As a senior HR hiring officer looking to recruit top tech professionals, you’ve likely looked at one of Latin America’s hottest innovation and tech hubs (where programmers and developers are in high demand) and wondered exactly how much the average salary in Brazil is.
There are many compelling reasons to outfit your workforce with top-tier professionals from Brazil: 1) they are the sixth largest IT market in the world, 2) they boast the largest population of Java developers and the fourth most front-end developers globally, 4) they have around 2,400 higher education institutes—some of the best in Latin America—producing 46,000 IT graduates per year, and 5) they have over 6.18 million fluent English speakers.
Another extremely attractive draw to hire from Brazil is the cost-cutting opportunity that comes without sacrificing on quality—the average salary in Brazil is nearly 2.5 times less than the average salary in the US, but potential hires can have great experience.
Software developers and programmers take home an average Brazilian salary of around 1,800 USD per month (and up to 4,400 USD per month in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro for more experienced tech professionals), while the US’ average monthly income for those job titles is around 7,957 USD per month.
To enhance your search for IT professionals and other elite global talent, we have put together key research on essential trends and statistics on salary data in Brazil, categorized by important metrics such as industry, educational attainment, years of experience, and location.
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Brasília, capital city of Brazil
São Paulo, Brazil
The current minimum monthly wage in Brazil is set at 1,320 BRL (268 USD), a 8.9% hike from the rate of 1,212 BRL (246 USD) in 2022. At the current exchange rate, that comes out to around 1.67 USD per hour.
For comparison, in the United States, the federally mandated minimum wage is 7.25 USD per hour, more than four times that of Brazil, though the actual minimum wage varies according to state. Georgia has one of the lowest minimum wage rates at 5.15 USD (though still three times that of Brazil), and Washington, D.C. tops the list with the highest minimum wage in the US at 16.10 USD an hour (nearly 10 times as much as Brazil).
When compared to other countries in South America and the Caribbean, the minimum wage in Brazil in 2023 is on the lower end of the scale, just above Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Venezuela.
The countries with the highest minimum wages in the region are Costa Rica, Uruguay, Chile, and Ecuador. It is worth noting that Brazil is more affordable when compared to fellow Latin American remote work outsourcing favorites Chile and Mexico.
What is the average salary in Brazil? The average Brazilian salary across all sectors ranges from a minimum of 2,170 BRL (440 USD) per month to a maximum average salary of 38,200 BRL (7,758 USD) per month.
Compared to the monthly average salary range in the US—2,000 USD (minimum) to 35,250 USD (average maximum)—the average salary in Brazil is considerably lower.
In terms of how salaries are distributed across the Brazilian workforce, 25% of the population are earning less than 5,380 BRL (1,092 USD) per month, while 50% of them are taking home less than 7,450 BRL (1,513 USD) monthly.
Meanwhile, 75% of the population are earning less than 11,300 BRL (2,295 USD) per month while 25% are taking home less than 38,200 BRL (7,758 USD) monthly.
The average salary in Brazil per month across all industries and professions is around 8,560 BRL (1,738 USD) per month, with the average person earning around 10.86 USD per hour (base salary, plus benefits such as housing and transportation).
According to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the US and Jobted.com, the average US monthly salary is 4,112 USD, bringing the average hourly earnings in the US to 25.7 USD per hour, nearly 2.5 times that of the average salary in Brazil.
Later on in the article, we will cover the average wage in Brazil per sector, which can vary greatly based on factors such as experience level, educational attainment, and location.
What is a good salary in Brazil? Let’s take a look at the country’s median salary, which sits at 7,450 BRL (1,513 USD) per month. Meanwhile, the median salary in the US in 2023 is much higher at 6,941 USD per month (nearly five times as much as Brazil).
To find the median—it is the middle salary value in a set of salaries arranged in either ascending or descending order.
This means that in Brazil, 50% of the working population earns less than 7,450 BRL (1,513 USD) per month, while the other half takes home a monthly income of more than that.
Part of assessing the average salary in Brazil is taking a look at which careers are the highest-paid.
Brazil’s top 10 highest-paid professions are 1) surgeons and doctors, 2) judges, 3) lawyers, 4) bank managers, 5) CEOs, 6) CFOs, 7) orthodontists, 8) college professors, 9) pilots, and 10) marketing directors.
Surgeons remain the top earners, with an average monthly salary of 31,900 (6,478 USD), while marketing directors are in 10th place, earning 11,500 BRL (2,335 USD) per month. For comparison, in the US, surgeons make upwards of 21,000 USD monthly, while marketing directors pocket 7,815 USD on average per month, more than three times Brazil’s figures.
How much is the average salary in Brazil for top professions in each major sector? Let’s take a closer look.
Let’s dive into more detail and look at the average Brazilian salary for the most common professions (base rates), arranged by industry.
It’s important to remember that for most professions, the average salaries in Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro will generally be higher, following higher costs of living, which we will look into later on in the article.
Of special note are the average salaries in Brazil for tech professions, which Brazil specializes in, being rich in software developers, programmers, and other IT workers.
How much is the average salary in Brazil by city? In terms of location, capital Brasília and tech hub São Paulo lead the country with the highest average wages in Brazil. The average salary in São Paulo sits at 9,970 BRL (2,043 USD) per month, while the average salary in Brasília follows closely, with an average monthly take home pay of 9,860 BRL (2,020 USD).
What is the average salary in Brazil on the lower end of the spectrum? Brazilian cities Petrolina-Juazeiro and Vitoria have average monthly salaries of 7,840 BRL (1,606 USD) and 7,870 BRL (1,612 USD), respectively.
Here are the average salaries in Brazil per month, listed by city:
How much does educational attainment affect salary in Brazil?
Averaged over different sectors and careers, professionals who achieved high-school level are lower (minimum salary) earners, while those holding a certificate or a diploma are paid 17% more for the same profession.
Workers with Bachelor’s degrees can expect 24% more than diploma graduates for doing the same type of work. Master’s degree holders, on the other hand, earn 29% more than those with a Bachelor's degree, and PhD holders are paid a premium of 23% higher than those with a Master’s degree.
One of the most important factors in determining salary is experience. How much experience is necessary, and what is a good salary in Brazil for professionals with more experience? Can they expect more pay? Let’s take a look at the data.
In Brazil, those with five to 10 years of work experience earn 36% more than work newbies with less than five years of experience. Experienced employees of more than 10 years can expect to earn 21% more than their less-experienced colleagues, and veterans who’ve put in more than 20 years of work can expect a 9% pay hike over those with 15 to 20 years.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, more experienced IT professionals—especially those who have worked for companies in the US or abroad and have a high command of English—can expect to take home much higher pay than the average salaries in Brazil.
To calculate an annual salary increase over 12 months, use this formula: Annual salary increase = (increase rate x 12) ÷ increase frequency.
The annual salary increment rates for Brazilian employees is currently averaged at 5.57% across the following sectors: banking (3%), construction (9%), education (3%), energy (6%), healthcare (3%), information technology (9%), and travel (6%).
Experience can make a big difference in annual salary rate hikes. Brazilian employees at a junior level can expect a pay rise of 3% to 5%; those mid-career will see a 6% to 9% annual salary increase; senior level folks will get 10% to 15%; and those in top management positions have an annual salary increment rate of 15% to 20%.
One person ideally needs a minimum of 675 USD per month to live comfortably in Brazil, which is 1.45 times less expensive than the world’s average and 3 times cheaper than life in the US, on average (at 2,213 USD monthly, per person, though this fluctuates from state to state).
While the average rent in Brazil is pegged at 291 USD per person, this rate varies greatly between cities. It is also worth noting that the average rent in Brazil is almost five times less than the average monthly rent in the US, which is currently at 1,399 USD per person.
Below are monthly average living costs in Brazil for the top 10 most populous cities in the country:
In Brazil, all self-employed and employed professionals, as well as employers, must make contributions to the social security system. For employees, these contributions are calculated based on earnings and provide benefits to participants and/or their dependents, in the event of work-related accidents, sickness, retirement, and death.
Employee contributions range from 7.5% to 14%, depending on compensation. For self-employed professionals, social security payments may be 5%, 11%, or 20% of the ceiling contribution salary (depending on services rendered).
It’s important to note that there is a cap on individual contribution, which represents a percent applied upon the maximum contribution income (pegged at 7,087.22 USD per month as of 2022), resulting in a maximum employee contribution of 828.38 BRL.
Meanwhile, there is no cap on employers’ contributions, which normally range from 26.8% to 28.8%. Of the contributions, 20% is given to the National Social Security Institute (INSS), and up to 8.8% is divided between other social security taxes.
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