must read

What Are the Requirements for Teaching English in Chile?

Learn what qualifications you need to teach English in Chile including education, citizenship, visa, and age requirements. 

Grab Your Brochure & Get Started

Boasting the most advanced and developed economy in South America, Chile is one of the top job markets for teaching English abroad 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. 

Chile offers many benefits for English teachers, including a low cost of living, great travel opportunities, and fewer hiring restrictions than some other countries in Central and South America.

If you are considering teaching English in Chile, you will need to ensure you meet the following qualifications:

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an English Teacher in Chile?

To teach English in Chile, you will need a TEFL certification. A 4-year college degree is not required but is strongly preferred. You do not need to be a native-English speaker but you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level. The average salary for an English teacher in Chile is about $750 - $1,000 USD per month. 

How to Teach English in Chile

Now let’s look at the following requirements to teach English in Chile in detail:

  1. Hold a TEFL certification

  2. Have a college degree (not required but preferred)

  3. Be a native-English speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa (not required but preferred).

  4. Have a valid passport and visa

  5. Be financially prepared for start-up costs

Let’s expand on each of these Chile ESL teaching requirements and qualifications below:

1. Hold a TEFL Certification

A TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) certificate is required to teach English in Chile. Getting TEFL certified will provide you with the relevant training and qualifications you need to get hired by a reputable school in Chile and should give you confidence in your abilities to provide effective ESL lessons to your students. 

Which TEFL Course is Right for Me?

Schools in Chile recruit and interview both in advance and on the ground, in person. Therefore, it is most common to take ITA's 170-Hour Online TEFL Course which you can take online from home. This award-winning course is part-time, so you can take it while going to school or working full-time, so you can work and save some extra money in anticipation of your departure to Chile.

2. Have a College Degree (Not Required But Preferred)

Can I Teach English in Chile Without a Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is not required to teach English in Chile. Your TEFL certification should be enough to successfully gain employment as an ESL teacher. Please note, while a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement some employers may still prefer that you have one. 

Note: If you are interested in volunteer teaching in public schools in Chile (and receiving a stipend, free housing, and free meals) as part of the English Opens Doors Program, a bachelor’s degree is required. Learn more about the English Opens Doors Program here

Prior Teaching Experience

While prior teaching experience can help you stand out on your resume, you do not need it to teach English in Chile. Your TEFL certification training will provide you with the relevant qualifications you need to get hired by a school in Chile.

Any reputable TEFL certification course should include a mandatory practicum component to help gain firsthand experience practice teaching with real non-native English speakers. This will prepare you for the classroom and leave you feeling confident in your ability to deliver well-structured ESL lessons to your students. This practice teaching can count as teaching experience and should be highlighted on your English teacher in Chile and her students

3. Be a Native-English Speaker from the U.S., U.K., Ireland Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa (Not Required But Preferred)

If you are a qualified, non-native English speaker, you may be considered for English teaching jobs in Chile. Non-natives will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level. Although not required, native-English speakers with citizenship from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa may still be preferred by some employers.

Also, please note that you do not need to speak Spanish to teach English in Chile.

4. Have a Valid Passport & Visa

You will need a valid passport to enter and work as an English teacher in Chile. If your passport is scheduled to expire within six months of your planned arrival in Chile, it is recommended that you renew your passport prior to your departure. 

What Type of Visa Will I Need to Teach English in Chile?

English teachers in Chile can expect to find jobs during the peak hiring seasons of February-March and July-August. So if you are planning to interview face-to-face in Chile, it's best to be looking for a job during those peak months.

If you are planning to find your job in person, you'll enter Chile on a tourist visa and then switch over to a work visa after finding a job. If you find your job in advance before heading to Chile, you can process a work visa from your home country.

There are two different types of work visas for English teachers, the Subject to Contract visa (costs $600 to process) and a Professional visa (costs $470 to process). Be sure to check the Chilean Consulate website, as costs are subject to change. 

It's possible to teach on a tourist visa in Chile and border hop every 90 days, but it is far more common and convenient to go the work-visa route.

a female English teacher in Chile in her classroom

5. Be Financially Prepared for Start-up Costs

The cost of living in Chile is relatively low ($650 - $1,000 USD per month) with most teachers breaking even each month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you shouldn’t expect to save money at the end of each month. Financial planning is imperative to prepare for your success. 

Remember, nobody will hand you a paycheck the moment you step off the plane, and given that most English teachers will interview and apply for jobs upon arrival, you will need to cover 1-2 months of living expenses (start-up costs averaging $1,850 - $2,250 on the safe side) until you start working and getting paid. You will also need to cover your airfare to Chile from your home country. 

Read more about Start-up Costs for Teaching English Abroad

Go Further:


Posted In: , ,

Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad & Online?

Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad or online, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more.