TEACH ENGLISH IN CHILE

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About Teaching English in Chile

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. 

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For English teachers considering Chile, it's important to keep in mind the peak hiring seasons which are March & April and also July & August. One aspect of teaching English in Chile that differs from many other Latin American nations is that schools do typically sponsor work visas for their teachers.

In terms of getting hired, many schools will interview teachers in advance over the phone and via email.  More commonly though, English teachers will find jobs on the ground in Chile, where most job interviews are conducted in-person.  Teachers will also be responsible for their airfare, as well as housing. Many English teachers share an apartment with coworkers. 

There are also opportunities to volunteer (with stipend and housing) as a teaching assistant in local public schools through the Chilean government's "English Opens Doors" Program.

A solid hourly wage allows English teachers to live comfortably in Chile. Schools typically offer around 20-25 hours per week of work, leaving you plenty of opportunities to travel and explore all that Chile has to offer.  TEFL certified teachers looking to teach in Chile will find most jobs in Santiago, Valparaiso, Serena, ConcepcionVina Del Mar.

 

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Chile. You don't need prior teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview in-person in Chile, though some schools may interview in advance over the phone or video chat. The most popular TEFL course options for teachers interested in Chile are listed below:

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Chile, however, you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is typically preferred but not always required.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

While a bachelor's degree is not required to secure a job in Chile, it still can be strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.

TEFL Jobs in Chile

JOB TYPES

The most common job types in Chile consist of:

HIRING & VISA

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 to go the work-visa route.

HOURS

English language schools in Chile offer approximately 20 to 25 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

STUDENTS

It is most common that your students will be business professionals. If you're interested in teaching children, consider the English Opens Doors program. 

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $1,850 - $2,250 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Chile until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like visa fees, rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

SALARY

A solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Chile. Teachers can expect to make $750 - $1,000 USD per month. It is common for teachers in Chile to also teach English online to supplement their income.

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent. 

COST OF LIVING & SAVINGS

The average cost of living typically ranges between $650-$1,000 USD per month.

English teachers in Chile can expect to break-even month over month. This means 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 the 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.

 

What does teaching in Chile look like?

Watch ITA alumna Scott Mistler-Ferguson show us a day in his life living and teaching English in Vina Del Mar.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day in the life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Mexico could look like!

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Teaching English in Chile FAQs

Do I need a degree to teach English in Chile?

A 4-year bachelor's degree is preferred but not required to teach English in Chile.

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Chile?

It will depend on your employer in Chile which work visa you will apply for a receive. The two common types are Subject to Contract Visa (Visa Temporaria Sujeta a Contrato) or 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. 

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.

How much money can I make teaching English in Chile?

The average monthly salary for English teachers in Chile ranges from $750 to $1,000 USD per month. Chile is a break-even market. This means you can earn enough to live comfortably and pay your monthly living expenses, but you likely won't be saving each month.

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in Chile

Part-Time Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 170-Hour Online Certification
  • 11 Weeks Part-Time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 20-Hours Live Practice Teaching

Intensive Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 4 Weeks Full-Time (40+ hours per week) - required class time typically 6-8 hours daily
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10-Hours Live Practice Teaching (Virtual) built into the course
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Why Our Alumni Love Us!

Erin Durian

Taught English in Chile

Erin Durian

I had previously studied abroad in Spain and really enjoyed it. I wanted to explore somewhere in Latin America this time where I could learn Spanish, teach with a visa, and travel. Chile was advertised as one of the most stable economies in South America and it was relatively easy to get a work visa.

Scott Mistler-Ferguson

Taught English in Chile

Scott Mistler-Ferguson

The level of variety in Chile’s different cities is astounding. From German-inspired Puerto Varas, to Valparaíso’s gritty San Francisco vibes, each city is its own design and the denizens will be proud to tell you as much. I have never seen such distinction between cities in terms of architecture, geography, and size. 

Mikael Worku

Teaches English Chile

Mikael Worku

I think that you can live a good and safe mid-class life with a normal working salary, and especially as a teacher. I am renting a nice place together with my girlfriend and even though I'm not teaching full days, I can afford to enjoy the weekends and eat out often.

Visit the Chile section of our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in Chile and Latin America.