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Working in Miami

Find Out How to Get a Job and Work in Miami

Working in Miami is a great opportunity for many expat professionals as the city’s unique position and cultural makeup makes it easy to work with both North and South America. Likewise, you will bring home more money by working in Miami because Florida is one of seven US states that does not collect state income tax.

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Finding a job in Miami is neither easy nor terribly hard. The job market is not nearly as competitive as what you will find in Los Angeles or New York, but Miami is still a popular relocation destination and thus good jobs are coveted. Certain industries such as tourism and transport will provide the greatest employment opportunities. As there are also several international companies located in Miami, expats would be wise to see if an inter-company transfer is possible.

As a foreigner, you will need a visa in order to live in the US. The easiest way to accomplish this is by getting a work visa, which needs to be sponsored by a US company. In this section, we go over some of the top ways to find a job in this South Florida metropolis.

Job Market Overview

One of the things to know about working in Miami is that it is just like the city’s housing market: competitive, but not impossible. It is especially not as competitive when compared to other popular expat cities such as New York and Los Angeles. An overview of the city’s job market shows the unemployment rate staying between 2-4% in recent years. This is close to the state of Florida’s overall average unemployment rate, which hovers around 3%.

Top Industries

There is a wide range of opportunities for expats interested in making the Magic City their new home. Miami’s job market supports those who work in a wide range of industries from shipping and manufacturing all the way to hospitality and education.

As it would be expected, the most required jobs in Miami are in tourism. Those with bilingual skills will be in high demand in this sector (see more in our How to Get a Job section below). Miami attracts thousands of tourists year-round. With this popularity comes the need for tour operators, hotel workers, travel coordinators, food service employees, and guides, among many other positions.

Another top industry in Miami that may come as a surprise is transport. The city is home to the Miami International Airport, which services flights across the US and direct to Central and South America as well as Europe. This sector also includes water transport, since the city is a popular docking spot for international cruise ships. The city’s shipping port is also highly active, opening opportunities for those in the shipping and manufacturing industries.

Other Top Industries in Miami

  • Banking
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Real estate

Miami is also home to many large international companies. Given your level of experience and specific job, some expats may do well to search for opportunities within these companies directly. Keep in mind that the surrounding Miami area also serves as the Latin American headquarters for some international companies such as Canon, Hewlett-Packard, and Western Union.

A Sampling of Miami-based Global Companies

  • American Airlines
  • Hilton International
  • Kraft Foods
  • Lennar Corporation
  • Office Depot

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Average Salary

The average salary in Miami is around 47,000 USD. This is just below the US’s national average salary, which is a little over 50,000 USD. One benefit of working in Florida is that the state does not collect personal income tax. However, residents will still pay a federal income tax. This is something that is unique to Florida and a few other US states. Most US states require residents to pay both federal and state-level income taxes. You can read more about this in our guide to US banks and taxes.

In total, the Sunshine State applies the 5th lowest tax burden on its residents. This means that as an employee in Miami, you will take home a larger portion of your salary than if you were an employee in many of the other 50 US states.

What is a Good Salary in Miami?

Defining what is a good salary in Miami depends on the type of lifestyle you hope to have in the Cruise Shop Capital of the World. If you hope to live among the Art Deco buildings of South Beach and afford nights out along the oceanfront, you will understandably need to make a high salary. However, living in mainland Miami, or one of the city’s more reasonably priced neighborhoods, will afford you the opportunity to live more comfortably on a mid-range salary.

In general, a comfortable salary to live on in Miami is between 50-70,000 USD annually. This allows for a decent sized one-or two-bedroom apartment and money to enjoy all that the city has to offer. Keep in mind that this may not allow for travel around the rest of the US, as domestic flights are expensive and other cities are more expensive.

How to Get a Job

If you want to know how to get a job in Miami, one of the best ways is through a local recruiter. Because Miami’s job market is competitive, newcomers may spend a month or more navigating through vacancies, learning the best tips and tricks to make their CV standout, and the industries with the most opportunities. By going through a recruiter, you will save yourself a lot of hassle and have a better chance at landing the best position for you.

If you want to know more about getting a job in America, read our guide about Working in the US. All foreigners require visas to work in the US. Our visa advisory services help guide you through the requirements of a US work visa, and the steps you must take to live in this fascinating and diverse country.

Job Seeking Tips for Expats

Your Language Skills

The national language of the United States is English and all expats will need to have conversational knowledge of this language in order to land a decent job. That being said, in a city as international as Miami, being bilingual will go a long way to setting you apart from other job applicants. As to be expected with such a large Latin community, the best language to speak besides English is Spanish. After that, speakers of French or Portuguese will also be highly sought after.

Look Online

Although hiring a recruiter may be one of the best bets for landing a job in Miami, looking online is also a great way to find a position. Popular jobs used by US-based companies include:

  • Indeed;
  • LinkedIn;
  • ZipRecruiter;
  • Monster.
Newspapers

The popular Miami Herald newspaper often publishes job opportunities in its print edition and online.

Entrepreneurship

Miami has recently been named the second-best city in the US for entrepreneurship. This is partly because tech giants such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Uber have all based their Latin American headquarters in this Florida city. There are also a little under 150 startups registered in just the metropolitan area alone, mostly in the tech-based and sharing-app industries. As a warm, sunny area, Florida is seen as a cheaper option to California, which is still the best place for entrepreneurship in the US.

Self-Employment in Miami

As a foreigner moving to the US, being self-employed can be difficult no matter which US city you decide to call home. For starters, there is no standard self-employment visa to enter the US. The closest option is an E-type visa, which requires a substantial financial investment. For more information, read our guides about US Visas and Work Permits and our section on How to Be Self-Employed in the US.

Visa hardships aside, if you can legally become a self-employed person in Miami, there are several tips and tricks that will help your business thrive. There are many coworking spaces throughout the Miami-Dade County where you can find a support network (possibly even from fellow expats). This saves self-employed people from having to rent their own office space and offers a sense of community with other entrepreneurs.

Coworking

Popular coworking spaces in Miami include:

  • Pipeline;
  • WeWork;
  • The LAB Miami;
  • Miami Shared;
  • Büro.

No matter the coworking space you choose, these shared spaces in the Miami area will typically offer communal spaces and/or individual offices. Prices are generally over 100 USD per month with some even being around 300 USD or more.

In addition to coworking spaces, expats interested in entrepreneurship in Miami will also find many helpful resources such as startup boot camps and investor programs such as Venture Hive Miami and The South Florida Accelerator. Universities in Miami such as the University of Miami, Florida International University, and Miami Dade College have also launched programs to cultivate startup growth within the South Florida region.

Benefits of Self-Employment in Miami

When discussing self-employment in Miami, there are two obvious benefits. The first is the supportive network of fellow entrepreneurs you will find in the city. As the second-best city in the US for entrepreneurs, new arrivals will find a large community of other self-employed workers, many of which who will also be transplants to the area. The other obvious benefit is the lack of a state income tax. However, self-employed workers will need to file a tax return to pay a self-employment tax.

The other benefit to being self-employed in Miami is your ease of access to an international community and network. By working in the unofficial “Capital of Latin America,” you will be able to more easily establish contacts and business associates with partners who are either based in Central or South America or still have ties there. Either way, Miami is an excellent location for those looking to grow their entrepreneurial business worldwide.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: April 08, 2020
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