If you’re the head of HR at a major company looking to expand your workforce into Latin America, you may have looked at Ecuador’s growing, thriving tech market and wondered just how much the average salary in Ecuador really is.
With 91.3% of tech employees having undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Ecuador’s small but dense population has robust and reliable internet penetration, which makes it an attractive choice for companies looking to outsource, nearshore, or launch operations in Latin America.
In short, Ecuador could b your next source of fantastic global IT talent.
After conducting extensive research, we’ve found that the average salary in Ecuador is around 1,360 USD per month, lower than that of its neighbors in the region. However, you may be wondering how much workers in different sectors take home, depending on the type of worker you’re looking for.
To list a few examples, software developers and database administrators take home around 1,275 USD on average, while data scientists and IT project managers average north of 2,000 USD per month.
In this article, we cover all that and more.
To aid your research on global talent, we have compiled vital trends and statistics on salary data in Ecuador and arranged them by key metrics such as sector, educational attainment, years of experience, and location.
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In comparison, the federally mandated minimum wage in the United States is 7.25 USD per hour, though the actual minimum wage varies according to state. Wyoming has one of the lowest minimum wage rates at 5.15 USD (although still almost double that of Ecuador), and Washington, D. C. tops the list with a minimum wage of 16.50 USD an hour.
In Ecuador, salaries across all sectors range from a minimum of 340 USD per month to a maximum average salary of 6,080 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 Ecuador is much lower.
In terms of salary distribution, 25% of Ecuador’s population are earning less than 820 USD per month while 75% of them are earning more than 820 USD.
Meanwhile, 75% of the population are earning less than 4,080 USD while 25% are earning more than 4,080 USD (with an average monthly maximum salary of 6,080 USD).
In Ecuador’s closest neighboring country Colombia, employees take home much less—25% earn below 2,520,000 COP (548 USD), 50% earn less than 960 USD, 75% have monthly salaries below 2,593 USD, and almost everyone earns less than 4,583 USD.
The average monthly salary in Ecuador across all industries and professions is around 1,360 USD per month, with each Ecuadorian employee averaging around 8 USD per hour (this is just above the US’ federally mandated minimum wage of 7.25 USD per hour). This also includes benefits such as housing and transportation.
Later in the article, we will cover average salaries per sector, which can vary greatly based on experience level, educational attainment, and location, among other factors.
The median is the middle salary value in a set of salaries arranged in either ascending or descending order.
This means that in Ecuador, 50% of the working population earns less than 1,470 USD per month while the other half takes home a monthly income of more than 1,470 USD.
So which careers in Ecuador are bringing home the most bacon?
Ecuador’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 5,070 USD, while marketing directors are in 10th place, earning 1,820 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, considerably more than in Ecuador.
Let’s take a look at the average monthly salaries of top professions arranged by industry in Ecuador.
As of September 2022, Ecuador’s labor force participation rate is at 67.4%. Interestingly, after the COVID-19 pandemic, the share of formal employment in Latin America and the Caribbean has fallen by 5%, and we are now seeing more employees—particularly women—working in informal small businesses.
On the other hand, Ecuador’s tech industry has accelerated since the pandemic, ushering in a greater demand for specialized tech professionals. Tech workers today in large and mid-sized companies can take home as much as 3,000 USD per month, while those working for small businesses take home around 1,000 USD per month.
Let’s dive into more detail and look at the most common professions in Ecuador and their average monthly salaries, arranged by industry.
Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, has an average monthly salary of 1,370 USD. Guayaquil has one of the largest average monthly salaries in the country at 1,410 USD, with Portoviejo coming in low at 1,160 USD.
How much does educational attainment affect salary in Ecuador? Averaged over different sectors and careers, professionals who achieved high-school level are lower earners, while those holding a certificate or a diploma are paid 17% more for the same job.
Bachelor’s degree holders can expect 24% more than diploma graduates for doing the same type of work. Those with a Master’s degree earn 29% more than those with a Bachelor's degree, and Ph.D. holders are paid a premium of 23% higher than those with a Master’s degree.
It is worth noting that in Ecuador’s tech industry, 91.3% have undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. This specialization, as well as a greater need for tech professionals after the COVID-19 pandemic, has given rise to higher pay for tech workers in Ecuador.
One of the most important factors in determining salary is experience. How much experience is necessary? And can those with more experience expect more pay? The statistics say “absolutely”.
In Ecuador, 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 the veterans who’ve put in more than 20 years of work can expect a 9% pay hike over those with 15 to 20 years.
In Ecuador, employees receive a 7% salary hike every 19 months on average, as compared to the US average salary increment rate 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.
In 2023, the annual salary increment rates for Ecuadorian employees averaged at 9% across the following sectors in 2023: banking, construction, education, energy, healthcare, information technology, and travel.
Experience can make a big difference in annual salary rate hikes. 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%.
Compared to some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the average income in Ecuador is on the lower end of the list at 493.61 USD per month.
At the higher end of the scale is Puerto Rico, with an average monthly income of 1,794.27 USD, and Venezuela brings up the rear with an average monthly salary of 199.17 USD.
In terms of living costs, one person ideally needs a minimum of 750 USD per month to live comfortably in Ecuador. This stacks up to be a bit costlier than in neighboring countries Colombia (548 USD per month), Peru (672 USD per month), and Brazil (661 USD per month).
Below are monthly average living costs in Ecuador, arranged by city:
In Ecuador, legislation on Social Security dictates that all private, public, self-employed, and foreign professionals are covered for health benefits, pensions, and other social payments.
Social security contributions must be paid by both the employer and the employee. The employer’s contribution is 12.15% of the total remuneration, private employees will contribute 9.45%, and voluntary contributors can contribute at a rate of 20.6%.
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