When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
kristina423x
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:57 pm

When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby kristina423x » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:23 am

I am currently applying for a job in Peru (an American company) and their office is in Lima. I have been to Lima before and am a bit aware of the cost of living but I am not sure what type of salary to ask for. For part of my application, they are asking me what minimum salary I am asking for and I really have no idea what to ask for! I am a graduating senior in college, but have years of customer experience, and travel experience, which is what they ask for for this job. Does anyone have any ideas on how much I should ask for in regards to the cost of living in Lima? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much.


User avatar
bmike1
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:28 pm
Location: as of 4/4/11 LaMolina

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby bmike1 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:47 pm

what is the job?
:-)~mike~(-:
Lloyd007
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:24 am

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby Lloyd007 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:30 pm

Depends on the job. What are the benefits? Will they also pay your rent for an apartment? What is already included??
ehat
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby ehat » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:02 pm

I would ask for between 600 and 1200, if you´re going to be working for a travel agency. I know some agencys were paying around 500 for full time web support work, but were willing to pay around 1000-1200 for coordinator positions.
User avatar
bmike1
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:28 pm
Location: as of 4/4/11 LaMolina

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby bmike1 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:21 pm

they were paying s/. 500? I thought minimum wae 600!
:-)~mike~(-:
el conquistador

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby el conquistador » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:34 pm

bmike1 wrote:they were paying s/. 500? I thought minimum wae 600!


The minimum wage is 650 soles a month but it's not everywhere respected.

If you are a gringo, then they will try to pay you far less than that because they will assume, you don't know the wages are in Peru.
User avatar
fanning
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Lima

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby fanning » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:07 pm

el conquistador wrote:The minimum wage is 650 soles a month but it's not everywhere respected.

Actually it is S/. 675, and soon (in 2012) increased to S/. 750. You do get deducted however about 13% which goes into your pensionfund ( private or state ).
User avatar
Polaron
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 833
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Lima
Contact:

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby Polaron » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:36 pm

If the U.S. company is headquartered in the United States with a branch office or division here in Peru - AND if you will be paid and hired out of that office - you will want to ask for a higher salary. Try checking out salary.com for ideas of what people in your line of work would earn in your U.S. city.

Now, if you will be getting paid out of the Peruvian office in soles, then you will want to ask for a Peruvian salary, depending upon the type of work and any benefits included.
Professional, bilingual writer at your service.
hoyce
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:38 am

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby hoyce » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:03 pm

are you guys seriously willing to work for that? 700-900 soles? if you are pm me, i pay the same. i will be opening a 2nd outsourcing . . . home/office/flat/whatever in lima on november 25th. work is easy but boring - no sales. just manage websites n stuff. don't need a lot of experience because the tools we use are unique and there is no school for them. mostly seo tools and just plain english writing.

i prefer to pay the lower and work people less hours because i only work 30 hours per week, but if people want to work more - they can. start interviewing nov.15
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby falconagain » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:35 pm

What happened ? Did the salaries go down since I left on July 2010?

At that time English speakers were making in Lima a minimum of $ 500 dollars
(40 hours per week) monthly and that was only doing customer service, the people
making sales were getting between $ 700 to $ 1000 dollars (40 hours per week).

Besides with Lima cost of living I do not think that is worth it working for less.
lizzym
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby lizzym » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:20 am

This is actually a really good question, because low salaries are a problem for many people here. And that's exactly why many employers will honestly expect you to accept one - simply because they are so prevalent. A lot of people here get by on very little for several reasons - a few of which are living with extended relatives well into adulthood and living in places that I can personally say are far less than ideal or safe (having lived in one myself.)

What I did was decide on the minimum amount that I needed to get by independently, and then ask for no less than that. Arriving at this number took quite some time, and then finding a job where I could make above it took even longer (well, two part-time jobs.) The number is different for everyone, but mine was a minimum of S./1500 per month. Some employers were offended by this, others promised it and never paid, and finally you find the companies that are really professional and make a quality product/provide a quality service, who will also look at your CV and not just hear a number. Since your company is international, I imagine they wouldn't expect you to take less than 1000 soles. But you might also check to see if the hiring people are Peruvians - that may influence what they consider to be a 'normal' salary.
ehat
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby ehat » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:44 am

dollars!!!! dollars dollars!!! Is what i meant. $600-$1200 dollars. sorry.....
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby falconagain » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:25 pm

If you are doing customer service, dispatch $ 500 month.
If there is any additional office functions like accounting
or filing $ 600 monthly.
If you are going to be managing someone else also (includes
training) between 2 or more people $800 to $1000.
If you are going to be doing sales $800 to $ 1200
(usually they tell you that there is a basic of $600 and
that the rest is commission). Now you need to be aware
that there is some outsourcing centers that have a low
basic $300 or $ 400 but that they sell impossible products
or services (like loans with a high interest rate) stay
away from those places.

I have witnessed this salaries being paid to English speakers
in Lima. But everything depends on how good you are on
what you do.
el conquistador

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby el conquistador » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:50 pm

falconagain wrote:If you are doing customer service, dispatch $ 500 month.
If there is any additional office functions like accounting
or filing $ 600 monthly.
If you are going to be managing someone else also (includes
training) between 2 or more people $800 to $1000.
If you are going to be doing sales $800 to $ 1200
(usually they tell you that there is a basic of $600 and
that the rest is commission). Now you need to be aware
that there is some outsourcing centers that have a low
basic $300 or $ 400 but that they sell impossible products
or services (like loans with a high interest rate) stay
away from those places.


Those wage above seem too good to be true. They are those wages you see often advertised on light posts. They offer $500 a month for a sales or callcenter jobs.

My gf works as manicurist and pedicurist at a spa and works from 9 am till 8 pm. Monday to Saturday and makes 550 soles a month.

Before she worked at a callcenter managing a team of 8 people. Working from 9 am till 9 pm monday to Saturday but many times she had to work on sunday as well (without extra pay of course) and was making 750 a month.
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby falconagain » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:39 pm

el conquistador wrote:
Those wage above seem too good to be true.


They may seem too good to be true but those were the regular wages for english
speakers. Peruvian spanish speaking employees are paid way less. But even the
wages for English speakers are not that high, $ 500 (dollars) to start in a city
Lima is not that much when utilities, gasoline and some foods are as expensive as in the US.

But that is the situation in Lima. Some americans are completely out of
touch with reality and assume that everybody here should make no more
than $ 1 an hour but that is not true anymore.
lizzym
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby lizzym » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:48 am

"But that is the situation in Lima. Some americans are completely out of
touch with reality and assume that everybody here should make no more
than $ 1 an hour but that is not true anymore."

Those are the worst because they just perpetuate unrealistic wages at the expense of others. But whether you're foreign or Peruvian, it seems that people have better luck working freelance (if possible, of course it depends on the type of work.) If you straight up ask an employer for a decent salary for full time, chances are they'll balk and try to talk you down. But if you ask for 1/3 of the pay and 1/3 of the hours, on a project basis, they're more likely to be cool with that. Find yourself three of those and you're good to go. I'm currently only working about 4 hours a day, two of them from home. That leaves plenty of time for pregnancy sleep. :)
el conquistador

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby el conquistador » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:44 pm

falconagain wrote:
$ 500 (dollars) to start in a city
Lima is not that much when utilities, gasoline and some foods are as expensive as in the US.


That's why most people in Lima are living with the whole family in an appartment. Young people cannot afford to live indepently. They stay with their parents. Often whole familie are living in just one rented room.

There's also a lot of invisible poverty. Many people live in a nice flat in San Isidro or Miraflores that rents out for $600 a month. But live with 8 people in the flat, each paying and 1/8 share. Making $250 a month each and after paying the rent (mostly late and often not paying the rent) they have $170 left for all other expenses.

There are also a lot of people who just take benefit of others. Renting a flat, not paying the rent so they can stay a few months free till they get kicked out and then move to the next 'free flat' till they get evicted again.

But a good starting wage in Lima would be 750 soles or $250 a month. That's what most people make in Lima. For that money, you can rent a room and pay all your basic expenses.
el conquistador

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby el conquistador » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:53 pm

kristina423x wrote:I am a graduating senior in college, but have years of customer experience, and travel experience, which is what they ask for for this job. Does anyone have any ideas on how much I should ask for in regards to the cost of living in Lima? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much.


Even with high degree, starting wages are low in Peru. You also have to take into account the competition. There are 100's of jobopenings in Lima on a daily basis, but 1000's are applying for each job.

Be carefull with companies that promise high wages. Often you see at lightposts advertisements or in local newspapers advertisements in the like of 'Empresa Americana busca 100 empleados. Venta, customer service y administration. Sueldo $1000.' Those are scams. Often they are callcenters that pay comission on sales or often you have to try to sell things from door to door like flashlights, perfums or sunglasses. If you sell thousands of them then you will maybe make a few hundred $$$ but most of those people make only a few soles.

750 soles a month will be good starting wage. After a few years, you can ask for an increase.

Rooms can be rented for 200-300 soles a month, for food budget 10 soles a day. Food and groceries are cheap at markets. Try to live as close to work as possible thus lowering public transport costs.
When my gf and I lived in Lima, we lived of 1500 soles a month (for the both of us) and we lived comfortably. Even after 600 soles a month went to rent.
hoyce
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:38 am

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby hoyce » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:23 pm

i posted a job ad in computrabajo looking for a practicante and got 60 applicants. i couldn't believe it. then i posted the same job for 800 soles and got . . . almost 200. it's just crazy.

i've noticed that young peruvians use google the same way we do. i'm wondering, if you dominated google with your own english school and taught direct - would this fly?

or is branding more important?
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby falconagain » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:37 pm

el conquistador wrote:
kristina423x wrote:I am a graduating senior in college, but have years of customer experience, and travel experience, which is what they ask for for this job. Does anyone have any ideas on how much I should ask for in regards to the cost of living in Lima? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much.


Even with high degree, starting wages are low in Peru. You also have to take into account the competition. There are 100's of jobopenings in Lima on a daily basis, but 1000's are applying for each job.

Be carefull with companies that promise high wages. Often you see at lightposts advertisements or in local newspapers advertisements in the like of 'Empresa Americana busca 100 empleados. Venta, customer service y administration. Sueldo $1000.' Those are scams. Often they are callcenters that pay comission on sales or often you have to try to sell things from door to door like flashlights, perfums or sunglasses. If you sell thousands of them then you will maybe make a few hundred $$$ but most of those people make only a few soles.

750 soles a month will be good starting wage. After a few years, you can ask for an increase.

Rooms can be rented for 200-300 soles a month, for food budget 10 soles a day. Food and groceries are cheap at markets. Try to live as close to work as possible thus lowering public transport costs.
When my gf and I lived in Lima, we lived of 1500 soles a month (for the both of us) and we lived comfortably. Even after 600 soles a month went to rent.


True this is one perspective to see the Peruvian job market. And while its saturated with applicants,
most of them are not properly qualified for certain positions. One needs to look at the skills that make
you unique as an employee. While there is some Peruvians that are fluent English, there is not enough
people to fill the required seats to the capacity required by the companies, this is why the starting sala
ry for English speakers is $500.

I arrived in Lima back in 2007 after 7 years in the US, without a degree and no connections of any kind,
and I thought at that moment that the work market worked as specified in elconquistador posts, but is
not true. Things depend on how hard are you willing to look for the job. It took me two months to get
my first job, I applied to 100s of companies receiving offers similar to the ones that elconquistador
mentions on his posts. At the end of the two months I found by accident a foreign newspaper job ad
for a Pharma company and sent my application. After 8 exhaustive exams I was hired at half time
working online with an hourly salary of $15 dollars an hour (only 20 hours a week); that job was a
temporary position that lasted a year. And even while I was employed then, I continued looking
for a regular job in Lima, then I found this forum and applied to a tech support position at a
company in Miraflores with a starting salary of $500 (dollars), and while the company was not
an adequate place to work because they did not respect their own rules and procedures, it was
a growing experience for me.

When I was working at the tech support company I witnessed how some of the employees were
called and offered a higher salary and moved on to better places. (Tech support people moved
to other jobs in Lima that paid $700 to $800 a month, sales people moved to jobs that gave them
a steady $1100 to $1200), actually I witnessed a altercation when one of the sales people was
offered the $1200 dollars a month and because he was so happy he shared the news with the
owner of the company, who was not as happy and started to insult him.

After 5 months of working at that company. I received an offer from another company with a
$ 700 starting salary (40 hours a week, paid holidays, two week vacations) but I was cautious
so I spoke with my manager at the company where I was requesting to work only 40 hours a
week there with the duties as determined in the job description at the moment of hire.
Unfortunately the new manager was a Peruvian woman and it did not respect the agreement
so I presented my resignation by the end of the month. A month later I was working at the
new company and I was the employee of the month after 3 months, I remained with them
for a couple of years and then I came back to the US. I continued trying to find if there is
any other job that paid more. I received an offer for a $1000 monthly, but because I was
a few months away from going back to the US, I did not go to the Interview.

Now at that time I did not have a degree so I could not apply to better positions.

I really hope that our posts serve as an accurate guide of what can be achieved in Lima.

Another comment, do not sell yourself short in the amount of skills that you have.
When I arrived to the tech support company after being hired by the owner, the american
manager gave a pep talk about how to work in an Peruvian company that works for American
Customers, he wrote the outline of my job description and told me, just stick to do this in
here. If you are asked to train somebody stick to the outline, do not teach anything outside
the outline (you will be saving money to the owner, but your work will not be recognized).
Even if the advice is about little things like customer service, just stick to the outline.
This manager was right. While there is many manuals in English and Spanish in Lima
there is very few people that fully understands proper business procedures and this
knowledge is valuable. The tech support company had a failing crm. But no peruvian
was willing to repair it unless he was paid the marked rate of $2000 per month so
the company lost like 50 million dollars on that. Even after I left they hired several
programmers paying 750 soles a month, some of them were not even able to build
such a tool and the ones that could were making already $2000 or more per month.
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby rama0929 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks! This is good to know.

I'm working on a few things, and your post has given me hope. Lima is back in play again 8)

English speaker, BS in Computer Science (IT). AAS in Bus Admin (Mgmt). Telcom job experience. Currently working in Finance (Fraud), have worked for MasterCard and Fiserv.

Once I clear my debts here, and clean up my certifications, I just may make the move down there. One of the things I liked about Lima was that it was very "net" friendly, and is further advanced than I thought.

Are you a programmer? IT? Hardware support?

falconagain wrote:True this is one perspective to see the Peruvian job market. And while its saturated with applicants,
most of them are not properly qualified for certain positions. One needs to look at the skills that make
you unique as an employee. While there is some Peruvians that are fluent English, there is not enough
people to fill the required seats to the capacity required by the companies, this is why the starting sala
ry for English speakers is $500.

I arrived in Lima back in 2007 after 7 years in the US, without a degree and no connections of any kind,
and I thought at that moment that the work market worked as specified in elconquistador posts, but is
not true. Things depend on how hard are you willing to look for the job. It took me two months to get
my first job, I applied to 100s of companies receiving offers similar to the ones that elconquistador
mentions on his posts. At the end of the two months I found by accident a foreign newspaper job ad
for a Pharma company and sent my application. After 8 exhaustive exams I was hired at half time
working online with an hourly salary of $15 dollars an hour (only 20 hours a week); that job was a
temporary position that lasted a year. And even while I was employed then, I continued looking
for a regular job in Lima, then I found this forum and applied to a tech support position at a
company in Miraflores with a starting salary of $500 (dollars), and while the company was not
an adequate place to work because they did not respect their own rules and procedures, it was
a growing experience for me.

When I was working at the tech support company I witnessed how some of the employees were
called and offered a higher salary and moved on to better places. (Tech support people moved
to other jobs in Lima that paid $700 to $800 a month, sales people moved to jobs that gave them
a steady $1100 to $1200), actually I witnessed a altercation when one of the sales people was
offered the $1200 dollars a month and because he was so happy he shared the news with the
owner of the company, who was not as happy and started to insult him.

After 5 months of working at that company. I received an offer from another company with a
$ 700 starting salary (40 hours a week, paid holidays, two week vacations) but I was cautious
so I spoke with my manager at the company where I was requesting to work only 40 hours a
week there with the duties as determined in the job description at the moment of hire.
Unfortunately the new manager was a Peruvian woman and it did not respect the agreement
so I presented my resignation by the end of the month. A month later I was working at the
new company and I was the employee of the month after 3 months, I remained with them
for a couple of years and then I came back to the US. I continued trying to find if there is
any other job that paid more. I received an offer for a $1000 monthly, but because I was
a few months away from going back to the US, I did not go to the Interview.

Now at that time I did not have a degree so I could not apply to better positions.

I really hope that our posts serve as an accurate guide of what can be achieved in Lima.

Another comment, do not sell yourself short in the amount of skills that you have.
When I arrived to the tech support company after being hired by the owner, the american
manager gave a pep talk about how to work in an Peruvian company that works for American
Customers, he wrote the outline of my job description and told me, just stick to do this in
here. If you are asked to train somebody stick to the outline, do not teach anything outside
the outline (you will be saving money to the owner, but your work will not be recognized).
Even if the advice is about little things like customer service, just stick to the outline.
This manager was right. While there is many manuals in English and Spanish in Lima
there is very few people that fully understands proper business procedures and this
knowledge is valuable. The tech support company had a failing crm. But no peruvian
was willing to repair it unless he was paid the marked rate of $2000 per month so
the company lost like 50 million dollars on that. Even after I left they hired several
programmers paying 750 soles a month, some of them were not even able to build
such a tool and the ones that could were making already $2000 or more per month.
el conquistador

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby el conquistador » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:01 pm

Most companies are not looking for good employees but for cheap employees. Price is more important than quality in most places in Peru.
cbr600
Member
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 7:54 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby cbr600 » Thu May 17, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi - I've heard reference to practicantes but can't find the official translation - I work alongside a practicante - is there a small renumeration involved ? I'm assuming it's like an intern or something ?

I don't want to ask my colleague as it's personal but I'd be interested to know whether she receives a small renumeration - I hope so !!

Many thanks,
Carolyn.
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby falconagain » Fri May 18, 2012 4:05 am

Yes, it is a small amount. Sometimes depending on the department. The amount is equal to
nothing.
Lloyd007
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:24 am

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby Lloyd007 » Fri May 18, 2012 9:36 am

cbr600 wrote:I don't want to ask my colleague as it's personal but I'd be interested to know whether she receives a small renumeration - I hope so !!


Ask your colleague. People are very open in Peru about how much they earn and payoffs and propina's and that kind of stuff. It shocked me at first when people asked me how much I earn, how much did such and such a thing cost me etc etc. So I asked them and got a straight answer every time about their wages and benefits. It was very interesting and not so ''top secret'' like in the US and Europe.
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: When Applying for a Job - What Salary to Ask?

Postby falconagain » Fri May 18, 2012 11:17 am

In regards to asking it depends on what kind of company you are working.
I worked at the army IT center Payroll and the number of people that had
access to the payroll data were 3 out of 400. There was even a rule that
did not allow you to discuss any of that information.

In some companies the owners are very open about the salaries so you
know how much each employee earns no matter the position, still this
is a new development.

Return to “Expat Information”

Login  •  Register