Working in Venezuela



According to Venezuelan law, foreigners may not make up more than 10% of the total workforce in a company or enterprise with more than ten workers. A majority of expatriates working in this country are part of an intra-company transfer programme which is the easiest and most hassle-free way to relocate to Venezuela for employment purposes.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is regarded as one of the most urbanised countries in Latin America that managed to preserve its stunning Caribbean beauty. As of early 2017, this nation has an estimated total population of 31.9 million people, and most of them are living and working in Caracas, the capital. In reality, Job opportunities in Venezuela are not abundant mainly because of the stringent Venezuelan laws on employing foreign workers. However, expats who are bound here can still look forward to working in a country that is overflowing with natural resources. In fact, Venezuela possesses one of the largest mineral and oil reserves in the Caribbean and Latin America, the reason why its economy is heavily reliant on the petroleum sector which accounts for nearly half of the national GDP.

Leading Sectors and Job Market

As mentioned earlier, Venezuela remains dependent on its oil revenues which make the petroleum sector, not just a significant revenue contributor but also one of the major job providers in the country. Two other primary sectors of the Venezuelan economy are manufacturing which employs around 11.5% of the labour force followed by agriculture which is accountable to nearly 4% of the national GDP. The other main industries in Venezuela are:

  • Construction Materials
  • Food Processing
  • Motor Vehicle Assembly
  • Real Estate
  • Tourism and Eco-tourism
  • Finance and Insurance

Expats can also get a job by teaching in institutions or the tourism sector. Venezuela offers great opportunities for teachers - mostly in the larger cities like Caracas, Valencia, and Maracaibo. To find job opportunities in English, check the website of teaching institutions like the British Council.

Average Salary and Working Hours

By law, a foreign employee's salary is limited to 20% of the total payroll. Currently, the minimum wage in Venezuela is VEF 15,051.15 or around USD 1,507 per month. The average monthly salary, on the other hand, is at VEF 21,870 or USD 2,190 which can still vary depending on the expatriate’s location, qualifications and occupation.

Generally speaking, the maximum number of working days per week is five days. In the public sector, a typical workweek is 44 hours and 48 hours in the private sector. Normally, working hours are from 8 am to 5 p.m. Expats who have rendered one year of service will be entitled to 15 days of paid leave annually while those who have five years of tenure will receive 19 days of paid leave per year.

Taxation in Venezuela

Income and corporate taxes are both on a progressive scale. Income tax ranges from 6% to 34% while the corporate tax rate is from 15% to 34%. A 34% corporate tax rate is charged to companies engaged in oil refining, exploration, exploitation, processing, transport, distribution, marketing, storage and export of non-associated natural gas. Royalty tax is also charged to oil companies at 30%, but it can be reduced to 20% by the Ministry of Energy and Oil under special circumstances. Below is the income tax table in Venezuela:

Taxable Income in Venezuelan Bolivar

Tax Rate (%)















6,000 and over


The Venezuelan Work Culture

The business climate in Venezuela is slow-paced in term of negotiations compared to western countries. Punctuality must observe, and is expected for business meetings; you should be at least five minutes early.

Initiate small talk to build rapport with Venezuelan associates but avoid monopolising conversations because most Venezuelans like to be in control.

Although e-mail and phone are the fastest means of communication, most Venezuelan business people prefer face-to-face meetings, as this is perceived to be more personal. During meetings, it is advantageous to have your business cards printed in both English and Spanish.


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Work Guide

Expat Services in Venezuela