Looking to Hire Top Talent in Colombia? Start With This Salary Study 2024

May 3, 2023

Talent scouts and HR managers on the hunt for highly qualified, remote-work professionals are increasingly looking to Colombia, and – like any good recruiter – their research often starts by studying what the current average salary in Colombia for such talent is. 

While this article will help you explore the average salary costs for a variety of professions, we’ll take a particular focus on the IT sector in this developer-rich Latin American country.

Today, it is no wonder that Colombian software developers are in high demand, especially when considering that the average salary in Colombia for such professions is considerably lower than what US workers are asking. 

For example, the average Colombian salary for a software developer comes out to 4,580,000 COP (1,168 USD) per month, while software developers in the US take home around 8,125 USD monthly. However, experienced software developers (at least three years) who have worked nearshore for companies in the US or abroad and possess a high level of English proficiency can expect to take home up to 21,550,000 COP (5,500 USD) (which is still a cost-effective option compared to US tech workers). 

One of the main draws for outsourcing in Colombia is the country’s educated and highly skilled tech talent marketplace—according to data by the World Bank, Colombia has the second highest number of science and engineering graduates at the tertiary level when compared with other Latin American tech centers after Mexico, and is followed by Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Costa Rica.

Percentage of tertiary graduates in science and engineering (tertiary levels)

Source: The World Bank

In 2020, Colombia launched an initiative to train 100,000 new developers by 2022, a campaign that has largely seen success. Additionally, Colombia is known for hosting one of the largest JavaScript communities in the region. Bogotá, Medellín, and six other cities come together with a total of 3,000+ members who are active in hackathons and forums and knowledgeable in the following technologies: Python, JavaScript, Node.js, Ruby, PHP, Java, iOS, and Android.

The Colombian government has cashed in on the action, supporting the growing IT market with several initiatives and grants, including a 2.5 million USD investment into tech education focused at closing the tech gap between teachers and students. 

In this article, we cover all that and more.

We have compiled vital trends and statistics on the average salary in Colombia and arranged them by key metrics such as sector, educational attainment, years of experience, and location, all to assist you in securing top global hires talent from Colombia’s thriving talent marketplace.  

[Searching for a global talent recruiter that can quickly help you fill your teams with top tech candidates from Colombia? Book a call with Remoti’s talent acquisition team today to reduce the friction of global recruiting.]

Bogotá is Colombia’s capital and biggest investment hub

Source: "File:Bogota Skyline.jpg" by Laslamedas40 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Colombia: Statistics at a Glance

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Medellín is home to Colombia’s science and technology district

Source: "el poblado, medellin" by willy gil is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Minimum Wage

The current minimum monthly wage in Colombia is set at 335 USD, a 13.56% hike from the rate of 295 USD in 2022. That comes out to around 1.6 USD per hour on the current exchange rate. 

In the United States, the federally mandated minimum wage is 7.25 USD per hour, five times that of Colombia, though the actual minimum wage varies according to state. Georgia has one of the lowest minimum wage rates at 5.15 USD (still nearly four times that of Colombia), and Washington, D.C. tops the list with the highest minimum wage in the US at 16.10 USD an hour.


Compared to other countries in South America and the Caribbean, the minimum wage in Colombia in 2023 is reportedly one of the lowest, just above the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Venezuela.

At the other end of the scale with the highest minimum wages in the region are Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Chile. Compared to fellow Latin American remote work outsourcing favorites Chile, Brazil and Mexico, Colombia is more affordable.

Latin America's Minimum Wages in 2024

Source: Statista

Salary Data

1. Salary range 

What is the average salary in Colombia? In Colombia, salaries across all sectors range from a minimum of 1,300,000 COP (335 USD) per month to a maximum average salary of 20,900,000 COP (5,386 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 monthly salary in Colombia is considerably lower.

2. Salary distribution


In terms of salary distribution, 25% of Colombia’s population are earning less than 2,930,000 COP (755 USD) per month while 50% of them are taking home less than 4,050,000 COP (1,044 USD) monthly. 

Meanwhile, 75% of the population are earning less than 6,140,000 COP (1,582 USD) per month while 25% are taking home less than 20,900,000 (4,710 USD) monthly.

In Colombia’s closest neighboring country Ecuador, employees take home much more—25% earn below 920 USD, 50% earn less than 1,260 USD, 75% have monthly salaries below 4,080 USD, and almost everyone earns less than 6,080 USD. 

3. Average salary in Colombia

The average monthly salary in Colombia across all industries and professions is around 4,710,000 COP (1,214 USD) per month, with the average person earning around 6.9 USD per hour (this is just below the US federally mandated minimum wage of 7.25 USD per hour). This also includes benefits such as housing and transportation.

According to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the US and, the average US monthly salary is 4,112 USD.

Further on in the article, we will cover the average salary in Colombia per sector, which can vary greatly based on experience level, educational attainment, and location, among other factors. 

4. Median salary in Colombia

The median salary in Colombia is 4,050,000 COP (1,044 USD) per month. Meanwhile, the median salary in the US in 2024 is much higher at 6,966 USD per month.

The median is the middle salary value in a set of salaries arranged in either ascending or descending order.

This means that in Colombia, 50% of the working population earns less than 4,050,000 COP (1,044 USD) per month while the other half takes home a monthly income of more than that.

5. Average salary for top professions


You may be wondering which job titles in Colombia take home the best salaries. Let’s take a look.

Colombia’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 are the highest paid, with an average monthly salary of 17,400,000 COP (3,919 USD), while marketing directors are in 10th place, earning 6,280,000 COP (1,415 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, much more than in Colombia.


6. Average salary for top professions by industry

Let’s take a closer look at the average monthly salaries of top professions arranged by industry in Colombia.


7. Average salary for popular professions

Let’s dive into more detail and look at the most common professions in Colombia and their average monthly salaries (base rates), arranged by industry. 

Bear in mind that for most professions, the average salary in Bogotá and the average salary in Medellín, Colombia will generally be higher, following steeper costs of living in both cities, which we will look into later on in the article.

Of special note are the average Colombian salaries for tech professions, which Colombia specializes in.

8. Average salary by city

In terms of salary comparison by city, Colombia’s capital Bogotá and Medellín, the capital of Colombia’s Antioquia province, lead the country with the highest salary averages. The average salary in Bogotá, Colombia sits at 5,440,000 COP (1,387 USD) per month, while average salary in Medellín follows in close second, with an average monthly take home pay of 5,390,000 COP (1,375 USD).

Colombian cities Neiva and Manizales sit on the lower end of the average Colombian salary spectrum, with average monthly salaries of 4,210,000 COP (1,037 USD) and 4,260,000 COP (1,086 USD), respectively.


9. Salaries by education level


How much does educational attainment affect salary in Colombia? 

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. 

It is worth noting that Colombia’s tech industry is boosted by a high number of science and engineering graduates at the tertiary level and tech workers with a high level of skill in different technologies and programming languages.

This specialization, as well as a wider demand for remote-working, global tech talent after the COVID-19 pandemic, has paved the way for a higher average salary in Colombia for tech professionals.


10. Salaries by experience level

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One of the most important factors in determining salary is experience. How much experience is necessary? What is the average salary in Colombia for professionals with more experience? Can they expect more pay? Let’s take a look at the statistics.

In Colombia, 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 mentioned earlier in the article, professionals with more work experience under their belts—and especially those with experience working for companies in the US or abroad—who are highly proficient in English can expect to take home pay that is higher than the average salary in Colombia.

11. Average salary increment rate

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In Colombia, employees receive a 7% salary raise every 19 months on average, as compared to the US’ average salary increment rate hike at 8% every 16 months and the world’s average of 3% every 16 months.

To calculate an annual salary increase over 12 months, use this formula: Annual salary increase = (increase rate x 12) ÷ increase frequency.

12. Average salary increment rate by industry

In 2024, the annual salary increment rates for Colombian employees averaged at 4.14% across the following sectors in 2024: banking (2%), construction (3%), education (5%), energy (4%), healthcare (8%), information technology (6%), and travel (1%).

13.Average salary increment rate by experience level

Experience can make a big difference in annual salary rate hikes. Colombian 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%. 


Cost of Living in Colombia

In terms of living costs, one person ideally needs a minimum of 673 USD per month to live comfortably in Colombia. In bigger cities Bogotá and Medellín, the rates are higher at 815 USD per month and 821 USD per month, respectively.

When compared to neighboring countries Ecuador (789 USD per month), Venezuela (766 USD per month), and Brazil (723 USD per month), life in Colombia is easier on the budget.

Meanwhile, expenses continue to rise in the US, raising living costs for one person to an average of 2,213 USD per month. According to Forbes, Mississippi, Kansas, and Alabama are the three least expensive US states to live in, and Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California have the highest living costs in the country.


Below are monthly average living costs in Colombia, arranged by city:


Employer and Employee Contributions

In Colombia, all employed professionals must make contributions to the social security system, which 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. Self-employed and unemployed individuals can contribute voluntarily through a separate program, which has a special quota.

Social security contributions must be paid by both the employer and the employee. Below are details on employer and employee contributions for different types of insurance: 


[Looking to hire top tech talent in Colombia? Schedule a call today with one of Remoti’s HR experts. With minimal cost and zero fuss, Remoti’s embedded talent acquisition platform takes care of everything to do with securing global talent for you so that you can focus on your business’ bottom line.]