Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


The Most Promising Careers in Brazil

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Recent discoveries of petroleum in the Brazilian shores has changed the country's economic profile and requires a more qualified workforce. This article will map you the careers that are growing in the five regions of the country.


São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro used to be the only destination for foreign professionals coming to Brazil, but this scenario has changed over the past 10 years. The preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the oil exploitation on the Brazilian shores have been leading to a distribution of job offer throughout Brazil. Besides, overpopulated cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have a much higher cost of living and taxation, what has led many companies and major factories to move to the countryside or even to other states, that have been offering tax exemption as a way of attracting job opportunities.

Besides the tax exemption and the lower cost of living, companies that relocate to other states also happen to find a cheaper workforce. However, as major universities and tend to be located at major cities, it can be really hard to find a good engineer or IT professional in areas located far from major capitals and here is where the foreign workforce comes in.

North: Tourism and Engineering

Since Manaus has been chosen to host matches of the 2014 World Cup, a lot has been invested in infrastructure and services, specially regarding accommodation.

Having Manaus as a host for some of the matches of the World Cup has drawn attention to other Northern cities, such as Belem and Porto Velho. The first one is related to the paper and cellulose industry and the second one, to the construction sector. Here are the most required professionals in the North of Brazil:

  • Civil and Electronics Engineers
  • Tourism professionals
  • Project Management Professionals

Northeast: Shopping Malls, Gas and Petroleum

Over the last four years, the Brazilian Northeast has been significantly increasing its consuming level. Shopping malls have grown 60% in two years, impulsing the local economy.

Besides the change in the consumption patterns, Northeastern cities located on the coast benefit from the petroleum and natural gas industry. The most needed professionals in the Northeast of the country are:

  • Geologists
  • Sales managers
  • Business developers
  • Technicians and specialists in the gas, mining, oil, electricity, services and infrastructure areas

Central-West: Beyond Agriculture

The Brazilian central-west is a strong player in the agribusiness sector as it is one of the major exporters of commodities. As the three states composing central-west are landlocked, a competent logistic sector has been a challenge in this area. For this specific sector, these are the most required professionals:

Goiás is also a major player in the pharmaceutical sector and is working to become the main generic drugs center in Brazil. In Brasília, the economic growth has been impulsed by the building sector and the city has been working to become one of the major real estate markets in Brazil.

The biofuel industry is another one that has been growing and changing the agricultural face of the central-west. Due to the demand for flex cars and also to the concern with the environment, the sugarcane industry has been paying higher salaries in order to attract workforce to this region.

Overall, there has also been a concern regarding the shortage of professionals who can administrate a company and the following professionals are very likely to have a successful career in the central-west states:

  • Accountants
  • Engineers
  • Finances professionals
  • Managers
  • Agricultural engineers
  • Agronomists
  • IT professionals
  • Pharmaceutical professionals

Southeast: High-profile Professionals

Just like mentioned previously, the Southeast, specially São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, has been the final destination for most foreigners coming to Brazil. São Paulo still is the Brazilian city with the highest concentration of jobs and high skilled professionals.

As the purchasing power of the population has grown, items that did not use to be part of the family budget are now accessible for many Brazilians. One example is the access to airline tickets. Airline tickets were also a privilege of the upper class, but many times nowadays it is cheaper to travel by plane than it is by bus. As most Brazilian airline companies are located in the Southeast, specially in São Paulo, they have become a major job source in the area.

Another example is the access to health insurance. Ten years ago, health insurance was a privilege of wealthy families or a benefit for workers, but more and more people have been able to afford a health insurance. The result is a demand for doctors and managers.

Although belonging to the Southeast, the richest of the Brazilian regions, Espírito Santo is not considered to be as rich as the other Southeastern states. However, with the exploitation of petroleum and natural gas, the local economy has been experiencing a significant growth and last May the state registered the lowest level of unemployment of the last 12 months. The new jobs are mostly related to agriculture, services and building sectors.

Overall, the Southeast has jobs opportunities for all professionals, including:

  • Civil engineers
  • Teachers (specially English teachers)
  • Tourism professionals
  • Marketing professionals
  • Economists
  • Communication professionals
  • Sales managers
  • IT Professionals
  • Geologists (on the coast)
  • Mining managers
  • Business Intelligence analysts
  • Project managers
  • Trade marketing manager
  • Logistics managers
  • Lawyers
  • Sales trader

It is important to say that despite having more and many times best job opportunities, competition in the Southeast is much fiercer than elsewhere in the country as this is the region that concentrates most of the qualified workforce. To get a good manager position in São Paulo, for example, you should be graduated from a good university and must speak a second language, preferentially English.

South: Technological Potential

The South of Brazil has gone through a technological expansion. A major manufacturer of computers has been expanding its production in Paraná state. The high level of quality of life provided in Curitiba, the state capital, has also been an element that has led people to leave well-paid jobs in São Paulo.

Rio Grande do Sul has been investing in the building and retail sectors and this expansion is not restricted to Porto Alegre, but it was also spread to other cities, such as Colombo.

Due to its strong potential in terms of technology, the South is the region that has suffered the most with this professional shortage. The positions with the most significant shortage are those related to management, being among them:

  • Civil Engineers
  • IT Professionals
  • Tourism Professionals
  • Sales managers

It is important to say that just like in the Southeast, many of the job positions in the South require fluency in a second language, preferentially English, and this has attracted many foreign professionals to this area.


Something that must be considered before moving to Brazil and taking the decision of living in São Paulo or Rio due to the higher salaries is that the cost of living in these cities are very high and the quality of life can be very low. Traffic, violence and air pollution are strongly present in the major cities of the Southeast.

On the other hand, when choosing to live in the Northeast, for example, it is much harder to find services provided in English, so you must learn some Portuguese before coming here. It does not mean that everyone in the Southeast speaks English, but public transportation has some information in English and bookstores and restaurants in upscale areas provide services in English too.

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