Teach English in Brazil

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 23, 2023

Contents

Introduction
Why teach in Brazil
Best places to teach
Visa requirements
Teaching requirements
TEFL Certification
Degree requirements
Non-native speakers
Local language
Start-up capital
English jobs in Brazil
How to get a job
Cost of living & culture
Cheapest places
Saving in Brazil
Life and culture

Ever considered learning flamenco? Or soaking up the samba-filled streets during carnival? Then consider teaching abroad in Brazil! 

Known for its love of food, footie and festivals, Brazil is a vibrant, diverse and lively country in South America, with a rich cultural heritage and a growing demand for English language skills. Brazil is a top destination for English teachers looking for a new challenge. So why not start your Brazilian adventure today?

Why start teaching English in Brazil?

Brazil is the largest country in South America, home to nearly 215 million people with a stunning tropical climate, making it an exciting and fascinating place to uncover. 

There is a growing demand for English language skills in Brazil due to the country’s expanding economy and increasing international business ties. This means there are many opportunities for English teachers to find work in a variety of settings, including language schools, public and private schools, and universities. 

Teaching English in Brazil is a chance to make a positive impact in the lives of your students, helping them to achieve their personal and professional goals and improve their communication skills in the global market. 

Volunteering positions have become increasingly sought-after across the country and, while these jobs don’t tend to pay much, they do present authentic ways of seeing the real Brazil.  

Best places for English teaching jobs in Brazil

Some of the best place to teach English in South America can be found in Brazil. Here are a few of the best:

São Paulo

Brazil’s financial hub, filled with plenty of party avenues 
As Brazil’s largest city and economic hub, São Paulo has a high demand for English teachers, particularly in the business and finance sectors.

Rio de Janeiro

Iconic and historic, Brazil’s tourist hotbed
Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, Rio de Janeiro is another top destination for English teachers. There are many universities and English schools located in Rio de Janeiro.

Brasília

Affluent, modernist and the place for business professionals
Brazil’s capital city, Brasília, has a growing demand for English teachers, particularly in the government and diplomatic sectors.

Florianópolis

Pristine beaches and wonderful seafood – a surfer’s dreamland!
A beautiful coastal city in the state of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis is a popular destination for tourists and has a growing demand for English teachers, particularly in the hospitality industry.

Overall, there are many opportunities for English teachers to find work in Brazil, particularly in large cities and in sectors such as business, finance, and hospitality.

Do you need a visa to teach English in Brazil?

Work visas are notoriously difficult to obtain in Brazil, with most TEFL teachers instead relying on tourist visas to illegally work in the country. If you are applying to an international school for a multi-year contract, your employer should apply for a work visa for you.

You can apply for a tourist visa through a Brazilian consulate prior to your arrival. Many employers will use the 2-4 school winter breaks as an opportunity to renew their employee’s visas. 

A degree or TEFL certification do not make Brazil work visas easier to acquire, but it is highly recommended you have one when it comes to applying for TEFL jobs. The TEFL Academy’s 168-hour Level 5 TEFL course is your best bet of securing the best jobs.

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Brazil?

Prior teaching experience is considered beneficial, but not essential when it comes to TEFL jobs in Brazil. Earning your TEFL certificate will give you all the skills you need to begin teaching in a Brazilian classroom!

Which TEFL certification is best for teaching in Brazil?

To begin teaching English in Brazil, most employers will ask for a TEFL certification with a minimum of 120 hours. Our accredited Level 3  Online 120-hour TEFL course is entirely self-guided and will give you that qualification. 

But, to ensure your resume really shines, consider picking up our Level 5 168-hour TEFL course

The Level 5 TEFL course offers 10 hours of in-classroom instruction for you to get a feel for the EFL classroom. Or, if you prefer to do everything online, you can take our Level 5 40-hour Observed Teaching Practice Course, which gives you teaching experience in the classroom, though the course is done online – a first of its kind!

Can I teach English in Brazil with no degree?

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is not an essential requirement for teaching positions in Brazil. Not having one, however, might mean that you will have a more competitive job search.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Brazil?

You do not have to be a native speaker (from the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland or South Africa) to teach English in Brazil. Some employers might show a preference for native speakers, but it’s possible to secure a position in the country not being a native speaker.

Do you need to speak Portuguese to teach English in Brazil?

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and it’s worth learning some key phrases to help you get around during your stay in the country. It is estimated only 5% of the population have a proficiency in English. 

Despite this, the impact of TEFL jobs in the country can already be felt. 10% of people aged 18-24 in Brazil claim they can speak some amount of English. So while TEFL teachers are certainly helping, there is still lots of work to be done!

How much start-up capital do I need to teach in Brazil?

  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 – $500 USD, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any fees incurred by legalising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable depending on starting location. 
  • Visa application: A Brazilian tourist visa costs R$ 400 ($80 USD). 
  • Living expenses: One month’s start-up capital is recommended. For a single person living in Brazil, the average cost of living is R$ 2,600 ($530), without rent.

Types of English teaching jobs in Brazil

There are several types of English teaching jobs available in Brazil, each with their own average salaries and benefits. 

Language schools

English language schools are a common place to find work as an English teacher in Brazil. Salaries typically range from R$ 2,200 – R$ 4,500 ($450 – $900) a month. Benefits may include health insurance, paid vacation time, and a 13th-month cheque.

Public schools

Some English teachers in Brazil work in public schools, either as part of a government program or through a private contractor. Salaries vary, but typically range from R$1,700 – R$3,200 ($350 – $650) a month. Benefits may include health insurance and paid vacation time.

Private schools

Private schools in Brazil offer higher salaries than language schools or public schools, depending on the location and type of school. Salaries range from R$3,200 – R$6,500 ( $650 – $1,300) a month, with benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation time.

Universities

Some English teachers in Brazil work at universities, either as part of a language department or teaching English for specific programs. Salaries vary depending on the university and level of experience, but typically range from R$4,200 – R$7,800 ($850 – $1,550) a month. Benefits may include health insurance and paid vacation time.

You can also consider private teaching opportunities in Brazil. Volunteer work is popular as a means of teaching and exploring the country, with employers providing food and board in lieu of a salary.

Overall, the average salaries for English teaching jobs in Brazil are lower than in some other countries, but the cost of living is also generally lower.

How to get a job teaching English in Brazil

Ready to dust off your Portuguese and get your dancing shoes on? Let’s see what you need to get a job teaching English in Brazil.

  1. Get a TEFL certification. Getting a Level 5 TEFL certificate (for those who don’t have prior teaching experience especially) is first on the list. The TEFL Academy is an internationally recognised TEFL course provider, accredited by governing bodies both in the UK and the US. A TEFL qualification from The TEFL Academy looks good on your CV, if we don’t say so ourselves!
  2. Meet the minimum requirements. Find the job you want by checking out the relevant criteria and playing to your strengths.
  3. Prepare your documents. This includes apostilling your TEFL certificate, and legalising all other paperwork you’ll need for your visa application.
  4. Prepare your CV. Tailor your CV for each position. Employers want to know the real you!
  5. Start your job search. Check our TEFL jobs board for teaching positions.
  6. Consider using recruitment companies. 
  7. Apply for a visa. After blowing your employers away with your passion for teaching, you can start the process of applying for a work visa. 

What's the cost of living in Brazil?

Can you imagine talking a walk along Ipanema beach in the afternoon or meeting up with friends for a game of footvolley (yes, it’s a sport!) after a lesson? Sounds like a dream, but how much is this going to cost? Let’s look at the cost of living in Brazil.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: R$1,500 ($310) 
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: R$1,000 ($200)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: R$375 ($75)  

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: R$250 ($50)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: R$27 ($5.50)

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: R$ 220 ($45) 
  • Single bus or subway trip: R$ 4.80 ($0.95) 

Internet

  • Unlimited: R$100 ($20)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: R$250 ($50)

Where in Brazil is the cheapest to live?

Brazil is already a pretty cheap place to live when compared to the cost of living in North America, Europe and some parts of the Middle East. As with most countries, living in the bustling city centres of Sao Paulo and Rio bring with them the country’s biggest prices. Some cheap off-the-beaten path destinations to consider include Vitória, Salvador, Goiânia and Aracaju

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

Absolutely! As an English teacher in Brazil, it’s possible to save money, but it largely depends on your lifestyle and spending habits. In general, it’s less expensive than some other countries in South America. However, teaching English in Brazil typically pays lower wages than in some other countries, so it’s important to budget wisely and keep your expenses in check. 

Also, remember some teaching jobs may come with additional benefits such as housing, health insurance, and transportation subsidies, which can help you save even more money. Go easy on the carnival festivities and you’ll be sure to save those pennies!

What's it like to live and work in Brazil?

Once you’re in Brazil, get ready for a cultural and culinary adventure. Here are some of the things you can expect:

Cultural immersion

Brazil is a diverse country with a rich history and culture. From the music and dance of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnavil to the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest, there is so much to explore and learn about. You can visit museums, art galleries, and cultural events to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture and history.

Delicious food

Brazilian cuisine is a fusion of Portuguese, African, and indigenous flavors. You’ll find a variety of delicious dishes, from feijoada – a hearty stew made with black beans and meat – to pão de queijo, a popular cheesy bread snack. Make sure to try açaí, a refreshing and healthy fruit native to Brazil. And don’t forget about the famous Brazilian barbecue, or churrasco!

Busy streets

Brazil is a busy and bustling country, and its cities are no exception. You’ll need to adjust to the noise and chaos of the streets, but you’ll also enjoy the energy and excitement of living in such a vibrant place. 

So get your bags packing and your application process going so that you can experience the adventure that is living in Brazil!

Begin your teaching journey by signing up with the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider today!

Contents

Ever considered learning flamenco? Or soaking up the samba-filled streets during carnival? Then consider teaching abroad in Brazil! 

Known for its love of food, footie and festivals, Brazil is a vibrant, diverse and lively country in South America, with a rich cultural heritage and a growing demand for English language skills. Brazil is a top destination for English teachers looking for a new challenge. So why not start your Brazilian adventure today?

Why start teaching English in Brazil?

Brazil is the largest country in South America, home to nearly 215 million people with a stunning tropical climate, making it an exciting and fascinating place to uncover. 

There is a growing demand for English language skills in Brazil due to the country’s expanding economy and increasing international business ties. This means there are many opportunities for English teachers to find work in a variety of settings, including language schools, public and private schools, and universities. 

Teaching English in Brazil is a chance to make a positive impact in the lives of your students, helping them to achieve their personal and professional goals and improve their communication skills in the global market. 

Volunteering positions have become increasingly sought-after across the country and, while these jobs don’t tend to pay much, they do present authentic ways of seeing the real Brazil.  

Best places for English teaching jobs in Brazil

Some of the best place to teach English in South America can be found in Brazil. Here are a few of the best:

São Paulo

Brazil’s financial hub, filled with plenty of party avenues 
As Brazil’s largest city and economic hub, São Paulo has a high demand for English teachers, particularly in the business and finance sectors.

Rio de Janeiro

Iconic and historic, Brazil’s tourist hotbed
Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, Rio de Janeiro is another top destination for English teachers. There are many universities and English schools located in Rio de Janeiro.

Brasília

Affluent, modernist and the place for business professionals
Brazil’s capital city, Brasília, has a growing demand for English teachers, particularly in the government and diplomatic sectors.

Florianópolis

Pristine beaches and wonderful seafood – a surfer’s dreamland!
A beautiful coastal city in the state of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis is a popular destination for tourists and has a growing demand for English teachers, particularly in the hospitality industry.

Overall, there are many opportunities for English teachers to find work in Brazil, particularly in large cities and in sectors such as business, finance, and hospitality.

Do you need a visa to teach English in Brazil?

Work visas are notoriously difficult to obtain in Brazil, with most TEFL teachers instead relying on tourist visas to illegally work in the country. If you are applying to an international school for a multi-year contract, your employer should apply for a work visa for you.

You can apply for a tourist visa through a Brazilian consulate prior to your arrival. Many employers will use the 2-4 school winter breaks as an opportunity to renew their employee’s visas. 

A degree or TEFL certification do not make Brazil work visas easier to acquire, but it is highly recommended you have one when it comes to applying for TEFL jobs. The TEFL Academy’s 168-hour Level 5 TEFL course is your best bet of securing the best jobs.

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Brazil?

Prior teaching experience is considered beneficial, but not essential when it comes to TEFL jobs in Brazil. Earning your TEFL certificate will give you all the skills you need to begin teaching in a Brazilian classroom!

Which TEFL certification is best for teaching in Brazil?

To begin teaching English in Brazil, most employers will ask for a TEFL certification with a minimum of 120 hours. Our accredited Level 3  Online 120-hour TEFL course is entirely self-guided and will give you that qualification. 

But, to ensure your resume really shines, consider picking up our Level 5 168-hour TEFL course

The Level 5 TEFL course offers 10 hours of in-classroom instruction for you to get a feel for the EFL classroom. Or, if you prefer to do everything online, you can take our Level 5 40-hour Observed Teaching Practice Course, which gives you teaching experience in the classroom, though the course is done online – a first of its kind!

Can I teach English in Brazil with no degree?

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is not an essential requirement for teaching positions in Brazil. Not having one, however, might mean that you will have a more competitive job search.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Brazil?

You do not have to be a native speaker (from the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland or South Africa) to teach English in Brazil. Some employers might show a preference for native speakers, but it’s possible to secure a position in the country not being a native speaker.

Do you need to speak Portuguese to teach English in Brazil?

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and it’s worth learning some key phrases to help you get around during your stay in the country. It is estimated only 5% of the population have a proficiency in English. 

Despite this, the impact of TEFL jobs in the country can already be felt. 10% of people aged 18-24 in Brazil claim they can speak some amount of English. So while TEFL teachers are certainly helping, there is still lots of work to be done!

How much start-up capital do I need to teach in Brazil?

  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 – $500 USD, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any fees incurred by legalising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable depending on starting location. 
  • Visa application: A Brazilian tourist visa costs R$ 400 ($80 USD). 
  • Living expenses: One month’s start-up capital is recommended. For a single person living in Brazil, the average cost of living is R$ 2,600 ($530), without rent.

Types of English teaching jobs in Brazil

There are several types of English teaching jobs available in Brazil, each with their own average salaries and benefits. 

Language schools

English language schools are a common place to find work as an English teacher in Brazil. Salaries typically range from R$ 2,200 – R$ 4,500 ($450 – $900) a month. Benefits may include health insurance, paid vacation time, and a 13th-month cheque.

Public schools

Some English teachers in Brazil work in public schools, either as part of a government program or through a private contractor. Salaries vary, but typically range from R$1,700 – R$3,200 ($350 – $650) a month. Benefits may include health insurance and paid vacation time.

Private schools

Private schools in Brazil offer higher salaries than language schools or public schools, depending on the location and type of school. Salaries range from R$3,200 – R$6,500 ( $650 – $1,300) a month, with benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation time.

Universities

Some English teachers in Brazil work at universities, either as part of a language department or teaching English for specific programs. Salaries vary depending on the university and level of experience, but typically range from R$4,200 – R$7,800 ($850 – $1,550) a month. Benefits may include health insurance and paid vacation time.

You can also consider private teaching opportunities in Brazil. Volunteer work is popular as a means of teaching and exploring the country, with employers providing food and board in lieu of a salary.

Overall, the average salaries for English teaching jobs in Brazil are lower than in some other countries, but the cost of living is also generally lower.

How to get a job teaching English in Brazil

Ready to dust off your Portuguese and get your dancing shoes on? Let’s see what you need to get a job teaching English in Brazil.

  1. Get a TEFL certification. Getting a Level 5 TEFL certificate (for those who don’t have prior teaching experience especially) is first on the list. The TEFL Academy is an internationally recognised TEFL course provider, accredited by governing bodies both in the UK and the US. A TEFL qualification from The TEFL Academy looks good on your CV, if we don’t say so ourselves!
  2. Meet the minimum requirements. Find the job you want by checking out the relevant criteria and playing to your strengths.
  3. Prepare your documents. This includes apostilling your TEFL certificate, and legalising all other paperwork you’ll need for your visa application.
  4. Prepare your CV. Tailor your CV for each position. Employers want to know the real you!
  5. Start your job search. Check our TEFL jobs board for teaching positions.
  6. Consider using recruitment companies. 
  7. Apply for a visa. After blowing your employers away with your passion for teaching, you can start the process of applying for a work visa. 

What's the cost of living in Brazil?

Can you imagine talking a walk along Ipanema beach in the afternoon or meeting up with friends for a game of footvolley (yes, it’s a sport!) after a lesson? Sounds like a dream, but how much is this going to cost? Let’s look at the cost of living in Brazil.

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: R$1,500 ($310) 
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: R$1,000 ($200)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: R$375 ($75)  

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: R$250 ($50)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: R$27 ($5.50)

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: R$ 220 ($45) 
  • Single bus or subway trip: R$ 4.80 ($0.95) 

Internet

  • Unlimited: R$100 ($20)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: R$250 ($50)

Where in Brazil is the cheapest to live?

Brazil is already a pretty cheap place to live when compared to the cost of living in North America, Europe and some parts of the Middle East. As with most countries, living in the bustling city centres of Sao Paulo and Rio bring with them the country’s biggest prices. Some cheap off-the-beaten path destinations to consider include Vitória, Salvador, Goiânia and Aracaju

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

Absolutely! As an English teacher in Brazil, it’s possible to save money, but it largely depends on your lifestyle and spending habits. In general, it’s less expensive than some other countries in South America. However, teaching English in Brazil typically pays lower wages than in some other countries, so it’s important to budget wisely and keep your expenses in check. 

Also, remember some teaching jobs may come with additional benefits such as housing, health insurance, and transportation subsidies, which can help you save even more money. Go easy on the carnival festivities and you’ll be sure to save those pennies!

What's it like to live and work in Brazil?

Once you’re in Brazil, get ready for a cultural and culinary adventure. Here are some of the things you can expect:

Cultural immersion

Brazil is a diverse country with a rich history and culture. From the music and dance of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnavil to the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest, there is so much to explore and learn about. You can visit museums, art galleries, and cultural events to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture and history.

Delicious food

Brazilian cuisine is a fusion of Portuguese, African, and indigenous flavors. You’ll find a variety of delicious dishes, from feijoada – a hearty stew made with black beans and meat – to pão de queijo, a popular cheesy bread snack. Make sure to try açaí, a refreshing and healthy fruit native to Brazil. And don’t forget about the famous Brazilian barbecue, or churrasco!

Busy streets

Brazil is a busy and bustling country, and its cities are no exception. You’ll need to adjust to the noise and chaos of the streets, but you’ll also enjoy the energy and excitement of living in such a vibrant place. 

So get your bags packing and your application process going so that you can experience the adventure that is living in Brazil!

Begin your teaching journey by signing up with the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider today!

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