What to Consider Before Teaching English in Mexico 

teaching english in mexico

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. 

teaching english in mexico

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:

  1. You’ll demonstrate that you’re a serious teacher, not just a backpacker looking to make extra cash
  2. You’ll be more confident and fully prepared to step foot in the classroom, thus improving your experience and those of your students
  3. If you get certified through globalU, you’ll have guaranteed job placement in one of your top 5 chosen cities.
  4. 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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teaching english in mexico

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:

Public Schools

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.

Universities

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.

Freelance/Private Tutoring

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.

teaching english in mexico

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).

10 Incredible Reasons to Teach English in Mexico

reasons to teach english mexico

There’s nothing not to love about the friendly, inviting, rich, vibrant culture of Mexico.

It’s the birthplace of mariachi and tequila — two things that, when put together, I’m pretty sure spell “a good time” — and it’s a country with some of the most gorgeous deserts, relaxing beaches, magical villages (really, it’s a thing), volcanoes and mountains, spicy peppers and all the tacos you can imagine.

Is there anybody who doesn’t love tacos?

That’s what I’m saying!

It’s hands-down one of my favorite countries in the world — one in which I’ve spent a lot of time — and unfortunately when I started looking into teaching English abroad, I didn’t realize I could even do it in Mexico. But you can!

And here are 10 incredible reasons to teach English in Mexico:

reasons to teach english in mexico

You can get TEFL certified onsite in Guadalajara

Guadalajara is one of the largest cities in Mexico, which means it has everything you’re looking for in a city experience.

The TEFL course is located in the historic district, right next door to one of the oldest language institutes in the country (where you’ll do your teaching practicum, by the way), and within walking distance to some of the best restaurants and bakeries. You’ll get a quality introduction to what it’s like to live in Mexico, and then you can decide to stay or go.  

It’s a big country, with jobs in every corner!

One of the beautiful perks of the TEFL course in Mexico is that it comes with guaranteed job placement…anywhere in Mexico! You can choose your top 5 favorite locations, and the placement team will do their best to find you a job in one of those. Mexico is huge, and you’ll surely find a location and a climate that suits you.

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teaching english in mexico

The people are incredible

I’ve never met a more welcoming, friendly and open people in all of my travels than I have in Mexico. They welcome foreigners from all over the world without judgment and within no time  you’ll be invited into their homes, or to their hometowns for a fiesta or to the bar for a night of beer and tequila. You’ll make friends for a lifetime, and gain a truly unique insider experience into their culture and traditions.

You can learn or perfect your Spanish

Remember that Spanish you studied in high school but haven’t touched since? It’ll come back to you in no time if you want to improve your skills.

You’ll learn Spanish just by living and teaching in Mexico, because immersive experiences are the best way to force yourself to actually learn.

Of course, if you want to go the extra mile you can take Spanish language classes as well, which will only speed up the learning experience. Did I mention that you’ll get a free week of lessons included in your TEFL course tuition? Yep. Believe it.

The food is world renowned

There’s hardly a pocket of the world that doesn’t have at least a high-end restaurant touching on Mexican cuisine. It’s unique for it’s spices and combinations in a way that stands out from the rest of Latin America.

While true Mexican food differs greatly from what you’re used to in the American Mexican restaurants (still delicious), I think you’ll find it tastes better, and leaves you feeling better, too.

Try the mole dishes, or the famed pozole! And of course, tacos! Psst… it’s worth seeking out fresh-made tortillas whenever you can.

You get to learn how to dance salsa…

Want to dance the night away with your newfound friends, and your new skills? As part of the TEFL course in Mexico, you’ll get free salsa dance classes so you can impress that guy or gal you’ve had your eye on in the course…

….and drink tequila (but you already know that 😉 )

Might I suggest adding mezcal to your palate? It’s a unique and pleasant experience your mouth will love.

You can explore the magic villages

The Mexican government has declared 111 pueblos magicos, or magic villages, around the country, and each are spectacular.

The goal was to promote rich cultural heritage and history of Mexico by recognizing towns that were once overlooked (and when you see them now, you’ll wonder why). Some are recognized for their architecture, others for their food, and still others for their natural wonders, but each is worth a visit if you stay long enough! Here’s a guide to exploring them.

It’s easy to get a visa

This is a nod back to the welcoming, friendly, non-judgmental people: it’s easy even for non-native speakers to get a visa and work permit, making it an easy choice for you if you don’t want to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops some countries require, or don’t want to pay the fortune required of others.

You simply enter Mexico on a 30, 60 or 90-day tourist visa and once your employer extends a job offer, you can go to the consulate and apply for a working visa (this costs about $200 USD).

You’ll gain international recognition

Since you’ll earn an internationally accredited TEFL certification and gain your first 6+ months of experience, you’ll essentially earn your passport to the world. With those two things on your resume, you open up thousands of doors around the globe for teaching opportunities far and wide.

Why stop now?

If you’re ready to get started on your teaching adventure in Mexico, start here.