Can I Work In Brazil Without Speaking Portuguese?

Work In Brazil Without Speaking Portuguese

Even being a developing country, Brazil is so rich in culture, paradisiacal places, and amazing people that a lot of tourists fall in love with the place and want to live here. And a lot of them have the same question: It’s possible to work in Brazil without speaking Portuguese?

As a general rule, it’s possible to work in Brazil without speaking Portuguese in mid to high-level positions in large companies and IT-related jobs. On the other hand, for entry-level positions and jobs like construction, waiter, salesman, etc. You need at least intermediary Portuguese skills (or Spanish).

Having at least intermediary Portuguese skills will always be the best option. But some people don’t have the time or sometimes the option to learn the language before moving. So what to do in these cases? Let’s dive deep into this subject.

Work in Brazil Without Speaking Portuguese

Although is possible, is important to say again that working in Brazil without speaking Portuguese is not the best option. It’ll be harder to live and experience the country without knowing at least some of the language. Even so, for those that has no time to learn Portuguese before moving, there are some alternatives.

1) Finding Jobs After Moving To Brazil

This is the hardest option to find jobs in Brazil without speaking Portuguese: looking for an opportunity after moving to the country without knowing the language. But unfortunately, this is the only option for some people, like war refugees that don’t have the opportunity to choose where they’re going. So either you’re a refugee or adventurous, the first thing to do in Brazil is going to a Language School, for two reasons:

One is to enroll in a Portuguese class. It’s possible to live and work in Brazil without knowing the language, but having at least intermediary skills will make your life easier, improve your resume, transform the way you experience the country, and help you to find more job opportunities. So no matter what, if you want to stay in Brazil for a long period of time, you’ll need to eventually learn Portuguese. So why wasting time?

The second reason is to find work. Let’s be honest: can you think of a better place to start looking for a job in Brazil without speaking Portuguese than a language school? I can’t. And even if there are no opportunities for you in the school, it’s probably an excellent place for you to find people that speak your language and can help you to do your first steps in the country.

2) Being Transferred to Brazil

Most of the high-end international professionals working in Brazil ended up here because were transferred from multinational companies. It’s very rare to find people that moved to Brazil without knowing the language and started their careers from scratch. On the other way, it’s very common to find native English, Spanish and German speakers in Brazil who received promotion opportunities at multinational companies based here in the country.

This is the easiest (and fastest) way of moving to Brazil with a good job without speaking Portuguese. Most of the jobs offer that accept non-Portuguese speakers involve manual work, such as dishwashing, construction, and gardening for example. If that’s something that you’re up to then it’s fine. But if you want to continue working in the area that you’re specialized in, trying a position in a multinational company is probably the best idea.

3) Remote Jobs Are Now A Thing in Brazil

There’s no doubt that the pandemic changed the world drastically. A sad and difficult moment in our lives. But if there’s one good legacy of these hard times is that companies discovered how good and easy it is to hire remote workers. I’ve been working remotely for companies in the US and Europe in the past 6 years, but in Brazilian companies, it was very hard to find positions that allowed home office.

With the pandemic, this changed. It opened a lot of opportunities for people of any nationality to work for Brazilian companies. A good place to start looking for a position that you might fit for is Linkedin, which is very popular in Brazil. Just search “Jobs” in Brazil and filter for your skills. I’m pretty sure that you’ll find good opportunities, especially for native English speakers.

This is a great way to make your first steps into Brazilian reality because you can start working and making some money before moving. Then, after moving, while you study Portuguese and get used to the culture you can continue working from home. That’s my favorite option and to be honest, this is the process that on currently passing through before moving to the US.

Jobs in Brazil For English Speakers

For this article, we have made research into Linkedin job openings to find out what are the best opportunities for English speakers in Brazil. The results showed that it’s not only positions for teachers as some may think.

As a general rule, the most common jobs for English speakers in Brazil are related to Software, Customer Service, and Sales. Most of the positions demand intermediary Portuguese skills (at least). Other opportunities for these professionals are related to Digital Marketing, Finance, and English Teachers.

The following table shows, in order, what are the most common areas of work for native or fluent English speakers in Brazil, according to our research of Linkedin data.

#Area / Position
1Software Engineering and Customer Service
2Sales Representative / Sales Specialist
3Digital Marketing Specialist
4Finance
5English Teachers

Jobs in Brazil For Spanish Speakers

An alternative for professionals that don’t speak English or Portuguese is Spanish. As you’ll see in the following table, there are great opportunities for Spanish speakers in Brazil.

The most common jobs for Spanish speakers in Brazil are Software Engineering, Sales Representatives, and Spanish Teachers. Most of the positions are in multinational companies, such as HP and Wix. Other opportunities for these professionals are related to Call Center and Translation.

The following table shows, in order, the work areas with the most jobs available for Spanish speakers.

#Area / Position
1IT & Software Engineering
2Sales Representatives
3Spanish Teacher
4Call Center / Customer Service
5Translators

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