What is the average salary in Guatemala?

by Time Doctor
average salary in Guatemala

Blessed with a young, vibrant labor force, Guatemala is fast becoming one of the most attractive outsourcing destinations in Central America.

The average salary in Guatemala is 10,500 GTQ (Guatemalan Quetzal) per month, roughly US Dollars 1335.30 per month (based on the exchange rate in October 2022).

In comparison, the average salary in Chile is 2318.80 US Dollars per month. It is no wonder Guatemala is beginning to rival other outsourcing hotspots in South America.

In this article, we’ll explore the average salary in Guatemala (range, percentile, and median). We’ll also discuss how it differs across various factors such as industry, profession, work experience, and location.

Lastly, we’ll explore why Guatemala can be your ideal outsourcing location.

Let’s get started.

What is the average salary in Guatemala?

The annual average salary in Guatemala is around 126,000 GTQ (16 089.81 US Dollars). This figure generally includes standard benefits such as transportation, housing, and rent.

According to the World Bank, Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America and enjoys reasonably good economic stability. The World Bank classifies Guatemala as an upper middle-income country with a GDP of 4,603 US Dollars per capita (as recorded in 2020).

Now let’s look at some other exciting aspects of Guatemalan salaries.

1. Average salary range

Salaries in Guatemala range from 2,650 GTQ (338.40 US Dollars) to 46,800 GTQ (5,976.21 US Dollars) per month.

To be clear, 2,650 GTQ per month is the lowest average salary, but the minimum salary may be much lower. Likewise, 46,800 GTQ per month is the highest average salary, but the maximum salary can be much higher.

2. Median salary

The median salary is a figure that considers many salaries and reports the middle number in that set of salaries.

The median salary in Guatemala is 11,100 GTQ (1,417.44 US Dollars) per month. 

It means that half of Guatemala’s population earns less than 11,100 GTQ while the other half earns more than 11,100 GTQ.

3. Salary percentile

Salary percentiles show how much a certain percentage of the total population in any country earns. The most significant salary percentiles are generally the 25th and 75th percentiles.

According to Salary Explorer’s 2022  salary survey data, about 25% of the population in Guatemala earns less than 6,190 GTQ (790.44 US Dollars), and 75% earns more than 6,190 GTQ.

Furthermore, the survey stated that 75% of the population earns less than 30,700 GTQ (3920.29 US Dollars), while 25% earns more than 30,700 GTQ.

4. Average annual salary increment

The annual salary increment rate gives us a rough idea of a country’s salary increment patterns over time. In Guatemala, employees generally receive an average salary increase of 7% every 19 months. 

However, an employee’s industry and experience greatly influence salary increment rates. Let’s take a look:

A) Industry

Generally, employees in industries such as banking and IT enjoy higher raises consistently.

Here are some examples of annual increment rates across various industries in Guatemala:

IndustryAverage Annual Increment Rate
Banking8%
Energy7%
Textiles7%
Information Technology6%
Healthcare5%
Travel4%
Construction3%
Education2%

Source: salaryexplorer.com 

B) Work experience

Employees with a higher work experience enjoy higher increment rates than their less experienced counterparts.

Experience LevelAverage Annual Increment Rate
Top Management15% – 20%
Senior Level10% – 15%
Mid-Career6% – 9%
Junior Level 3% – 5%

Source: salaryexplorer.com 

5. Average hourly wage

The average hourly wage in Guatemala is 60 GTQ. This rate means that an employee generally earns an average wage of 60 GTQ for every worked hour.

6. Minimum wage

Guatemala has a government-mandated minimum wage. This mandated minimum wage ensures that employees are guaranteed a standard living wage. Employers are encouraged to pay professionals fair wages or risk the scrutiny of the state.

  • For agricultural workers, the minimum wage is 11.27 GTQ per hour, 94.44 GTQ per day, and 2,872.55 GTQ per month.
  • For non-agricultural activities, the minimum wage is 11.61 GTQ per hour, 97.29 GTQ per day, and 2,959.24 GTQ per month.
  • For export and maquila activities, the minimum wage is 10.61 GTQ  per hour, 88.91 GTQ per day, and 2,704.35 GTQ per month.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect salaries in Guatemala.

Factors that influence salary levels in Guatemala

Several variables, including an individual’s work experience, education, industry, and city of residence, influence the average salary in Guatemala.

Let’s dive deeply into these variables affecting Guatemala’s average salary.

1. Work experience

Work experience is crucial in determining salaries in Guatemala.

  • Professionals with 2 to 5 years of experience earn 32% more than entry-level employees across sectors.
  • Employees with 5 or more years of experience earn 36% more than their less experienced counterparts.
  • Employees with 10 years of experience earn 21% more than those with five years or more years of experience.
  • Employees with 15 years or more earn 14% more than those with those 10 years of experience.

2. Education level

There’s a difference in the salary earned by people with higher levels of education than those with lower levels.

  • Employees with a certificate or diploma make 17% more than their counterparts who only graduated high school.
  • Employees who hold a Bachelor’s degree earn 24% more than those with certificates and diplomas.
  • Professionals with a Master’s degree earn 29% more than those with a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Lastly, those with PhDs earn 23% more than those with a Master’s degree.

3. Public sector vs. private sector

People who hold positions in the public sector earn 11% more than those who hold positions in the private sector.

Here’s the difference between the income earned by public sector and private sector employees in Guatemala. 

SectorAverage Income (Monthly)
Private 10,000 GTQ
Public11,100 GTQ

Source: salaryexplorer.com

4. Industry

The average income in Guatemala can vary drastically among different industries.

Industry  Average Income (Monthly)
Pharmaceutical14,100 GTQ
Environment11,100 GTQ
Information Technology10,500 GTQ
Mining & Metallurgy9,430 GTQ
Telecommunication9,230 GTQ
Import and Export8,570 GTQ
Automobile6,840 GTQ
Electrical and Electronics Trade6,660 GTQ
Administration6,220 GTQ
Construction 6,160 GTQ

Source: salaryexplorer.com 

5. Profession

Here are the average monthly salaries for different jobs in Guatemala.

Job TitleAverage Monthly Salary
Dentist23,400 GTQ
Marketing Manager18,000 GTQ
Sales Manager17,900 GTQ
Human Resources Manager14,800 GTQ
Financial Analyst12,800 GTQ
Web Developer10,800 GTQ
Project Manager10,100 GTQ
Graphic Designer6,020 GTQ
Nursery Teacher3,670 GTQ

Source: salaryexplorer.com

Note: All salary and wage estimates in this article are merely guidelines based on salary surveys. Individual salaries and wages can differ based on location, years of experience, education, job title, cost of living in a particular place, and other factors

Now that we have a better picture of the salary patterns in Guatemala, let’s explore why Guatemala is the ideal outsourcing destination for your company.

3 remarkable reasons for outsourcing to Guatemala

Here are the top three reasons why you should consider outsourcing to Guatemala:

1. Cost reduction

As the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession wrecks havoc on business operation expenses, outsourcing has become a viable option to decrease costs.

Outsourcing-friendly countries generally have lower salary rates, which helps companies to cut costs significantly. For example, the average monthly salary in the United States is 7,900 US Dollars while it is 1335.30 US Dollars in Guatemala. 

So, you can cut monthly costs by outsourcing work to Guatemalan employees and dedicate it to your business development.

You can further reduce costs by taking advantage of the lower corporate income tax in Latin America. The corporate income tax in Guatemala is 25%, which is considerably lower than in the UAE (55%) and Bangladesh (30%).

2. Increased business reach

Guatemala is the ideal outsourcing destination in Central America due to its location and proximity to countries in North America like the United States. It makes it easier to tap into the lucrative US market.

The multilingual population is also a huge advantage. Spanish is usually the first language of Guatemalan employees, while English is their second language, so the country can be a suitable outsourcing partner for global teams.

3. Skilled labor force

22% of the youth in Guatemala are enrolled in 14 of the top higher learning institutions. These institutions are spread across 50 locations in the country, including Guatemala City and Antigua. 

The students are usually proficient in areas such as humanities, engineering, and IT. 

The local government also plays a crucial role in nurturing young talent. Universidad Del Valle de Guatemala, one of the best high-tech universities in the region, has partnered up with Campus Tec in order to generate telecommunications opportunities for students.

Additionally, the government has partnered with a nonprofit organization, FUNDESA, and has installed over 12,000 computers in over 900 public schools so young kids can acquire computer literacy earlier.

4. Favorable government schemes 

Guatemala welcomes foreign capital investment. The government has constructed several schemes and initiatives that help businesses achieve their goals with minimal restrictions and regulations. 

The U.S.-Dominican Republic and Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) is an investment policy involving the United States and a number of countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and others. 

This policy was created to ensure stronger investment ties and ensure equal prosperity for all.

Beyond that, the government has granted employees benefits such as social security, healthcare, and paid leave for public holidays. These benefits are designed to ensure that employees are motivated to deliver high-quality outsourcing services. 

Top 3 industries that commonly outsource to Guatemala

Guatemala is rapidly becoming a prominent outsourcing destination in Latin America. 

Here are some leading outsourcing industries in the country that have proven to be affordable and effective in a short span of time.  

1. Call center

With a young labor force and over 20 years of experience in delivering high-quality call center services, Guatemala has become a premium outsourcing location in the call center industry.

Call center services offered in the country include:

  • Customer service.
  • Tech support. 
  • Market research and sales.

These services are comparatively less expensive in Guatemalan cities than what you would find in many major cities across the world. For example, call center service rates in New York range from 26-30 US Dollars per hour, whereas they range from 9-20 US Dollars in Guatemala.

2. Business process outsourcing

As Guatemala’s technological capacity increases, it is quickly becoming an exciting, affordable BPO hub. 

In 2021, The country generated approximately 4.5 million U.S. Dollars worth of BPO-related revenue.

BPO services provided in Guatemala include:

  • Accounting and financial services.
  • Customer care.
  • Payroll services.

3. Software development

Although the software development industry in Guatemala is still in its infancy, it is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country.

Interestingly, Guatemalan companies that specialized in technical services such as software development grew by almost 10% during the pandemic.

Some popular software development services include: 

  • Custom Software Development.
  • Web Application Development.
  • Information technology consultancy.

These software development services can cost you a fortune in developed countries like the UK. In the United Kingdom, software development rates range from 30-50 British Pounds hourly. However, in Guatemala, the hourly software development rate is roughly 7 British Pounds(55 GTQ), making it a cost-effective alternative.

Final thoughts

With reasonable average salaries, Guatemala is starting to rival low-cost outsourcing hotspots such as Argentina, South Korea, the Democratic Republic of South Africa, and countries in the Middle East.

Additionally, Guatemala grants you easier access to the US market, a budding talent pool, and a booming call center market.

You can use this article to understand the average salaries in Guatemala and gauge whether Guatemala is the ideal outsourcing destination for your business needs.

 
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