If teaching English in Mexico is on your radar, I couldn’t be happier for you.
The country is one of my all-time favorite countries in the 30+ I’ve visited, and for more reasons than one: the culture is friendly and inviting, the people are lovely, the food is one of the most unique and varied in the world, and it’s absolutely stunning, with a landscape to suit any desire. If you still need some convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should teach English in Mexico.
If you’re already sold, keep reading.
With such a large and varied country, it’s important to do your research before you go. There are many questions to consider, like “what are the teaching jobs in Mexico like?” and “how much money can I earn teaching English in Mexico?” to name a few.
I’ve done my best to provide you with answers to all of these start-up questions, so you can consider yourself fully informed to make the best decision for you.
Are you qualified to teach English in Mexico?
For starters, it’s always good to compare your qualifications with the country/ies you’re interested in teaching in. Mexico is a rare jewel in the teach abroad industry because it’s one of the countries that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, but you can still get a work permit to ensure you’re working legally, and for as long as you’re happily employed.
Another common requirement is TEFL certification. It may be possible to find a job if you’re not TEFL certified, but it’s becoming more and more difficult. The benefits of certification are plenty:
- You’ll demonstrate that you’re a serious teacher, not just a backpacker looking to make extra cash
- You’ll be more confident and fully prepared to step foot in the classroom, thus improving your experience and those of your students
- If you get certified through globalU, you’ll have guaranteed job placement in one of your top 5 chosen cities.
- You only ever have to take the course once, and it’s internationally recognized so you can teach around the world.
In short, you must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma and speak fluent English (non-native speakers are encouraged to apply).
Explore our TEFL Training Course in Guadalajara, Mexico with guaranteed job placement + incredible benefits.
What are the teaching jobs in Mexico like?
There are many kinds of schools to teach in while teaching English in Mexico. A TEFL certified teacher can find work in public schools, language institutes, universities or freelance.
While one-year contracts are the most common, many employers only ask that you commit to at least six months.
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An English teacher may work an average of 30-40 hours per week (teaching approximately 5-7 classes per day), though 25-30 hours is usually enough to support you. Your schedule will be arranged between you and the school.
You may find work in any of the following:
Perhaps the rarest option is to teach English in a public school in Mexico, but TEFL certified teachers can find work in elementary and high schools around the country. These positions will be contingent on the academic calendar (August through July) and will offer a Monday-Friday work schedule with all public and school holidays off (though usually not paid).
Private Language Institutes
Most teachers in Mexico work in language institutes where you’ll find decent salaries, flexible hours and year-round opportunity. Language institutes are usually open seven days per week, and allow the teacher to tailor his/her own schedule. Most students will be present during evenings and weekends since they’re studying English in addition to work or school, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. Language institutes offer the opportunity to work with all ages, or to specialize in one.
Often the most lucrative opportunities for teaching English in Mexico are in the universities. They typically require both a master’s degree and a TEFL certificate.
It’s common for teachers who prefer to set their own schedules to earn a living by freelancing their teaching skills. Whether its teaching business professionals in their offices, or meeting with students one-on-one at a local café, teachers can often earn $12-$20 USD/hour and can do this full time, or in addition to another teaching opportunity.
Keep in mind that while the above mentioned employee options will typically include fringe benefits such as health care and opportunities for loans/credits from the government, they will also keep a part of your paycheck for taxes. Freelancing will not come with fringe benefits, yet it does mean you get to keep 100% of what you earn.
How do I get a work permit to teach English in Mexico?
If traveling from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Western Europe, you only need the standard tourist visa issued upon entry to Mexico, for starters.
A 30-day visa allows enough time to complete a TEFL training course or arrive already certified and search for a job, but you may also request a 60-, 90- or 180-day visa instead if you think you’ll need more time.
To obtain either one you will only need your passport. If in doubt please contact the nearest Mexican consulate.
Once an employer extends a job offer to you, you may apply for a working visa. The fee is approximately $3,600 Mexican pesos ($200 USD), and you’ll be responsible for paying for this to ensure you’re working legally. You can simply go to the local consulate to apply.
How much money can I earn teaching English in Mexico?
A TEFL certified teacher in Mexico can expect to earn between $500 – $800 US dollars a month with their first job. This is enough to live on in most places in Mexico. Compare the cost of living here.
How can I supplement my teaching salary in Mexico?
As with teaching English abroad anywhere these days, there is ample opportunity to supplement your teaching salary with private tutoring and teaching English online. In Mexico, private tutoring is relatively easy to arrange with a little advertising, and you can expect to charge between $8-15 USD per hour.
There are a growing number of online teaching opportunities these days, and many offer flexible enough hours that you can do it in addition to your onsite job, either early in the morning or in the evening.
What should I pack for teaching?
Make sure you bring the latest copy of your C.V./resume, your birth certificate or a notarized copy and a copy of any degrees/certificates you may have.
You’ll also want to have your own laptop computer for lesson planning, etc.
You will be expected to dress professionally when teaching, so be prepared with proper clothing (sandals, shorts, torn items, T-shirts, low collar blouses, short skirts, tennis shoes or sneakers are not acceptable).