Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 2, 2012 5:59 AM Last Post By: RJ_1
Aug 5, 2012 2:42 PM
architect salariesI'm considering a job offer as senior architect in a very prestigious and well known mexico city architecture firm. I am trying to research and familiarize myself with mexican professional life. Can someone please give a range in salaries for a senior position with an American Masters Degree and 7+ years of experience in the best companies in New York City?
Aug 5, 2012 3:18 PM
Aug 5, 2012 4:15 PM
Aug 5, 2012 8:36 PM
3Patywolf suggests above that you contact the company in question with your query. I second that idea. I would be surprised if anyone here can give you the numbers you want. Indeed, that kind of hard nosed, cold blooded market information may not be as available (or meaningful) in Mexico as it is in New York City.
In Mexico personal relationships play a larger role in business and professional life than they do in the USA. So, you should find the fact that a "very prestigious and well known Mexican architectural firm" is interested in hiring you flattering. Apparently you have established a favorable, mutually respectful personal relationship with someone there, and/or you have become professionally known to them for your unique work.
So, if you take the job it might be a special "one-of-a-kind" deal, both for you and also for the firm. Your Spanish language skills (assuming you have those) and cross cultural adaptability (or its absence) could also affect how useful you could be to a Mexican company.
Mexico has many very talented, creative professionals, including lots of excellent artists and architects. So, your possessing an American Masters degree and experience working in New York City may not necessarily raise your market value there much, if at all. People elsewhere don't always view New York as the center of the universe.
Have you spent much time yet in Mexico City, becoming acquainted a bit with life there, local living costs, and your potential colleagues and employers?
Aug 8, 2012 3:45 PM
4Great posting, Chris! Right on!
I will say many people live good lives in Mexico City on $20,000 a year, just not the same as in the US.
Aug 9, 2012 6:24 AM
5Well, I am bilingual in Spanish and have lived and worked in Mexico for the past 25 years or so for both Mexican and US companies on construction projects. I prefer the US companies because of the salary uplifts, housing allowances, and hypotax treatments, among others. Remember, Mexican income taxes are a lot higher than in the US.
But, your question seems to be about professional relationships, and chris0daniel is correct in that work in Mexico is more about personalities rather than principles. So, the people chemistry of the people you will be dealing with for your job offer is very important. I have met architects in Mexico who live on comforatable haciendas and are good people to deal with. And I have also met some who are not so pleasant.
But, if you want to take off for a couple of years and have a new experience, I'd go for it. But, don't burn your bridges in NYC.
If you have any specific questions, send me a private message.
Aug 12, 2012 10:51 AM
6The company will arrange your work visa, you will still need to issue your US passport while in NYC which can take as much as 8 weeks for the Post Office to ship your document. Plan way ahead of time, ideally during low travel season before November.
Inquire what would be the likely starting salary to see if the hassle of moving abroad will be worth it. Don't expect to earn nearly as much money as in NYC, but the perk is that living in Mexico City will only be a fraction of living in Manhattan. 2000 dollar rent a month can let you rent either a huge house in a suburb or a really nice high tech apartment in downtown Mexico City or in Santa Fe which are two likely places you will end up working anyways.
If they are offering you at least 20,000 MXN a month, it's likely a really good deal since most university grads in Mexico only earn 5000-8000 MXN a month. Ask how many years will the contract last, if it's just a 1 year renewable contract maybe moving all of your stuff is not worth it and you might wish to store your stuff in a storage room instead. Mexico can be a fickle country, they might admire you for the glossy foreign effect, but at the same time businessmen might not accept you as "one of the guys" just because you were not born and raised in the country, doesn't matter how good is your spanish or if you know mexican custom to perfection. If you don't mind always being perceived as the exotic foreign guy that just barely showed up in the country you probably won't suffer too much. People that stress blending in but looking obviously foreign and get angry every time a guy that just met him says hello to him in english thinking the guy doesn't speak spanish or is just a tourist will have a hard time living there and will find themselves soon without a job.
As for safety, Mexico City is safer than most metropolitan cities in the US as long as you avoid certain slumy neighborhoods at night. Kidnappings can happen to high profile rich businessmen that earn over 100,000 MXN a month, but don't let that turn you off. Just the cost of healthcare is only a tiny fraction of the same service you'd get back home!! Try the job for a year and see if you like living in Mexico City, the only really bad thing is the traffic.
Oct 2, 2012 5:59 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$189.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$223.20 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night