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How Much Do English Teachers Make in Chile?
Explore how much money you can make teaching English in Chile and the expenses you will need to consider both in terms of start-up costs and your monthly cost of living.
Written By: Lynda Galea | Updated: January 27, 2023
Written By: Lynda Galea
Updated: January 27, 2023
Boasting the most advanced and developed economy in South America, Chile is one of the top job markets for teaching English on the continent. The draws of living and teaching in Chile are endless. With a coastline stretching more than 2,400 miles, Chile is home to some of the most diverse terrain on the globe. The Chilean Andes are among the world's highest and most beautiful mountains (offering world-class skiing) and the Atacama Desert represents the driest place on the earth.
Enticing, right? But how much can you make in Chile? Let's find out together.
English Teacher in Chile Salary
How Much Does an English Teacher Earn in Chile?
On average, English teachers in Chile can expect to make anywhere between $750 - $1,000 USD per month with the option to earn additional income through private tutoring ($10-20 USD per hour) and teaching English online ($5-$20 USD per hour).
Your salary will fluctuate depending on which teaching route you choose to pursue.
Read more: How much can I make teaching English abroad?
Chile Teaching Salary: The Details
There are several different teaching opportunities available for TEFL-certified teachers in Chile. ESL (English as a second language) teachers who ultimately spend time teaching English in Chile do so via one of the following avenues:
- Teaching business professionals in English language schools
- Teaching children in public schools through the English Opens Doors Program
- Private tutoring for both children and adults
- Teach English online
- A combination of the above.
|Salary & Expenses||English Teacher Salary in Chile Details|
|Language School Salary||Between $750 and $1,000 USD per month|
|Open Doors Program Salary||A stipend of $100 USD (approx. CLP 65,000) per month|
|Private Tutoring Salary||$10-$20 USD per hour|
|Teach English Online Salary||$5-$20 USD per hour|
|Average Cost of Living||$650-1,000 USD per month|
|Start-up Costs||Between $1,850 and $2,250 USD|
Let's explore each option and what you can expect to earn from them:
1. Chile Language School Salaries
There is a large demand for English teachers in and around the capital of Santiago with ESL teaching positions also being found in smaller cities such as Valparaiso, Serena, Concepcion, and Vina Del Mar (although positions in these locations may be more competitive). The school year in Chile typically runs from March-December with peak hiring seasons being March-April and July-August. The majority of ESL teachers will find their first employment in a language institute once they are on the ground in Chile, although some schools will interview in advance over a video call.
Pay will fluctuate depending on where you are located, with teachers in larger cities like Santiago earning more than those teaching in smaller cities and towns. English teachers working at language schools in Chile can expect to make anywhere between $750 - $1,000 USD per month.
Visa Options for Teaching English in Chile
Work Visa for Teaching English in Chile
The work visa you apply for and receive will depend on your employer. The two common types are a Subject to Contract Visa (Visa Temporaria Sujeta a Contrato) and a Professional Visa (Visa Temporaria para Profesionales y Tecnicos).
If you can secure a job in advance before you head to Chile, you can complete the work visa process from your home country. From the feedback received by our alumni, they recommend this route as processing a work visa once in Chile can be time-consuming and take an extremely long time to receive.
If you plan to find your job in person upon arrival in Chile, you'll enter the country on a 90-day tourist visa and then change it over to a work visa. It's possible to teach on a tourist visa and border hop every 90 days, but it's far less common.
2. Chile English Opens Doors Programs Salary
The “English Opens Doors” (EOD) program is offered by The United Nations Development Program and the Chilean Ministry of Education. The Chilean Ministry of Education recruits volunteers to teach in public schools in exchange for a modest stipend and a homestay with a local family.
Through EOD, native (or near-native) English-speaking instructors work as English teaching assistants in public schools throughout Chile. A usual week for a volunteer includes 24 hours of English teaching and 11 hours of extra-curricular activities. Volunteers teach in a classroom with a Chilean teacher and work with students ranging from 5th grade (10-11 years old) to 12th grade (17-18 years old).
Volunteers receive a stipend of CLP 65,000 (approx. $100) per month served to reimburse local transportation or other costs related to teaching, housing and meals with a local host family, health insurance, and assistance with registering your temporary resident visa and obtaining a Chilean I.D. card.
3. Chile Private English Tutoring Salaries
Private tutoring ESL students (especially adults) is extremely common among English teachers in Chile. Teachers that choose this route are often:
- Teaching English in Chile at a language school and taking on some private tutoring students to help supplement their income;
- Teaching English online and seeking supplemental income by privately tutoring students in addition to their online teaching job;
- Solely providing private-tutoring lessons as their only form of income.
Getting clients for private lessons is a marketing exercise, and all the avenues that seem appropriate to your circumstances have to be explored. Here are some ways you can market yourself:
- Post notices in schools and universities, coffee shops, supermarkets, or corner shops;
- Run an advertisement in the local paper;
- Send notices to local public schools, announcing your willingness to work with local students on their English;
- Compile a list of addresses of professionals (lawyers, architects, etc.) who may need English for their work and have the resources to pay for it and then contact them;
- Call on export businesses, distribution companies, perhaps even travel agencies;
- Get ESL business cards made before you leave your home country that has your name, email address, and phone number on them.
How much money can I make from private tutoring ESL students in Chile?
As a private ESL tutor in Chile, you should expect to charge and make around $10-15 USD per hour for one-on-one lessons (depending on where in Chile you are based). If you are providing private tutoring lessons for small groups (2-3 students at a time), it's possible to increase your rates as your small group of students will be splitting the hourly cost amongst themselves.
Something to keep in mind - a student may only be after a single private tutoring lesson, or a handful, and can withdraw from their lessons with you at any time. As a result, you should be cautious when trying to budget your private tutoring income too far into the future.
4. Chile Teaching English Online Salaries
Like private ESL tutoring, teaching English online is an extremely popular way for teachers to make money. Many ESL teachers in Chile teach online as their sole job and income, while others do it to supplement the income they earn from teaching at a language school or from private tutoring.
Teaching English online provides TEFL-certified teachers with the opportunity to make money from the comfort of their own homes, with most teachers being able to make anywhere from $5-$20 USD per hour. Hours are flexible and it is up to you how much or how little you teach - you are in total control of your schedule.
If you are looking to ensure students are within your same timezone, check out these three online ESL schools based in Latin America:
- Beyond English - starting pay is $17 USD per hour taught for U.S. teachers
- Open English - earn up to $15 USD per hour
- Latin Hire - compensation varies depending on the total amount of hours you are available to work
A key advantage of teaching online is that you can begin teaching and making money before you move to Chile. This is a great way to help cover the start-up costs of your move and will ensure that you have an income immediately upon your arrival in Chile.
Additional Reading: To learn more about how much you can earn from online ESL teaching, please read How Much Money Can I Make Teaching English Online? Need help finding an online teaching platform? Check out Non-Chinese ESL Companies to Teach English Online With.
Expenses for Teaching English in Chile
There are two categories of expenses that need to be taken into consideration for those looking to teach English in Chile:
- Start-up costs
- Cost of living
Let's explore each of the two in more detail.
1. Start-Up Costs for Teaching English in Chile
Start-up costs are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Chile until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like a security deposit and first month's rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc.
Start-up costs should be enough to cover your first month of living in Chile and will range somewhere between $1,850 and $2,250 USD. This is the minimum amount of savings you should have on hand before leaving home and arriving in Chile. If you have more, great, but if you have less, you may be setting yourself up for failure from the get-go which can cause unnecessary added stress during an already stressful period of adaption and change.
2. Cost of Living for Teaching English in Chile
Cost of living refers to everyday monthly expenses you will incur during your time in Chile. The most popular expenses that fall under this category include:
- Monthly rent expenses
- Utilities (electricity, gas, water bills, etc)
- Food and grocery expenses
- Health insurance
- Internet bill
- Cell phone bill
- Transportation (transit card, ride-sharing services, etc)
- Travel/entertainment expenses
Your cost of living expenses can vary drastically based on where in Chile you are based. For example, those living in larger cities like Santiago can expect to have a higher cost of living compared to those located in smaller cities or towns. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget $650 - $1,000 USD per month to cover your cost of living.
Chile is very much a break-even country, meaning you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you shouldn't expect to save money at the end of each month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save and come out on top at the end of each month.
An accomplished traveler (she's visited 40 countries!), Lynda hails from Melbourne, Australia. Since she joined ITA in 2017, Lynda has become a primary expert on the field of teaching English online. Not only has she published numerous articles on the topic herself, but she has worked with International TEFL Academy alumni around the world to produce an entire library of information and content about teaching English online. Lynda also serves as a primary organizer of ITA's ground-breaking Teach Abroad Film Festival.
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