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Home / Teach English in Brazil the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and this has given it the weight it needs to become something of an economic powerhouse on an international scale. This has led to the rise in demand for English teachers in Brazil. The good news is that it offers you an excellent standard of living with a relatively short working week of around 25 hours, meaning you can still get out and explore everything that Brazil has to offer in your spare time.

When most people think of Brazil, they see sambas, street carnivals and football players. Of course, all of these are true, and it is a truly fascinating place to explore. The locals are very friendly, and the culture has a heavy Portuguese influence. But you will find people there from all over the world, making it very diverse. There are lots of traditions, art and music to explore, and the local food is a fusion of many different cuisines, all worth tasting. There are over 2000 beaches in Brazil, and you will also find the largest rainforest, the Amazon.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, with a population of around 200 million and about 1 million coming from Asia. One of the most famous landmarks is the Christ Redeemer statue which is found in Rio de Janeiro and considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world; definitely, something to visit while you are teaching English in Brazil. Read on to discover everything you need to know about teaching English in Brazil, including finding work, visa requirements, salary and more.

Job types

Business English Classes

Many businesses are seeing the benefits of having a workforce with good English skills. They are needed to compete in the global market. Business English teachers in Brazil will generally work at the company offices and turn up to teach classes on their timescale. You can build a working week for yourself, travelling around a few businesses for their English language lessons. Naturally, you will be teaching adults, and generally, they will the responsive and want to learn.

English Language Schools

Language schools are found in most cities, and you will find plenty of opportunities here. Often classes will take place in the evenings and weekends, which leaves the days free for you to explore the local area and take in the wonders that Brazil has to offer. As well as adults looking to learn English, you will find that as an English teacher in Brazil working in language schools; you will meet young people hoping to further their education in other countries and need to achieve a good level of English skills to do this.

Private language lessons

It is possible to add to your income by offering private lessons as an English teacher in Brazil. Your local community would be the best bet but be sure your employer has no rules on teaching outside of their establishment. You could also look at teaching English online, which they likely won’t object to as your students will be from other countries. Remember you are classed as self-employed for any earnings outside of your day job, and no matter what country you are in should know the rules regarding self-employment and report as required.

Finding a job

Finding a job is relatively easy, mainly if you focus your job search between March and August, when most roles are advertised. You can check out international job boards for the most up-to-date listings. These will likely be within language schools, and the interviews will take place on the phone. More vacancies will be found if you head to Brazil and conduct a search in person. Most jobs can be found in larger cities like Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Sao Paulo and Brasilia. Contracts tend to be limited to six months as this is how long you can have a tourist visa.

Qualifications

Although having a degree is not a prerequisite; it will certainly count in your favour when looking for work as an English teacher in Brazil. It is essential that you have a TEFL certification and come from an English-speaking country. If English is your second language, you may still be able to find work, but it is preferred that you come from the UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or Australia.

Visa Requirements for English Teachers in Brazil

You are allowed to work on a tourist visa, and most people arrive in Brazil and then find work. Generally, a tourist visa is for 90 days, and this needs to be applied for in advance from the Brazilian Consulate. Once you have secured work as an English teacher in Brazil, you can then lodge an application for a 90-day extension to your tourist visa. Teaching English in Brazil is an excellent option for a gap year as contracts are short, and your visa will expire.

Need to know

Brazilians are notoriously unreliable; when you are working at a language school or hired to teach business English, this will be less of an issue. However, if you are tutoring privately as an English teacher in Brazil, be sure to take payment in advance and try and get them to come to you. If you travel miles and they do not show up, it will soon get very frustrating.

It is a very sunny place to live, and you can expect to enjoy good weather with temperatures of at least 20 C or 68 F all year round. You will find that most people are able to greet you in English, and shopkeepers often know enough to make transactions easy for you.

Rio de Janeiro

Teaching in Rio is perhaps the dream for a lot of people, and it is certainly bustling and vibrant; the cost of living is highest at Ipanema beach, so head away from there to look for accommodation.

San Paulo

The cost of living in Sao Paulo is lower, so if you hope to save while you are teaching English in Brazil, then you can try your luck finding work here. Private tutors report that they are able to charge more as well as people are generally well off here. It is a very international city with a cosmopolitan feel.

Salvador

If a laid-back vibe is more your thing, then try Salvador, the beach is gorgeous and doesn’t have the party feel of Ipanema, and you will find that the cost of living is a lot less than the capital. It is a slower pace of life if you just want to enjoy your time and chill.

Recife

Another beachside location, this is a good option for keeping your spending lower. For $800, you will find decent apartments that are nicer than anything you can get in Rio for the same money. There are sharks in the waters off the beach, so take care when swimming.

Culture and Living in Brazil

Brazil has a party central reputation, and to be fair, it is very much alive and kicking in Rio de Janeiro. However, from a crime point of view, it is a relatively safe place to live. When in crowds, you should be aware of pickpockets, but this is a global problem. Public transport is fairly good and relies on the bus network which operates in most cities. It is an inexpensive way to get around, whether for work or for exploring in your spare time.

Classroom & work culture

The working week in Brazil tends to be between 20-25 hours in the classroom, and then you will be allowed extra hours for planning and preparation. It is likely that most of your students will be adult learners with a strong business slant. You will find that you can teach English in Brazil without knowing Portuguese, but of course, it will be a lot easier to fit in if you can at least learn the basics of conversation.

Culture & etiquette tips

The locals in Brazil are known for being super friendly and welcoming to visitors. Football is a huge part of life in Brazil, from street games to beach football and more, so embrace it and join in; it is a great way to get to know the locals. Overall it is a very laid back and accepting place to live, and there is a general anything-goes attitude – however, remember that when you are working, you should maintain a level of professionalism; you are in the office, not on the beach! 65% of those living in Brazil are Roman Catholic, and this tends to mean a lot of people have a more conservative lifestyle.

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LIVING COSTS

The good news is that living costs are low in Brazil, which is the third cheapest country in Latin America. The cost of living and salary compare well to each other. You will find that employers do not offer many benefits, so you will need to fund your flights and cover your housing costs. It is a good idea to take temporary accommodation to start with while you look for a longer-term apartment. Generally, you will find that another TEFL teacher who is leaving will vacate a perfect apartment, and you can keep costs lower by sharing with other English teachers in Brazil. The cost of living will pretty much use up your salary from month to month, so saving isn’t really an option. However, you could consider tutoring to top up your income and give you a bit of spending money.

It is cheaper to shop for groceries and prepare meals than it is to eat out, and the advice is to live like a native and avoid imported goods as these will always be more expensive. Local markets are good so get to know where your nearest is. Fried food is popular, as are fish dishes with freshly caught fish on offer at the markets. Sweet treats called brigadeiros, made from condensed milk and cocoa, are totally amazing for those who have a sweet tooth, so be sure to check them out.

In order to provide the most accurate cost of living figures, we use numbeo.com, the world’s largest cost of living database, updated regularly.

  • Accommodation: £277–£458/$359–$592/€359–€592
  • Utilities: £68/$88/€88
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £33/$42/€42
  • Monthly transport pass: £30/$39/€39
  • Basic dinner out for two: £14/$18/€18
  • Cappuccino in ex-patt area: £1.51/$1.95/€1.95
  • A beer in a pub: £1.56/$2.02/€2.00
  • 1 litre of milk: £0.51/$0.66/€0.66
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.03/$1.33/€1.33

Tefl Jobs In Brazil: KEY POINTS

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AVERAGE SALARY

$500–$800

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EDUCATION NEEDED

Bachelors degree

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TEFL CERTIFICATE NEEDED

120-hour TEFL qualification

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MAIN JOB TYPES

Public & private schools

KEY FACTS

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife, Sao Paulo and Brasilia
  • English teacher salaries in Brazil: The pay can be in the region of $800-$1,300/€800-€1,300 each month, depending on the type of role and your experience.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: At least a 120-hour TEFL qualification
  • Prerequisite university degree: A degree is not required to teach in Brazil but is highly recommended.
  • Term times: February to December
  • Currency: Brazilian Real BRL
  • Language: Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, but English is spoken by some, as is Spanish and Hunsrik
  • Teaching programmes: Teaching adults or children in private language schools, business schools, or as a private tutor.
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Helpful for higher-paid roles.

Facts about Teach English in Brazil the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

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LANGUAGE

Portuguese

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POPULATION

21.26 crores

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TEFL TEACHER DEMAND

High

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CURRENCY

Brazilian Real BRL

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CAPITAL

Brasília

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OUR BRAZIL TEFL RATING

3.5/5

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Tefl Jobs In Brazil: FAQS

Q:

How much can I earn as an English teacher in Brazil?

The pay can be in the region of $800-$1,300/€800-€1,300 each month, depending on the type of role and your experience.

It is the third cheapest country to live in across Latin America, but comparably, you will find your monthly salary covers expenses, and there won’t be much left over.

You can teach English in Brazil without a degree, but it will help your chances if you have one. It is a requirement that you have a TEFL certification and are a citizen of an English-speaking country.

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