Finding a Job in Puerto Rico

job search puerto rico

In all likelihood, many of those re-locating in Puerto Rico already have a pre-determined and pre-contracted jobs set-up. It’s probably not a good idea to count on landing a juicy key position in some hot-shot company. Unless you plan to work from home or you own your own company, it’s a good idea to make sure there’s decent job waiting for you when you land at the airport in Puerto Rico.

Employment Situation and Job Opportunities in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s economy is still in a recession, and many locals are fleeing the island in search of better job opportunities.  With an unemployment rate of 14%, compared to 5.9% of the U.S. population (as of Dec 2014), finding a job in Puerto Rico job isn’t a walk in the park. Here are some tips that may help you get leads and find a good-paying job:

  • Check with family members and friends, community folks and career center staff. Any one of them sometimes know of some people or company which might be in a hiring mode.
  • Do door knocks at employers, factories and offices that interest you, regardless of whether they are hiring.
  • Check the Yellow Pages to identify areas that you’re interested in and call these companies and employers. Find out if they’re hiring.
  • Check out the help wanted ads in newspapers and the internet.
  • You may also want to look at fast food chains and call centers. They’re usually hiring on a year-round basis and pay an hourly-rate of anywhere from $7.50 to $20.
  • If you’re a woman with some child-care experience, try and make connections with the expats in Puerto Rico. They’re usually in need of nanny and child care services.

If you don’t immediately find a job, don’t be discouraged. It can sometimes take take between 3-6 months to land a good job. The important thing is to have a positive attitude and outlook whether you’re walking on easy street or you’re facing some seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Job hunting resources:

Documentation you may need:

If you find yourself in the market for Puerto Rico jobs, make sure you’ve prepared all the necessary documentation including resumes and copies of updated references.

Some employers require a Certificate of Good Behavior and/or Certificate of No Criminal Conviction, issued by the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Obtaining a Certificate of Good Behavior and/or Certificate of No Criminal Conviction:

  1. Complete the Certificate of No Criminal Conviction application (PDF in Spanish only).
  2. Include the completed document in a letter, along with a postal money order in the amount of $1.50 made out to: Secretario de Hacienda.
  3. Mail the letter to:
Superintendente Auxiliar
Servicios al Ciudadano
Policia de Puerto Rico
P.O. Box 70166
San Juan, PR 00936-8166 

For more information call the Secretario de Hacienda (787) 781-0227.

What is the minimum wage in Puerto Rico?

The lowest hourly wage an employee can expect to be paid while working in Puerto Rico is set by Puerto Rico and the federal government. Puerto Rico’s is $6.15 per hour, while the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Federal law states that the applicable minimum wage is whichever minimum wage is higher.

On average. Puerto Ricans earn less money and pay more for housing than those in the U.S. Utility costs such as electric and water are often double the cost than in the U.S., contributing to a higher cost of living.

Puerto Rico’s median income was $18,660 in 2011. The percentage of Puerto Ricans on food stamps was 37.7% in the same year, compared to 14.2% in the U.S.

As a whole, Puerto Rican households have significantly lower incomes than those in the U.S. In 2010, the total median household income in Puerto Rico was $36,558. In the U.S., it was 30% higher, $50,568.

Vaya con Dios!

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