The minimum wage in El Salvador in 2020. How does it compare?

The minimum wage in El Salvador is as follows; commerce and services sector is $304.17 per month, textile manufacturing is $299.30 per month, sugar and coffee field worker is $227.22 per month, and agriculture which includes coffee ad Cottom seasonal workers is $202.82 per month.

The country’s legal minimum wage, for formal businesses, is divided into the four sectors listed above. However, the minimum wage might be even lower in the informal sector.

Minimum wage in el salvador

The country has a large number of businesses that operate informally; therefore, keeping accurate records of information such as how much they pay their employees or how many days or hours they work is challenging to do.

Minimum wage in El Salvador by individual sectors.

Commerce and services$304.17$3,650.04
Textile manufacturing$299.30$3,591.60
Sugar and coffee field worker$227.22$2,726.64
Agriculture & seasonal workers$202.822,433.84

Commerce and services.

The commerce and services sector is one of the largest in El Salvador; it employs a large number of the Salvadoran population. This sector includes workers in call centers, hotels, secretarial work, and many others. A few of these jobs have extra benefits, such as bonuses.

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Textile manufacturing.

The manufacturing of textiles is another of the top industries in El Salvador. This area includes the production of items such as shirts, pants, shoes, and many others. A large number of what this sector produces is exported to the United States and Canada.

Sugar and coffee field worker.

The sugar and coffee sector in El Salvador is so large that it has its own minimum wage. El Salvador produces some of the best coffee beans in El Salvador; the sugar sector is right next to when it comes to production. In this category are all the workers that work in this industry full time.

Agriculture and seasonal workers.

Agriculture and seasonal workers are a sector that employs a large percentage of the Salvadoran population. An issue with the agriculture sector is that most of them work as an unofficial business. Therefore, it is hard to conclude how much their workers actually get pay.

How many days per week do you work in El Salvador?

The standard workweek for most Salvadorans is 5 1/2 days. It usually begins on Monday and ends on Saturday at noon. It’s a normal thing for employees to work six days per week.

How many hours per day do you work per week?

Even though the country has a minimum hourly rate, most employers don’t follow this rule, especially in the informal sector.

In the informal sector, you start your day at around 7am and finish between 4pm to 5pm; most employers don’t pay overtime.

In the formal area, you work about eight to nine hours per day and sometimes get paid overtime if it goes over the established minimum.


The minimum wage in El Salvador compared to other countries in Central America.

The following is the minimum wage in all the Central American country, keep in mind that some of these numbers might not be accurate to the penny for the following reasons.

Exchange rate, to make an accurate calculation, I took the minimum wage pay on each countries currencies and exchanged to US dollars. I am using today’s exchange rate to set an amount; but, exchange rates fluctuate often.

Most countries have different minimum wages for different sectors, just like El Salvador. For the purposes of comparison, I am using the highest minimum wage a person could get paid in each country.

CountryLocal Currency$ Per month$ Per year
GuatemalaQuetzal, 2,825.10$368.95$4,427.40
El SalvadorUS $304.17$304.17$3,650.04
HondurasLempira, 8450.00$340.42$4,085.00
NicaraguaCórdoba, 7,133.44$211.48$2,537.76
Costa RicaCR Pesos, 320,618.92$558.50$6,702.00
PanamaUS $345.00$345.00$4,140.00

If any of these numbers are not accurate, please let me know at, [email protected] and I will make the proper corrections.

By all means, these figures are estimates. Most of these countries have more than one minimum salary that can be set by region and type of work.

How often is the minimum wage in El Salvador reviewed?

According to the country’s Labor Code, the minimum wage of El Salvador is to be evaluated every three years; to verify the possibility of whether it is feasible to make any increase.

The analysis looks at the overall economic aspect of the country, the economy, inflation, cost of essential items, and business environment.

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In any case, the analysis is done in a group that includes 2 representatives from the labor sector, 2 from the employer sector, and 3 from the government. After the review, they decide if an increase is necessary and recommend it to congress.

When is the minimum wage set to be reviewed?

The minimum wage was reviewed by the group towards the end of 2019; however, no agreement was reached.

The sectors involved may meet in 2020 to discuss the situation and discuss the new increase.

But, as of today, there is no stipulated date on when this meeting might take place or how much the new increase to the minimum wage will be.

One thing is for sure, if approved, the increase would not take effect until the beginning of 2021.

To sum up, the minimum wage in El Salvador is low; therefore, many people look to leave the country and look for opportunities elsewhere.

By all means, the minimum wage should be equal to the basic cost of living in El Salvador, at the moment, it is not.

If you have any coments, complains, or want more information about the minimum wage in El Salvador, visit the Minister of work website.

Life in El Salvador