A Look at the Salaries of 20 Occupations in Mexico

I often hear from blog followers who tell me they plan to move to Mexico to take advantage of the low cost of living; however, their plan is to work here doing the same type of job or profession they currently have.

Most of these folks haven’t done any type of salary research and are operating under the mistaken impression that the salaries for skilled labor (e.g. engineers, IT professionals) will either be on par or only slightly lower than what they’re used to back home — but unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

Let’s Take a Look at the Numbers

To give you some idea of what the average salaries are like in Mexico, I’ve created a chart showing the median salary for 20 randomly selected occupations in Mexico.

I would like to point out that Mexico is a very large country and salaries can vary quite a bit from area to area. The chart below reflects the nationwide salary averages for someone with 10 years of experience in the listed position.

* Data obtained from misalario.org on 11/21/18. Dollar amounts were calculated using an exchange rate of 20 MXN to 1 USD

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Mexico is $88.36 pesos ($4.42 USD) a day. Yes, you read that correctly — a day.

How to Conduct Your Own Research

It’s easy to do some research online using a site called misalario.org. It contains detailed salary data on a long list of occupations and it even adjusts the numbers based on factors like years of experience. That’s where I obtained the data presented in the previous section.

Here’s a link to the part of the site where you can conduct your own research:

https://misalario.org/main/tu-salario/comparatusalario#/

Another effective way is to look through the job sites for Mexico. There are several of them out there, but here’s one link to get you started:

https://www.indeed.com.mx/

Let’s Wrap This Up

Although the salaries in Mexico are considerably lower than they are in countries like the U.S. or Canada, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of living is also much lower. That’s why Mexico is a popular choice for American and Canadian retirees who want to make their limited retirement funds go as far as possible.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

17 Comments on "A Look at the Salaries of 20 Occupations in Mexico"

  1. I’d add that a 6 day work week is common as well.

  2. Great article Paul. One thing I learned in buying a property in Mexico, is that, percent wise, real estate agents make right at the same amount as they do in the US. I get that from comparing what MY agent made from my transaction in Mexico and by what a US real estate agent friend told me was the average percent agents make in the US from a sale.

  3. LindaRose Richardson | November 21, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Reply

    I´ve lived all around Mexico for the last 27 years, consecutively. Here, in the State of Guanajuato and in Jalisco, an expat MUST have ‘papers’ to work here. It used to be called FM2, but they´ve changed all the rules…..it´s not as easy as it appears. I feel if you want to retire, RETIRE!

  4. It should also be noted that an expat can not automatically come here and find employment. A work-specific visa is required and they’re not that easy to obtain unless you have a Mexican relative.

  5. And the gasoline prices are so high in Mexico as well.

  6. The minimum wage may only be 88 pesos per day, BUT in reality , no one works for that. It is used by the government as a multiple for calculating various things such as fines. ie 1000 times the minimum wage.

  7. Barbara Ransehousen | November 21, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Reply

    A good “Open your eyes” article! Thanks!

  8. Blanca Portella | November 21, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Reply

    But there are some perks! I became a Mexican citizen so that I could work and vote where we have chosen to live and have taught English in our tiny village for years now. Every Christmas we are given a turkey! We also get a bonus paycheck. The state government gives us cash for a Christmas posada party. Pretty amazing all around.

  9. Thank you. I would also have liked to see teacher salaries mentioned.

    • Those salaries are not very high here either. The average after 10 years for many of the positions was only about $12,000 pesos a month ($600 USD). I looked through the classified for certified teachers of various subjects and many were starting around $7000 pesos a month ($350 USD).

  10. Mark in Merida | November 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Reply

    I guess where you are born is the “luck of the draw” and getting the opportunity to live in Mexico and have our US and/or Canadian retirement that would surpass the aver salary of most Mexicans makes me feel very privileged. But what I am starting to notice in Merida is what seems like new wealthy Mexican’s who are driving Range Rovers, Mercedes and living in the suburbs in McMansions. It is good to know the booming economy here is getting spread out among more people, because they clearly have to be making more than “average salaries”. Thanks for the article, always love your insights!

  11. Jerry De La Garza | November 21, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Reply

    Funny you mentioned Andy Griffith a few days ago…I am 74 years old and have 200 plus episodes of Andy and watch them every night when I go to bed…Sooooothing!!!

  12. Given low local salaries and the challenges of getting a work visa, a lot of expats seek or arrive with jobs they can do remotely online. Teaching English remotely, especially to school children in China, seems to be popular and presumably pays more than teaching local students. And I guess may be a way to avoid the need to get a Mexican work visa and pay Mexican taxes. (I don’t know much about that; I have permanent residency so could work legally, but I just retired and am hoping this will be a time in my life I can give back and do some volunteer work instead).

  13. the big mac index is a very good indicator of the cost of living/power of purchase in the different countries
    https://www.economist.com/news/2018/07/11/the-big-mac-index

  14. Paul,

    Are most workers paid hourly, or are they salaried? Another blogger I follow mentioned that salaried employees generally have to work M-F and 1/2 day on Saturday as well (obviously this excludes a lot of the hospitality and public safety jobs). Are there any laws regarding overtime pay, required breaks, bathroom facilities – things that are required for even the lowest paid Mexican farm workers in the USA?

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