The level of demand for native speakers in Mexico is very high. Unfortunately, TEFL salaries are relatively low and despite reasonably low living costs you certainly won’t be able to save much, if at all. As in most Latin American countries the students are lively and sociable and therefore a pleasure to teach. There is a high turnover of staff at many language centres which says a great deal about the pros and cons. Employers can be unreliable and have unreasonable demands such as the common one that you are effectively ‘on call’ from 8am to 8pm or similar. You are rarely paid for travelling from one location or class to another and this can take up a significant chunk of your daily schedule. There are lots of other native speakers looking for short-term employment but many leave after just a few months due to the poor pay and the fact that many private students cancel at short notice (and therefore don’t pay you). If you are experienced and hard-working then you may be lucky to find one of the few well-paid positions, such as those at bilingual schools. For the majority, however, TEFL in Mexico is a fun experience for a short period of time but certainly not a serious career option.
|Type of Institution||Typical salary (USD/month)||Typical hours||Typical annual leave|
|Language centres||800 – 1,500||Various split shifts and evenings and weekends||2 weeks plus national holidays|
|Local schools||1,000 – 1,500||9am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work||Various, depending on contract length|
|International schools and universities||2,500 upwards||9am – 4pm Monday to Friday plus some weekend work||10 weeks plus national holidays|
Main places for jobs
Mexico City, Chiapas.
TEFL certificate, local interview preferred.
1. A CELTA or TEFL certificate is not strictly necessary, but you will find that if you have one you are eligible for better jobs and better pay. You’ll also be a more confident teacher.
2. Given the low salaries, you may need to supplement your income with extra, private one-to-one tuition. Contacts are essential and found via word of mouth and through local adverts and websites.
3. American and Canadian teachers may be at a slight advantage.
Your employer is responsible for obtaining your work permit (FM3 visa). However, in reality, many work illegally. Despite the flexibility this allows, this is not recommended for obvious reasons. Mexican bureaucracy can drive even the most patient person insane and you should expect to have to have original documentation translated into Spanish in order to process your work visa. Most teachers arrive on a tourist visa because finding work before you arrive is very rare.
Cost of living
The cost of living is low but you will probably have to share accommodation with another teacher at first.
Tax and salary information
You should expect to be paid on a monthly basis. Make sure you actually have a contract or else you may have problems when it comes to payday.
|High demand for English tuition||Generally low pay and many employers are reluctant to offer proper, full-time contracts|
|Fantastic, sociable students||Teachers are usually expected to work split shifts and spend a lot of time travelling (which is unpaid)|
|There are plenty of other teachers in Mexico so you should have a good social network with both foreigners and locals alike||It is very difficult to find work unless you are already in the country|
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