Finding a job on Guam takes a little persistence, a little patience, and, sometimes, a little help from your friends.

If you’re seeking employment on Guam, we’ll show you what you need to know to land the job that’s right for you. Whether you’re a Guam resident looking for a change, a military spouse moving with a servicemember, or a future Guam resident evaluating your prospects, our tips, tricks, and resources will give you a leg up.

In This Article:

Is It Hard to Find a Job on Guam?

As you start your job search on Guam, you’ll discover a couple of challenges facing job seekers. It’s important to be aware of these so you can set your expectations accordingly.


Challenge #1: Higher Unemployment Rate

Guam’s unemployment rate trends higher than the U.S. average. In September 2021, it was ~3.5% higher than the unemployment rate in the U.S. overall.

Unemployment Rate


However, the latest data from December 2022 is promising. Guam’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.0%, which is only 0.7% higher than the U.S. average.

In other words, while Guam’s unemployment rate continues to drop, it’s still a little higher than what you’d encounter on the U.S. mainland. Keep that in mind.


Challenge #2: Lower Salaries & Hourly Wages

The other challenge you may encounter on Guam is the fact that, while jobs may be available, they may not pay as much as you’re expecting. As you can see below, workers across the U.S. receive hourly and annual wages that are nearly 50% higher than on Guam—on average.

Guam Wages vs. U.S. Averages


Hourly Wage Guam (mean)


Mean Wage U.S. (mean)


Annual Wage Guam (mean)


Annual Wage U.S. (mean)

Given that the cost of living on Guam is significant, these lower wages can create challenges for many Guam residents. If you’re considering a move to Guam, check out our article on the real cost of living on Guam, and budget accordingly.


Challenge #3: Time from Application to Hiring

Another frustration that job seekers encounter on Guam is the timeline. It often takes a lot longer to find a job on Guam. Even when you do find a job that’s suited to your skills and interests, the actual hiring process can take weeks.

In fact, Joint Region Marianas advises military spouses looking for work on Guam that it might take two to four months to find a job—or longer to find the right job.

Especially if you’re used to U.S. mainland timelines, this might feel frustrating. As much as you can, muster your patience. Along with a little persistence, this quality will serve you well on Guam overall.


Challenge #4: Who You Know Matters

Finally, when it comes to finding a job on Guam, who you know can be as important as what you know. When you’re looking for a job, knowing a relative, friend, or colleague who can help you get your foot in the door will make a huge difference.

You might hear reference to something called “pare” on Guam. Some think of this as the “good old boys network.” Others think of it as nepotism—giving preferential treatment to one’s relatives. Others simply see it as a way to help out the people they’re related to or friends with—no big deal.

However you think about it, the reality is that personal connections on Guam can help you get a job faster.

If you already live on Guam and you have an extensive network, this might not feel like a challenge. However, if you’re new to Guam, it might feel like the deck is stacked against you.

Our advice? Talk to everyone you meet, and tell them you’re looking for a job. Guam can be a friendly place, and you’ll make connections faster than you think. One of those new acquaintances might match you with the perfect job. No matter what, you’ll start to build your social circle, which will be a great support system for you on the island.

Can I Work in Guam as a U.S. Citizen?

Yes. Since Guam is a U.S. territory, U.S. citizens can work on Guam. Of course, just like any mainland job, you’ll need to present proof of citizenship. This means showing either a passport or a combination of documents that establish your identity and your employment authorization (a driver’s license and a birth certificate or a driver’s license and an original copy of your social security card).

U.S. Green Card holders can also work on Guam.

If you’re neither a U.S. citizen nor a Green Card holder, you’ll need to check your visa to determine your eligibility for employment.

What Kind of Documentation Do I Need to Work on Guam?

As you’re applying for jobs on Guam, a potential employer may ask you to obtain a police and court clearance. We’ll show you how to get yours, but first, you should be aware of recent laws passed around these documents.

In 2018, Guam passed the Fair Chances Hiring Process Act. Under this rule, employers with 15+ employees are prohibited from requesting police or court clearances as part of the job application process.

Once a conditional offer of employment is made, employers may request these documents.

There are a few exceptions for certain types of positions—including jobs that involve direct contact with minors. To understand your rights, refer to this brochure from the Fair Employment Practices Office (FEPD).

Obtaining Police & Court Clearances

Once you’ve been extended a conditional job offer, your employer may ask you to provide a police clearance and a court clearance. Here’s how to get yours:

Now that we’ve set the foundation for your job search, let’s take a closer look at Guam’s job market, including what industries you’ll find on Guam, the most common jobs, and the highest-paying positions on the island.

What Do People Do on Guam for Work?

Where the private sector is concerned, Guam’s hospitality industry employs the largest number of people on the island. The most recent statistics from the Bureau of Statistics and Plans show that more than 15,000 people work in accommodation and food services on Guam. Another 10,000 people work in the retail trade, which offers significant support to the tourism industry. As a prime destination for Japanese tourism, workers who can speak Japanese may have a bit of an edge in the hiring process.

As we noted above, the wages in these industries might not be what you’d expect. Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks can expect a mean hourly wage of $9.98 on Guam. Maids and housekeeping cleaners see a mean hourly wage of $9.76, while supervisors average $13.96 hourly. Workers in food preparation and serving-related occupations can expect a mean hourly wage of $10.74.

Beyond the tourism sector, the next most popular industries on Guam by number of people employed are: construction; health care and social assistance; administrative and support and waste management and remediation services; and wholesale trade.


An Industry to Watch: Construction

The military buildup on Guam has led to a number of federal defense projects. Additionally, the government of Guam has a few infrastructure projects on its docket. As a result, the construction field is only expected to grow on Guam over the next few years. Some of these jobs may be temporary. However, they can get your foot in the door and help you get to know more people on Guam, which can lead to more permanent employment.

Public Sector Jobs

More than 15,000 people on Guam are employed in the public sector, which includes both local government and federal government employees. As a newcomer, a job in the local Guam government can be hard to come by. Most people stay in these jobs for life, so it can be hard to get your foot in the door.

If working in the public sector is your goal, check out the two job listings sites below:

The Highest-Paying Jobs on Guam

Given the statistics we shared earlier, you might be curious where to look for the highest-paid jobs on Guam. We’ve got all the details for you, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are the Best Paid Occupation Groups on Guam?

First, let’s take a broad view and look at the top five occupation groups on Guam with the highest annual mean wage:


Includes: Chief executives, general managers, operations managers, marketing managers, sales managers, and human resource managers.


Includes: Lawyers, arbitrators, mediators, judges, paralegals, title examiners, and judicial law clerks.



Includes: Home health and personal care aides, nursing assistants, occupational therapy aides, physical therapist aides, massage therapists, medical transcriptionists, dental assistants, and medical assistants.



Includes: Landscape architects, architects, surveyors, civil engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, architectural and civil drafters, and surveying and mapping technicians.


Includes: Buyers and purchasing agents, insurance appraisers for auto damage, claims adjustors, human resources specialists, project management specialists, accountants and auditors, property appraisers and assessors, insurance underwriters, and tax preparers.

*Salaries represent annual mean wage

Now that you’ve got a broad sense of the categories that pay well on Guam, let’s drill down another level and look at the best paid job titles on Guam.

What Are the Highest-Paid Jobs on Guam?

Doctors—including physicians and family medicine physicians—make the highest mean annual wage on Guam, followed by chief executives, medical and health services managers, and pharmacists. (Lawyers aren’t far behind!)

Check out the list below of the top 15 most highly paid occupations on Guam:

Occupation Title Mean Annual Wage
Physicians $230,480
Family Medicine Physicians $194,980
Chief Executives $119,810
Medical and Health Services Managers $115,700
Pharmacists $111,850
Lawyers $108,540
Architectural & Engineering Managers $100,730
Managers (Other) $90,610
Construction Managers $82,540
Architects $80,860
Electrical Engineers $79,720
Financial Managers $79,460
Business Operations Specialists $76,930
Transportation & Storage Managers $76,480
Engineering Technologists and Technicians $76,000


As you can see, a number of these jobs require specialized education, training, or certification. If you’re looking for a career change, let this list offer some inspiration

Helpful Resources for Job Seekers

Finally, we’ve compiled a few resources to help you continue your Guam job search journey:

Job Websites

Government Contracting Jobs

As part of the buildup, new contracts are being rewarded and staffed. Keep your eye out for announcements like this one, and research the companies who were awarded contracts. They may post job openings soon afterward if they need additional staff to deliver on their contract.

In-Person Assistance

The Guam American Job Center can be a great place to stop in for in-person information and advice. Also known as the One-Stop Career Center, you’ll find it on the third floor of the GCIC Building in Hagåtña. Stop in Monday–Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except government of Guam holidays.

Job seekers, students, and businesses will find access to a convenient and reliable range of coordinated employment, training, and educational services, as well as program information and resources.

For Military Spouses

If you’re moving to Guam with a servicemember, you’ll find resources on base designed to give you a strong start on your job search:

  • On Naval Base Guam, stop by the Fleet & Family Support Center. They offer classes to assist in finding employment, writing resumes, starting your own business, and more.
  • On Andersen Air Force Base, stop in to the Military & Family Support Center. They also offer career-focused classes including writing a resume, interviewing skills and techniques, applying for a federal job, and more.

Finding the Right Job on Guam

Although you’ll see open positions listed on Guam year-round, the trick is finding the right job—one that matches your skill set, your desired level of pay, and your future goals. With the tips in this article, plus some patience and gentle persistence, you’ll be well on your way to getting hired.

Moving to Guam? We’d be happy to help you get your belongings to the island! Our team specializes in safe, easy, and affordable moves. Just reach out for a complimentary quote for your Guam relocation.

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