- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Rio de Janeiro Guide (PDF)
Rio de Janeiro has the second-largest economy in Brazil, right after São Paulo. Its port and international airport make it an important commercial centre of Brazil. Expats considering working in Rio de Janeiro can look for employment opportunities in a diverse range of industries.
Job market in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro hosts major multinational companies in the oil, textile, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, media and communications fields. Highly qualified expats with skills in these industries are more likely to find employment.
Teaching English is also a popular occupation for foreigners in Rio. Since Rio is one of the leading banking and finance centres in Brazil, expats also have opportunities in the finance industry.
Finding a job in Rio de Janeiro
Expats moving to Brazil in search of work may find this a slow and frustrating endeavour. Competition for jobs in Rio de Janeiro is tight, and preference is mostly given to locals. Networking is an integral part of the job search in Brazil. It’s often about who a person knows rather than what they know. Expats seeking employment will do well to make the right connections.
The best option is to secure a job in Rio before moving to Brazil. In fact, the majority of expats moving to the city for work have been transferred here as part of a relocation package with their existing multinational employer.
Work culture in Rio de Janeiro
Despite its beaches, beautiful scenery and easy-going lifestyle, expats moving to Rio should not be fooled into thinking they will be working in a relaxed environment. Despite the slower pace of business in Brazil, Brazilians work hard and expats will be expected to do the same. Although English is increasingly being spoken in business circles, it’s essential for foreigners wanting to work in Brazil to have knowledge of Portuguese.
Regardless of the industry or type of work, expats working in Rio de Janeiro will need a valid work permit for Brazil. Getting a work permit can be difficult as the employer often has to prove that the foreigner has skills that cannot be fulfilled by a Brazilian.
►Learn more about the Brazilian business culture and etiquette in Working in Brazil
"Everything is more relaxed and working hours are shorter. Furthermore, professional advancement is more based on connections and background than merit, but this is slowly changing." Read Elliot's interview about his expat experience in Rio.
Are you an expat living in Rio de Janeiro?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Rio de Janeiro. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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