Advice The Brazilian labour market


Aug 12, 2022
Top Floor
Brazil recently experienced both an economic downturn and a government austerity plan. Brazil has the twelfth-largest economy in the world, thus there are jobs for people who are qualified. Foreigners who want to work in Brazil must possess abilities that are in high demand outside of Brazil. Additionally, many positions will call for at least a basic understanding of Portuguese. If you don't have a skill set in high demand, another option is to apply for permanent residency, which would provide you the ability to work lawfully in Brazil.


A non-Brazilian wishing to be legally working in brazil will first need to obtain a work visa. This requires the submission of a signed work contract and several other documents with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego) by the employer.

Brazilian law mandates that businesses always attempt to hire Brazilians first and demonstrate that a qualified Brazilian could not be found before hiring a foreigner. Brazilian businesses typically avoid hiring foreigners due to the fees and paperwork associated with the process. However, there are several professions where hiring foreign workers is typical, and global corporations with operations in Brazil can be a good option.

Because of the difficulties involved in securing work legally, many foreigners work “'off the books” in Brazil. Illegal workers often must accept a lower wage than legal workers, and won't receive benefits, such as health insurance. Also, should there be any dispute with the employer, the illegal worker will have no practical recourse.

Sectors with potential​

Mining and agriculture have historically accounted for the majority of Brazil's economic activity. In today's increasing industrial sector, the aerospace, automotive, food processing, and beverage industries are all important. The growth of real estate and tourism together make up a sizeable portion in some areas. Large petroleum and natural gas resources are also present off the southeast coast of Brazil, which promotes exploration, extraction, and processing. Because banking and telecommunications are expanding businesses, money is being invested in research in the areas of aerospace, nanotechnology, healthcare, and energy. Deepwater oil prospecting and biofuel manufacturing are further potentials.

In Brazil, there are mostly job prospects for highly educated people in technological disciplines. Brazilian employers may hire experts in engineering, environmental management, and information technology. People with experience working on oil platforms now have opportunities thanks to the growth of offshore oil extraction. In many places, there exists a shortage of medical personnel.


Many jobs will require at least a working knowledge of Portuguese, as will day-to-day life in Brazil.

Another route for those with a background in education is to apply through international schools. These are private (often church-affiliated) primary and secondary schools that provide an international baccalaureate education to the children of the well-to-do. Native English speakers are often sought after as the teaching staff. Teachers must generally be board-certified and have a minimum of two years of experience. These schools are located in several of Brazil's largest cities.

Brazil doesn't offer any government-sponsored programs to recruit native English speakers to teach English or assist in public school classrooms, unlike many other countries. While a native level of English is an asset, it's unlikely to qualify you for a work visa, although some language schools may be willing to sponsor native speakers.

Major companies in Brazil include: Itaú Unibaco Holding, Banco Bradesco, Banco de Brasil (regional banks), Vale (iron and steel), Petrobras (oil and gas operations), JBS, BRF (food processing), Itaúsa (conglomerates), and Ultrapar Participacoes (oil and gas operations).

Most high-paying jobs in Brazil are white-collar, and these exist principally in the state capitals and a few other large cities, notably in the state of São Paulo.

Seeking Employment​

You'll usually do better starting your hunt for professional jobs in your home country, and in any event, you'll need to complete part of the work visa application from there. You might submit an application to international corporations doing business in Brazil; to increase your chances, you might look up the 20 biggest corporations there. Additionally, there are job-search websites with postings in Brazil where you can get employment.

If a person wants to remain in Brazil and work but is unable to obtain a work visa, they may want to consider applying for a permanent visa, which allows foreigners to work lawfully in Brazil. For additional information.

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