Mexico is quickly becoming a popular place for expats seeking a new place to call home. And thanks to the high demand for English instruction, teaching English is a fantastic way to get there. However, teaching salaries in Mexico are low compared to other places to teach English abroad. But thankfully, the cost of living is affordable, and its vibrant traditions make the low salary easy to overlook.
Not to mention, Mexico is home to a rich culture made up of European colonial influence and the historical legacies of ancient civilizations like the Maya and Aztec. Mexico is attractive for English teachers seeking warm weather and a desire to learn more about its diverse culture.
This ultimate guide shares all you need to know to start teaching English in Mexico.
Snapshot of Teaching English in Mexico
Avg. Salary: $500-$1,000/month
Teaching Hours: 20-25 hours
Duration of contract: 12 months
Peak hiring season: December/January, July/August, year-round
School term: August - July
Visa requirements: FM3 Work Visa
Why teach English in Mexico?
Mexico is one of a few teach abroad destinations where you can teach English without a degree, and there are endless opportunities to be found across the country. Plus, teachers have a lot of options in Mexico. Whether you wish to teach adults or children and live in the city or countryside, it’s all possible.
It’s also a fantastic destination to practice or learn Spanish, eat endless Mexican street food, and live amongst sandy beaches and incredible landscapes.
Read More: Is Teaching Abroad Alone Safe for Women?
What are the requirements to teach English in Mexico?
Mexico has fairly accessible job requirements compared to other countries. You’ll need to have:
- Native English proficiency, citizenship from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa is sometimes preferred
- A TEFL certificate
- A Bachelor’s degree, not always required but typically preferred
Having a reputable TEFL certificate isn’t only a job requirement, but it’s also required when you apply for your FM3 Work Visa in Mexico. Additionally, applying for ESL jobs in person is typically the best way to secure an interview and vet prospective schools.
How much can you earn teaching in Mexico?
English teachers in Mexico earn on average $500-$1,000 (10,200 – 20,000 MXN) per month. A teacher's salary is usually paid hourly, so how much you earn each month can change. While rare, some schools provide teachers with accommodation to help offset the cost of living.
Many expats in Mexico will teach at various language schools while also tutoring privately or teaching English online to earn additional income. New teachers moving to Mexico should bring at least $1,500-$2,000 in start-up costs.
Cost of Living in Mexico
The cost of living in Mexico is relatively low compared to the U.S., so your teaching salary should be more than enough to live comfortably. Most teachers find their monthly cost of living between $300- $750.
School-provided accommodation is rare in Mexico, so most teachers live in shared housing with other expat teachers. However, the cost of rent in Mexico for a private studio is typically only $300-$500 per month. A room in a shared apartment can range from $150-$300 per month.
Types of Teaching Jobs in Mexico
The primary types of teaching jobs available in Mexico include language centers, private tutoring, and international schools.
1. Language Centers
Most ESL teachers in Mexico find work at a language center because these jobs are plentiful. Language centers work with primarily professional adults, but there are opportunities to work with school children as well.
Language centers pay by the hour and require teachers to have flexibility in their schedules. For example, you may be expected to work weekdays, weeknights, and/or Saturdays. Additionally, new teachers may only receive part-time work as you build up trust and experience with your language center. Language centers typically pay $10-$14 an hour.
2. Private Tutoring
It's also possible to tutor privately, and most ESL teachers in Mexico do so to supplement their income. You can earn a bit more per hour in the bigger cities as a private tutor.
Many ESL teachers charge $7-$15 per hour for their tutoring services.
3. International Schools
Teachers who have advanced qualifications like a four-year degree, TEFL certificate, previous experience, and a teaching license can apply to positions at K-12 bilingual international schools. International school teachers typically work a regular schedule and may not only be expected to teach English but other subjects as well.
These positions are prestigious and competitive and pay pretty well. On average, teachers at international schools can earn $1,000-$1,200 per month. These positions are also more likely to offer additional benefits like housing.
Where to Find Teaching Jobs in Mexico
Finding a teaching job in Mexico may require a bit of research, especially if doing so before arriving in Mexico. Here are a couple of ways to find open teaching positions.
Apply Directly to the School
Checking for job openings directly at the school or language center you wish to teach at, is one of the most convenient ways of finding a job teaching English in Mexico. However, you must know where to look!
Some of the largest school chains in Mexico include Berlitz, Harmon Hall, International House Schools, and Wall Street English. This list of the international schools in Mexico can also offer a jumping-off point for finding teaching work.
Job Boards + Facebook Groups
Another way to find a teaching job in Mexico is through online job boards. Many schools list their current openings on websites like Teaching House, Transitions Abroad, and Mexico City Craigslist. The famous Dave's ESL Cafe is another helpful resource that may have listings.
Best Places to Teach English in Mexico
Mexico's largest cities host the bulk of teaching opportunities. However, it's possible to find work in more rural areas too.
Mexico City is one of the most popular places to teach in Mexico because it's home to many job opportunities (and usually higher salaries), incredible things to do, and a lively expat community.
Guadalajara is Mexico's second-largest city, known for its European atmosphere and mariachi tradition. It also boasts a thriving job economy for ESL teachers.
Puebla and León are two big cities that are also sought-after places to teach in Mexico and offer a variety of teaching positions.
Puerto Vallarta and Cancun are two of Mexico's main tourist destinations, which attract many aspiring ESL teachers. While there are teaching jobs available here, they may be more competitive.
What’s it like to teach English in Mexico?
Learn more about what it’s like to teach English in Mexico with some of these helpful blog posts:
- How Much Does it Cost to Live in Mexico? by A Little Adrift
- Teaching English In Rural Mexico: Learn The Pros And Cons by Grateful Gypsies
- What It Is Like to Be a Teacher in Mexico City by Dreams Abroad
- How to Apply for an FM3 Visa? By BizLatin Hub
Which TEFL certificate is best for teaching in Mexico?
Mexico is a teach abroad destination that doesn’t have strict requirements for English teachers. However, while it’s possible to find work without a degree, ESL teachers must have a reputable TEFL certificate.
Choosing a certificate with at least 120-hours is essential. Additionally, a TEFL course with a practicum, or in-class component, provides valuable teaching experience that can boost your resume.
CIEE TEFL’s 150-Hour TEFL Certification
CIEE TEFL is an internationally trusted brand recognized for being one of the best TEFL providers in the industry. CIEE has a proven track record of helping graduates secure teaching jobs abroad and equips teachers with the confidence needed to be successful.
CIEE TEFL's 150-hour certification makes it easy to complete your TEFL training online in just three months. This comprehensive course includes:
- 130 hours of ACCET accredited coursework
- 20 hour TEFL practicum
- Instruction by highly qualified TEFL tutors
- Job search assistance