a few cases where a foreign company will prefer to use another language such as English on a daily basis, although this is rare.

Unemployment levels have dropped in recent years as the economy is much more stable than it was, although this is no guarantee of work. There is a demand for skilled and experienced teachers, although proof of qualifications will be required before a firm offer of employment is made. A qualified and experienced teacher can expect a salary of up to $500 per month. Translators who are fluent in Spanish are also in demand.

There is also an increasing need for professionals in the tourism industry to act as guides. This type of work pays a good rate, although it is seasonal. Tourism professionals will be expected to be fluent in more than one language and have experience in a similar role.

Salary levels are quite low. The minimum basic salary is just US$135 per month. The cost of living is very low in Ecuador and a family can live reasonably well on a few hundred dollars each month and an average salary will be around $350 per month. An hourly pay rate is rare and most people earn a monthly salary.

Workers spend an average of 40 hours a week working and this is usually an 8 hour day. Most people begin work at 8.30 am and finish at 4.30 pm. This will vary depending upon the industry and type of job. Medical staff, for example, will be expected to work at weekends and do shift work. Working conditions are generally very good, particularly for those who are skilled.

Work contracts are for an initial three months as a trial period then are renewable each year. The contract will detail all your obligations and rights as an employee so it is essential that it is read carefully.

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Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


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