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Working abroad in South America?
2

Working abroad in South America?

Working abroad in South America?

(OP)
Does anyone work in South America for a US based company? I have an HVAC/Industrial background and I'd love to move down there for a while. I realize it would probably not exactly be a vacation, but I'm looking for change. My hope is being a PE might give me some hope in finding that.

RE: Working abroad in South America?

The best advice I can give you is get in contact with some country's ambassador down there, as well as getting a passport and visa.

RE: Working abroad in South America?

2
It will be very difficult to find a job in HVAC/Industrial in SA. I would imagine a job teaching your skills to others...or a job with a lot of travel to different sites. You might have more luck teaching English there. I too, am trying to get down there as my spouse is from SA. I hope to do some consulting, started investigating, and found projects/work will be very hit and miss....and then you have to worry about actually getting paid. I have a SA niece who graduated in Industrial Engineering who's been working as a secretary for the last 5 years because there are very limited technical jobs. The one job she did get (industry related, but not engineering) was very brief as the company lost a major contract and closed down.

There are several websites you can google for international work. Also, look for Expat forums for the countries in which you may be interested. They may help.

A few things to consider:
- Many of the companies in SA only offer 90 day contracts...even for professionals. This makes it easier to layoff people and also avoids them paying Benefits. I would imagine US companies in SA would follow suit.
- Pay, even for engineers and especially laborers, is very, very low....US$700-1000 month - will vary more depending on country (rent in safe neighborhoods will take all of that)
- US based companies will pay the same as locals regardless of where you are from, unless you are in a higher up position and/or on special assignment. You may get company housing to help.
- Safety/Security: being a Gringo, there is the perception you have money...regardless if you do or don't. Exceptions might be Argentina and Chile...but it's all relative.
- Spanish is a necessity. High School Spanish will get you through the bus system and supermarkets and get you a cerveza, but it does not help in the industry. I worked in Spain for a bit, did fine 'on the streets', but struggled in the plant.

The PE will help in finding a job, but it doesn't add any value for work in SA.

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