Peru, boasting globally renowned wonders like the Amazon River's source and the awe-inspiring Inca citadel, Machu Picchu, hosts an abundance of opportunities for English language teachers. With an expected surge in teacher demand over the coming years, Peru offers plenty of roles, predominantly in the vibrant capital, Lima, and throughout its smaller towns. One reason many foreign teachers choose Peru is it generally has fewer hiring restrictions compared to other South American countries.
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Typically, English teachers in Peru can expect to earn between $500 to $1,000 US per month, contingent on location, employer type, and individual qualifications and experience. It is common for TEFL-certified teachers to supplement their primary salary with private tuition during their leisure time, with usual hourly rates ranging from $10 to $20. The most lucrative positions are generally in major cities, while rural jobs are often volunteer-based or accompanied by a small stipend.
The principal employers for foreign TEFL-certified teachers in Peru are private language schools, catering to young learners seeking supplementary lessons or adults keen to enhance their English proficiency for professional or business reasons. With Lima being the main job market hub, potential employers are plentiful across the city. However, substantial job markets also exist in Arequipa and Cusco. Given the strong demand for private tutoring, independent work is also an option, although building a full-time client base may take some time.
A few jobs are advertised online, allowing you to arrange everything prior to your departure. However, many employers prefer to conduct face-to-face interviews, leading many prospective teachers to travel to Peru first and complete the recruitment process locally. Although the school year runs from March to December, many language schools operate all year round. Peak hiring times are typically February to March and July to August.
Most teachers initially enter Peru on a standard 90-day tourist visa, issued upon arrival without any paperwork. This visa can be extended for an additional 90 days from within Peru. Many teachers work on the tourist visa and then travel to a neighboring country to renew it after the six-month period.
In Peru, teachers should anticipate a balanced budget rather than substantial savings. Although the average salary is not particularly high, the low cost of living allows a comfortable lifestyle at the higher end of the pay scale or with additional private tutoring. Higher salaries are usually offered in larger cities, particularly Lima.
Living expenses in Peru can range from $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on your lifestyle. Keep in mind that initial costs need to be covered before receiving your first paycheck, which includes accommodation, groceries, and transportation costs. It is recommended to start with a minimum of $1,000 to $1,500 to cover your first month's costs.