If you want to know if your pension, Social Security, or annuity payment will be enough to live in a foreign country, a good rule of thumb is to look at the salaries in that country. It is a simple economic truth that if the salaries are lower across the board, the cost of living is lower. It also stands to reason that if your monthly retirement benefit is higher than the average salaries for many occupations, you will be just fine.
I created a list showing the median monthly income for 25 occupations in Mexico ranging from waiter to commercial pilot. Although this list does not contain every possible occupation, it is a good representation of pay scales in Mexico.
The data was obtained from misalario.org, a nonprofit organization that provides information to both workers and employers in Mexico concerning salaries, labor law and careers.
Occupations and Monthly Income
The following shows the median gross monthly income for a person with 5 years of experience in the listed occupation:
1. Teacher, Primary School: $11,878 pesos ($642.05 USD)
2. Security Guard: $5,056 pesos ($273.29 USD)
3. University Law Professor: $17,323 pesos ($936.37 USD)
4. Chef: $11,638 pesos ($629.08 USD)
5. Cook in a restaurant: $6,623 pesos ($358.00 USD)
6. Lawyer: $18,451 pesos ($997.35 USD)
7. Legal Assistant: $11,972 pesos ($647.13 USD)
8. Cashier in a Supermarket: $5,299 pesos ($286.43 USD)
9. Auto mechanic: $7,761 pesos ($419.51 USD)
10. Foreign language interpreter: $17,507 pesos ($946.32 USD)
11. Waiter: $6,394 pesos ($345.62 USD) …so tip well!!!
12. Carpenter: $7,548 pesos ($408.00 USD)
13. Taxi Driver: $7,726 pesos ($417.62 USD)
14. Hotel Manager: $17,332 pesos ($936.86 USD)
15. Customs or Immigration Agents: $16,533 pesos ($893.67 USD)
16. Commercial Pilot: $38,395 pesos ($2,075.40 USD)
17. Bank Teller: $9,662 pesos ($522.27 USD)
18. Account Manager in a Bank: $16,530 pesos ($893.51 USD)
19. Data Base Administrator: $20,562 pesos ($1,111.45 USD)
20. IT Support Technician: $12,044 pesos ($651.02 USD)
21. Human Resources Manager: $21,180 pesos ($1,144.86 USD)
22. Air Conditioner Technician: $12,504 pesos ($675.89 USD)
23. Pediatric Nurse: $10,881 pesos ($588.16 USD)
24. Gynecologist: $25,969 pesos ($1,403.72 USD)
25. Firefighter: $5,649 pesos ($305.35 USD)
The salaries in U.S. dollars (USD) were calculated based on an exchange rate of 18.5.
Interesting factoid: #16 is only for Mexican citizens by birth. To learn why, check out Mexico: Surprising Jobs Off-Limits to Foreigners.
Let’s Wrap This Up
When compared to countries like the United States or Canada, the salaries in Mexico are significantly lower; however, this means that the cost of living in Mexico is also significantly lower. This fact compels many of us retirees to move south of the border. Although our monthly pensions, annuity payments, or Social Security payments are sometimes barely enough to get by in our home country — we can live very well within our means here in Mexico.
For those of you who are still at working age and want to move to Mexico, I strongly recommend trying to find some source of income online. There are some useful links to remote job sites at Remote Jobs: The Key to Funding a New Life in Paradise.