Chile is a long-time favourite destination for TEFL qualified teachers as it has a stable economy, good infrastructure, and a strong demand for the English language. The largest market for foreign teachers is in the capital, Santiago, although there are plenty of other potential options right across the country. It is not an official requirement for foreign teachers to possess a TEFL certificate when applying for jobs in Chile, but you will have a better chance of securing a good salary if you have completed one before arrival.
How much can I expect to earn while teaching English in Chile?
The average salary for teaching English in Chile is around 550,000 to 800,000 CLP (currently US$800 and $1,200) per month, depending on factors such as the type of employer, your previous teaching experience, and your teaching qualifications. If you have a high level of experience and/or qualifications you might be able to find a few options that offer significantly more than this, but you will probably need to be patient and thorough in your job hunting. If you want to add additional income to your main salary, you can expect to make around 8,000 to 10,000 CLP ($12 to $15) per hour for private tutoring.
What type of employer will I work for while teaching English in Chile?
Most foreign teachers working in Chile are employed by private language schools that can be found all over the country. This type of job generally involves teaching classes on the school premises or visiting outside offices to deliver lessons directly to business clients. The downside of teaching off-site is it can involve a lot of travel between lessons which is not always paid for in terms of time or transport costs. The upside of this type of teaching is that it offers a wide range of experience that will look good on your portfolio and will set you up well for future teaching jobs. In contrast, teaching on-site doesn’t require additional time and expenses, but it will often require you to work unsociable hours in the evenings and on weekends.
What other employment options are there for TEFL teachers in Chile?
If you have a degree and previous teaching experience you might be eligible to apply for jobs in universities. Although the average starting salary in this type of position is much the same as in private language schools, universities operate to a standard timetable from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, which is often more appealing to many teachers. Working for a university can also be a great start to your career if you plan on teaching long term. Wherever you end up working, you might want to consider taking on some private tuition work on top of your main job as a way of making a bit of extra cash. This is common practice in Chile as the demand is high in many areas. This could range from just a few extra hours a week to a full-time option if you can find enough clients.
How does the cost of living affect TEFL teachers in Chile?
Although the cost of living in Chile is significantly lower than in North America and Western Europe, it is still relatively high by South American standards. Everyday expenses such as public transport and groceries are generally inexpensive, with further savings made possible by using local fresh food markets rather than more expensive supermarkets. The one expense that will probably take a large chunk out of your earnings is accommodation. A one bedroom apartment in a popular part of town starts at around $500 per month, which is a considerable sum on a teacher’s wage. To reduce this expense, first-time teachers typically rent a private room in a shared apartment which will set you back around $300 per month.