As the largest country in Latin America, Brazil has a wide range of opportunities for TEFL qualified teachers. The demand for teachers is high in major cities and popular tourist destinations thanks to a rapidly growing tourism industry and a booming economy. If you choose Brazil as your location for teaching English abroad you can enjoy some of the very best beaches in the world, a warm tropical climate, a vibrant nightlife, and an amazing array of natural wonders.
Table of Contents
English teachers generally choose to live and work in Brazil for the lifestyle rather than the salaries. However, while you wonât get rich teaching here you should be able to earn enough to cover all your expenses and to enjoy a comfortable life away from the classroom. The average monthly income for TEFL qualified teachers in Brazil ranges from about $800 to $1,500 USD, depending on the employer, the location and your own qualifications and experience.
Most teachers are likely to be paid an hourly rate rather than a fixed salary, with first time teachers starting at around $10 to $15 per hour and more experienced teachers earning between $20 and $25 per hour. Your pay will be in the local currency so these figures can vary depending on the current exchange rate.
The most common employer for new or inexperienced teachers is private language schools. These can be found all over the country, with a large number in every big city. The type of classes offered by these schools can vary enormously which will give you a good range of experience that will set you up nicely for future employment. You could teach young learners or adults in the school or you might find yourself teaching business people in an office building across town. You might also be required to teach one-to-one classes either in the studentâs home or in a neutral location such as a cafe or park. In all of these scenarios your students could be anything from absolute beginners to advanced English speakers.
Once you have gained some experience and are comfortable teaching in the local environment, you might want to move onto private tutoring. This is a popular choice as you can earn as much as double the income working privately than by working for a language school. Many teachers start taking on private students while working for a language school and then go full time once they have enough clients to make it pay. Just remember to set your conditions from the outset so you donât lose out from last minute cancelations.
Teaching jobs can be found at anytime of the year, although the peak hiring seasons are in March and August. It is best to avoid January and February as these are the traditional vacation months in Brazil. In the vast majority of cases you will need to actually be in the country when job hunting as most employers will expect a face-to-face interview. If successful, you will probably be offered a six month contract initially. The big job markets are in Sao Paulo, the financial hub of the country, and Rio de Janeiro, which is the hub for tourism and culture. There are also more than a dozen other cities with populations over 1 million where you will find plenty of job options, such as Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and the capital city Brasilia.
The required level of qualifications varies from one employer to the next. A few will hire on the simple basis of being a native English speaker, while better schools will expect a TEFL certificate and in some cases a university degree. Native English speakers are generally preferred by most employers. Any level of Portuguese language ability will also be a big plus when looking for teaching jobs in Brazil. Teachers require a work visa which should be organized by the employer, however, many choose to avoid the paperwork and simply employ teachers on a 3-month tourist visa which can be renewed for a further 3 months.
The cost of living varies considerably across the country, with popular tourist destinations such as Rio de Janeiro being much costlier than other areas. Many teachers choose to share accommodation with other teachers or rent a room in a shared apartment to significantly reduce their outgoings. Doing your shopping and socializing away from the touristy areas can also greatly help to reduce your expenses.