living in morocco income

Living in Morocco: Income

In Expat by Amanda Mouttaki21 Comments

The number one comment/question people ask when they find out we’ve moved to Morocco is,

“I/We would love to do that but I’m not sure how we can afford it/find job(s).”

Of course, when considering moving this is a major stumbling block. A little while back I wrote a post about how people afford to have a global lifestyle. This post is going to give you a lot of different ideas of how you can make an international location possible.

living in morocco income

 

One of the hard realities is that most people want to leave Morocco because of it’s limited income opportunities. That being said I do think it’s more than possible to not only survive but to live a comfortable life. So how do we do it?

Before we moved to Morocco I had been working from home for a little over a year. This is one of the reasons we were able to make the decisions to move. I have a combination of freelance work that I do online which provides our means to live here. My best advice for someone considering the move is to figure out how to transfer and/or learn the skills that will allow you to work remotely. The second bit of advice is to learn at least one of the languages spoken in Morocco.  A conversational and written fluency in Arabic, French, and/or Spanish depending on where you live will help you find work here. If you have training as a language teacher (English, French, Spanish etc) there are many schools that hire. Some only want you to have an undergraduate degree and fluency in the language while others require a training certificate. Research the schools in the area you are considering moving to, to see what teaching jobs are available and their requirements. One thing is for sure, you will need to get creative and think outside of the box as more traditional jobs are hard to come by.

But, how much does it really cost?

Depending on where in the country you decide to live, the costs associated will vary. Keep in mind the average salary here is between 3000-4000 dirham a month, about $400-$500.  In a group I belong to online there was a recent discussion on monthly budgets.  It’s possible to live on a lot less than these figures  but it wouldn’t be comfortable at least not by western standards. Some of the figures given were;

- Small City – Taza – $600 month (2 people – no children)

Large City – Casablanca – $1500 month (4 people – 2 children)

Suburb of Casablanca – $1650 month (5 people – 3 children)

We have budgeted $1500 a month for living costs in Marrakech.  Broken down this is (please note I rounded up here to make things easier);

  • $250  for school/tutoring (2 kids in private French/Moroccan school) + language lessons for me
  • $100 internet/cell phones – this is higher than some may have because I need the highest speed internet for work
  • $100 student loan payments
  • $500 housing and utilities – our price may be lower than most for this as we “rent” from my mother in law
  • $250 food
  • $80 house cleaned 2x a week
  • $220 flex – medical/dental, clothing, gas, travel, etc.

There were many upfront costs that we did not budget for as we should have.  Some of these costs included (again rounded up);

  • Washing Machine – $350
  • Cooktop Stove – $200
  • Countertop Convection Oven – $60
  • Kitchen Tools/Dishes/Silverware – $150
  • Vehicle – $6000-$10,000 for a used, reliable vehicle
  • Paperwork/Translations/School Fees – $250
  • Living Room Furniture – $350
  • Beds and Matresses/Bedroom Furniture (2 twin beds, 1 Queen Bed, bedside tables) – $500
  • 32″ TV – $400

I hope this post gives you a little better idea of what things cost and how much is needed to live here. I hope to do another post on the cost of food which has increased a lot since I first came to Morocco but for the most part it’s still very affordable especially if you’re not purchasing many imported goods. If you’ve got specific questions let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them!

 

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Amanda MouttakiLiving in Morocco: Income

Comments

  1. tmb

    How much does a secretary earned who has a Baccalaureate, and what is the average salary of a nurse and doctor, I expect private doctors are highly paid but about the public hospital doctors and nurses as my visit sometimes requires me to stick some notes in the hands to get things moving.

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      It really varies depending on the company they’re working for and where in the country they’re located. My best guess is about 4,000 dirham a month, possibly a bit more. Doctors and nurses even in private hospitals aren’t paid anywhere near what they would make in the US or Europe but again just guessing a private doctor may take home 15,000-20,000 dirham a month.

      1. tmb

        Thank you Amanda, it is appalling when the civil servants get about 2000 dhs a month when the ministers are on 80,000 dhs a month, is it any wonder that the civil servant resort to bribes, and at the same time the government is running ad on TV to stop bribes!

        I guess those less qualified or no qualification outside the civil service and working for private companies may get on average 2000 dhs and probably no employment rights as I know someone who works for a private doctor pays 2000 with no rights of employment or CNSS etc.

        The cost of living in Morocco is very hight indeed how do people make ends meet?

  2. Tamer

    Hi Amanda,

    The $250 food, due shopping from supermarket or local market (souq) ?

    Any idea , how is the rent in casa ? for example Maarif area ?
    Thanks

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      Hi Tamer — that’s shopping in the local markets. I shop in the supermarket but only for things like cheese or cereal that I can’t get in the souks. I’m sorry I have no idea about rent in Casa though I believe it’s a bit more there, and especially that area.

  3. bigk

    Thanks, Amanda

    I am Moroccan with 3 kids, 1 st grade, 8th grade and a 4 years old stay at home, I would like to go back and live the rest of my life back home. My main concern
    1st – job
    2nd- kids education and cost .
    3rd – health care
    4rth- corruption. (specially if they know you are Moroccan , you better move to the end of the line unless you know someone or give bribes).

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      I think those are the same concerns almost everyone has. I wouldn’t move here without an income in place. It’s possible to make a good living but you have to think outside the box. Opening another pizza shop probably isn’t going to do the trick. Education – there’s good and bad everywhere. Healthcare, I’ve found the private health system to be quite good and much cheaper than the US. Corruption…well what can I say about this – it’s there, everyone knows it’s there, sort of just a part of life.

  4. george

    Amanda,
    I have a retirement and residual monthly income that comes to 1400 dollars. Just my wife and I.
    Like to have a nice place (rented and a cook) Possible to live quite well with that amount???

    George

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      George – yes you should be able to find something in that range. The biggest question will be residency. You need some connection here (spouse or work contract) to live in status.

      1. george

        Thanks Amanda. What if I can prove monthly income status and introducing a network business to the Moroccans? Easier then?

  5. Ann

    I am thinking of relocation to Morocco. I hope to visit before the big move. I am single with no children. It’s exciting and scary. I am getting my certification in teaching English as a second language. I have so many questions. I really like reading the information you post.

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      Best of luck to you! It’s a major life decision!

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      That depends on your nationality, marital status, and job prospects. I’m afraid there’s no single answer. If you have a job contract in Morocco you can get a residency card that way. If you’re married to a citizen or resident you can get residency that way. If you just want to live here, then you’ll need to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself. It’s not easy :/

  6. Amanda

    Would it be difficult to find work in the electric or plumbing industry (if existent) in any Moroccan town?

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      Yes of course there are electric and plumbing services, though generally it seems they are small shops and men doing these jobs. I would think it possible, though the pay is very little.

  7. addie | culicurious

    Looks like it’s very reasonable to live there. I am so happy for you that you’re able to make your dream of living abroad come true. My husband and I are working on a similar plan. :)

  8. Els Anna

    Thanks for sharing your experience, I am just wondering, can you cope with the slow and difficult internet connection to work from home ?

    Greetings,
    Els Anna

    1. Author
      Amanda Mouttaki

      We were able to put in a Maroc Telecom line with WiFi that is very fast and fairly reliable. We can stream video and I’m able to so Skype calls etc. it does cost more but that’s just a cost of business for me.

  9. Els Anna

    Hi Amanda,

    I cannot agree more about language knowledge ! I am fluently trilingual and starting also Arabic. I have been living in Morocco for two years but had to make the decision to leave almost a year ago.
    Finding a job in Casablanca was quite ok, there are a lot of call and serice centers. The main problem is (met several people in the same situation and it happened to me twice) that regularly companies stop paying salaries and you have almost no legal procedures available to address your problem (or they work way too slow or your boss pays them off). Secondly if your Moroccan spouse works in the same company he/she gets like 75 % less (YES) salary then you.
    With my salary we could live in Casablanca but we had nothing left to put aside. Once I was sick, needed doctor and medication and had to pay everything myself (which was not cheap).
    That made us unfortunately decide to move out of the country. But still missing it and planning for the future to go back. Luckily I am working for a London cie which has a branch in Morocco, so you never know ….

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