Rather than following traditional structures, many companies and talented individuals have chosen to work remotely instead, creating a win-win scenario for everyone involved. This is especially true for workers that have US remote jobs in Latin America.
With the above in mind, landing a US remote job is not straightforward, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience working as a contractor.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to work remotely for a US company. We’ll include information about who can apply, the benefits of US remote jobs for Latin Americans, and a step-by-step guide to find this type of work.
Can Anyone in Latin America Apply to US Remote Jobs?
Can anyone work remotely for a US company?
There are layers to this question but as long as your skill set allows it the simple answer is yes, anyone in Latin America can work remotely for a US company.
We’ll go over the top industries for Latin American remote job applicants later in this post. But simply put, you need to have digital skills and language that companies deem as valuable in order to get an online job.
For instance, most US-based companies look for Latin American software engineers, but there is also growing demand in non-technical departments like sales, marketing, finance, operations, and customer success, among others.
Additionally, you’ll also be expected to speak English, albeit the level of proficiency will depend on the role you’re applying to. Developers and similar supporting office employees are often required to speak English at an intermediate level. Copywriters, customer-facing employees, and other specialized roles need to be at a fluent or native level.
Remember, some companies that offer remote work opportunities expect their team members to be available at certain times. In other words, even though a job is remote, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s suitable for the digital nomad lifestyle.
Why working remotely for a US company?
The reason why the remote work movement is gaining traction among job seekers in Latin America is that it brings along with it a whole host of benefits.
The main and most obvious advantage of working remotely for a US company is the higher compensation. Salaries in the US are exponentially higher than in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and other large Latin American countries.
For example, the average wage for a digital marketing analyst in Argentina is just under $900 per month, while workers in that same position make around $6000 monthly in some areas of the United States.
Additionally, some of the benefits of working remotely for a US company include:
- Getting paid in US dollars (salary not subject to national currency fluctuations)
- Accessing job opportunities and industries that are rare outside the US
- Creating a robust network of international contacts and references
- Working with companies that grant equity and other innovative benefits to employees
Why Are US Companies Hiring Latin American Talent?
Latin American job applicants that work online for US companies experience a variety of benefits, but the same can be said for the businesses that hire these specialists.
While it’s true that the internet allows businesses to tap into a global talent pool, US companies prefer to work with Latin American team members because the time zone gap is not as big as with other parts of the world.
In some cases, the time zones work out to be the exact same, which means that Latin American team members can be available during normal business hours.
Not only this, but Latin Americans are heavily influenced by US pop culture, which means that employees from Argentina, Mexico, and similar areas can have shorter learning curves and can adjust to a company's culture in a shorter amount of time.
Finally, a growing percentage of Latin Americans speak English at a strong enough level to work at a US company. When they search for potential team members in Latin America, US companies know that applicants will be able to write and speak English at a relatively high level.
What Are the Challenges that Latin American Remote Job Seekers Face?
There is no doubt that remote US jobs offer great opportunities, but there are many challenges that applicants need to overcome in order to be successful. Every applicant is different, so some prospects will only face a few obstacles while others will have to find solutions to a variety of challenges.
Let’s take a look at a few common obstacles that Latin American applicants face when applying for remote jobs in the US.
1. Inability to Land Quality Positions
Getting hired online is completely different from going through a conventional interview process, but most first-time remote workers don’t necessarily realize this. These prospects don’t always know how to pitch their skills, where to look for jobs, what to expect from their employers, or how the different types of setup work.
Understanding the Remote Hiring Process
It’s a gradual process, but the best way to overcome this issue is to research best practices for getting remote jobs in your industry, applying the concepts you identify with, and evaluating your results.
For example, if you’re a software engineer in Mexico, you’ll want to search for jobs using platforms like Near, practice your interview out loud, and study the job post to figure out what your potential employer values most. By taking these extra steps before you even get to the interview, you’ll sound more confident and improve your chances of landing the position.
2. Little to No Online Presence
Employers that hire Latin American team members use alternative means to evaluate prospects, like asking to see work samples as well as professional profiles. This is a challenge for Latin American applicants because they are not used to establishing professional profiles beyond LinkedIn or getting credit for any potential work.
Building a Better Online Presence
Having an online presence and being able to show samples of work are both essential for applicants that want to get US remote jobs. Instead of waiting until your potential employer to evaluate your online presence, you should work on finding relevant professional platforms in your industry, creating comprehensive profiles, and updating the ones that already exist.
In case your work can be seen online, you should create a profile of samples, even if you’re not directly credited on the site. If you believe there’s a chance you can get a former employer to add your name or credit you for the content in some way, don’t be afraid to explore this option!
3. Lack of Access to a Solid US Remote Job Finder
Indeed and LinkedIn are popular platforms where businesses post jobs, but they are relatively broad. Applicants have to make sure that each job is remote, from a US company, and available to people located in Latin America. Needless to say, this increases the time it takes to sieve through the offers and makes it harder to track down quality opportunities.
Finding a Reliable Platform to Find US Remote Jobs for LatAm
Rather than relying on general or mainstream job boards, Latin American applicants need to look for a platform that specializes in getting remote jobs from US companies. This niche is still relatively new, which is the reason why a lot of applicants struggle to even find a platform in the first place.
Fortunately, Near specializes in helping Latin American talent find jobs online and work remotely for US companies. All of the companies posting jobs on our talent board have been vetted to ensure that they are based in the US, offer fully remote work, and want to hire employees in Latin America.
3. Insufficient Online Interview Preparation
Online interviews are very different from face-to-face meetings because there are many more elements influencing the employer’s evaluation. This includes your internet connection speed, camera quality, audio volume, and background can cause distractions if they are not on point.
Properly Preparing for Online Interviews
Even if it’s conducted over the internet, the interview is the first time your potential employer will interact with you. Before your meeting, take the time to test your camera, practice answers to common interview questions, cross-verify your knowledge with new industry trends, and shoot a small video to test your audio.
Besides ensuring that there aren’t any technical issues, this will give you more confidence when answering questions and talking about your expertise.
4. Problems Accessing Global Payment Methods
Many local banks in Latin America charge exorbitant fees to accept international transfers. In places like Argentina, remote workers pay up to 60% of each transaction in commissions and fees when using local banks. And, this issue occurs at varying degrees throughout several Latin American countries.
Instead of working with a local bank, the best way to receive payments from the US is to choose an e-wallet service that has low transaction fees. Moreover, cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, and stablecoin transfers also offer a great way to receive your salary. There are a few different alternatives you can opt for, but remember that each platform may have unique requirements for specific countries. Moreover, cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, and stablecoin transfers also offer a great way to receive your salary.
The most popular e-wallets you can opt for include:
- Nuri (formerly Bitwala)
If you’re opting for crypto payments, Coinbase and Binance are two of the most used companies, though you may have to work with MetaMask or Kraken if you want to purchase more obscure altcoins with your funds.
Note that all of the options above allow direct payments from US banks and they also offer the ability to request a debit card. With that said, some of these may have additional fees based on where you are located, so review the terms and conditions for each before you make a decision.
We didn’t include Paypal in this list because it doesn’t offer the ability to request a debit card or withdraw funds in most countries, but it’s an option depending on your location. Additionally, you can also accept Western Union transfers, although most employers avoid this form of payment because of the additional fees on their end.
5. Little Understanding of How International Contracts Work
If you’re not aware of the different types of professional relationships, you won’t understand all of the opportunities you have available. In other words, you won’t know what positions you can apply for, where to find them, or how to set realistic goals.
You can overcome this challenge by understanding the different forms of professional relationships you can have.
For starters, let’s make it clear: remote work is not only for freelancers! Remote jobs from companies in the US allow you to join a team as you would in your local country. The actual agreement and payment process are a little different, but from a practical perspective, it’s possible to work full-time for a business in the US from Latin America.
Professional contracts can be categorized into three main groups:
Freelancers or contractors are independent workers that are only paid for hours worked or tasks completed. Contractors don’t receive benefits like health insurance, but these individuals have control over the hours they want to work and receive payments without any deductions.
Full-time employees are usually required to attend their place of work, so they are not as flexible as contractors. Employees get paid time off, health insurance, and other benefits, but their taxes and other mandatory fees are automatically deducted from their payments.
Full-time contractors operate like employees because they have regular hours, help with day-to-day operations, and can play a pivotal role within a business. These workers are actually flexible contractors that are paid in full for the time they work, so they combine the best of both worlds. That said, as a full-time contractor, it’s your responsibility to pay for your taxes and keep your accounting organized.
Today, most US companies opt for hiring full-time contractors because it works best for both sides. Companies can simplify their internal processes while contractors receive the most value for their work and decide how to structure tax payments independently.
How to Find a Job and Work Remotely for a US Company
Finding remote jobs from companies in the US takes a significant amount of time and effort. But, as long as you invest the time, research your options, and leverage the best tools, you should be able to find a position within a US business that needs your skills.
Everyone is different, so you have to evaluate your circumstances and determine exactly what steps you need to take. Below, we’ve put together a list of general steps that most individuals have to follow to find remote jobs in the US.
1. Change Your Mindset
The first thing you need to do is adjust the way you approach your job. Remote work requires a huge amount of discipline and a professional work ethic because, unlike office environments, you won’t have a supervisor that reminds you to stay productive. But, you should also listen to your body and avoid working more hours than you can handle.
In simple terms, you need to establish routines that allow you to stay productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance at the same time.
2. Create a Great Resume
Prospects in Latin America normally include their curriculum vitae (CV) as part of their application. To get remote jobs in the US, you’ll need to adjust your CV and transform it into a resume.
In simple terms, your resume should include all of the relevant qualifications and experiences for the positions you’re applying to. It’s basically a condensed version of your CV that’s designed specifically for a job position or application. Check out our how to write a great resume blog post to pick up more useful tips!
3. Ensure that Your Skills Are Sharpened
Industries that revolve around technology are always changing. As an independent professional it’s your responsibility to ensure that your knowledge is updated and that your skills are sharpened. You can consult with your professional peers, read leading publications, and take similar steps to make sure you’re using the most recent techniques and terminology.
4. Connect with the Latin American Remote Work Community
You are far from the first person in Latin America to look for remote jobs in the US! As a matter of fact, you can learn valuable information from other contractors’ experiences.
Don’t be afraid to look for remote work communities in LatAm on Facebook and other social media channels. These groups are formed with the purpose of sharing information and helping others, so you’ll always pick up useful tips if you join the right communities.
For instance, at Near we’ve created a Slack Near Community that acts as a workspace that helps prospects connect with other Latin American job seekers, get tips for learning English, share experiences, ask for advice, and much more.
5. Pursue Jobs that Are Already Remote (Or Location Independent)
Internet connections are so fast and reliable that they allow contractors to deliver services digitally in industries that traditionally rely on in-person meetings, for example, nutrition services.
With that said, not all industries are suitable for remote work and not all companies offer the ability to work from home. You should verify that the work you want to perform can actually be carried out online. Plus, you should also read through the job posts to ensure that everyone you apply to is suitable for remote employees outside of the US.
6. Apply for Different Jobs
Getting the first job that you apply to is extremely hard for any contractor. Rather than losing hope, you should create a list of jobs that meet your requirements, craft a solid cover letter/resume, and send applications to each potential employee.
7. Nail Your Interview
We’ve covered what contractors need to do to absolutely nail interviews earlier in this article, so we’ll only provide one tip here: be prepared! Contractors control a lot of the variables that impact online interviews. You should use this to your advantage and avoid making a bad impression due to lack of preparation.
8. Negotiate a Fair Compensation
Last, but certainly not least, is the negotiation of fair compensation. All Latin American countries have different costs of living. But, it’s safe to assume that salaries in the US are higher than in all LatAm nations, which enables contractors to make a very good living while offering more competitive prices to US businesses. It’s a huge win-win.
While these opportunities are rare, some businesses will offer benefits like equity and stock options as part of contractor payments. In these setups, contractors receive either company stocks or get to own a small percentage of the company, which incentivizes and keeps team members motivated.
Ready to Find the Best US Remote Jobs? Visit Near and Start Applying Today
We hope that our article on how to start working remotely for a US company provided everything you need to know to take the leap. If you want to start applying for US remote jobs suitable for people in Latin America, visit Near and start looking at the positions available today!