Find Your Dream TEFL Job

Quick Facts

  • Degree Required

    None

  • Salary

    $950-1,450/month

  • Visa

    Work Visa in advance / Convert Tourist Visa to Work Visa

  • Age

    21-70

  • Contract

    6-12 months

  • Cost of Living

    $750+/month

  • Typical Students

    Business Professionals, Children

  • Interview

    Phone

What Kind of Teaching Jobs Are There In Chile?

The majority of jobs teaching in Chile are in private language schools in and around the capital, Santiago. If you’ve had any training or experience in teaching business English, you can also find a number of opportunities in this field in Santiago, where a high number of businesses want to upgrade the language skills of their workforce.

Many people teaching in Chile also do private tutoring to top up their school teacher’s salary and it is possible to earn a living entirely this way if you’re prepared to put effort into your marketing. One word of warning – most language schools won’t let you take on existing students as private clients. Rather than risking your main job, look at advertising in local shops or by word of mouth instead.

Teaching at private language centres in Chile

Teaching in Chile at a private language centre, or ‘language academy’, is the most popular option for TEFL teachers here. There is a very high demand for English teachers in these institutions, especially those from ‘native English speaking’ countries. Most English centres are in Santiago but there are some in other major cities too. There area variety of different types of private language centres, some of which will send you to different offices and locations to teach and some that will have their own classrooms and regular schedule.

Finding a job

There aren’t a great deal of jobs teaching in Chile advertised online but there are a few. The Chileans value meeting face-to-face, so the best way to find work is on the ground in Chile. Once in the country, you can visit schools and centres in person to hand over your CV or have an informal chat with an employer. However, if you don’t want to take the risk of flying to Chile without a job waiting for you, it’s a good idea to call or email schools and ask if they might be interested in interviewing you. If so, you can arrange to meet the employers in person once you fly to Chile.

When to apply

March to April and July to August are the main recruitment periods for teaching in Chile, so you’ll increase your chances of finding work if you apply during these periods. Once you’ve secured a job, you can usually expect to start teaching quite quickly.

Teaching hours & Class sizes

If you’re teaching in Chile at a private language centre, you’ll usually be offered a minimum of 20 teaching hours per week, but it is possible to get more teaching hours, especially once you have worked for the company for a while. Class sizes are quite small, particularly if you’re teaching adults, with about 5-12 students in each class.

Salary & Bonuses

On average, you can expect to earn around 650,000 CLP – 1,000,000 CLP / £750 – £1,250 / $950 – $1,450 if you’re based in a language school in Santiago or one of the other large cities. This can go up if you manage to land a job teaching in Chile at an international school – although you’ll normally need a formal teaching qualification and teaching experience to be considered.

At the other end of the scale, TEFL wages are lower as you move out to the more remote areas. If your salary and standard of living are important, you may be better off living and working in the capital and then heading out to explore the rest of the country on your days off.

Vacation

Positions at private language centres may not have formal vacation time included in their contracts. However, teachers can usually arrange to take time off unpaid while teaching in Chile. There is also usually a two-week break in July.

Pros

  • Comfortable salary
  • Degree not essential
  • Relatively small class sizes

Cons

  • Awkward working hours: often before 8am, after 6pm and at lunch time
  • Paid vacation time is not guaranteed
  • Jobs will not include flights or accommodation
Various pictures of Chile

Other types of teaching work in Chile

Although the most popular type of work teaching in Chile is at private language centres, it’s very common for teachers in Chile to work at public schools too. To work in a public school, applicants usually apply through recruitment agencies rather than directly to schools. If you’re successful in your application, the agency will usually place you in one or more schools and arrange a teaching schedule for you. This is a good option if it’s your first experience teaching English abroad and you feel that you need a bit of extra support.

Another popular option for those teaching in Chile is to teach private classes. This type of work is usually done in addition to a full-time job. It’s not the kind of work you can arrange in advance; you’ll generally build up a clientele of private students after working in Chile for a while and getting to know people around you. Once you get one or two private students, that should get the ball rolling and they will recommend you to other learners.

It is also possible to teach at private schools in Chile. However, to be eligible for these jobs, you’ll need a teaching license or a Master’s degree in education. Like teaching private classes, this kind of work is also easier to find once you’re on the ground in Chile.

Am I eligible to teach in Chile?

If you are a fluent English speaker, you are technically eligible to start teaching in Chile. Employers do tend to give preference to those with a passport from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK or the US. However, much like the rest of South America and Central America, Chilean employers are willing to consider passport holders from around the world as long as your level of English is up to scratch.

When it comes to qualifications, there are no official qualifications needed to teach English in Chile. However, those with a Bachelor’s degree will usually be given preference by employers and a TEFL certificate is certainly helpful. Some employers will ask for a degree and a CELTA, but this is not essential to teach English in Chile.

How can I get a visa for Chile?

You’ll usually need a work visa to teach English legally in Chile, although you can enter the country and look for a job on a tourist visa. Once you’ve secured a TEFL job, you can apply for your visa online or via any Chilean Consulate. You’ll need proof of your job offer from your employer as well as copies of documents such as your TEFL certificate and degree (if relevant). The visa application process should take around two to four weeks, but the Chilean Immigration Department advises applying 30 to 60 days before you’re due to start work.

In some ways, the work visa process is easier than that of other popular TEFL locations. In destinations such as Japan and China, you must find an employer willing to sponsor your working visa and you must rely on them to apply for the visa for you. However, to work in Chile, you can apply for a work visa yourself, using the work contract from your future employer as a supporting document. All your employer has to do is visit the Chilean Department of Foreign Affairs to have their signature notarised. Though, it’s worth noting, there can be lots of paperwork and you’ll be signing your name in your sleep after the process!

Where can I teach English in Chile?

You’ll find the highest number of TEFL jobs in and around the capital, Santiago. There are numerous private language schools based here plus, as the country’s business, economic and political centre, you’ve got a good chance of finding work teaching business English to professionals.

If you want to venture further afield, you can usually find teaching jobs in the main towns and cities across the country, including Puente Alto, Valparaiso, Atofagasta, Vina Del Mer, La Serena and Concepcion – however be prepared for lower pay when you move outside of the bigger metropolitan areas.

What are the challenges of teaching English in Chile?

As with many countries, getting a working visa can be a challenge. Although the process to get a working visa for teaching in Chile is relatively straight forward, lots of employers ask teachers to work on a tourist visa. This is illegal and best to avoid at all costs. If you are offered an opportunity with an employer who asks you to work on a tourist visa, you should probably keep looking!

You’ll also be expected to dress professionally, even when it’s hot – that means no shorts, jeans or t-shirts! Plus, you’ll find that not as many people speak English as you might expect – including some of your colleagues – so brush up on your Spanish before you go.

Colourful buildings in Chile

Cost of living in Chile

The cost of living in Chile is fairly low, particularly taking into account its comparatively good living standards. You’re unlikely to get accommodation as part of your TEFL package but you can normally rent an apartment fairly cheaply – and many TEFL teachers in Chile can afford to live by themselves. For example, a one-bed apartment in the city centre might set you back around 300,000 CLP (£350 / $450) per month.

On average, you can expect to spend around 500,000 CLP – 800,000 CLP / £550 – £950 / $750 – $1,200 USD per month on living costs. Both a litre of milk and a standard loaf of cost around 790 CLP (£0.90 / $1.20). A meal in a relatively inexpensive restaurant costs around 5,000 CLP (£6 / $7.50) and a three-course meal for two can set you back around 25,000 CLP (£30 / $37).

About Chile

Chile is the perfect location for explorers and adventurers, jam-packed with outdoor activities across a unique terrain. This long, thin country boasts 6,000km of coastline on one side and the Andes mountain range just a few hundred kilometres away on the other side. The majority of the country is made up of mountainous areas and is known for excellent hiking, both well-trodden paths and undiscovered trails. Torres del Paine is perhaps one of Chile’s most famous trekking spots – this national park is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve home to lagoons, rivers, glaciers, waterfalls and more.

Outside of Chile’s natural beauty and stunning scenery, the country has a bit of an obsession with football. You can expect to find locals watching plenty of football as well as playing it on football fields across the country.

Various pictures of Chile
Various pictures of Chile

Chilean culture

Chile has quite a traditional, family-orientated culture with a heavy influence from the Roman Catholic church. In fact, divorce was illegal up until 2004. Families are close to each other with extended family meeting up regularly for national holidays, birthdays and other celebrations.

Other parts of the Chilean culture have a heavy Spanish influence as well as influence from the indigenous Mapuche people. Traditional folk music and dance play a big part in Chile, with different types of music and dance being local to different parts of the country.

When it comes to meeting and greeting, presentation is important in Chilean culture. You’ll find that what you wear and the way you dress is judged by others, especially in working situations. So, if you’re unsure about what to wear to a certain event or place, it’s best to dress smarter than you need to! Families will great each other with affection hugs and kisses, but outside of the family unit, it’s more usual for men to shake hands and women to pat each other on the arm or shoulder. You should call people Senor (for men) or Senora (for women) followed by their surname unless they ask you to call them something else.

Chilean cuisine

Chilean food has lots of similarities to Spanish cuisine, with pork, chicken, potatoes, wheat and beans making frequent appearances in popular dishes. Chilean meals tend to be quite rich and heavy but full of flavour – Spanish bread (tortilla) is served with lots of dishes, stews and soups are very popular, and local wine is added to many recipes. With miles of coastline, Chile is also known for some great seafood, especially salmon.

Fish dishes not to be missed include Paila Marina – shellfish soup, Almejas a la Parmesana – saltwater clams and parmesan, and Caldilla de Congrio – cusk-eel stew. Other Chilean meals to tantalise the taste buds are Empanadas – classic stuffed pastries usually fried or baked, Cazuela – a beef or chicken broth with coriander, corn noodles, potatoes and pumpkin, and Completo – a Chilean hot dog served with mayonnaise, sauerkraut and tomatoes. To top it all off, wash this delicious food down with Mote con Huesillos – a sweet peach nectar drink filled with husked wheat and dried peaches.

Accommodation in Chile

Most TEFL employers in Chile will expect you to find and pay for your own accommodation. It’s not usual for accommodation to be included in TEFL teaching contracts here. House shares are common and it’s relatively easy to find both local housemates as well as other foreign teachers to live with.

One thing to keep in mind is that your deposit won’t usually be refunded at the end of your stay. So, it’s worth shopping around the find accommodation with a low deposit.

Weather in Chile

Chile is a long, thin country – approximately 4,300 kilometres in total! – with a variety of climates. The north of the country is home to desert terrain, the centre of the country has lush green scenery and the south of the country sees snowy mountains.

Overall, the climate is Chile is considered tropical with warm rainy summers and slightly cooler dry winters. The average temperature year-round is roughly 27°C.

In Santiago, the hottest months are December, January and February with average temperatures of 20°C to 21°C. The coolest months are June and July with an average temperature of 9°C. In Concepcion, the temperature is around 26°C from October to March and then drops to a low of around 21°C in July. Whereas, the temperature in La Serena ranges from 12°C to 18°C.

Various pictures of Chile

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