Plumber sign in Marrakesh

From time to time, in the comments or on Facebook, we see someone who is looking to move to Morocco, he would like to practice his trade of craftsman which makes him live in Europe. “In the field of plumbing, heating and air conditioning”.

The argument goes, with the poor quality of work here, the person is sure that there are people who would be willing to pay for more quality.

It’s just IMPOSSIBLE.

That’s it.

Why is that?

First of all, there is employment and employment

If by employment we mean “being legally employed by a company with an employment contract“, well, unless you have a job, you’re not going to be employed.¬†Well, unless you are one of the people who are exempt from unless the Anapec procedure for an Foreigner Employment Contract(in other words, unless you have married a Moroccan!) the Ministry of Labour will NEVER believe that the company could not find a Moroccan to do the job.

To exercise your craft profession, you will have to choose between setting up as an auto-entrepreneur, a natural person, or creating a company such as a SARL d'A.U. (uni-personnel company).

This means looking for clients, managing the administration and collections. And in Morocco, this type of service is often paid late!

As a freelancer, who will you work for?

Either you work directly on sites, or you work as a subcontractor for an architect or contractor.

Subcontractor to a company?

In the second case, you must stay within their cost structure and schedule. In other words, “work the Moroccan way”. Because the lack of quality in the work is above all that of the project managers and the materials they buy as cheaply as possible.

And clearly also a lack of know-how and attention to details that are important to us (for me it was, among other things, the fact of having well aligned electrical sockets).

Directly on your own sites?

This is of course possible, but it will take a long time, as it will require word of mouth.

The quality argument is not enough. Most Moroccans – and even Gaouris (foreigners) living in Morocco – have a psychological price in mind, which is that of the Moroccan craftsman plus a few percent.

They won’t want to spend more. Because what you will do, personally, is also dependent on the rest of the house, the conditions, etc.

In other words, if the building has not been properly constructed, the best paint in the world will be on walls that are cracking, or walls that do not drain moisture properly, and will have to be redone regularly.

Good Moroccan craftsmen exist

Finally, no one has waited for you. Good Moroccan craftsmen exist. We know of companies that do work very well and have the advantage of combining all the trades. Their prices are a little higher, but only a little.

If you still want to be a craftsman in Morocco

You must speak Darija really well

To negotiate your purchases properly, to interact with other artisans and even with some of your customers, Darija is mandatory.

There is no such thing as an American handyman

The handyman who takes care of small repairs and various jobs, ranging from plumbing to cleaning the gutters on a roof, or changing a key. This does not exist in Morocco, where each craftsman has his own specialization. So that’s what you have to do too.

You will be paid badly and late

Clients, especially the state, pay late, and so will your client, if you are working as a subcontractor. As he will owe you invoices and not wages, he will be under much less pressure to pay you when he has one of his chronic cash flow problems.

And your income will be all the lower because, as a foreigner, you will not be able to do what most Moroccans do: work under the table!