Santiago de Chile

Working in Santiago de Chile ?

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Working in Santiago de Chile

Working in Santiago de Chile will be exciting, whether you are working for an international company or getting involved in the local economy. This guide gives you the key info about working in Santiago de Chile, including its economic reputation and the social security you’ll receive.
Old and new stand side by side in this rapidly growing, financially stable, metropolis.

Working in Santiago de Chile puts you in one of the financially strongest cities in South America. Moreover, within the country itself, Santiago de Chile contributes to about 45% of Chile’s overall economy. Therefore, as an expat, you will find this city economically stable and very welcoming to skilled workers.

A Strong International Presence in Santiago

Finance plays an important role in Santiago’s economic life. In fact, the capital is home to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). This has led to plenty of investment from international companies.

The number of these companies is growing on an annual basis. For example, the economic sectors of computer technology and electronics are starting to have a significant presence in Santiago de Chile. This has resulted in companies like HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Yahoo opening important offices in the city.

Many expats working in Santiago de Chile are affiliated with these international companies. The food processing industry, for instance, is a major contributor to the Chilean economy, with Nestlé and Coca-Cola having a major presence in the city.

Other than that, the more traditional industries of textiles, clothing production, and mining, still provide significant employment opportunities for locals working in Santiago de Chile. A major market that is also available to many younger expats is that of teaching English at various educational institutions across the capital.

Doing Business: Santiago Style

Chile has recently been named as the fourth best country for doing business in Latin America according to the Ease of Doing Business ranking. This title was the result of plenty of hard work by Chilean residents, and those of Santiago in particular. As an expat, get prepared for long working hours — Chile’s labor force works the fourth highest number of average annual hours of all OECD countries.

This does not necessarily mean everything is done at the speed of western life. People are often slow to reply to messages and phone calls, and can simply forget to get back to you. Don’t take this personally, and just chat casually about it with your business partners if you find that this is becoming a problem.

Speaking Spanish is an excellent advantage if you are working in Santiago de Chile. In fact, many local businesses will not consider you if you cannot master their language. While this is not quite so important in multinational companies in which English is the main language of communication, speaking Spanish will earn you the respect of your Chilean co-workers, something which you will otherwise find lacking.

The Job Hunt: Calling in Favors and Scouring the Internet

It is quite difficult to move to the capital unless you already know where you will be working in Santiago de Chile. You cannot apply for a long-term visa without a work contract, so the easiest way to begin your employment there is to be sent by a company.

However, you can come to the country to look for a job on a visitor’s visa. The best way to start working in Santiago de Chile is through word of mouth: try asking any contacts you might have for information on employment opportunities. People are always more informed than websites, which may not always be up to date.

If you can speak Spanish, try looking in the local papers in Santiago de Chile. Otherwise, try the following websites:


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

Mathias Döringer

"Before moving to Santiago de Chile I joined the InterNations community and got useful hints regarding housing and business."

Emma Willems

"When I first came to Santiago de Chile I didn´t know one anyone. On InterNations I found many expat friends in the same situation."

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