hello, just joined the forum


It is hard to accept...hard to get your head around the reality....you will NEVER find work here and probably you cannot support yourself in Argentina. All your skills are replicated here for what you would consider pennies on the dollar.
This is overly negative. It's not easy, but it's far from impossible.
And a reliable, English-speaking, all-around handyman with good work standards and all his own tools might well be able to make some money here, at least enough to live on. It would all depend on how well said individual could market himself.


Don't do it, bro.
The standards of workmanship here can be just infuriatingly sloppy. If you can sell yourself, and do the glad-handing self-promotion necessary, that might be a route.
I can't stress this point enough in agreement. The workmanship here is "acceptable garbage" for the most part. You'd think squares, levels, tapes, and plumbs are all adjusted for local inflation. Bent, rusted wire is the duct tape here.

The problem is, it is generally cheaper to pay for the acceptable garbage for the larger things, because your time is probably worth more than even paying twice for the same project to eventually come out usable.

On a specialized/artistic side, perhaps American workmanship could catch a fair price, though the projects and clients will be far between. I've come across a few talented carpenters. "Masons" are their own social class it appears. It is fair to say though that the skills are more cheaply replicated here, in the sense that a $50 guitar can still play "Stairway to Heaven." I would also attempt to seek online employment/gigs before moving.


You guys are complaining about quality work in BA... imagine the shit we get out here...

Do yall have the tree limb markers for sinkholes and excavations in the roads?
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You know the old "white to silver, black to gold" rule of wiring? Uh uh. Here the line is brown, and the neutral is blue. Ground can be either yellow, green, green-and-yellow, or even white in some older installations. Yeah. And there's no color coding to the screws. You have to look for a tiny L or N embossed into the plastic.
In theory the electrical wires in Argentina follow the European standard colours etc. In practice, if odd-jobbing as an electrician one should have a good quality circuit/continuity tester and know how to use it. One can find that line and neutral on the outlet sockets have been reversed between apartments/rooms/individual sockets etc and while this might not make much difference to the working of appliances it can make a huge difference to the life-expectancy of an electrician working on the job. DAMHIKT


Assuming you could find a maintenance gig, is your Spanish good enough to enter a hardware store and purchase everything you need? It's a humbling experience even for those who consider themselves fluent. Codes (if they are even followed), materials and construction methods are different here. Do maintenance workers, like porteros (doormen), have a union? If so, you might be putting yourself in physical danger if you did find a job.

Do you have enough money saved to used as a plan B and get you back to the US if needed? If so, you might consider coming down and trying it. You might get lucky, but understand that you will need luck to make it happen.


I wouldn't tell you don't come, or it could never work. You just need to know the reality, and then decide if you really want to do it.

1. You'll need some type of visa to stay here long term. You are extremely unlikely to get one for something related to manual labor. You'll need to get a student visa or marry an Argentine.

2. Local wages are very low, especially for maintenance type of work. We're talking less than $2 dollars an hour. You'll need to work under the table too, since you won't have a work visa.

3.Other considerations. Do you speak Spanish? Do you have savings to live off of? Why Tierra del Fuego?

The best advice I heard was from Redpossum is living in a place with English speaking expats like Buenos Aires and provide high quality handyman services at a price higher than the local market for expats that might value that type of service.

Who knows, maybe you could make it work somehow, but you need to fully understand what it entails.

Good luck