Jobs In Playa Del Carmen
… working in paradise…
“I can’t believe you’re going to get a job in Playa Del Carmen……M..E..X..I..C..O!?! It is absolutely dangerous there! You are going to get shot and killed! Are you listening to me?”
That’s what your mother told you, but now you know the truth. Working in Playa Del Carmen has been everything you ever wanted! Not only do you get to live in paradise, but you get to make money in it as well.
Over the last six months, you have seen ancient Mayan ruins, swimmed in sinkholes called cenotes, and been on a countless number of Mayan tours and excursions. You’ve zip lined through the jungle, snorkeled with sea turtles, and climbed on ancient Mayan pyramids.
You go to the beach at least three times a week and exercise regularly (everyday) because you want to look good in your swimsuit. You look incredible. You feel great. You’ve met people from 10 or 15 different countries and know how to say “hello” in at least half of them.
You’ve never been so alive in your life!
Is this what your mother so adamantly warned you about?
Welcome to living and working in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico…
Why would you want a Playa Del Carmen job?
Let me rephrase that correctly–Why would you NOT want a Playa Del Carmen job?
People from all over the world come to live and work in Playa Del Carmen for a number of reasons. I’m sure you have your own, but here are a few of the most common:
- Warm Climate – Playa Del Carmen has a near-perfect climate. It is warm here in the winter, and hot in the summer. In addition, there is a beautiful ocean breeze that blows towards Playa Del Carmen from the Caribbean Sea/Cozumel island. This makes a great place to work with plenty of time to see beautiful ocean sunrises and sunsets.
- Cheap Living – By American (and Canadian) standards, Playa Del Carmen is a very cheap place to live. Although you will generally not make as much money at one of the jobs in Playa Del Carmen as you would in the US, your cost of living will be significantly lower. Moreover, if you are on an extended vacation, it does not take much money to extend that vacation a little bit longer. Working is a great way to do that, even if it is only a part-time Playa Del Carmen job.
- Learning Spanish – Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Learning Spanish may or may not help you in the future–but it definitely won’t hurt you either. While working at a Playa Del Carmen job, you will have the opportunity to learn Spanish every single day with real native Spanish speakers.
- Beach Bumming – Some people love to spend time at the beach. Other people get bored with it quickly. Either way, you will know exactly what it’s like to live in a beachside resort city, and spending time at the Playa Del Carmen beach is part of the culture here.
- Partying Hard – Many people come on vacation here simply in order to party. Other people don’t want to leave because they enjoy partying so much. Wherever you are at on the social spectrum, you will have plenty of opportunity to party here. Like Las Vegas, this city never really sleeps with all the nightlife to be had. If partying hard is your intention, you will have come to the right place if you can land a Playa Del Carmen job.
- Scuba Diving Mastery – The Riviera Maya and the Playa Del Carmen area host some of the best scuba diving locations in the world. Many people come to this city in order to get their Dive Master’s certificate so that they can go back home and teach scuba diving. In order to pay their way through the scuba diving classes and maintain a decent sort of living standard, some people take a Playa Del Carmen job that fits into their lifestyle and diving schedule.
- Interested In Mayan History – The area surrounding Playa Del Carmen is teeming with Mayan history. There are ruins, relics, and many Mayan communities close to Playa Del Carmen. Working one of the many jobs in Playa del Carmen will help you spend as much of your time as you would like in and around Mayan history.
- Explore The Riviera Maya – Playa Del Carmen is full of life. However, it is not a very big city. After some time, you are going to want to explore outside of its city limits–and believe me when I say that there are many places to explore. All of them are close, and there are a load of different transportation options to get you to the various locations you want to visit. Having a Playa Del Carmen job will definitely give you more time to explore the entire area known as the Riviera Maya.
Finally, living and working in Playa Del Carmen is just fun. Playa Del Carmen is one of the fastest growing cities in the entire country. Considering that Mexico is the 11th most visited country in the world, this means something. Having a Playa Del Carmen job is like being on an eternal part-time vacation in an international epicenter of culture and creativity.
What Are The Requirements To Get A Job In Playa Del Carmen?
In order to get a job in Playa Del Carmen, you will need a work visa. This is different from a tourist visa. A tourist visa is good for 180 days. From the day you arrive on your tourist visa, you will have 180 days to vacate the country. Luckily, you only have to be gone for a day or two and then you can return. However, even with this tourist visa, you are not legally allowed to work for a Mexican company. This is where a work visa comes into play.
Work visas are granted to companies that need a specific kind of person, but cannot find them amongst the Mexican population. For example, the English teaching schools here have a very difficult time hiring native speakers from the general Mexican population. Consequently, they can apply for permission to hire non-Mexican workers. They can do this if they have shown that they have made a legitimate attempt to hire from the local population, but due to the hard-to-find qualifications, have failed.
The Mexican government usually grants such companies permission and makes it possible for foreign workers to acquire jobs within the Mexican Republic.
Tourist Visa vs Work Visa
There is a big difference between a Mexican tourist visa and a Mexican work visa. Here is a breakdown:
- Good for 180 days
- Allows travel throughout the Mexican Republic during those 180 days
- Does NOT allow visa holder to work during the 180 days stay
- Visa holder must leave Mexico for 72 hours in order to renew
- Good for length of contract
- Allows travel throughout the Mexican Republic during the contract period
- Allows visa holder to work (at the specific job) during the contract stay
- Can be renewed indefinitely–so long as the contract lasts
Lucky for you, if a company is in need of hiring a foreign worker, that company will help you apply for the correct visa and pay any fees associated with acquiring it.
Thus, following the example above, if an English school decided to hire you, they would help you with the visa process and make sure that you are legally able to work in Playa Del Carmen.
What Are Some Jobs For Expats In Playa Del Carmen?
Although there are a lot of jobs for expats in Playa Del Carmen, the available job pool will depend more on your specific skills than anything else.
Here are a few ideas of jobs that are often times in demand, but many of the Mexican companies cannot fulfill locally:
- Jobs In Playa Del Carmen For English Speakers – The Playa Del Carmen economy is driven almost exclusively by tourism. Moreover, the big spenders here who stay at the large resorts and all-inclusive properties are primarily American and Canadian English speakers. This drives a huge demand for English-speaking Mexican workers. Unfortunately, however, most of the local people here do not speak English fluently. This leaves a large vacuum that can only be filled with English education. Thus, because tourism industry workers must interact with English speakers on a daily basis, there is a need for English teachers to fill that gap and make sure that Mexican people working within the tourism industry can read, speak, and write in English fluently. An English teaching job at one of the local schools or resorts is an excellent way to make some extra money if positions are available.
- Timeshare Jobs In Playa Del Carmen – Even the thought of timeshares stirs up a range of emotions depending on who you talk to. Some people swear by them. Other people thoroughly despise them. The high pressure sales that potential buyers face when going to a timeshare seminar is oft’ times ridiculous. As with any kind of sales jobs, there are people who work in sales positions and make a lot of money–and there are always those who make almost nothing. If you have done well in sales at some point during your life, a timeshare job in Playa Del Carmen may be perfect for you. What qualifications will you need? A good presentation is a must. Former sales skills will also be helpful. Finally, you will need a willingness to work in a fast-paced environment because there is loads of stress in the timeshare market (think: Boiler Room-type pressure). If this is your cup of tea, you may have a great opportunity to make some money in paradise.
- Freelance Jobs – Although there are not a ton of freelance jobs available in Playa Del Carmen, there are some. These may include writing, handing out flyers, graphic arts, web design, social media marketing, etc. If you have skills that might fit into any of these categories, there may be an opportunity for you to make money working a freelance job in Playa Del Carmen. The best part about most of these jobs is that you do NOT need a Mexican work visa in order to do them. (Technically, you do, but NOBODY really cares.) You simply do your job, get paid, and go home. Moreover, some of these jobs may allow you to work from home. Again, it all depends on your skills and what you bring to the table.
- Adult Industry Jobs – The adult industry in Playa Del Carmen is thriving. If you’ve got what it takes to perform, there is money to be made. Unfortunately, you will be competing against mostly Latin American women from various countries south of Mexico who are willing to work for far less than you probably are. Nonetheless, if you are exceptionally beautiful, have some amazing pole dancing skills, or possess some other out-of-this-world talents that cater to the adult industry, you could likely find a job in Playa Del Carmen. Stripper, club dancer, etc. You name it, it exists here.
Of course, you can add anything you want to the list so long as it is in demand.
What Kinds Of Playa Del Carmen Jobs Do You Recommend?
It is very difficult for me to recommend a specific job without knowing what skills you possess. However, let me give you several tips that will make your transition here easier:
- Work Outside Your Home If Possible – I have personally worked from home for the last nine and a half years. It is gratifying to know that I don’t have to fight traffic, wear a suit and tie, or maintain some sort of office. However, I miss out on certain things that others don’t. Most importantly, working a job away from home forces you to interact with other people. With those interactions comes the opportunity to create relationships. If you work from home, there’s a good chance that you will meet far less people than you would if you worked outside your home. If you are going to get a job here, try to find a job that is outside your home so that you can mingle with others (and learn Spanish).
- Keep Your Eyes Open At All Times – No matter what you think about finding a job in Playa Del Carmen, your beliefs and feelings will change as you are confronted with both disappointments, and most importantly, other opportunities. Always keep an open mind and make sure that you are willing to listen and learn. You will be surprised at how many opportunities present themselves.
- Get To Know As Many People As Possible – Mexico works slightly different than the United States/Canada. In the US and Canada, people are judged primarily by what they know and how much education they have. This often includes work experience. However, in Mexico, landing a job (or not) can oftentimes have more to do with who you know rather than what you know. Consequently, it is in your best interest to meet and make friends with as many people as you possibly can. Every person that you meet is going to offer something that you should know or might need to know in the future. Keep meeting people, and you will keep generating opportunities to find a job in Playa Del Carmen.
Good Luck In Your Playa Del Carmen Job Search
Even if you don’t immediately find a job here, keep coming back and trying again. Eventually you will find one. Many people I know work for 6 or 8 months as a bartender, waitress, etc in order to save up enough money to spend the rest of the year in Playa Del Carmen. The more time you spend here, the greater the chances are of you finding your particular niche in this market.
Good luck, and I hope to see you working here soon!
Lots of love,