TEACH ENGLISH IN GUATEMALA

About Teaching English in Guatemala

Boasting stunning natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage that includes some of the finest pre-Columbian monuments in Latin America, Guatemala is a small country in Central America bordered by Mexico, Belize, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. Guatemala is not as large of a job market for teaching English as neighbors like Costa Rica, but there are certainly opportunities.

English teachers in Guatemala typically find work in February through March and again in July and August. Instructors are expected to interview in person in Guatemala and are also responsible for airfare and housing. 

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A solid hourly wage and a low cost of living enable English teachers to live a comfortable lifestyle. Schools typically offer around 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore. English teachers do not need to have a bachelor’s degree to teach in Guatemala, but it is preferred. TEFL  certification is typically required. Most English teaching jobs are found in Guatemala City.
 

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Guatemala. You do not need prior teaching experience, but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview in-person in Guatemala, therefore, it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below:

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Guatemala, 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 Guatemala, 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 Guatemala

JOB TYPES

The most common job types in Guatemala consist of:

HIRING & VISA

English teachers in Guatemala can expect to find jobs between February-March and again in July-August. Teachers typically get hired in-person in Guatemala during these peak hiring months.

Teachers typically teach on a tourist visa in Guatemala. The process is extremely simple, as you just show up at the airport in Guatemala and you get 90 days upon entry. You can apply for additional 90 days while in-country, and then you will need to border hop for any remaining time you plan to stay past those 180 days. 

HOURS

English language schools in Guatemala 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 adults and business professionals. 

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,200 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Guatemala until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like 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 Guatemala. Teachers can expect to make $500 - $600 USD per month. It is common for teachers in Guatemala 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 cost of living typically ranges between $500-$600 USD per month.

English teachers in Guatemala 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 Guatemala look like?

Check out our blog to read stories from our alumni teaching English in Guatemala and Latin America.

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 Latin America could look like!

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Teaching English in Guatemala FAQs

Do I need a degree to teach English in Guatemala?

To teach English in Guatemala, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A TEFL certification
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available
  • Savings for start-up costs

Not Required:

  • A four-year college degree is not required to secure a job in Uruguay, however, it is still strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.
  • 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 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.

How much money can I make teaching English in Guatemala?

Teachers can expect to make $500 - $600 USD per month in Guatemala. It is common for teachers in Guatemala to also teach English online to supplement their income. With the cost of living being low in Uruguay, you 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.

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,200 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Guatemala until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

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.

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

The majority of teachers will just work in Guatemala on a tourist visa, especially if they are working in a private language school. Teachers do not need to obtain a tourist visa in advance as a 90 stamp is put in the passport upon arrival in Guatemala. Teachers can also file for an additional 90-day extension in Guatemala. After this, teachers will need to cross the border every 90 days to renew their tourist visa.

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in Guatemala

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!

Adria Baebler

Teaches English in Uruguay

Adria Baebler

JUST GO! If you want the opportunity to live overseas and travel, teaching abroad is a great career that lets you do both. I always tell people to “travel while you’re young,” because traveling only gets harder the older you get. Teach overseas now while you don’t have the commitments of a full-time job to hold you back… you won’t regret it!

Angelina Ajdukovic

Taught English in Guatemala

Angelina Ajdukovic

My course was absolutely fantastic! It was intense, definitely, but worth every late night spent lesson planning. As an ITA student, you are going to develop a solid understanding of grammar as well as teaching methodology. But don't worry! The instructors easily turn dull grammar points into engaging lessons and activities, then teach you how to the same for your future classes.

Tehmina Brohi

Teaches English in Mexico

Tehmina Brohi

I worked really hard to save money before I left home so I was able to work only 15 hours a week. I was paid enough to live comfortably and used my savings to travel around a bit. I worked mainly for a language school and was able to pick up some private clients here and there with some networking.

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