Teach English in Chile

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 22, 2023

Contents

Introduction
Why teach in Chile
Places to teach
Visa requirements
TEFL Certification
Degree requirements
Non-native speakers
Local language
Start-up capital
Types of jobs
How to get a job
Cost of living
Cheapest place to live
Saving in chile

Startling landscapes? World-renowned wine and beer? Where do we sign up?! Chile is a country of stunning natural beauty, friendly people, and a growing demand for English language tutoring. 

As an English teacher in Chile, you’ll have the chance to explore everything this amazing country has to offer, from the towering Andes mountains to the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast. 

So why wait? Start your journey to becoming an English teacher in Chile today! In this article, you’ll find all the basic information you need to make the move such as the requirements, how to find a teaching job in Chile, and what to expect from your time in Pais de los Poetas!

Why start teaching English in Chile?

If you’re considering teaching English abroad, Chile is an excellent destination to consider. The demand for English language instruction in Chile is growing rapidly, and there are plenty of opportunities for qualified teachers to find work. 

Chile is a country of stunning natural beauty, with a diverse landscape that includes incredible mountain ranges, beaches, and deserts – there are so many places to visit.  

The people of Chile are known for being warm and welcoming, and the culture is rich and vibrant, with a strong emphasis on family and community

Competitive salaries match one of the highest standards of living in South America, and there is so much more to Chile than just the appeal of the Andes. The country’s passion for soccer makes it a great destination for sports fans, whilst Chile’s fresh avocados make it a foodie’s dream!

Best places to teach English in Chile

If you’re interested in teaching English in Chile, there are several cities and regions that are known for having a high demand for qualified English teachers. 

Santiago

Sophisticated, energetic and worldly
Encircled by snowy mountaintops, Santiago is a bustling cosmopolitan city offering the liveliest experiences and the most competitive salaries

Valparaiso

Vibrant beauty on the coastline
A colour-filled and artsy city, Valparaiso was once known as the ‘jewel of South America’ and is famed for being a romantic hotspot for couples.

Concepcion

A relaxing Medditerean-style city
Concepcion is a big, heartwarming university city known for its trees, flora and ability to give visitors the opportunity to unwind a little bit more.

There are many smaller towns and rural areas throughout Chile that are in need of English teachers, particularly in the areas of Business English and exam preparation. 

By exploring different regions and opportunities, you can find the perfect place to start your career as an English teacher in Chile.

Do you need a visa to teach English in Chile?

Every foreign national who arrives in Chile to work requires a work visa. Which visa you should look to secure will depend on your employer and the length of the contract. The two most common types of visa in Chile are Subject to Contract Visa (Visa Temporaria Sujeta a Contrato) and a Professional Visa (Visa Temporaria para Profesionales y Tecnicos).

If you already have a job offer secured, you can complete the visa process from the comfort of your home country. If you arrive in Chile without a job, you will have a 90-day tourist visa that you will need to change to a work visa.

Visas typically cost between CLP $ 39,600 – $ 119,000 ($50 – $150 USD).  

A TEFL certificate is not required as a part of either Subject to Contract or Professional Visa, although, it is highly recommended you have one when it comes to applying for TEFL jobs in Chile. The TEFL Academy’s Level 5 168-hour Combined TEFL course gives you the best shot at being noticed by employers.

Which TEFL certification is best for teaching in Chile?

To begin teaching English in Chile, most employers look for teachers with at least 120 hours worth of TEFL training. Our accredited Level 3 – 120-hour TEFL course gives you just that, and can be completed entirely online – how convenient!  

However, to give yourself the best shot possible at standing out from the competition, we recommend picking up a Level 5 TEFL course. Most English learners in Chile are looking for lessons in Business English, and our Level 5 course now comes bundled in with Teaching Business English as a free Top-Up Course, alongside Teaching Young Learners and Teaching English Online and 1:1.  

Can I teach English in Chile with no Degree?

South America is one of the best destinations for TEFL teachers without a degree, and Chile is no exception. It is not essential to have a degree to begin teaching English in Chile.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Chile?

You do not have to be a native speaker (i.e. from the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland or South Africa) to teach English in Chile. However, some employers may show a preference for native English speakers over non-native speakers.

Do you need to speak spanish to teach English in Chile?

The primary language spoken in Chile is Spanish. English language lessons have been mandatory for students from the fifth grade for a number of years. However, the majority of Chileans still do not speak English fluently

English proficiency is high in the major cities. But – as usual! – we recommend brushing up on some key Spanish phrases if you’re planning on trekking out to some of the rural areas of the country! 

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

  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 – $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and apostilling your degree and TEFL certificate
  • Flight ticket: Variable.
  • Visa application: Visa applications typically cost CLP$ 39, 600 – $ 119,000 ($50 – $150 USD).
  • Living expenses: One month’s start-up capital is recommended. For a single person living in Chile, the average cost of living is CLP$ 600,000 ($735 USD), without rent.

Types of English teaching jobs in Chile

As a TEFL teacher in Chile, expect to find positions in private language schools, public elementary or high schools, and universities. Volunteering is also common, as is freelancing in different institutions. 6-9 month contracts are usually offered, with the demand for Business English to adult learners being the most popular form of language tutoring. 

Private Language Schools

These schools typically offer a range of courses, from general English to specialised programs for business, exam preparation, and more. Benefits can include housing, health insurance, and paid vacation time, although this varies depending on the school. 

Salaries for English teachers in private language schools in Chile typically range from CLP$ 720,000 – $1,4 million ($880 – $1,700 USD) a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

International Schools

These schools often require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree and teaching certification, as well as previous teaching experience. Benefits can include housing, health insurance, and paid vacation time. 

Salaries for English teachers in international schools in Chile range from CLP$ 1.3 million – $3.6 million ($1,600 – $4,400 a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

University Teaching

Some universities in Chile hire English teachers to teach courses in English, such as language and literature, or specialised subjects such as business or engineering. Benefits can include health insurance and paid vacation time, although housing is usually not included. 

Salaries for English teachers at universities in Chile can range from CLP$ 1.2 million – $2 million ($1,500 – $2,500) a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is a popular option for English teachers in Chile. This can include one-on-one or small group lessons with students of all ages and skill levels. Salaries for private tutors vary widely, depending on the teacher’s location, demand, and qualifications.

Overall, the salaries and benefits for English teachers in Chile vary depending on the type of job and the qualifications and experience of the teacher. 

Read more: The best countries for teaching English abroad

How to get a job

Now for the important bit: how to get a job teaching English in Chile.

  1. Get a TEFL certification. Acquiring a Level 5 168-hour TEFL certificate (for those who haven’t taught in an EFL classroom) is first on the list. 
  2. Meet the minimum requirements. Don’t bother going for positions you’re not suitable for. 
  3. Prepare your documents. This includes legalising your TEFL certification, and ensuring your passport and insurance are up-to-date. 
  4. Prepare your CV. Tailor it for every position you apply for! 
  5. Start your job search. Check out our jobs board for teaching positions.
  6. Consider using recruitment companies. Recruiters are a great way of ensuring you have a helping hand through all the legal jargon that comes with a move abroad. 
  7. Apply for a visa. Once you’ve wowed your potential employers in an interview, you can begin applying for a visa once your job offer lands.

What is the cost of living in Chile?

Now that we’ve got a sense of what Chile is like for penny-pinching, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what finances look like in the country. 

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: CLP $ 385,000 ($470)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: CLP $ 335,000 ($410)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: CLP $ 115,000 ($140) 

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: CLP $ 200,000 ($250)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: CLP $ 7,500 ($9.45) 

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: CLP $ 40,000 ($50)
  • Single bus or subway trip: CLP $700 ($0.88) 

Internet

  • Unlimited: CLP $ 115,000 ($185)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: CLP $ 175,000 ($215)

Where In Chile is the cheapest to live?

With a relatively low cost of living and a stable, safe political and social environment, Santiago is probably the best bet for those looking to save money moving to Chile. The capital city contains the most demand for English teaching. La Serena is widely viewed as a good alternative for those really looking to save their pennies when in Chile. 

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

As an English teacher in Chile, it is possible to save money if you manage your costs of living. Salaries for English teachers in Chile vary depending on the type of job and the location, but many language schools and universities offer competitive pay and benefits.

To save money, it’s important to budget your expenses carefully and consider living in a shared apartment or other affordable housing options. It’s a good idea to take advantage of free or low-cost activities and attractions in Chile, such as hiking in the Andes Mountains or visiting local markets

By being mindful of your expenses and finding ways to live affordably, you can save money and build a comfortable life while teaching English in Chile.

Contents

Startling landscapes? World-renowned wine and beer? Where do we sign up?! Chile is a country of stunning natural beauty, friendly people, and a growing demand for English language tutoring. 

As an English teacher in Chile, you’ll have the chance to explore everything this amazing country has to offer, from the towering Andes mountains to the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast. 

So why wait? Start your journey to becoming an English teacher in Chile today! In this article, you’ll find all the basic information you need to make the move such as the requirements, how to find a teaching job in Chile, and what to expect from your time in Pais de los Poetas!

Why start teaching English in Chile?

If you’re considering teaching English abroad, Chile is an excellent destination to consider. The demand for English language instruction in Chile is growing rapidly, and there are plenty of opportunities for qualified teachers to find work. 

Chile is a country of stunning natural beauty, with a diverse landscape that includes incredible mountain ranges, beaches, and deserts – there are so many places to visit.  

The people of Chile are known for being warm and welcoming, and the culture is rich and vibrant, with a strong emphasis on family and community

Competitive salaries match one of the highest standards of living in South America, and there is so much more to Chile than just the appeal of the Andes. The country’s passion for soccer makes it a great destination for sports fans, whilst Chile’s fresh avocados make it a foodie’s dream!

Best places to teach English in Chile

If you’re interested in teaching English in Chile, there are several cities and regions that are known for having a high demand for qualified English teachers. 

Santiago

Sophisticated, energetic and worldly
Encircled by snowy mountaintops, Santiago is a bustling cosmopolitan city offering the liveliest experiences and the most competitive salaries

Valparaiso

Vibrant beauty on the coastline
A colour-filled and artsy city, Valparaiso was once known as the ‘jewel of South America’ and is famed for being a romantic hotspot for couples.

Concepcion

A relaxing Medditerean-style city
Concepcion is a big, heartwarming university city known for its trees, flora and ability to give visitors the opportunity to unwind a little bit more.

There are many smaller towns and rural areas throughout Chile that are in need of English teachers, particularly in the areas of Business English and exam preparation. 

By exploring different regions and opportunities, you can find the perfect place to start your career as an English teacher in Chile.

Do you need a visa to teach English in Chile?

Every foreign national who arrives in Chile to work requires a work visa. Which visa you should look to secure will depend on your employer and the length of the contract. The two most common types of visa in Chile are Subject to Contract Visa (Visa Temporaria Sujeta a Contrato) and a Professional Visa (Visa Temporaria para Profesionales y Tecnicos).

If you already have a job offer secured, you can complete the visa process from the comfort of your home country. If you arrive in Chile without a job, you will have a 90-day tourist visa that you will need to change to a work visa.

Visas typically cost between CLP $ 39,600 – $ 119,000 ($50 – $150 USD).  

A TEFL certificate is not required as a part of either Subject to Contract or Professional Visa, although, it is highly recommended you have one when it comes to applying for TEFL jobs in Chile. The TEFL Academy’s Level 5 168-hour Combined TEFL course gives you the best shot at being noticed by employers.

Which TEFL certification is best for teaching in Chile?

To begin teaching English in Chile, most employers look for teachers with at least 120 hours worth of TEFL training. Our accredited Level 3 – 120-hour TEFL course gives you just that, and can be completed entirely online – how convenient!  

However, to give yourself the best shot possible at standing out from the competition, we recommend picking up a Level 5 TEFL course. Most English learners in Chile are looking for lessons in Business English, and our Level 5 course now comes bundled in with Teaching Business English as a free Top-Up Course, alongside Teaching Young Learners and Teaching English Online and 1:1.  

Can I teach English in Chile with no Degree?

South America is one of the best destinations for TEFL teachers without a degree, and Chile is no exception. It is not essential to have a degree to begin teaching English in Chile.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Chile?

You do not have to be a native speaker (i.e. from the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland or South Africa) to teach English in Chile. However, some employers may show a preference for native English speakers over non-native speakers.

Do you need to speak spanish to teach English in Chile?

The primary language spoken in Chile is Spanish. English language lessons have been mandatory for students from the fifth grade for a number of years. However, the majority of Chileans still do not speak English fluently

English proficiency is high in the major cities. But – as usual! – we recommend brushing up on some key Spanish phrases if you’re planning on trekking out to some of the rural areas of the country! 

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

  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 – $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and apostilling your degree and TEFL certificate
  • Flight ticket: Variable.
  • Visa application: Visa applications typically cost CLP$ 39, 600 – $ 119,000 ($50 – $150 USD).
  • Living expenses: One month’s start-up capital is recommended. For a single person living in Chile, the average cost of living is CLP$ 600,000 ($735 USD), without rent.

Types of English teaching jobs in Chile

As a TEFL teacher in Chile, expect to find positions in private language schools, public elementary or high schools, and universities. Volunteering is also common, as is freelancing in different institutions. 6-9 month contracts are usually offered, with the demand for Business English to adult learners being the most popular form of language tutoring. 

Private Language Schools

These schools typically offer a range of courses, from general English to specialised programs for business, exam preparation, and more. Benefits can include housing, health insurance, and paid vacation time, although this varies depending on the school. 

Salaries for English teachers in private language schools in Chile typically range from CLP$ 720,000 – $1,4 million ($880 – $1,700 USD) a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

International Schools

These schools often require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree and teaching certification, as well as previous teaching experience. Benefits can include housing, health insurance, and paid vacation time. 

Salaries for English teachers in international schools in Chile range from CLP$ 1.3 million – $3.6 million ($1,600 – $4,400 a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

University Teaching

Some universities in Chile hire English teachers to teach courses in English, such as language and literature, or specialised subjects such as business or engineering. Benefits can include health insurance and paid vacation time, although housing is usually not included. 

Salaries for English teachers at universities in Chile can range from CLP$ 1.2 million – $2 million ($1,500 – $2,500) a month, depending on qualifications and experience.

Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is a popular option for English teachers in Chile. This can include one-on-one or small group lessons with students of all ages and skill levels. Salaries for private tutors vary widely, depending on the teacher’s location, demand, and qualifications.

Overall, the salaries and benefits for English teachers in Chile vary depending on the type of job and the qualifications and experience of the teacher. 

Read more: The best countries for teaching English abroad

How to get a job

Now for the important bit: how to get a job teaching English in Chile.

  1. Get a TEFL certification. Acquiring a Level 5 168-hour TEFL certificate (for those who haven’t taught in an EFL classroom) is first on the list. 
  2. Meet the minimum requirements. Don’t bother going for positions you’re not suitable for. 
  3. Prepare your documents. This includes legalising your TEFL certification, and ensuring your passport and insurance are up-to-date. 
  4. Prepare your CV. Tailor it for every position you apply for! 
  5. Start your job search. Check out our jobs board for teaching positions.
  6. Consider using recruitment companies. Recruiters are a great way of ensuring you have a helping hand through all the legal jargon that comes with a move abroad. 
  7. Apply for a visa. Once you’ve wowed your potential employers in an interview, you can begin applying for a visa once your job offer lands.

What is the cost of living in Chile?

Now that we’ve got a sense of what Chile is like for penny-pinching, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what finances look like in the country. 

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: CLP $ 385,000 ($470)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: CLP $ 335,000 ($410)

Utilities

  • Gas, electricity, water, garbage disposal: CLP $ 115,000 ($140) 

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: CLP $ 200,000 ($250)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: CLP $ 7,500 ($9.45) 

Transport 

  • Monthly pass: CLP $ 40,000 ($50)
  • Single bus or subway trip: CLP $700 ($0.88) 

Internet

  • Unlimited: CLP $ 115,000 ($185)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: CLP $ 175,000 ($215)

Where In Chile is the cheapest to live?

With a relatively low cost of living and a stable, safe political and social environment, Santiago is probably the best bet for those looking to save money moving to Chile. The capital city contains the most demand for English teaching. La Serena is widely viewed as a good alternative for those really looking to save their pennies when in Chile. 

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

As an English teacher in Chile, it is possible to save money if you manage your costs of living. Salaries for English teachers in Chile vary depending on the type of job and the location, but many language schools and universities offer competitive pay and benefits.

To save money, it’s important to budget your expenses carefully and consider living in a shared apartment or other affordable housing options. It’s a good idea to take advantage of free or low-cost activities and attractions in Chile, such as hiking in the Andes Mountains or visiting local markets

By being mindful of your expenses and finding ways to live affordably, you can save money and build a comfortable life while teaching English in Chile.

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