How much you can expect to earn teaching English in Latin America will vary depending on the country you choose, your specific location within that country, and the individual employer. However, teachers typically earn enough to live a comfortable, middle class lifestyle. You can expect your income to cover all your daily expenses and have enough to enjoy a good social life, although you are unlikely to be able to save much during your stay.
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As is the case in much of Latin America, teachers generally don't come to Costa Rica purely to make money. The average salary is considerably less than you will find in other more lucrative regions such as Asia and the Middle East, at around $600 to $1,000 per month. Your earning potential will increase considerably if you have a degree, TEFL certification, or a few years experience in the classroom. To top up their basic salary, many teachers also provide private tutoring on the side which can earn around $10 to $20 per hour or even more.
The vast majority of foreign teachers in Costa Rica are employed by some form of private language school. Throughout the country, you will find a large number of schools aimed at all ages of students, from primary through to adults. Many of the bigger schools offer full-time contracts that involve between 20 and 25 classroom hours per week, while smaller establishments tend to offer various part-time contracts. It is common practice in Costa Rica for teachers to have contracts with a few different schools to make up a full-time salary. Classes are generally held during the early morning and evening, with weekend work also common.
Private tutoring in homes or offices is also a very common form of income in Costa Rica. Some teachers are able to find enough clients to turn this into a relatively lucrative full-time business, although for most it is simply a good way of topping up their monthly salary. The majority of students looking for tuition are school children preparing for exams; however, there are also many businesses willing to pay good money for professionally delivered lessons specific to their individual requirements.
As Costa Rica is a popular international tourist destination, it has a higher cost of living than many other parts of Central America. If you dream of living and working in a tropical beach resort, you will also need to be prepared for the higher costs associated with these areas. Accommodation is generally the largest outlay, with prices ranging from $200 to $350 per month including meals for a homestay with a local family. A room in an apartment shared with other foreign teachers should be similarly priced, while rent for a private house or apartment starts at around $400 per month in areas away from the city center.
Although Argentina is a very popular destination for foreign teachers, few come here expecting to earn or save a large sum of money. Salaries are low in comparison to many other popular countries across the world; however, it is still possible to earn enough to live comfortably if you are patient and willing to work hard to establish yourself. Average monthly salaries range from $600 to $1,200 depending on qualifications and experience. Private tutoring of individual students or within local businesses is also a popular option for earning extra income, with hourly rates ranging from $10 to $15. It is highly recommended that you complete a TEFL certification course before heading to Argentina as it will greatly increase your employability and earning potential.
Due to government restrictions on employing foreign citizens it is difficult for ESL teachers to find work in public schools in Argentina. Because of this the main employers are private language schools who cater to a wide range of students, from young children to executives within a business environment. Teaching within local businesses is particularly popular, with teachers expected to provide group or individual classes that focus on fluency in specific environments such as interviews, conference calls, presentations, and business meetings. The number of contracted hours in this environment varies greatly but it is common for teachers to be on call from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The other big market for foreign teachers in Argentina is to work on a freelance basis. Many teachers take on individual students in their spare time to top up the salary earned from working in a language center. It is also common for teachers to freelance full-time once they have found enough students. The big advantage of freelance work is you can set your own working hours and hourly rate, however, it is recommended that you agree a cancelation policy in advance as it is common for lessons to be cancelled at the last minute leaving the teacher out of pocket.
Although salaries for ESL teachers are relatively low in Argentina, the cost of living is also quite low. Public transport, utility bills, and groceries are generally affordable on an average salary. However, accommodation can be very expensive, particularly in the trendy districts of Buenos Aires, such as Palermo, San Telmo, and Recoleta. Outside of the capital rental costs fall dramatically but if you are keen to live and work here then you should consider districts such as Montserrat, Belgrano, or Almagro which are all safe areas with more affordable accommodation. Realistically most teachers choose to rent a room from a local family or share an apartment with other teachers to help with the expense.
As is the case in much of Latin America, salaries for foreign teachers in Ecuador are quite low in comparison to many other parts of the world. However, the very low cost of living means that even a modest salary will go a long way. The actual figure you can expect to earn will vary considerably depending on your qualifications and experience, but the average is around $500 to $1,000 per month. Teachers with extensive qualifications and experience can earn considerably more than the average by working in international schools or universities. Rates for private tutoring range from $10 to $15 per hour.
For the majority of teachers the most likely source of employment is private language schools that can be found in most parts of the country. Private schools often hire teachers with no qualifications or previous experience, however, a degree and a TEFL qualification will significantly enhance your earning potential. Actual teaching hours vary from school to school but on average you can expect to spend around 20 to 25 hours per week in the classroom. Language schools in Ecuador rarely include any extra benefits such as housing allowance or paid holiday.
Teachers with plenty of experience and qualifications might also be able to apply for positions in universities and international schools which offer significantly better salaries than private language schools. As these jobs are small in number and often include extra benefits such as paid accommodation and airfares, competition is generally very strong.
Although the average wage for an ESL teacher in Ecuador is relatively low, it is offset considerably by a low cost of living throughout the country. Utility bills, public transport, and groceries are all generally much cheaper than more westernized countries. Eating out can also be very inexpensive as delicious local food can be found for as little as $2 to $3 a meal. Accommodation is most likely to be the biggest expense; however, rental costs are also much more affordable than many other countries in the region. Good quality apartments range from $100 to $400 per month depending on size and location. If you prefer to mix with other travelers you might prefer to stay in a long-term hostel where rooms can be found for around $6 to $12 per night.
There are many things to consider when calculating your expected salary for teaching English in Chile, such as your level of experience, qualifications, location, type of employer, and number of working hours. However, an average monthly salary is likely to be between 550,000 and 800,000 CLP ($800 to $1,200). Teachers with extensive experience and/or qualifications should find they can earn substantially more than the average stated. If you choose to take on private students in your spare time you are free to charge any figure you like, but the average rate is around 8,000 to 10,000 CLP ($12 to $15) per hour.
The majority of foreign ESL teachers in Chile are employed by private language institutes which can be found in most towns and cities throughout the country. Teaching jobs in language institutes generally fall into two categories, either teaching classes within the school or traveling to teach in the offices of business clients. Teaching off-site can involve extensive travel between lessons and you are unlikely to be compensated for your time or expenses, however, it can be a great way to gain the experience necessary to apply for better positions in the future. Teaching on-site reduces the need for travel time and expenses, but you should be prepared to work unsocial hours as most classes run in the evenings up to around 10:00 p.m.
Teachers with a university degree and previous classroom experience can also apply for positions in local universities. Starting salaries are generally much the same as private institutes but the standard working hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday are a draw for many teachers. University positions also offer the chance of long-term prospects for those looking to make a career of teaching. Another popular option is to recruit individual students for private tuition outside of your normal working hours. This is common practice for earning additional income and can also lead to full-time freelance work once you have built up a significant client base.
Although the general cost of living in Chile is lower than in North America and Western Europe, it is certainly not as cheap as some other countries in the region such as Bolivia, Peru, or Ecuador. Public transport is generally inexpensive, and the cost of basic groceries can be significantly reduced by favoring fresh food markets over supermarkets. Accommodation is usually the biggest expense, with a one bedroom apartment in a good location starting at around $500 per month. To reduce costs many new arrivals choose to rent a furnished room in a shared apartment which can be found from around $300 per month.
Although a teacher?s salary is much less than you would earn in the US, the low cost of living means that what you earn goes a whole lot further. Your income will vary depending on the type of job you secure and the location in which you choose to live and work. On average, you can expect to earn between $500 and $1,000 per month. When looking for a job, it is best to shop around to find the best deal as hourly rates can be very different in different schools in the same area. Some employers will also offer some assistance with housing, transport and teaching materials. Most employers in Mexico will insist that you have a TEFL certification.
The best salaries for teaching English in Mexico are generally found with local businesses. Many companies hire teachers to deliver lessons to their staff who are usually highly professional and motivated. On the downside, lessons are normally scheduled for before or after normal working hours and you will often have to commute between different companies.
Private language centers offer the largest number of teaching jobs in Mexico, although the hourly rate is likely to be less than working with private companies. These positions also often involve unsocial hours both in the early morning and evening and also at weekends. Your classes could be young learners or adults, depending on the center.
Public schools offer the most stable work hours, however, the pay is often less than other teaching jobs. Teaching hours are generally from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many of these jobs actually require you to teach specific subjects in English rather than just English, so previous classroom experience would be a real help. Whichever type of job you have, many teachers also take on a few private students to teach in their free time. This is a common way of topping up your main salary for just a few extra hours each week.
The best approach to finding a suitable job in Mexico is to first identify the area where you want to live. You can then compile a list of potential employers to contact. Ideally you should apply in person looking smart and with your CV/resume ready to be handed over. It is also a good idea to take along your TEFL certificate to prove you have completed a training course.
Although jobs can be found all over the country, the largest number and the best salaries are mostly found in big cities, particularly Mexico City. Jobs can become available at anytime of the year; however, the best time to look for jobs in language centers is August and early September. Public schools often start their recruitment process in July for the first semester and again in December/January for the second semester.
While salaries in Mexico are not large by American standards, the cost of living is much lower so your hard earned cash will go much further. On average, a teacher?s cost of living is around $300 per month. This means that most people should be able to live comfortably on their income, particularly if their contract includes free housing or a housing subsidy. Teachers who take on private tutoring should also have plenty of spare cash to make the most of their free time. Just remember to avoid expensive imported luxuries and to enjoy the cheap local food.
English teachers generally choose to live and work in Brazil for the lifestyle rather than the salaries. However, while you won?t 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, 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 student?s 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 don?t 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.
Although average salaries are not especially high at between $700 and $1,000 per month, teachers can still live very good lifestyles as the cost of living is relatively low. Jobs in private schools typically pay the best salaries, as well as extra benefits such as a housing stipend and health insurance. Hourly rates for private tutoring range from $12 to $25, depending on the location and the teacher?s level of experience. If you sign up for the Teach English in Colombia Program you will receive $400 per month plus help with accommodation fees. Native English speakers with a TEFL certification are preferred by most employers, while a degree can also help in some cases.
The Teach English in Colombia Program (TEC) is a popular way to live and work in Colombia, while also giving something back to the local community. The program is a reputable scheme that provides free language instruction for people who can?t afford to pay for lessons. The scheme is open to native English speakers from the US who have a TEFL qualification or a year of teaching experience. Although it is a volunteer scheme, teachers receive a monthly stipend and help with accommodation.
If you want to earn a higher salary there are options in private international schools and language institutes. International schools pay very well, but they generally require a high level of qualifications and experience. If you don?t meet the criteria, private language schools are a good compromise as the pay is reasonable and jobs are widely available. There is also a new government initiative to hire foreign teachers to work in public high schools. The salaries for these jobs are not as good as private schools, but the working conditions are generally relaxed and comfortable.
For private language school jobs you will need to be on the ground in Colombia when looking for a suitable position as most employers do not advertise their jobs online. The requirements vary from job to job, but typically you will need to be a native English speaker with a college degree and a TEFL certificate. Although you will find language centers in most major towns and cities, the most popular destinations are Bogota, Medellin and Barranquilla.
Jobs in public schools or within the TEC program are best arranged in advance before you leave your home country. In most types of teaching jobs the employer should arrange an official work visa for you. However, many schools expect you to work on your original tourist visa which is technically illegal but commonplace and generally overlooked by the authorities. There is no official requirement to have a TEFL qualification to apply for a work visa, but having one will certainly widen your job prospects in Colombia.
In western terms, the cost of living is low in Colombia. Housing is often the biggest expense for teachers, so any job that offers assistance with accommodation is always a bonus. Many teachers choose to share an apartment with another teacher to keep rental payments down. Where you choose to live will have a big impact on the rental cost so it is always good to get local advice on the areas that are both inexpensive and safe to live in. Public transport is generally very cheap and groceries are inexpensive if you avoid imported goods.