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

Tefl Jobs In Chile

Of all the countries in South America, Chile enjoys one of the highest standards of living. It is, therefore, easy to see why many people fancy teaching English in Chile as opposed to some of the other countries. This does mean it is quite expensive to live and work as an English teacher in Chile, but you do receive better wages than some of the other neighbouring countries. It’s a breakeven type arrangement, so don’t expect to be able to save lots of money, although you could teach English privately in your spare time to top up the coffers. There is much to see and do in this vibrant, bustling country, and lots of people who head over to teach English in Chile are more than happy not to have savings because there is just so much to explore.

Set in a picturesque backdrop, Chile is the perfect location if you enjoy mountain climbing, as it features the Andes. And there are plenty of other great climbing locations too. You may be aware that Chile is rather into the game of football, and you will come across many football fans on your travels. It has an amazingly diverse ecosystem, and the locals are warm and welcoming and love to chat with visitors often over a meal as they do like their food, so if you are a foodie too, you will fit in well.

It is worth noting that most people in Chile speak Spanish, so you could use the opportunity to not only teach English in Chile but learn some Spanish. It has an amazing culture and is one of the safest countries in South America to live in, meaning you can spend time there and not be unduly worried. In this guide, you will find all the information you need to learn about life as an English teacher in Chile, including where to find work, the qualifications you need, visa requirements and the cost of living.

Job types

Private Language Academies

The best paying jobs as an English teacher in Chile will be found at private language academies. Here you will be able to earn more than in a public school program, and you will find these language academies located in the big cities. Often you will be employed to work at more than one of them, and they are used by various companies to help their employees learn better English. So you will travel around the various centres teaching classes. In this case, it is possible that your transport costs will be covered by the school.

Public School Volunteer with English Open Doors

The government-sponsored English open doors program is another potential way to find work as an English teacher in Chile. If you enrol with this program, you are placed in a school where they need you and don’t have a choice, and it can be anywhere in the country. Generally, you will teach for around 12 hours each week, and your students tend to be aged 12 to 18. This does give you plenty of spare time, but it may not be enough of an income on its own for you to live on, so you may want to consider private tutoring as well. The English open doors program is a voluntary program, and you don’t get paid as such, but you do receive staying with a local host family and a stipend of around $125 per month.

International Schools

There is also a possibility of finding work at an international school teaching English in Chile. However, you do have to be a qualified teacher with a degree in education and a current teaching license. They will also expect you to have a good basic knowledge of Spanish. They expect a high standard from their English teachers, and you will lead classes independently with no support. Of course, this is better paid than any other post but does have significantly higher entrance requirements.

Private Teaching

Many English teachers in Chile also top up their income by offering private one-to-one tutoring sessions. Alternatively, if you have a good Internet connection, you can tutor online and teach English to students all over the world. Either way enables you to add a little more money to your pot, and there are no restrictions on being self-employed as an English teacher in Chile.

Finding a job

You will be able to find work as an English teacher in Chile during February and March or July and August, which are considered to be the main seasons that schools and companies hire. This will make life a lot easier if you need to interview face-to-face, as you can plan to visit Chile during this time and be ready to find work.

Of course, you can look for work remotely, but it is likely that the school want to see you in person before you get appointed. Generally, if you are working at an English language school as an English teacher in Chile, you will spend 20 to 25 hours a week in the classroom, and you will be expected to put in extra hours planning and preparing. This gives you plenty of time to take off and explore the local area.

Qualifications

In order to find work as an English teacher in Chile, you will need to have a TEFL certification. They prefer teachers to be native English teachers; however, if it is not your first language and you can clearly demonstrate fluency and competency in teaching, you still stand a chance of being hired. A bachelor’s degree is not needed for some positions unless you are looking to work at one of the esteemed private schools. In this case, your bachelor’s degree needs to be in education unless otherwise specified. You will also need to be able to prove that you do not have anything on your criminal records history.

Visa Requirements for English Teachers in Chile

If you plan to head to Chile to look for work as an English teacher, then you will go on a standard tourist Visa. Once you find a job teaching English in Chile, you can switch to a work visa. If you do happen to secure a position before leaving your home country, your work visa can be processed, and you can head out on this alone. English teachers in Chile will find that there are two types of work visas.

A professional visa will set you back approximately $470/£406/€468, and a subject-to-contract visa sets you back approximately $600/£550/€590; the best one for you will depend upon where you get work, and your employer should be able to provide guidance. In theory, if you’re not planning to stay as an English teacher in Chile long-term, you could hop the border every 90 days and stay on a tourist Visa as this does not prevent you from earning money however it makes more sense to apply for a proper work visa if you’re going to be there for any length of time.

Need to know

English teachers in Chile generally do not benefit from any form of flight or housing allocations, so in the initial few weeks, you will need temporary housing and then look for an apartment to rent. You may consider sharing with other English teachers in Chile, or you may be able to afford to rent alone. You generally need to allocate $1000/£800/£980 per month for the cost of living. This is why many English teachers in Chile take on private tutoring or teach English online to top up their income.

The most popular destinations for English teachers in Chile are:

Santiago

Santiago is the capital city of Chile and, therefore, a likely destination for English teachers in the country. The population of the city is around 6 million, and it is a very modern city offering excellent transportation links, a very large ex-pat community and is close to the mountains. This makes it a popular place for many English teachers in Chile to reside.

Valparaíso

The second largest city in Chile is another great place to find work as an English teacher. It is about 1 1/2 hours travel away from Santiago to the north and is set on the coast. It is perhaps best known for the amazing colourful buildings and architecture carved into the hills.

Antofagasta

There will be fewer opportunities in Antofagasta however, those people who do find work as an English teacher in Chile in this location benefit from some of the best positions on offer. The city itself is mid-sized and found on the northern coast in the Atacama desert.

Concepción

If you are looking for a more vibrant nightlife and an international feel that this could be the location for you however, there are fewer opportunities to be found here. It is a mid-sized city and has a great modern vibe.

Culture and Living in Chile

Classroom & work culture

A lot of your students will be adults who come from the business community and therefore are engaged and switched on, and ready to learn. When you do teach children, they are likely to be larger than life and very gregarious. This can mean that classrooms get rather overexcited and boisterous, but if you are a confident teacher with experience in classroom control, you will find this a fun and challenging environment to work in.

Culture & etiquette tips

Not being very good at timekeeping is a bit of a theme that runs through the South American countries. Chileans are very often late for everything, especially for social occasions. It’s quite laid-back so try not to get upset if your students are not in class on time. One tip for those who teach privately is to make sure you have a cancellation policy and take payment in advance otherwise; you could find students not turning up and being left out of pocket.

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LIVING COSTS

Living costs in Chile are relative. Compared to other countries in Latin America, it is one of the more expensive places to live, but on a global scale, it is considered cheap, 63% cheaper than other countries. To make your money go further, a shared apartment is more cost-effective, and although most schools don’t offer free accommodation, they are a good place to start as they will know where the best rentals can be found. Santiago is the capital city and is cosmopolitan, with a growing economy. There are still places that display poverty, but most cities have these areas. It is considered a safe city to live in, even as a lone female.

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: £467–£719/$596–$919/€550-€850
  • Utilities: £61/$78/€75
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £30/$38/€35
  • Monthly transport pass: £40/$52/€47
  • Basic dinner out for two: £19/$25/€23
  • Cappuccino in ex-patt area: £2.90/$3.71/€3.50
  • A beer in a pub: £2.22/$2.83/€2.76
  • 1 litre of milk: £0.82/$1.04/€0.99
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.52/$1.94/€1.87

Tefl Jobs In Chile: 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: Santiago, Valparaíso, La Serena, Osorno, Antofagasta, Ovalle, Arica, Iquique, Talca, Valdivia,Concepción, Punta Arenas, and Temuco
  • Average salary for EFL teachers: The average monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 430,000–630,000 pesos (£427-£625/$550–$800/€530-€780) per month. Hourly rates at language schools are around 6,000–8,000 pesos (£6–£8/$7.60-$10/€7-€9) per hour, up to 15,000 pesos (£15-$20/$20-£30/€18-€28) per hour for private tutors.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification is usually required for teaching in Chile
  • Prerequisite university degree: Some positions ask for a BA degree, often in education, and some need a teacher’s licence
  • Term times: Semesters are from late February/early March to late June, and from August until mid-December. 6 or 9-month contracts are usual
  • Currency: Peso (CLP)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Teaching programmes: Private Language Schools, Freelance, Public Elementary or High Schools, Universities, Private Schools, Voluntary
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Beneficial but not always necessary

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

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LANGUAGE

Spanish

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POPULATION

1.91 crores

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TEFL TEACHER DEMAND

High

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CURRENCY

Peso (CLP)

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CAPITAL

Santiago

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OUR CHILE TEFL RATING

3.5/5

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Tefl Jobs In Chile: FAQS

Q:

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

The average monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 430,000–630,000 pesos (£427-£625/$550–$800/€530-€780) per month. Hourly rates at language schools are around 6,000–8,000 pesos (£6–£8/$7.60-$10/€7-€9) per hour, up to 15,000 pesos (£15-$20/$20-£30/€18-€28) per hour for private tutors.

Living costs in Chile are relative. Compared to other countries in Latin America, it is one of the more expensive places to live, but on a global scale, it is considered cheap, 63% cheaper than other countries

Some English teaching positions in Chile ask for a BA degree, often in education, and some need a teacher’s licence, whereas a lot are happy with just a TEFL certification.

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