Average Salary in Colombia 2022

How much does a Colombian worker make?

Generally, a worker in Colombia makes 4,690,000 COP a month. Salary starts at 1,190,000 COP /Month in Colombia. The minimum wage in Colombia is 1,190,000 COP per month as of January 2018.

A worker who works full-time earns around 3.1 times the Colombian minimum wage per month and thus earns 4.6 million pesos a month as an average salary in Colombia.

The minimum wage of Colombia is updated every year by the government on first January. The current minimum wage for a worker in Colombia is 1,190,000 COP per month as of January 2018.

Workers who belong to unions have an advantage over non-unionized employees as they negotiate better deals with their employers through collective bargaining.

Salary Distribution in Colombia

Pay Scale

From 1,190,000 COP per month and up, salaries in Colombia may be very high. Health and retirement benefits are also an integral part of the salary package.

Salary increments in Colombia may be given after six months or a year, and sometimes every three years. This varies according to one’s work experience.

Bonuses for senior employees in Colombia vary from 0 – 10% depending on company policy, performance and client satisfaction.

Median Wage

With a median wage of 4,410,000 COP, half of the population makes less than this, while the other half makes more than this amount every single month. The median wage is the highest it has ever been, and Colombia is working its way toward even more growth.

With a growing economy, unemployment went down to 9.4% in 2014 from 13.1% in 2010. As of 2009, there are approximately 1 million people that have moved into the middle class of Colombia by being educated enough to get better jobs than their parents did at low prices for labor.

This all contributes to the higher wages that Colombian workers are receiving today.


In Colombia, 25% of the population earns less than 2,520,000 COP a year, while 75% earn more. 75% of Colombians make less than $11,900,000 COP per year, while 25% make more.

Workers who make more than the 75th percentile earn a minimum of $11,900,000 COP per year. Workers who make less than the 25th percentile earn a maximum of 2,520,000 COP per year.

These are two examples for percentiles – one describing the lower quarter and one describing the upper quarter of income earners in Colombia. A percentile is a measure that divides a population into 100 equal parts.

What is the median vs average salary?

The median and average salary is a common topic when it comes to discussing salaries, and most people usually talk about them when they want to know if their salary is in line with others.

Median refers to the value at which half of the population earns more than that amount and half earns less than that amount. In other words, 50% of the people earn below the median salary while the other 50% earn more than that amount.

Thus, it can be said that a majority of employees earn a little bit above the median pay.

Average salary is simply calculated by adding all the salaries of a particular group of people and dividing it by the number of employees.

The median salary is more accurate because it measures where most of the people are earning, rather than just taking an average of everyone’s earnings which could be skewed if there are higher salaries in between or fewer numbers to represent them.

However, since most companies pay their employees on a yearly basis, they sometimes use the average salary as a benchmark for how much they should give their new hires. Also, some employers might choose to offer higher salaries based on prior experience and qualifications.

Comparing Salaries Based on Years of Work Experience

How does a person’s wage change over the course of a year in Colombia?

Employees in Colombia tend to make significantly less than their counterparts in other Latin American countries.

The minimum salary in Colombia is slightly below COP 1,500,000 per month ($US 564), while the average salary in Colombia is around COP 3,400,000 ($US 1403).

One of the main reasons for this income disparity deals with a lack of workforce stability in Colombian companies.

Employees are frequently hired on short-term contracts which do not guarantee benefits or raises. The result is that employees end up staying at a company for an average of four years before moving on to other jobs.

It should be noted that salaries could increase over time depending on several different factors including the number of years working at a company, job performance reviews and promotions.

Unskilled workers tend to start out making between COP 1,500,000 and COP 2,000,000 ($US 680 – $US 955), while more skilled workers with higher education degrees would make between COP 4,800,000 and COP 5,600,000 each month (roughly $US 2150 – $US 2475).

Additionally, regular raises of about five%  per year are common for employees who continue to perform well.

Employees can expect a yearly increase in their salary by around five percent as long as they maintain their job performance.

A Comparison Of Wages Based On Education

Is there a correlation between your education level and your pay?

In Colombia, most salaries can be determined based on the level of education and position in the company. A person with a university degree will most likely earn more than someone with only a secondary school diploma, for example.

But even these two people could experience different incomes because of other factors such as their work environment or what region they live in – for instance Cali offers lower wage rates than Bogotá which makes people from this city just slightly richer than those from Medellín.

In addition, Colombia’s unemployment rate which stands at 9% is the second-highest in Latin America after Brazil, so a person with a degree has a better chance of landing a job than someone without one.

For those who work as unskilled labourers on large farms, for example, their wages have hardly increased even though their productivity rate has improved significantly.

Despite this, Colombia remains one of the countries where you’ll find greater opportunities for social mobility compared to other nations in Latin America – which often tend to be characterized by high rates of inequality and little movement between income groups.

Gender-Based Salary Comparisons

On average, men workers in Colombia earn 12% more than their female colleagues, regardless of the industry they work in. This is a clear disparity in pay that could have multiple causes.

One possible explanation for this salary gap is the fact that only 34.5% of Colombian women work compared to a staggering 68.6% of men, and even lower numbers of Colombian women are employed full-time jobs.

As such, these working women often do not have as much time or energy to dedicate to their careers, so they get paid less than their male counterparts who have been able to dedicate more time and effort to their work.

Another factor at play here may be socio-economic status; women in Colombia earn 20% less than men with the same level of education, and frequently lack access to post-secondary institutions altogether.

Furthermore, their responsibilities as caretakers mean they often need more time off for family matters, which also makes them less desirable hires.

This might be somewhat balanced out by the fact that turnover costs are generally higher for men because of how much training it takes to find skilled workers willing to take on strenuous jobs such as those found in mining and manufacturing.

In any case, these factors combined have all but guaranteed that women are paid less for the same work done by men.

Colombia’s Annual Average Salary Increase Percentage

How much do Colombians get in yearly raises?

Colombia’s annual salary growth depends on the working sector. Typically, Colombia gives yearly raises to its employees, but this is not always the case. There are certain sectors that offer much higher salaries than others in Colombia.

The average labor force in Colombia is paid approximately 72% above what it would be paid in the USA.

The economy of Colombia has been growing at a rapid pace over the past few years and is expected to continue doing so for quite some time due to their increased foreign investments and exports among other things.

There are several industries that give high salaries to their employees such as mining, petroleum, construction, telecommunications, etc., but there are also several sectors with lower than usual pay like agriculture or manufacturing.

Rate of Growth of Each Industry in 2022

  • Construction – 3%
  • Education – 5%
  • Manufacturing – 2%
  • Transportation and Storage – 3%
  • Wholesalers – 7%
  • Utilities – 5%
  • Health Care and Social Assistance – 4%
  • Retail Trade – 6%
  • Finance and Insurance – 8%

Generally speaking, companies in booming sectors give their employees larger and more frequent pay increases.

General trends in economic conditions may have a significant impact on the health of a firm, although exceptions can arise. These numbers are subject to periodic revision.

Average Rate of Salary Growth by Level of Experience

Colombian workers make 50% more on average after six years of experience. Salary growth is an important factor in the field of human resources, as employees are more satisfied and motivated with better compensation. However, it is not always easy to know how salaries grow.

Colombia has remained in continuous growth for six consecutive years, and with an inflation rate of 2.2%, many companies are increasing salaries.

The most common salary growth is associated with the experience level of employees; in other words, it is easier to reach a better salary if you have more work experience.

The average expected growth for workers with less than five years of experience is 3.5%. Those between five and 10 years can expect an increase of 5.4% on their compensation, while those who top the top 10 will significantly benefit from 6.7% salary increases due to their leadership roles in the company they work for (Cali – Colombia).

Colombian Bonus and Incentive Rates

How much and how often are bonuses given out?

Bonuses are very commonly given out in Colombia, but it varies greatly by company.

Typically Colombian companies will give out bonuses 2-3 times a year, with larger bonuses for holidays like Christmas and smaller bonuses on the employee’s birthday, or after 6 months of working at the company.

Bonuses can vary between 5-40% of what an individual actually makes depending on their role and prior performance levels. If an office has performed poorly they might even get no bonus at all. Bonus amounts are generally known by workers ahead of time so that they know what to expect.

Some companies may not give out any bonuses at all if they have had bad business years or slow periods when times were hard for them financially. However, these companies tend to still provide a yearly salary increase.

Different Bonus Types

Individual Bonuses Based on Performance

An individual bonus for performance based on a single factor is variable pay, as opposed to fixed pay. In order to reward the employee as well as motivate him/her even more, the bonus awarded should be related to his/her current position and level of performance.

The best way is to set up this kind of bonus plan with the help of an independent third party who will ensure that all factors are considered fairly and justly.

Bonuses for Company Performance

Businesses often offer bonuses to employees for exceptional performance. Bonuses are often part of salary negotiation, even if the employer has not historically offered them. They can be found in all industries and come in many forms that best suit each business’s needs.

These payments can range from cash awards to stock options or paid time off (PTO). The size of the bonus is typically linked to individual performance, while some companies employ group bonuses based on company-wide achievements.

Bonuses provide employers with several benefits. For one, our economy is driven by consumer spending; incentivizing employees provides an incentive for workers to work harder and spend more money within the business’s industry.

Achievement-Based Bonuses

These are a form of motivational bonus given in correlation to performance and achievement. ABBs can come with various criteria but typically relate to the success of a company, whether in sales or services rendered.

This type of bonus is typically given as a one-off payment and is oftentimes tied to the achievement of goals for the company. Common goals include sales goals such as ‘increase sales by x% during the next quarter,’.

Seasonal / Year-End Bonuses

These are performance-based payments given to an employee once a year or at the end of a financial year. These bonuses can be based on company, individual, departmental and/or group performance.

These bonuses help employers motivate employees to give their best during peak periods such as the year ending festive season. They also provide incentives for staff to meet certain criteria throughout the year.

Depending on what you expect from your staff, this bonus could be a flat amount or a percentage of your staff’s monthly salary.

Comparison of Bonuses for Different Careers

What are the criteria by which a job is deemed deserving of generous benefits and a respectable wage?

Generally speaking, the larger the position is in terms of responsibility, influence on others’ lives, and company earnings dependability upon it, the higher salary one should expect to receive.

In Colombia, finance-related jobs get more lenient treatment than others. For example, a financial advisor will be paid more than someone who provides the same service at a different company, regardless of their level of expertise and required training. This is because money is seen as “valuable” in Colombia.

However, all jobs should be compensated enough to cover basic expenses such as food and housing costs so that employees may have time to concentrate on the work-related business at the job itself.

A desirable minimum wage for any working individual is estimated at around COP 1’600’000 monthly (about USD 654).

Seniority-Level Bonuses Compared

Top management in Colombia gets a much higher bonus than top management in other countries. Seniority-level bonuses are calculated using age, years of service, and the highest salary in the company.

Usually, this highest salary includes allowances including housing, transportation, school fees, or any other allowance added on top of the base salary for which employees are entitled.

The average Colombian company will compensate its regular employee with a bonus of 8 months salary based on the most recent year’s performance, while American companies will compensate an average of 6 months.

The highest-paid employees are also entitled to larger bonuses in Colombia with seniority-level bonuses averaging 12 months or 6 times the employee’s base salary at most companies.

Pay for High-Potential Careers


  • Teacher – 3,670,000 COP
  • Translator – 4,110,000 COP

Care Giving and Child Care

  • Nanny – 1,960,000 COP
  • Nursery Teacher – 1,740,000 COP


  • Mental Health Counselor – 3,740,000 COP
  • Social Worker – 1,620.000 COP

Clerical and Administrative Support Occupations

  • Administrative Assistant – 2,130,000 COP
  • Data Entry Operator – 2,520,000 COP

Medical and Health Services

  • Dental Hygienist – 3,010,000 COP
  • Registered Nurse – 4,780,000 COP
  • Pharmacist – 5,120,000 COP
  • Speech-Language Pathologist – 3,940,000 COP

Other Clerical and Administrative Support Worker Occupations

  • Customer Service Representative – 2,590,000 COP
  • Graphic Designer – 4,110,000 COP
  • Marketing Coordinator – 3,940,000 COP

Hourly Wage Rates in Colombia

Colombians earn an average of 27,100 COP per hour as their hourly income. This equates to a wage of 27,100 COP per hour for the ordinary Colombian.

However, the hourly wage rate in Colombia varies greatly by profession, with professionals earning 35,000 COP per hour on average.

Professional, scientific and technical activities offer the best-paid jobs in Colombia’s labour market.

Salary Comparison Between the Public and Private Sectors in Colombia

There is an 11% pay gap between public sector and private sector workers in Colombia on average across all sectors in the country. Public workers make a monthly salary of about COP $1,354,967 ($531) while private workers make around COP$1,194,285 ($473), according to a study from Colombia’s Department of Labor.

The pay gap is even greater in some sectors. In the transport industry for example public workers make up to 3 times more than their private-sector counterparts.

According to the report, there are several reasons why the pay gap exists including that companies offer better benefits packages that can double or triple salaries, as well as that generally there are fewer labor rights protections for private-sector employees since they are not part of unions or covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Despite these factors, many Colombians prefer working in the public sector because career advancement opportunities are faster and job security is generally greater.

On the other hand, private-sector workers can accrue more work experience – and often do so at a younger age – which increases their salary potential compared to public sector employees with less experience and time on the job.

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