The minimum wage is 290,000 Chilean pesos (CLP) and many Chileans do not earn much more than that. Young graduates leaving university can receive between 600,000 and 1,000,000 CLPs. Few Chileans earn more than 2.5 million Chilean pesos, even with a lot of professional experience.
Cost of living in Chile
Some things in Chile are very cheap (such as food purchased from a local market), while others are very expensive (such as health care and education). Count at least 500,000-700,000 Chilean pesos per person per month to cover your basic needs (for example, a room in a shared apartment, food, public transport and some outings from time to time.
How to find a job in Chile? The instructions for use
Where can I find job offers?
There are two main ways to work in Chile. Find a job through your personal network (what Chileans call a “pituto”, or piston in French), or go through job offer sites.
Building a personal network
We recommend these few associations, which will allow you to meet foreigners and Chileans with an international profile:
- Santiago Accueil (www.santiagoaccueil.com), an association that welcomes French people arriving in Santiago. Recently, it has included a “Santiago Pro” service dedicated to job search assistance
- Internations (www.internations.org), a website for English-speaking expatriates, with local offices in many cities around the world,
- International Association of Chile (www.iachile.org)
- IPWA – International Profesional Women’s Association (www.ipwasantiago.org)
The main job offers are available on the following portals:
In addition, you can also use the following job sites:
- LinkedIn (only the highest positions)
- Yapo.cl (very low-skilled jobs)
- Getonbrd.cl (IT-related jobs)
- Pegasconsentido.cl (jobs with social impact)
Respond to job offers
Most foreigners need 3 to 6 months to be hired somewhere, but those looking for work in very specific sectors may take a little longer.
Is it useful to apply from abroad?
In theory, you can apply for positions in Chile from anywhere in the world. In practice, most companies will not consider your application until you are in Chile and available for interviews with 1 to 7 days’ notice. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to arrive in Chile first and then start responding to the advertisements that interest you.
Typical recruitment process in Chile
Once in Chile, it will be much easier to find a job. However, this will still not be easy. Most Chilean employers will not consider you for a temporary work permit until you have one and will not be interested in helping you get one.
Here is what you can expect from the selection process:
- Sending your CV
- You apply by submitting a CV in a format similar to that used in the United States and Europe. No cover letter or personal photo is required.
A psychologist (almost all recruiters in Chile are psychologists) can call you for 3 to 15 minutes to ask you some basic questions about your professional experience, availability and/or salary expectations. The main purpose of this first interview is to eliminate irrelevant applications, without wasting time with a job interview process. That is why in Chile, almost all companies ask you for your salary expectations.
If the first interview is successful, a recruiter invites you to take a 30 to 60 minutes interview at his office and/or to take psychological tests. In Chile, personality tests are very popular. We can mention in particular:
- Luscher’s color test, to analyze a person’s emotional state according to the colors they choose.
- the Rorschach or Zulliger tests, during which you must describe what you write on the plates with ink spots drawn on them.
- the man in the rain test, during which you must draw a person in the rain.
Your future boss may invite you to participate in a second interview of 30 to 60 minutes.
To get a general idea of what a person in a given position should earn, see:
Steps after hiring
Are you hired? And then what?
You are almost ready to enjoy your new life in Chile. But first, there are still some formalities to be completed.
First, Chilean law requires you to register for a pension fund and health insurance and requires your employer to deposit 10% and 7% of your salary into these respective funds each month. You must also register with the tax office and obtain a local bank account.
Pension funds (AFP)
The law requires all foreigners to register with AFP Planvital (https://www.planvital.cl/) during the first 2 years of their stay in Chile. When leaving Chile, it is possible (although difficult!) to withdraw all your pension contributions at the same time, under certain conditions, defined by law 18.156.
CAUTION: Do not expect your Chilean pension to be a significant contribution to your retirement pension. All these pension funds are poorly managed and charge excessive fees. In fact, since France has a retirement agreement with Chile, it may be more interesting to have your terms worked in Chile recognized by the French retirement system.
Health insurance (FONASA / ISAPRE)
Employers are legally required to deduct 7% of your income and deposit it into the Chilean health insurance of your choice. No matter that you have already taken out health insurance elsewhere in the world, your employer must deposit it in one of Chile’s FONASA / ISAPRE funds.
All foreigners are automatically registered with FONASA, Chile’s public health insurance, but they can choose to register with a private health insurance fund (ISAPRE). For those who earn more than 600,000 CLP per month, ISAPRE insurance generally offers better coverage than FONASA.
Here are the main differences between FONASA / ISAPRE:
FONASA: Free medical care in most cases in underfunded and poorly managed public hospitals. The service is correct for minor health problems, but very problematic for more serious conditions.
ISAPRE: Private medical care in private hospitals of reasonable to excellent quality. The main clinics include Clínica Alemana, Clínica Las Condes and Clínica Indisa. Depending on your age, gender, monthly contribution, clinic preferences and health status at the time of registration, you will receive a table listing the percentage of coverage by clinic/type of disease. It should be noted that ISAPRE charges women of childbearing age at a much higher rate than men.
CAUTION: Chile’s private health system is known for its excess medication and patients. Be careful when using a private clinic, as most ISAPREs generally only cover part of your medical bill and clinics will find many tips to keep you in the hospital longer.
All foreigners are legally required to register with the IIC and report in April of each year their income earned in Chile during the previous year. To do this, you need a tax number.
When you obtain your Chilean identity card, the RUN number on it automatically acts as a RUT number (tax ID). If you start working before you have your identity card (for example with a work permit while your visa is being obtained), you must apply for a temporary tax number.
Once you have a valid Chilean national identity card, you can obtain a local bank account. The Chilean government allows everyone to obtain a basic bank account (CuentaRut) with BancoEstado. There are no account maintenance fees, but fees on withdrawals and transfers. In addition, the account is limited to a maximum of 4,000,000 pesos. You will probably prefer to have a current bank account in another bank if you are starting to earn some money.
DIRECTORY OF FRENCH COMPANIES IN CHILE
Real Estate / Relocation / Support for expatriates
A French-speaking relocation agency in Chile, founded in 2016, Bretagne Propiedades assists French people in their search for accommodation for rent or sale, or investment opportunities.
Real estate hunting: search for apartments or houses for expatriates… but also offices, commercial or industrial premises for companies,
Market research: before considering the installation or opening of new points of sale, feasibility analysis from a real estate cost point of view, and suggestion of location,
More information: www.bretagne.cl
Expat.cl, a French-speaking relocation agency based in Santiago de Chile, founded in 2016, assists expatriates in all their efforts.
- Visa Assistance: obtaining work visas, temporary visas for Chile, work permits,
- Housing search: pre-selection according to the needs of the expatriate and his family, orientation tour, coordination of visits
- School search: support for the enrolment of children in their new school
- Relocation of pets: to ensure that your pets can enter Chile without any problems, the agency takes the necessary steps
- Short-term accommodation: a wide choice of options for furnished apartments and houses available in the short term
- Bank account: making appointments with Chilean banks working with expatriates, setting up the file
More information: www.expat.cl
Investment in Chile / Support for companies wishing to set up in Chile
For companies wishing to set up or prepare an investment project, Invest in Chile offers a complete range of services, in French, English or Spanish.
- Market research study
- Commercial representation
- Business development
- Creation of a subsidiary
- Visa / Immigration Support
- Accounting / Legal
More information: investinchile.com
Specialising in industrial equipment for the mining, steel and maritime industries, Allied manufactures and distributes a wide range of conveyor systems. All components are available, assembled or not: belts, conveyor belts, rollers and supports, as well as drive pulley.
Website : allied.cl