Cancun has always attracted the majority of the tourists visiting Mexico. Its location – at the Riviera Maya, with tropical beaches, calm sea, rich nightlife and many luxurious resorts are not only appealing to the tourists from all over the world but also to various professionals looking to offer their services. With the historical sites around the city and the splendid nature around, Cancun is the ideal place to find seasonal occupation mainly in the ttourism-related sectors.
Cancun’s labor market
Each year, Mexico’s most popular tourist destination is attracting young professionals coming not only from the other parts of the country but also from abroad. In Quintana Roo, the State where Cancun is located, the tourism sector is leading the local economy. Simultaneously, occupations like foreign language teaching are also developing due to the need of skills improvement of those, employed in Cancun and the region.
Multilanguage speakers have always been preferred when recruiting people to work with tourists. Remember, job applicants who speak Spanish have better chances to get hired.
How do I apply for a job in Cancun?
There are several things to bear in mind when looking for a job in the region of Cancun.
Your CV should be written in English and in Spanish.
The CV should include the following information:
- Personal details
- Contact information
- Employment history
- All language proficiency levels
- Computer skills
- Education (and additional post-graduate courses)
- Professional skills
- Personal skills that will show you fit for the position you are applying for
Do not forget, in order to work as a foreign national in Mexico, you will need to obtain a working visa. Once you have landed a job offer, you can apply for a work permit.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, since most of the occupations in Cancun and the region are seasonal jobs, some part of the employers will prefer to hire their employees informally and to pay in cash. Informally means working in the grey sector with contracts that may turn to be illegal.
What salaries in Cancún?
The Mexican government has decided to increase the daily minimum wage with 22% as of 2023. Today, the average daily minimum pay in Mexico is around 172.87 pesos (USD 9$). However, in the Riviera Maya, the salaries are generally higher and can attain up to 8,500 pesos plus daily tips of up to 9,000 pesos to 10,400 pesos.
Which sectors are recruiting in Cancún?
Hotels and restaurants
The HoReCa or hotels, restaurants, and cafeterias venues are constantly looking for new staff. Highly competitive as it is, the sector suffers from Employee turnover.
Experienced chefs, baristas, bartenders, managers, waiters, all customer services specialists can easily find a job.
Travel agencies & Tour operators
This is arguably the most sought-after option for new graduates, along with the hospitality industry. Even though some skills can only be acquired through experience, this field opens the doors to countless opportunities. The main requirements for working in a travel agency range from a good knowledge of English, willingness to serve, a sense of organization and responsibility, to an understanding of the geography of the local tourism and hospitality sector, not to mention a good command of software.
The role of the tour operator is to create a trip in collaboration with an appropriate service proposal. This product will be distributed through the network of agencies.
Restaurants and bars
The exceptional quality of the tourist staff is the sense of customer service. To be hired in this sector, we will mainly determine your ability to interact with people. Namely, more young people are applying in this sector. On the other hand, many expatriates have successfully benefited from gastronomic investments, as well as restaurants serving typical dishes of their country.
The coasts of the state of Quintana Roo are home to part of the Great Mesoamerican Reef, one of the largest reefs in the world. Many institutes and diving agencies offer the experience of contemplating the underwater beauty of the region through excursions along the coast. It is common for certified foreigners as well as beginners to arrive in Cancun with tourist packages associated with diving.
Once there, they have the opportunity to do their first dive or perfect their knowledge in impressive cenotes with exotic animals and incredible depths. If you have knowledge of diving or want to start a career in the field, do not hesitate to try your luck. These agencies are always eager for new employees, given the demand for these kinds of activities.
Cities with a strong tourist influence like Cancún are usually home to museums of history, local and national art, science, archaeology, among others. To land a job in a museum, you need to have extensive knowledge of local culture and history. The skills sought depend on the target area. So start by learning about their requirements.
The Ministry of Tourism interns
Unfortunately, government agencies don’t usually have tourism graduates. There are more lawyers, political scientists, economists and administrators. It is therefore possible to try your luck, whether for a job or for an internship.
Working on a cruise ship is often equated with an adventure, but it’s nowhere near as simple as you might think. This sector requires highly professional staff, as well as a sense of service and responsibility. To put all the chances on your side, keep an eye out for new positions that fill up quickly. Namely, previous experience in the hospitality or food and beverage industry is an asset. The most sought-after professions are: waiters, bartenders, chefs, managers or artists. These are usually fixed-term contracts that can be extended based on your performance. The practical side is that salaries are absolute because meals and accommodation are included in your working conditions.
In addition to tourism students, many young people aspire to become cabin crew members. If this is your choice, be sure to perfect yourself in the field. In addition, you can apply in the customer service environment, which includes passenger and baggage check-in, enforcement of passenger policies, ticket sales, assistance to passengers during boarding and disembarkation, and clarification of questions and concerns.
The cost of living in Cancun
Due to the tourist character of the region, the cost of living is higher in Cancún than in other parts of Mexico. In general, the closer you get to the beach, the more expensive accommodations, restaurants and other services become. As an example, you can expect an easier standard of living in a modest apartment in downtown Cancun than a few blocks from Playa del Carmen beach.
Before settling in Cancun, consider taking a reconnaissance trip to the area and nearby communities. This will give you a better idea of the cost of living, but also the housing options and employment opportunities available.
As Cancún is the main tourist host of the region, its coasts receive millions of tourists a year and have done so for a dozen years. Many job opportunities related to tourism and construction have opened the door to many expats.
Why working in Cancun?
The professional opportunities available in Cancún are not limited to institutions related to the tourism industry.
While the results of your job search may vary depending on your academic background, your natural problem-solving skills will open doors for you in all areas of administration and services. Just go there and try your luck.
Working in Cancun can be a great opportunity to gain international experience and develop your professional network. It is indeed a strategic point to have access to other places. If your intention is to work for large companies in order to earn enough money to save money, you will be served. On the other hand, if your main goal is to enjoy a relaxed setting, it would be better to turn to other cities such as Tulum or Playa del Carmen.