What Is The Average Salary In Colombia?

credit: Peter Parker

Knowing the average salary in Colombia can help travelers prepare for a vacation or set up those looking to immigrate! Salaries can tell someone a lot about a country’s standard of living and help manage expectations. So, let’s talk about salaries in Colombia!

Colombia’s average annual salary is 56,300,000 COP ($12,347 USD), monthly of 4,710,000 COP ($1149 USD), and hourly of 27,000 COP ($6.6 USD). Education, experience, location, and sector are the main factors that influence salary. Tertiary-educated adults earn more than twice as much money.

How Much Money Do People Make In Colombia?

The average salary in Colombia is 4,710,000 COP ($1149 USD). They can range from 1,190,000 COP ($269 USD) per month to 20,900,000 COP ($4,726 USD). The average annual salary is around 56,300,000 COP ($12,347 USD), and the average hourly wage is approximately 27,000 COP ($6.6 USD).

The five most expensive cities in Colombia, from most to least expensive, are:

What Factors Determine The Average Salary In Colombia?

These figures can fluctuate substantially, depending on factors like level of education, job location, years of experience, and type of sector.


The level of education is one of the primary contributors that directly relates to an employee’s salary in Colombia. Generally, the higher the degree, the more money someone in Colombia earns.

Statistics show that someone with a master’s degree in their field will earn 29% more than someone with a bachelor’s degree. Similarly, a doctorate in their profession gets 23% more money than someone with a master’s degree.

As a result, someone with a tertiary holds a significant earning advantage over someone with only a high school diploma, earning more than twice the amount of money. In comparison,  tertiary-educated adults in other countries make only 57% more. 


Someone with 2 – 5 years of work experience in Colombia earns an average of 32% more than entry-level and junior workers in all industries and fields. Similarly, those with 5 – 10 years of work experience earn 36% more money than those with 2 – 5 years of experience.

Lastly, a professional with 10 – 15 years under their belt will earn 21% more than someone with 5 – 10 years experience.


Salaries are on the higher end in capital and urban areas. For instance, the salaries of people in Bogota, DC, the largest city in Colombia, are 9% higher than the national average. Bogota, DC, has roughly 8 million inhabitants.

Choco is in western Colombia and has only 500,000 inhabitants. Working people earn 1% less than the national average.

Similarly, employment rates also differ between adults with a tertiary education. Employment rates in Choco are 76% but climb to 86% in  Nariño and other places closer to major hub cities.


Demand and supply, expertise, and profitability are the main factors that cause a rise in salaries between sectors. The most lucrative sectors in Colombia are mining, construction, and telecommunications.

Beauty & recreation, customer service, and housekeeping are on the lower end of the salary scale and among the least profitable jobs.

What Is The Cost Of Living In Colombia?

The cost of living for one person may not necessarily be the same for another. However, everyone needs basic necessities like food, water, housing, and healthcare. So, let’s look at how much single people and families spend on everyday items in Colombia.

  • A family of four in Colombia spends roughly 8,373,957 COP ($2043 USD) per month.
  • A single person spends 3,807,240 COP ($928 USD) per month.  


Food is pretty affordable in Colombia, considering Colombia ranks 16/17 as the second cheapest country in Latin America.

Basic lunch menu items in a business district come with a drink and cost around 33,642 COP ($8.21 USD). Fast food combos like a Big Mac cost 25,367 COP ($6.19 USD).

Fresh produce and meats are widely accessible and affordable to everyone. Typical prices include:

  • 1 qt (1 L) of whole-fat milk –        4,319 COP ($1.05 USD)
  • 2 lb (1 kg) of apples – 8,128 COP ($1.98 USD)
  • 1 lb (500 g) boneless chicken breast – 11,278 COP  ($2.75 USD)
  • Bread for 1 day (serves 2) – 3,232 COP ($0.79 USD)
  • 16 oz (500 g) of local cheese – 12,311 COP ($3.00 USD)
  • 12 large eggs – 9,416 COP ($2.30 USD)

Housing, Rent, & Utilities

Someone who wants to rent an 85 m2 (900 sqft) accommodation in an expensive area will pay 3,049,800 COP ($744 USD) a month. The equivalent size accommodation, also furnished but in a typical location, will set someone back 1,566,270 COP ($382 USD).

A single person may want to rent a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio apartment. If they wanted one in an expensive area, it would cost them 1,642,760 COP ($400 USD). If they wanted one in a typical place, it would cost 1,000,490 COP ($244 USD).

If two people occupied an 85m2 apartment, they would spend roughly 302,124 COP ($73 USD) on heating, electricity, and gas in a month. A single person who occupies a 45 m2 (480 sqft) apartment for 1 month will wrack up about 208,240 COP ($50 USD) in monthly expenses.

Internet in Colombia costs about 67,549 COP ($16 USD) per month for an 8 Mbps line.

Clothes & Footwear

On average, a pair of Levis 501 jeans costs 89,167 COP ($21 USD). Summer dresses in high-end boutique stores like H&M or Zara will set someone back 122,136 COP ($29 USD).

When it comes to footwear, a pair of sporty Nike or Adidas shoes costs about 329,956 COP ($80 USD), while a fancy pair of men’s leather shoes goes for 250,586 COP ($61 USD).


Someone who wanted to buy a brand new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv, without any extras, would pay roughly 73,392,200 COP ($17,900 USD). When it’s time to refill the tank, they’ll pay 3,879 COP ($0.95 USD) per 1/4 gallon (1 liter) of gas.

People who use public transport pay as little as 142,23 COP ($3.47 USD) for their monthly tickets.

Entertainment & Luxuries

Those who enjoy grabbing a delicious dinner at the local pub will pay 42,254 COP ($10 USD). If they decide they’re in the mood for a movie and invite their friend, they’ll pay 29,458 COP ($7 USD) for two tickets to the cinema.

Some people prefer the theater over the cinema. It’s a fantastic opportunity to share their passion with someone dear. So, they decided to buy two tickets, which also happened to be the best seats available, for 101,269 COP ($24 USD).

After a thrilling show at the theater, enthusiasts may head over to an exquisite Italian restaurant and enjoy a dinner for two. It includes appetizers, a main course, wine, and dessert for 110,856 COP ($27 USD.

Locals who enjoy downtown pubs can have their favorite cocktail for 28,947 COP ($7 USD). Beers are equally rivetting, with 1 pt (500 ml) beers selling for 4,431 COP ($1 USD). Those in the expat section of the city can get a Cappuccino for only 10,318 COP ($2 USD).

Regarding everyday practical things, one minute of prepaid mobile tariff, without discounts or plans,  will cost someone 247 COP ($0.060 USD). Cigarette brands like Marlboro cost roughly 9,350 COP ($2 USD). Luxuries like a 40” flat screen TV will set someone back 1,454,630 COP ($354 USD).