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How Much Salary Do English Teachers Get Paid in Ecuador?

Explore how much money you can make teaching English in Ecuador and the expenses you will need to consider both in terms of start-up costs and your monthly cost of living.

With a population of just 18 million, Ecuador isn't one of the largest nations in South America. Still with an economy increasingly based on tourism and international commerce, English language instruction is in high demand in Ecuador creating a wide variety of opportunities for TEFL-certified English teachers to work in a nation overflowing with natural and cultural treasures.  

Ecuador offers many benefits for English teachers, including a low cost of living, great travel opportunities, and fewer hiring restrictions than many other top TEFL job markets around the world. It doesn't offer the highest salaries by any stretch, but you can certainly live comfortably and we offer some tips on how to make extra money for travel and other endeavors.

Enticing, right? But how much can you make teaching ESL in Ecuador? Let's find out together.

English Teacher in Ecuador Salary

How Much Does an English Teacher Earn in Ecuador?

On average, English teachers in Ecuador can expect to make anywhere between $500 - $800 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).

Note: the official currency of Ecuador is the U.S. Dollar ($).

Your exact salary will depend on which teaching job(s) you accept and also your level of previous experience and training in the field of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). NOTE: Prior teaching experience is not required to teach English in Ecuador, however a TEFL certification is typically required. 

Read more: How much can I make teaching English abroad?

Ecuador Teaching Salary: The Details

There are several different teaching opportunities available for TEFL-certified teachers in Ecuador. ESL (English as a second language) teachers who ultimately spend time teaching English in Ecuador do so via one of the following avenues:

  1. Teaching adults in English language schools
  2. Private tutoring adults and/or children or university students
  3. Teaching business English to adults
  4. Teaching English online 
  5. Teaching children in a private grade school or bilingual school
  6. A combination of the above.
Salary & Expenses English Teacher Salary in Ecuador Details
Language School Salary Between $500 and $800 USD per month
Private Tutoring Salary $10-$20 USD per hour
Business English Salary Between $500 and $800 USD per month
Teach English Online Salary $5-$20 USD per hour
Average Cost of Living $500-$800 USD per month
Start-up Costs Between $1,000 and $1,200 USD

Let's explore each option and what you can expect to earn from them:

1. Ecuador Language School Salaries

Major TEFL markets in Ecuador can be found in bigger cities like Quito, Cuenca, and Guayaquil. The school year in Ecuador runs from March - December with peak hiring seasons being February - March, and July - August. While some schools will interview in advance over the phone and via email, most English teachers are expected to interview in person once they arrive in Ecuador.

Pay will fluctuate depending on where you are located, with teachers in larger cities like Quito earning more than those teaching in smaller cities and towns. English teachers working at language schools in Ecuador can expect to make anywhere between $500 - $800 USD per month.

Visa Options for Teaching English in Ecuador

Tourist Visa for Teaching English in Ecuador

The type of visa you'll need in Ecuador (and how you get that visa) will depend on your nationality, teaching job, and perhaps other factors like whether you get your job in advance of your arrival, or if you get hired locally in Ecuador. 

Most foreign English teachers in Ecuador teach either on a Volunteer Visa or a Professional Visa.  

Read More: What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Ecuador?

Teaching English in Ecuador

2. Ecuador Private English Tutoring Salaries

Private tutoring ESL students is extremely common among English teachers in Ecuador. Most tutoring gigs entail teaching English to adults, including many learning English for business or professional reasons. There are also some opportunities to provide private lessons to younger learners. Teachers that choose this route are often:

  • Teaching English in Ecuador 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 and universities 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 (in Spanish & English) made before you leave your home country that has your name, email address, and phone number on them.
  • To build the best teaching skills and to maximize your earning potential as a private tutor, enroll in ITA's English Tutoring Specialty Course

ITA alumna Angela Bailey in Ecuador"With about $600 per month, you can be pretty comfortable. But it's possible to live on less. I'm very happy with our standard of living, and I worry about money a lot less than I did in the US."

- ITA alumna Angela Bailey, Portland, Oregon

How much money can I make from private tutoring ESL students in Ecuador?

As a private ESL tutor in Ecuador, you should expect to charge and make around $10-15 USD per hour for one-on-one lessons (depending on where in Ecuador you are based - rates are usually higher in bigger cities). 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.

3. Ecuador Business English Teaching Salaries

Business English involves typically involves teaching employees business-specific English at their place of employment. As a business English teacher in Ecuador, you can expect to make anywhere between $500 - $800 USD per month.

Pay will fluctuate depending on where you are located, with teachers in larger cities like Lima earning more than those teaching in smaller cities and towns. Another cause for a fluctuation in pay may include the number of times a business requests your services over the course of the month.

4. Ecuador Teaching English Online Salaries

Like private ESL tutoring, teaching English online is an extremely popular way for teachers to make money. Many English teachers in Ecuador teach online as their sole job and income source, while others do it to supplement the income they earn from teaching at a 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 starting 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 Ecuador. 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 Ecuador. 

To boost your TEO skills and maximize your earning potential as an online English teacher, enroll in ITA's Teaching English Online (TEO) TEFL Specialty Course

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?

Get paid to teach English in Ecuador

Expenses for Teaching English in Ecuador

There are two categories of expenses that need to be taken into consideration for those looking to teach English in Ecuador:

  1. Start-up costs
  2. Cost of living 

Let's explore each of the two in more detail.

1. Start-Up Costs for Teaching English in Ecuador

Start-up costs are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Ecuador 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 Ecuador and will range somewhere between $1,000 and $1,200 USD. This is the minimum amount of savings you should have on hand before leaving home and arriving in Ecuador. 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. NOTE: This does not include airfare or other travel to Ecuador, which you will typically be responsible for. 

2. Cost of Living for Teaching English in Ecuador

Cost of living refers to everyday monthly expenses you will incur during your time in Ecuador. 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 Ecuador you are based. For example, those living in larger cities like Lima 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 $500 - $800 USD per month to cover your cost of living. 

Ecuador 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.

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