Colombia: a place for the digital nomad!
Colombian work culture is known for its professionalism, promptness, and acceptance of others. However, things weren't always this way for the second-most populated South American country, and now it's seen as a top destination for remote workers.
Medellin is fast becoming a center for remote working in Colombia and is now one of the more desired cities for remote jobs.
What's the cost of living in Colombia like?
Many professionals decide to work remotely partly because they can work anywhere, which means having a chance to work and live in paradise for a much lower cost than in other cities worldwide. And Colombia definitely fits that bill!
When it comes to where you lay your head at night, Colombia offers a wide range of homes, varying in cost due to neighborhood, size, and location by the sea. Those who choose to live in a major city or by the beach may find prices similar to upscale places in other major cities worldwide.
“Location, location, location” can't be more accurate in this case. However, in Colombia, they have a unique tiered system that considers the average salary of those living in specific neighborhoods to determine what you would pay in utilities.
It's called estrato, and through this system, you can base where you live and work where the estrato is lower. This is a great way to manage cost savings and maximize your software engineering salary in Colombia.
And while dining, clothing, and transportation may have higher costs, they can be mitigated to your personal needs and preferences. But generally speaking, you can live comfortably off of 700 USD a month!
What do remote engineers make working in Colombia?
The cost of living in Colombia can be very attractive to those who work for US startups and receive a higher salary in US dollars! When we conducted our survey, we found that the gap between what engineers would earn working nearshore vs. a LATAM-based IT company hovered at about 27%.
The current median software engineer salary in Colombia for those who have three years or more experience, a high level of English proficiency, and have worked nearshore for companies abroad is USD 66,000 annually. However, that salary lags for top-quality developers as the expected wage is closer to USD 84,000.
However, that gap is beginning to close as the dependence on top-quality developers grows. Companies from abroad are looking for IT professionals who have exceptional IT skills to fill the need within the industry.
The level of experience, skill, and role you are in can make a difference in how much bigger or smaller that gap can be. For example, we found that all positions within the IT industry saw a median salary growth in the last quarter of 2022.
What are employers bringing to the table?
In our survey and relatively in every industry, we see the role of supply and demand play out. As a result, more companies are seeing a crippling need for top-quality developers, and the answer is to consider nearshoring. And when it comes to working for US startups, companies see they have to offer more than just an overseas payroll to retain these talented individuals.
Remote professionals would typically get the short end of the deal when it came to the benefits they would receive along with their compensation. However, times have changed dramatically, and remote jobs are now open to anyone around the globe.
This has knocked down the barrier of only offering the bare minimum to top-quality developers as borders can no longer affect how overseas payroll operates. Now companies are offering vacation, paid time off, and career support.
Those are just the more popular benefits; however, companies are looking a bit further in their treatment of remote jobs and can often provide office equipment, payment in cryptocurrency, and even stock option plans. In addition, offering more benefits to independent workers allows them to secure the best talent the industry has to offer.
Why Colombia for tech talent?
Colombia is now becoming recognized for its innovation and growth among its remote community and professional sector in the IT industry.
Colombian labor laws ensure that employees and independent workers are treated fairly and protected from unfair labor practices. These included payment for overtime work at 125%, a 30-day notice of termination, and parental leave. These labor laws can be complicated, so employees must look into all Colombian labor laws to remain compliant.
Over the years, the Colombian government has made efforts to put Colombia in the running with other countries in LATAM, which are technologically advanced and innovative.
That includes building educational programs focused on technology that encourage youth interest in technology and foreign investments. Because of these efforts, Colombia has a large pool of tech talent and professionals. Now Colombia is seen as one of the leading countries that provide top-quality developers and exceptional nearshore IT services in LATAM.