If you are looking for a nice balance between working and travelling, you should consider teaching English in Chile. The country is on the list of the top 10 countries with the highest-paid TEFL jobs. Although the salary rate is the lowest among the other countries on the list, the opportunities in Chile are amazing.
Chile is a perfect travel destination, especially for nature lovers. If you love nature and haven’t been to Chile yet, it is your undiscovered paradise. While teaching English in Chile, you will be able to enjoy fantastic food, taste the greatest local wines, and travel to neighbouring countries. For instance, Chile is on the western coast of South America. You will be able to easily travel to other countries in South and Central America.
If this sounds like a good place for you, continue reading to learn everything you will need to know about becoming an English teacher in Chile.
Teaching English in Chile
Chile’s strong economy encourages its people to learn English. However, English in Chile isn’t a commonly spoken language. Chile’s official language is Spanish, and only 10% of the Chilean population can speak English. So, there is a great demand for ESL teachers.
Since Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is the heart of the country’s economy, it is generally the place with the most job opportunities. Santiago is a fantastic place that perfectly shows the modern side of Chile. Anywhere you go in the city will amuse you. However, Santiago isn’t the only city you will be able to find an English teaching job. Other cities like Valparaíso, Antofagasta, and Concepción also offer English teaching jobs.
You might be interested in other South American countries. Among most of the countries in South America, Chile is the best option. Chile has modern infrastructures, a fast-growing economy, and an efficient transportation system that works nationally.
Requirements for Teaching English in Chile
The following are the qualifications that most employers will look for in Chile:
- Bachelor’s degree
- Prior work experience
- TEFL certificate (not mandatory but is beneficial)
- Master’s degree (if you are going to work at an elementary or high school)
Unlike many other countries, TEFL is not a minimum requirement for most English teaching jobs in Chile. However, it will boost the chance of finding a job and getting a higher salary. If you want to learn the common mistakes made by Chileans, it could be useful to take the TEFL certification in Chile. Also, if you don’t yet have an equivalent certificate, consider taking TEFL courses online.
The work visa cost for Chile differs depending on your nationality. When you have an interview with the employer, make sure to ask about the contract so you can properly obtain the work visa. If you don’t do so, there is a risk of you working illegally in Chile. If your visa fee is not free, negotiate with the employer so your visa expenses can be covered.
English Teaching Jobs in Chile Salary & Benefits
ESL teachers’ salary in Chile isn’t as impressive as the other top-paying countries. If you teach abroad in Chile, the hourly salary for private language schools is between 10 USD and 20 USD. However, if you teach private lessons, you can make up to 40 USD per hour.
Although you have the option to work in other cities than Santiago, people with work experience in Chile say that the salary in Santiago is the highest. The average salary in Santiago ranges between 400 USD and 1500 USD per month.
Chile has ‘slow months’, which are generally January and February. The majority of the Chilean people go on vacation during this time. It is up to you to work during this time. However, keep in mind that you will be making less money during the slow months. Also, you are guaranteed three weeks of paid vacation by law. So, it would be best to take off during this time.
English Teaching Jobs in Chile
There are a few different English teaching job types in Chile. Continue reading to learn which type suits you the best.
1. Chile English Opens Doors
The English Opens Doors (EOD) is a government-sponsored volunteer program in Chile. This program is for volunteers who are between 21-35 years old and willing to teach ESL in schools throughout Chile. In order to volunteer with the Opens Doors program, you must have a bachelor’s degree.
Although it is a non-paid volunteering program, EOD provides housing, covers in-country transportation, and pays a small stipend to cover extra expenses. Furthermore, teachers can choose the volunteering length between 6 to 12 months and also appeal to EOD their preferred location within Chile.
2. Private Language Institutions
This is the most popular option among ESL teachers working in Chile. Although there are private language schools throughout the country, you will find the most in Santiago. There are both on-site and off-site classes. The latter option is teaching customized classes at different companies. Therefore, you will mostly be teaching business English. Regularly, on-site classes are scheduled at a fixed time. Most of the students are adults, but there are younger students. Some classes are focused on international exam (TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, and SAT) preparation.
3. Private Lessons
English teachers seeking extra cash mostly choose to do private lessons. It will be challenging to find students in the beginning. However, once you start teaching at an institution and get to know more people, your connections will help you find students willing to take private English lessons. One thing to make sure of is you’re not going against any statement from the employment contract. So, be sure to check with your employer beforehand.
4. Private Schools
Finding a job at private schools in Chile is relatively easy. However, the salary will be lower than in private language institutions. Furthermore, you will need a teaching certificate or a Master’s degree to apply for a job at an elementary or high school.
Things to Consider When Teaching English in Chile
You might expect the cost of living in Chile to be as low as in other South American countries. However, it isn’t as cheap as you might have expected. Still, the rent is considerably cheaper than it is in Western countries. Certainly, there are ways to cut your expenses. For instance, you can share accommodation with roommates and split the extra utility fees.
Unlike other countries, employers in Chile will not provide reimbursements for flights or housing. Because the salary isn’t that high, it is a good idea to save cash to use as start-up money when you arrive in Chile. It will help when setting you up in a new location.
FAQ About Teaching English in Chile
Here are the answers to the commonly asked questions about teaching English in Chile.
How can I teach English in Chile?
In order to teach ESL in Chile, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Prior work experience and a TEFL certificate are not must-have requirements, but they help you to find a job faster and receive a higher salary.
How much do English teachers make in Chile?
On average, ESL teachers in Chile earn between USD $400 – $1500. As the pay is not extremely high, teachers often choose to do private lessons. Depending on your experience, you could get paid up to USD $40 per hour for a private English lesson.
What is it like to teach ESL in Chile?
If you work at a private English institution, you are most likely to be teaching business English to adults or test prep classes to younger students.
How much does it cost to live in Chile?
The cost of living in Chile is higher than in other countries in South America. However, the rents are almost 70% cheaper than in major cities in North America.
Teaching English in Chile: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in Chile? Is this country the right place for you, or are you looking for a different country in South America? If that’s the case, consider teaching English in Argentina, Colombia, or Brazil. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.