Working in Miami?

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Working in Miami

Working in Miami certainly has its ups and downs, but that does not mean the city has lost any of its charm. The beautiful beaches and the blazing sunshine are definite upsides to working here. Read about Miami’s economy, the job search, taxation, and more in our guide.
When it comes to working in Miami, Downtown cannot be ignored.
  • More than 1,200 multinational companies have headquarters in Miami and due to its proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean the area is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Americas”.
  • Even though Miami’s real estate and construction sector suffered during the crisis, the sector still accounts for many jobs in the region.
  • Florida is one of seven states that have no state income tax. Nonetheless, expats who count as resident aliens for US tax purposes need to pay income tax on the federal level.
  • As almost everywhere in the US, the business culture in Miami is quite informal. Colleagues and business partners are normally on a first-name basis.


According to recent news reports, people from various countries, including those with a valid visa and residence permit, have encountered difficulties when entering the United States. Unfortunately, the full extent of those issues seems to be unclear. Before you decide to move or travel there, or leave the country temporarily if already living in the USA, please consult a US embassy and an immigration lawyer if you fear you might be affected.


Miami’s Economy: A Gateway to the Americas

Much like the rest of the United States and the world, Miami inevitably suffered during the financial crisis. Nevertheless, finding a job in Miami is still quite possible, even for expats. Various multinational companies have established their headquarters in the city, taking advantage of its proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean. For that reason, Miami is sometimes referred to as the “Gateway to the Americas”. As such, expats working in Miami are part of a strong international business community, which, despite the economic dip, is turning the city into a center of commerce and finance. Over 1,200 multinational companies are headquartered in southern Florida, and many of them call Miami home.

In the past, Miami’s construction sector was a lucrative career option for expats. After all, the city experienced a large building boom in the first decade of the 2000s, making it home to the tallest buildings in the state of Florida. This also affected real estate, which saw its highest peak since the 1920s. Unfortunately, working in Miami’s real estate sector is no longer as great an option, ever since the housing market crashed in 2007. Things are, however, starting to pick up again, and the construction sector alone accounts for 113,000 jobs in South Florida.

The city’s International Airport and the Port of Miami are among the busiest in the country. All in all, the Port of Miami directly and indirectly accounts for over 170,000 jobs in the city, and many job seekers intent on working in Miami have found employment at the giant cargo container port.

Miami’s Working Sectors and Their Future

While Miami is certainly a paradise in tropical terms, it may not necessarily be the economic paradise you have dreamed of. There are a few economic sectors still going strong, however. Miami’s workforce of over 1.1 million employees works in tourism, wholesale, retail, transportation, professional and business services, construction, education and health services, as well as healthcare and social assistance. In addition to these major sectors, Miami’s economy relies heavily on international trade.

Of course, employment and economic trends change constantly. Miami’s metropolitan region unemployment rate was 5.4% at the time of writing (September 2016), which is only slightly below the national average (5.5%). According to the US Census Bureau,  the sectors with the most jobs in Miami are education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; closely followed by leisure and hospitality.

Are you looking for more information on economic sectors and the effects of the financial crisis? Take a look at our article on the US economy for more details.

The Hustle and Bustle of Downtown Miami

When it comes to working in Miami, the downtown area is hard to get around. Miami-Dade County is South Florida’s main destination for global business, from Latin America especially, with ongoing retail and commercial development in the downtown core. It is also home to a number of consulates, international trade offices and international chambers of commerce. Working in Miami’s downtown area also means making a living in the historical center of the city, among schools, universities, and various museums.

Home to a variety of state, county, and federal government offices, Miami’s central business district combines office space with urban residential buildings. There are also plenty of connections to Miami’s public transportation system, making for a smooth commute for expats working in Miami’s central business district. 


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Ben F. Bagley

"I love this city, I really do, but discovering Miami in company of other expats was much more fun than on my own."

Maria Loura

"I am looking forward to the next InterNations Get-together here in Miami. Socializing with other expats from Latin America is always such a great time. "

Global Expat Guide