Everyone dreams of leading a comfortable life. Having a sustainable source of income gives you the ability to fulfil your basic needs, if not living luxuriously. How much, therefore, is the average salary of this country that borders the Amazon jungle and the wildlife endowed Galapagos Islands? How much are most professionals taking home? It is expected that a higher salary comes with more experience. However, does that still apply in a place where a majority of the population groups have little to no education?
On average, a professional working in Ecuador earns a salary of about 26,800 USD annually. Additionally, low-income earners receive about 300 USD monthly, with the high-level income earners take home about 9,870 USD monthly. This includes the basic salary and benefits such as food, transport, and housing allowance. The median salary range is about 2,410 USD monthly.
Average Salary of Ecuador
If you are a resident living in Ecuador, or foreign national planning to move, what does this information mean to you? Think about it.
You get to identify your wages, budget your expenses, and save too for a rainy day. As if that’s not enough, you get to know how much your counterparts in your profession earn, and how it compares to your current income.
In case you are wondering, more than 50% of the workforce takes home less than 2,410 USD monthly.
Now: Almost the whole workforce earns below 9,870 USD in salary remunerations monthly, with an exemption of the top tier earners.
Additionally, more than 75% receive remunerations of less than 6,630 USD.
Having a lower salary than average means your finances will be harder to plan compared to those on the higher side of the curve.
To simply put it, the average income per hour on the Ecuadorian workforce is 13 USD. Two main classifications arise the salaried and the paid per hour category.
In the salaried position, you receive no overtime payment no matter the extra hours you work. The reverse is true for paid by hours worked employees. However, no matter the field discipline, with more experience, you are inclined to receive a higher salary than fresh employees.
Additionally, the higher the educational advancement, the higher the salary. But wait, let me tell you something, did you know the male employees receive more salary than their female counterparts with a difference of 14%?
The percentage of annual salary increment is also higher on the more experienced personnel than the junior employees.
Additionally, there are two essential job types that determine if one earns a higher salary and bonuses. The classification falls under direct income generating staff or the support staff. The direct income generators are at an advantage.
To add to that, government employees earn better salaries than their private counterparts by 14%. More to that, some fields pay more than others, here’s how they compare annually.
Accounting professionals take home on average 25,900 USD. On the other hand, bankers receive about 30,300 USD. Those in sciences and technical skills earn 29,400 USD.
Engineers take home 23,800 USD. Government employees earn a considerable amount, cashing in 29,600 USD. Oil and gas industry personnel earn on average 25,200 USD, while pharmaceutical workers receive 28, 500 USD. Those in non-profit organizations earn about 22,500 USD while quality control and assurance personnel receive 27,300 USD.
Teachers too, are not badly off at 27,900 USD.
Aviation personnel also receive a good salary on average of 26,200 USD. Caregivers and nannies receive am average threshold of 21,700 USD.
Gardeners form part of the lower-income earners at 17,900 USD, together with secretarial and administrative personnel, who earn a paltry 16,100 USD.
Construction and building workmen take in 19,000 USD while real estate gurus are part of the top tier earning 29,400 USD.
Law enforcement officers compare in the middle, earning 23,400 USD. Legal practitioners on the other end earn 29,400 USD on average, while marketing officers earn more at 31,300 USD. Employees in executive management get a bigger share, around 36,300 USD, together with medical personnel who earn 37,200 USD.
Housekeepers too are at the bottom level, at only 14,100 USD. Sales and retail staff receive about 28,600 USD. Salaries differ by geographical location too, with a city such as Guayaquil having an average salary of 2,310 USD, compared to Portoviejo at 1,910 USD.
Ecuador Minimum Wage
The minimum wages in Ecuador ranged previously from about 246 USD from 2001 to 2019.
From there on, until the end of 2019 whereby the highest amount of minimum wage escalated to 394 USD. The lowest amount of the minimum wage was 85 USD at the beginning of 2001.
Additionally, the minimum wage is different from one country to another. More to that, Ecuador through a government directive has given a specific threshold that no worker receives less than this required minimum wage. Any employer who fails to pay minimum wages to their employees is subject to punishment by the government.
The minimum wage refers to the least amount of money an employee is legally paid for their services rendered. For example, by 2016 Ecuador’s minimum wage was legally binding at 366 USD. More to that, if an employee works for a full year they are entitled to receive an additional bonus of two extra months totaling the amount to 427 USD per month.
Annually, the Ecuador minimum wage is 5,680 USD and Ecuador is among the top tier countries in the world in their ranking of the annual minimum wage rate. With this minimum wage, the gross national product is about 19,770 USD.
Average Salary in Quito
Are you planning to move to Quito? What does this mean for you? Quito plays an essential role in Ecuador, being its capital city.
Not only does the city provide the highest percentage of gross domestic product, but it also produces low costing products for the nation and exports.
The minimum wage as of 2019 is reported to be 394 USD, whereas the average salary is 602 USD. The cost of living is relatively okay, with a one-bedroom apartment going at 280 USD monthly in the suburban areas. The figure shifts down as you move to the outskirts. The average hourly rate is 8 USD. Research scientists earn about 29,987 USD, architects 21,506 USD, physicians 23,263 USD whereas teachers take home 15,641 USD.
Just like in other cities, the level of education and experience level influence the salary level.
A master’s graduate receives higher pay than a bachelor’s graduate, who in turn earns better pay than a high school dropout. The people at the very bottom of the tier make 150 USD or less, therefore, struggling.
With the basic minimum wave at 400 USD, professionals make on average 600-800 USD, with the high earning professionals getting 1,000 USD and the relatively upper class earning 1,200 USD or more. A single person earning 1,000 USD will live a fairly stable life.
On the other hand, the same income as a family of two parents and a child will give them a fairly middle-class lifestyle. The average salary in Quito for a nurse is 10,451 USD whereas that of a software engineer is 10,166 USD.
Additionally, a marketing manager on average earns 23,387 USD, while a fashion designer takes home 28,732 USD. Cashiers and waiters form part of the bottom, with both earning around 3,000 USD.
Cost of Living in Ecuador vs USA
Using the same currency, the cost of living, prices of property, quality of life, and even availability of jobs and their salary scales are different between Ecuador and the United States.
There are many factors involved in the cost of living in the United States being higher than that of Ecuador.
These include: consumer price index, rent prices, and prices of eateries and restaurants. Additionally, prices of groceries and consumer local purchasing power are higher in the United States than in Ecuador.
These factors are usually considered in comparing the cost of living in Ecuador vs USA. For instance, whereas a bottle of water would retail at 0.53 USD, the same would go for 1.54 USD in USA.
Additionally, a kilogram of apples sells at 1.96 USD, and 4.63 USD in USA. Under means of transportation, a one-way ticket in Ecuador is 0.30 USD, while 2.50 USD in The States.
More to that, under housing, bills covering electricity, water, garbage collection, and even heating would go for 47.93 USD in Ecuador, while the same goes for 159.69 USD in the USA.
Preschool in Ecuador for a single child goes for 301.70 USD, while the same comes at a cost of 947.58 USD in The States for a month.
Additionally, the buying price of apartment price per square meter in the city center is 1,445.94 USD in Ecuador, yet 2,845.85 USD.
Clothing prices, however, are cheaper in the United States than in Ecuador. While a pair of jeans details at 44.52 USD in the former, the same sells at 61.63 USD in the latter.
Another cheaper aspect in the USA than Ecuador is sport and leisure activities. Fitness in membership that goes for 37.88 USD in the USA, goes for 44.61 USD in Ecuador.
If you are an expat who would like to move to Ecuador, then you should have an idea of what to expect if you decide to live in the country.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.