MILLENNIAL'S GUIDE

Santa Fe
Jobs and
Careers

As diverse as the community, employment in Santa Fe offers work opportunities that continue to grow.

Santa Fe isn’t at the top of any list regarding its growing job sector, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting and diverse careers to be had in The City Different. With international names such as Outside Magazine and local startups Descartes Labs and Meow Wolf, the future looks bright.

Job Hunting in Santa Fe

Here is some important information regarding finding your next job in Santa Fe:

  • Living wage ordinance: Santa Fe can be more expensive than its surrounding municipalities and thus has established a living wage ordinance that sets the minimum wage above the state’s legal minimum.
  • Fair Pay for Women Act: New Mexico is one of the few states to enact a statewide law requiring pay parity for women.
  • New Mexico sales tax: New Mexico has an interesting spin on sales tax. Each county, city, and municipality can establish their own rate and collection, therefore you may pay 6% sales tax in Los Lunas and 8% in Santa Fe. Likewise different is that services are subject to tax. If you’re a plumber or artist or anything in between, your services and goods are all subject to sales tax.
The popular and colorful portal of Sena Plaza in downtown Santa Fe, NM
Flags fly from the top flag pole of the Bataan Memorial building in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Los Alamos National Labs: Los Alamos National Labs is 35 minutes northwest of Santa Fe and is a major economic force in Northern New Mexico. Employing nearly 14,000 people, LANL careers range from administrative, security, and private support staff to PhD and Nobel Laureate scientists and engineers. We have put together a relocation guide for those looking to start a career with LANL.
  • State government: Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico, meaning many state and federal departments are located here, ranging from the Department of Health to the Forest Service. State employment also means good longevity and solid benefits.
  • Law: With government comes lawyers and lots of them. Surrounding our state capitol Roundhouse area you’ll find many law offices, lobbying organizations, and satellite offices for larger state firms.
  • Hospitality: Downtown Santa Fe teems with hotels, spas, restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses. Servers and bartenders will likely receive most of their income from tips, which can be quite profitable with our constant flow of visitors and our local residents’ penchant for dining out.
  • Art: The art scene in Santa Fe is a huge industry and not just for the artist. The required support for galleries and artists employs everyone from electricians to photographers to framers. Art isn’t limited to the Canyon Road-type galleries as shown with the success of Meow Wolf and the growing film industry. There is lots of opportunity for the creative mind.

Major Employment Sectors

Entrepreneurship

Thinking about starting something on your own? Santa Fe can be an inspiring place and has produced its fair share of interesting startups. Generally speaking, Santa Fe hasn’t been known as an easy place to start on your own—mostly due to expensive commercial space, restrictive or confusing regulations (particularly in the historic districts), and healthy competition by established companies.

Don’t let that dissuade you, though, as our City is actively trying to address those concerns with its Business Incubator program and support for MIX Santa Fe, a social collective of business owners. Likewise, our current mayor has made permitting and regulation streamlining a cornerstone of his tenure.

Lastly, Santa Fe exists beyond the iconic Plaza. Areas surrounding Siler Road have been developing with new tenants such as Second Street Brewery. Along the southside we have seen the rebirth of affordable and accessible dining and once barren Santa Fe Place mall is once again thriving. Keep your eyes open, there are niches everywhere.

A glassmith or gaffer, blowing glass in Santa Fe, New Mexico.