Teach English in Belize

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 23, 2023

Contents

Why teach English
Best places to teach
Requirements
Jobs and programs
How to get a job
Salaries and benefits
Common benefits
Cost of living
Saving opportunities
Life and culture

A Caribbean way of life with amazing diving opportunities and NO fast food chains?! Yes, please – Belize, here we come!

Why teach English in Belize?

Belize has over 400 tropical islands with gorgeous white-sand beaches and turquoise waters – the perfect spot if you’re looking to lose yourself for a while. 

If you’re interested in fishing, Belize is the place to be, with some of the best places for saltwater fly-fishing in the world. Horse riding, snorkeling and cave exploring can also be done, as well as ziplining over the rainforest.

In terms of history, Belize has a lot to offer: many archaeological Mayan ruins, stone temples, excavated tombs and natural caves. One of the most famous sights in Belize is the Lamanai ruins, where you can hike to the tallest Mayan pyramids, surrounded by monkeys and birds.

Belize is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and exotic wildlife, making it a perfect destination for adventure and exploration.

Best places for English teaching jobs in Belize

There are many places to find English teacher jobs in Belize, including the capital city of Belmopan, Belize City and the coastal town of San Pedro. Other popular destinations include the Cayo District, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and adventure activities, and the Corozal District, which is close to the Mexican border and has a strong Mestizo culture.

Belmopan 

A quieter city with a strong focus on nature

The capital city is located in close proximity to natural attractions such as the Belize Barrier Reef, Mayan ruins, and wildlife reserves. This makes it an ideal location for you if you love the outdoors and want to explore Belize’s natural beauty. The city is modern too, so you won’t have to compromise on having modern creature comforts .

Belize City 

A hot spot of city culture and entertainment

Belize City is a larger, more diverse, and more cosmopolitan city. This city is a bustling and vibrant city with a mix of cultures, languages, and customs. It has a more cosmopolitan feel than Belmopan and is known for its lively music and dance scene, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Unfortunately, Belize City also has a higher crime rate compared to Belmopan, particularly in certain areas, and we advise you to take precautions to stay safe when you are here.

Ambergris Caye 

Living the island life

This island is a popular destination for tourists and expats in Belize, and as such, you may be able to find English teaching jobs on the island. But the job market on Ambergris Caye is quite small compared to other parts of Belize, and competition for jobs is higher. 

Requirements and qualifications

To qualify to teach English in Belize, you need to meet several requirements and qualifications.

How do I qualify to teach English in Belize?

What exactly do you need to qualify to teach English in Belize? Let’s find out:

1. Visa requirements                                                                  

Good news for most foreigners, especially US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand citizens – you won’t need to apply for a visa to enter the country!

But you will need to apply for a work permit and a teaching license. You can apply for both once you have secured a job in Belize. Employers usually help with both. International schools usually help pay for visas. 

2. TEFL certification                                                                  

Most schools and language centres in Belize require English teachers to have a TEFL certification

We suggest a Level 3 TEFL course if you have teaching experience and a Level 5 Combined Course which includes 10 hours in-class teaching practice. 

3. Bachelor’s degree                                                                 

Most schools in Belize require English teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject. A degree in English, education, or a related field is preferred.

4. Experience

While not always necessary, experience teaching English as a foreign language can be beneficial when applying for English teaching jobs in Belize.

5. Insurance

It is recommended to have health insurance while working in Belize. Some employers may provide insurance coverage as part of the job package.

6. Start-up capital

You need to have enough money saved to cover the cost of living in Belize for the first month before receiving your first paycheque. This includes your flight to Belize, first month’s rent and security deposit, food, transport, and a little extra for all the tamales you can eat!

  • Accommodation: If accommodation is not provided by your employer or included in your salary, you’ll need the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
  •  TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  •  Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  •  Flight ticket: Variable. 
  •  Visa application: The cost of getting a visa is subject to your home country. An employment visa for Belize costs around BZ$ 300 ($150).
  •  Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about BZ$2, 000 ($1,000) to live off until your first paycheque.

Types of English teaching jobs in Belize

Hiring season is usually in May and June. Most school vacancies are for public schools, however there are more options depending on what suits you best. 

Belize offers a range of teaching jobs for TEFL teachers.

Public schools

The majority of schools in Belize are public and are backed by the government and the Catholic church. Students attend these schools for free; the quality of education is not as high. The average salary for teachers in public schools can be anywhere from BZ$ 1,000 – BZ$ 1, 500 ($500 – $800 USD).

Private language schools

These schools offer many teaching vacancies, and most schools are located in the major cities and towns.  

International schools

International schools require more experience and qualifications, but they typically offer better salaries and benefits. 

Volunteering programs

Volunteer teaching programs are another option and can provide a rewarding experience while giving back to the community. Many of these programs offer free room and board in exchange for teaching English.

How to get a job teaching English in Belize

Public schools don’t usually advertise online – it’s best to look for jobs in-person. You can do this by contacting schools directly. Private schools usually hire in advance, so they advertise online. 

To get a job teaching English in Belize, follow these simple steps:

  • Research potential employers and job openings. You can start by looking at job listings on online jobs boards or contacting language schools and international schools directly. 
  • Submit your CV, cover letter, and any required qualifications or certifications. Tailor your application to each job and highlight relevant experience and qualifications. 
  • After submitting your application, you may be invited to an interview, which could be in-person or online. 
  • Once you are offered a job, you need to apply for a work permit and provide the necessary documentation, such as your passport, degree certificate, and police clearance certificate. Your employer should assist you with the work permit application process.

What is the average teacher salary in Belize?

The average salary and benefits for English teachers in Belize varies depending on the type of job, experience, and qualifications.

  • Private language schools typically offer lower salaries, ranging from BZ$ 1,000 to BZ$ 1,500 ($500 to $800) a month.
  • International schools may offer higher salaries, ranging from BZ$ 3,000 to BZ$ 6,000 ($1,500 to $3,000) a month. 

Volunteer teaching programs usually offer free room and board in exchange for teaching English.

What are the common benefits for TEFL jobs in Belize?

Benefits for TEFL jobs in Belize vary depending on the employer, but may include: 

  • health insurance
  • paid vacation time
  • assistance with housing and transportation. 
  • International schools may offer additional benefits, such as:
    • a retirement plan
    • professional development opportunities

 

Cost of living in Belize

The cost of living in Belize is relatively low. Housing can be a major expense, particularly in tourist areas, but it’s possible to find affordable housing if you’re willing to live outside of the city centre. The cost of food and transportation is also relatively low. 

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: BZ$720 ($360)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: BZ$530 ($260)

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: BZ$165 ($82)

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: BZ$350 ($175)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: BZ$ 10 ($5)

Transport

  • One-way bus ticket: BZ$3 ($1.50)
  • A monthly pass: BZ$55 ($27)

Internet

  • Unlimited: BZ$145 ($72)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: BZ$200 ($100)

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Belize?

While it may be difficult to save a lot of money as an English teacher in Belize, it’s possible to live comfortably on a teacher’s salary and enjoy the country’s many attractions, such as its beaches, jungle, and ancient Mayan ruins.

What is it like living and working in Belize?

Living and teaching English in Belize is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The country’s natural beauty, friendly people, and rich cultural heritage make it a unique and exciting place to live and work. 

It’s important to be prepared for some challenges, such as navigating the bureaucracy of obtaining a work permit.

After-school work committments are common. Teachers are often required to be involved with extra-curriculars – sport, art, academics.

Safety is a concern. Belize is generally safe but one needs to be vigilant of pickpockets and thieves. Be extra careful at night in Belize City and avoid walking alone. 

But if you’re looking for a relaxed way of life in a beautiful setting, then Belize might be exactly what you’re looking for. 

Contents

A Caribbean way of life with amazing diving opportunities and NO fast food chains?! Yes, please – Belize, here we come!

Why teach English in Belize?

Belize has over 400 tropical islands with gorgeous white-sand beaches and turquoise waters – the perfect spot if you’re looking to lose yourself for a while. 

If you’re interested in fishing, Belize is the place to be, with some of the best places for saltwater fly-fishing in the world. Horse riding, snorkeling and cave exploring can also be done, as well as ziplining over the rainforest.

In terms of history, Belize has a lot to offer: many archaeological Mayan ruins, stone temples, excavated tombs and natural caves. One of the most famous sights in Belize is the Lamanai ruins, where you can hike to the tallest Mayan pyramids, surrounded by monkeys and birds.

Belize is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and exotic wildlife, making it a perfect destination for adventure and exploration.

Best places for English teaching jobs in Belize

There are many places to find English teacher jobs in Belize, including the capital city of Belmopan, Belize City and the coastal town of San Pedro. Other popular destinations include the Cayo District, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and adventure activities, and the Corozal District, which is close to the Mexican border and has a strong Mestizo culture.

Belmopan 

A quieter city with a strong focus on nature

The capital city is located in close proximity to natural attractions such as the Belize Barrier Reef, Mayan ruins, and wildlife reserves. This makes it an ideal location for you if you love the outdoors and want to explore Belize’s natural beauty. The city is modern too, so you won’t have to compromise on having modern creature comforts .

Belize City 

A hot spot of city culture and entertainment

Belize City is a larger, more diverse, and more cosmopolitan city. This city is a bustling and vibrant city with a mix of cultures, languages, and customs. It has a more cosmopolitan feel than Belmopan and is known for its lively music and dance scene, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Unfortunately, Belize City also has a higher crime rate compared to Belmopan, particularly in certain areas, and we advise you to take precautions to stay safe when you are here.

Ambergris Caye 

Living the island life

This island is a popular destination for tourists and expats in Belize, and as such, you may be able to find English teaching jobs on the island. But the job market on Ambergris Caye is quite small compared to other parts of Belize, and competition for jobs is higher. 

Requirements and qualifications

To qualify to teach English in Belize, you need to meet several requirements and qualifications.

How do I qualify to teach English in Belize?

What exactly do you need to qualify to teach English in Belize? Let’s find out:

1. Visa requirements                                                                  

Good news for most foreigners, especially US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand citizens – you won’t need to apply for a visa to enter the country!

But you will need to apply for a work permit and a teaching license. You can apply for both once you have secured a job in Belize. Employers usually help with both. International schools usually help pay for visas. 

2. TEFL certification                                                                  

Most schools and language centres in Belize require English teachers to have a TEFL certification

We suggest a Level 3 TEFL course if you have teaching experience and a Level 5 Combined Course which includes 10 hours in-class teaching practice. 

3. Bachelor’s degree                                                                 

Most schools in Belize require English teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject. A degree in English, education, or a related field is preferred.

4. Experience

While not always necessary, experience teaching English as a foreign language can be beneficial when applying for English teaching jobs in Belize.

5. Insurance

It is recommended to have health insurance while working in Belize. Some employers may provide insurance coverage as part of the job package.

6. Start-up capital

You need to have enough money saved to cover the cost of living in Belize for the first month before receiving your first paycheque. This includes your flight to Belize, first month’s rent and security deposit, food, transport, and a little extra for all the tamales you can eat!

  • Accommodation: If accommodation is not provided by your employer or included in your salary, you’ll need the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
  •  TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  •  Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  •  Flight ticket: Variable. 
  •  Visa application: The cost of getting a visa is subject to your home country. An employment visa for Belize costs around BZ$ 300 ($150).
  •  Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about BZ$2, 000 ($1,000) to live off until your first paycheque.

Types of English teaching jobs in Belize

Hiring season is usually in May and June. Most school vacancies are for public schools, however there are more options depending on what suits you best. 

Belize offers a range of teaching jobs for TEFL teachers.

Public schools

The majority of schools in Belize are public and are backed by the government and the Catholic church. Students attend these schools for free; the quality of education is not as high. The average salary for teachers in public schools can be anywhere from BZ$ 1,000 – BZ$ 1, 500 ($500 – $800 USD).

Private language schools

These schools offer many teaching vacancies, and most schools are located in the major cities and towns.  

International schools

International schools require more experience and qualifications, but they typically offer better salaries and benefits. 

Volunteering programs

Volunteer teaching programs are another option and can provide a rewarding experience while giving back to the community. Many of these programs offer free room and board in exchange for teaching English.

How to get a job teaching English in Belize

Public schools don’t usually advertise online – it’s best to look for jobs in-person. You can do this by contacting schools directly. Private schools usually hire in advance, so they advertise online. 

To get a job teaching English in Belize, follow these simple steps:

  • Research potential employers and job openings. You can start by looking at job listings on online jobs boards or contacting language schools and international schools directly. 
  • Submit your CV, cover letter, and any required qualifications or certifications. Tailor your application to each job and highlight relevant experience and qualifications. 
  • After submitting your application, you may be invited to an interview, which could be in-person or online. 
  • Once you are offered a job, you need to apply for a work permit and provide the necessary documentation, such as your passport, degree certificate, and police clearance certificate. Your employer should assist you with the work permit application process.

What is the average teacher salary in Belize?

The average salary and benefits for English teachers in Belize varies depending on the type of job, experience, and qualifications.

  • Private language schools typically offer lower salaries, ranging from BZ$ 1,000 to BZ$ 1,500 ($500 to $800) a month.
  • International schools may offer higher salaries, ranging from BZ$ 3,000 to BZ$ 6,000 ($1,500 to $3,000) a month. 

Volunteer teaching programs usually offer free room and board in exchange for teaching English.

What are the common benefits for TEFL jobs in Belize?

Benefits for TEFL jobs in Belize vary depending on the employer, but may include: 

  • health insurance
  • paid vacation time
  • assistance with housing and transportation. 
  • International schools may offer additional benefits, such as:
    • a retirement plan
    • professional development opportunities

 

Cost of living in Belize

The cost of living in Belize is relatively low. Housing can be a major expense, particularly in tourist areas, but it’s possible to find affordable housing if you’re willing to live outside of the city centre. The cost of food and transportation is also relatively low. 

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: BZ$720 ($360)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: BZ$530 ($260)

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: BZ$165 ($82)

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: BZ$350 ($175)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: BZ$ 10 ($5)

Transport

  • One-way bus ticket: BZ$3 ($1.50)
  • A monthly pass: BZ$55 ($27)

Internet

  • Unlimited: BZ$145 ($72)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: BZ$200 ($100)

Is it possible to save as an English teacher in Belize?

While it may be difficult to save a lot of money as an English teacher in Belize, it’s possible to live comfortably on a teacher’s salary and enjoy the country’s many attractions, such as its beaches, jungle, and ancient Mayan ruins.

What is it like living and working in Belize?

Living and teaching English in Belize is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The country’s natural beauty, friendly people, and rich cultural heritage make it a unique and exciting place to live and work. 

It’s important to be prepared for some challenges, such as navigating the bureaucracy of obtaining a work permit.

After-school work committments are common. Teachers are often required to be involved with extra-curriculars – sport, art, academics.

Safety is a concern. Belize is generally safe but one needs to be vigilant of pickpockets and thieves. Be extra careful at night in Belize City and avoid walking alone. 

But if you’re looking for a relaxed way of life in a beautiful setting, then Belize might be exactly what you’re looking for. 

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