25 Occupations in Mexico and How Much They Earn

Man making shoes in Valladolid, Mexico (Source: Q-Roo Paul)

One of the ways to know if you’ll have enough money to live in a particular country is to look at the average salaries in that country. It’s a simple economic truth that if the salaries are lower across the board, the cost of living will be lower too. It also stands to reason that if your monthly retirement benefit is higher than the average salary for many occupations, you’ll be just fine.

I created a list showing the median monthly income for 25 randomly selected occupations in Mexico. The data was obtained from misalario.org, a non-profit organization that provides information to both workers and employers in Mexico concerning salaries, labor law and careers.

The Chart

The figures shown are the median gross monthly salary for a person with five (5) years of experience in the listed job or profession.

The peso amount was obtained from misalario.org and was converted to U.S. dollars using an exchange rate of 18.5.

* Salaries based on 5 years of experience. Data collected on 05/28/17 from misalario.org

Let’s Wrap This Up

If you’re looking to retire in Mexico on a fixed income, these numbers will undoubtedly give you hope that you’ll be able to survive on much less than you did in the U.S. or Canada. However, if you’re planning on looking for work in Mexico, these numbers probably left you a bit discouraged.

The good news is that I’ve met dozens of expats in Mexico who continue to work and still make enough money to enjoy themselves. The most successful ones usually fall into one of two categories: 1) people who have a job back home but work remotely from Mexico, and 2) people who started their own business here. Just some food for thought.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul

Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years and retired at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He moved to Mexico with his wife six days later to enjoy a laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle on a tight budget.

In 2016, Paul started a blog to share information with other people who may be thinking of making the move to Mexico. The blog, Two Expats Living in Mexico (qroo.us), has been viewed over a million times and Paul’s articles appear in periodicals across Mexico.

26 Comments on "25 Occupations in Mexico and How Much They Earn"

  1. My son has a associates IT degree. What part of Mexico has the most IT jobs. Can foreigners work there? Thank you.

    • There are IT jobs all over Mexico, but obviously the majority would be in larger urban areas like Mexico City. Foreigners can work here if they are sponsored by a business and are granted a visa and a work permit.

  2. Camille Madryga | June 21, 2017 at 7:09 am | Reply

    I guess it comes down to one’s own ability to live accordingly. Our reality check takes us into a much higher dollar valuation as we spend our winters in a beach house rental and drive a rented car. Our ‘Mexican’ life closely mirrors our ‘Canadian’ life (while in Canada).
    If you do that….and shop at places like the Bodega…and Costco…if you like to eat out and also spend money on entertainment, then Mexico’s average monthly wage will not go far towards that lifestyle. Realistically the monthly cost for what I have just outlined will be closer to $3,500.00 US per month. And , how many snowbirds are just like us?? We rarely see foreigners living hand to mouth in beachfront communities. I can’t speak for expats who live and work in Mexico but even the ones I do have contact with seem to live above the national income standard.

  3. mounddweller | June 21, 2017 at 7:40 am | Reply


    Great info. Thanks for taking time to do the research. I’m hoping to live well on the equivalent of a gynecologist’s income.


  4. Love your blog. Though we have no immediate plans to expatriate, we love Mexico, go every winter, and are pretty distressed about the state of things in the US. Always good to have a dream.

  5. Veronica Paton | June 21, 2017 at 8:25 am | Reply

    I lived in Mexico for 15 years and unless you want to sell timeshare, real estate or be in the tourism industry, you will find that the types of jobs that foreigners are allowed to do extremely limited even with sponsorship and work papers. You can own a restaurant but all employees must be Mexican. Don’t even think you will help tend bar, wait tables or help prepare food. If you need to work, then it better be a job in US that you can do remotely. Disappointed in this first advice blog I received.

  6. What is wrong with this picture? Sad that a police officer is the second lowest paid on the list. Not much wonder there are so many people stopped while driving for bribes.
    Love your blog—-thanks so much.

  7. Suzanne M Same | June 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Reply

    Thank you for your blog. You always have great interesting info.

  8. A police officer can earn as little as 150.00 a month equivalent. Imagine working in a hot zone for that little

  9. Gives me an understanding of the law enforcement here and a new respect for them.

  10. Nice blog, thanks for info. And for all who have commented, I appreciate the information.

  11. Paul if you are interested in know the salaries of specific construction trades let me know. It would be an interesting complement or an entire new article that you could back link to this post.

  12. Is it better to rent or buy ?

    • That is the age old question in any country. The advantage of buying is that you’re not throwing money away on rent and you’re home becomes an investment. Personally, we thought buying was the best option for us and we took that route.

  13. Obviously if some of the white collar jobs cater to foreigners they make more money. Our Mexican accountant for our Mexican corporation which only owns our house charges us $550 usd a month to file taxes and pay bills. (he only pays a few bills) I know he has at least 20 other clients on our small island.
    You have a great blog, I enjoy it a lot

  14. We moved to La Penita de Jaltemba, Nayarit 8 years ago, sold everything. Opened a B&B and have never looked back. Quality of life here is outstanding. http://www.elpanoramahotel.com

  15. So sad to see that policemen are one of the lowest paid professions. How will they ever combat corruption with wages like that.

  16. Jude & Jana Carpenter | June 25, 2017 at 11:04 am | Reply

    My husband and I have been following your blog for about a year now. He’s got 23yrs in law enforcement; our kids are all grown and we’re beginning to think about retirement. We’re contemplating retiring in Mexico. The topics on your blog are all relevant and help answer our questions. One of our most basic concerns is: Can we live on his pension. This particular article regarding occupations helps put things in perspective. Thank you, and keep up the informative articles.

  17. If you would post the salaries of workers in the Riviera Maya (maids, manager, maintenance, security, tour guides. taxi drivers, waiters, etc.), guests would be more likely to leave a good tip. How can I find out the wages of the workers mentioned above

  18. Manpreet Singh Sandhu | November 22, 2017 at 9:03 am | Reply

    I checked misalario.org, average salaries mentioned here differs from what are mentioned on misalario.org.
    Misalario.org is showing on average a nurse earns $9462 and a carpenter earns $7498.

    • These were taken from the site on the date the article was published and the criteria used was 5 years on the job. The site is continually collecting data and the figures change as a result.

      For example, I just ran the hospital nurse again, enfermero de hospital, and $10,899.

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