Working in The Bahamas



The Bahamas has always been referred to as a paradise on earth because of its turquoise waters and warm tropical climate. Every year, this stunningly beautiful archipelago doesn’t only welcome millions of tourists but also a multitude of expatriates who want to participate in one of the wealthiest economies in the Americas.

The Bahamian economy has always been heavily reliant on tourism and financial services. In fact, tourism-related manufacturing and constructions employ are accountable to almost 60% of the national GDP. 80% of tourism in the Bahamas comes from the United States considering that the capital Nassau, is just a 45-minute flight away from Miami while Bimini is only 50 miles off of Florida’s east coast. Business and financial services are also two of the pillars of the Bahamian economy. Financial related activities are responsible for generating nearly 25% of Bahamas’ GDP and today, this archipelago houses around 250 banks and trust companies.

The Job Market

More than half of the Bahamian labour forces are employed in tourism and financial services – two of the most significant sectors that develop and fuel the country’s economic activity. As such, foreign nationals aspiring to work in The Bahamas can look into the industries of tourism, financial services and engineering, as these industries have the highest demand for workers. Agriculture and fisheries also provide employment for locals and expats in this country. Some of the top Bahamian exports are lobsters, but most of the agriculture products are consumed locally. Other industries where foreign assignees can look for jobs are in salt production, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipes and rum.

Average Salary

In July 2015, the Government of the Bahamas increased the national minimum wage by 40% and is now at USD 210 per week, USD 42 per day or USD 5.25 per hour. The average monthly salary, on the other hand, is USD 6,235. Employees who work in banks and offices can earn from USD 20,000 to USD 25,000 a year, while those employed in menial jobs and farm workers or unskilled workers are compensated about USD 9,000 to USD 13,000 a year. Senior executives and other workers employed in a high position can get as much as USD 100,000 or more.

Working Conditions

The standard work week in The Bahamas is eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Since The Bahamas operates on “island time” the business hours of establishments can sometimes vary, but the general working hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Mondays to Fridays and 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. Banks operate from 9 AM or 9:30 AM to 3 PM, Mondays to Thursdays and 9 AM or 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM on Fridays.

Employees who have been working for a year or five years are usually entitled ten working days of paid annual leave, while those who have been working for a company for a period of ten years are entitled to have fifteen working days of paid annual leave. Workers are entitled to an average of two weeks paid sick leave and ten days of public holidays. Maternity leave is set at a maximum of eight weeks.

Income Tax and National Insurance

The Bahamas employees enjoy a tax-free salary, as the government does not have any taxation laws in place that normally deducts monthly income tax from workers’ wage. The country also does not have a corporate tax, capital gains tax, value-added tax (VAT), or wealth tax. However, all workers (including self-employed ones and non-residents) are required to pay contributions to the national insurance which funds the benefits system.

All individuals engaged in gainful employment in the Bahamas, whether working full-time or part-time, are legally required to register with the National Insurance Board. Registration should immediately be made by expats before as soon as they start their employment. Applicants will be issued with a National Insurance Number, a personal and distinctive number which serves as an account into which all benefit payments and contributions of the person will be recorded.


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Work Guide

Expat Services in The Bahamas