Teaching English in Mexico: Guide on Becoming an ESL teacher • Grade University

How to teach English in Mexico: a step-by-step guide

How to teach English in Mexico: a step-by-step guide

12.09.2023

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  • Cambridge English
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There is no surprise that Mexico attracts so many teachers of English to its warm shores given that it has one of the largest TEFL marketplaces in the world, a coastline filled with gorgeous beaches, and a local culture full of festivals, spicy cuisine, and distinctive traditions to enjoy.

If you dream of teaching in a country of ancient Maya and Aztec culture, eating delicious tacos between the lessons and enjoying sunbathing on the beach at your weekend, this article is for you as we are going deep into all the peculiarities of teaching ESL in Mexico and get to how to teach English in Mexico successfully.

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Teaching English in Mexico: the profile

  • Average salary: The average full-time pay for an English teaching position in Mexico is around 8,000–20,000 pesos (£300–730/$400–1,000) per month, but you can earn up to £1,120–£2,240 ($1,400–2,700) and £1,120–£1,560 per month ($1,940) in international schools and private universities, respectively.
  • Working hours: 20–25 hours per week (which is approximately 5 hours a day)
  • Contract duration: 1 year
  • School term: the school year  starts in August and ends in July
  • Requirements for visa: FM3 Work Visa (You can stay and work in Mexico for a year with the FM3 visa. This visa also enables you to open a personal bank account in Mexico)

Reasons to start teaching ESL in Mexico

There are plenty of reasons to consider landing your ESL job in Mexico. Let’s have a brief overview of the pros and cons of teaching ESL in this country.

Pros

Mexico is a fantastic destination to simply enjoy life. 

The weather is amazing, the culture is diverse and exciting (what could be better than finally seeing picturesque ruins of Maya and Aztec civilizations?), and the cuisine is delicious and beloved worldwide.

Furthermore, there is an urge to study English because the country borders the United States, so you’ll never be left without a job

What are the most common interview questions?

There are positions for English teachers outside of the public school system, especially at language schools, however, you can still choose freelancing and tutoring

Finally, Mexico has a comparatively inexpensive cost of living. For instance, essential services like power and water are typically less expensive in Mexico. Costs for meals and transportation are also pretty cheap.

That is why, Mexico is a great place to teach ESL, especially if you are genuinely interested in this country and culture.

Cons

As for the cons, it is true that Mexican English teacher salaries are not as high as those in other locations. 

So, you definitely won’t earn a fortune here. However, as we have already mentioned, the cost of living is not high at all. That is why it is still super unlikely that you are going to struggle financially once you find a stable working position. 

Another possible disadvantage is that ESL teachers frequently lack the materials they require to work with their students  successfully. 

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They may also deal with huge numbers of classes and unsatisfying levels of assistance from school administration.

Depending on the location you’re visiting in Mexico, safety might also be an issue. But overall, Mexico is regarded as a secure destination to teach in, so don’t fall for some prejudice and myths. 

The only piece of advice that might be taken into consideration is that you need to research the place you are going to stay in very carefully and make sure that you are going to live in a calm and safe neighborhood.

Basic requirements for teaching English in Mexico

Once you have considered all the pros and cons of becoming an ESL teacher in Mexico and decided on giving it a try, you need to check whether you meet certain criteria which are compulsory for all the teachers who want to teach English in this country. 

Here are some requirements you have to meet in order to land your first ESL job in Mexico:

  • Education: obtaining a bachelor’s degree is not a must but it can definitely be a plus;
  • Certification: an ESL teacher who wants to work in Mexico has to be certified and hold a TEFL certification. If you are wondering how to become an English teacher in Mexico by getting certified, here is some additional information on online TEFL courses;
  • English proficiency: naturally, all the candidates are supposed to have a high-level proficiency in English;
  • Prior experience: having some teaching background is not crucial but may be a plus;
  • Documents: make sure that you have a valid passport and Visa.

Plan to teach ESL without the degree?

Best Mexican cities to become an English teacher in Mexico

Mexico City

Average salary range: MX$23,000/mo ($1,309)

The average cost of living: MX$12,190/mo ($694)

Mexico’s capital, Mexico City, doesn’t need to be introduced. It serves as a major international transit hub for people traveling from the United States to Central and South America, so there is plenty of work for ESL teachers. 

Mexico City is also a good choice if you want to live near the large airport and plan to travel regularly as an online ESL teacher.

Cancun

Average salary range: MX$15,133 ($862)

The average cost of living: MX$ 12,281 ($699)

On the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Cancun is a bustling metropolis with a view of the Caribbean Sea. The Zona Hotelera, or Hotel Zone, and the old downtown district, which is separated into two sections, both include vibrant marketplaces, genuine restaurants, and lush parks. 

With white sand beaches, contemporary retail centers, a wide variety of restaurants, and exciting nightlife, the latter draws both domestic and foreign tourists.

Cancun is a popular tourist destination and professional ESL teachers are a need here. 

Monterrey

Average salary range: MX$28,450/ mo ($1,620)

The average cost of living: MX$12,758/mo ($726)

Monterrey is a city with a lot of various opportunities for foreigners who want to work in Mexico. With a population of nearly one million, it ranks third in terms of size in Mexico. 

It is also the second-most significant economic center in Mexico. This area is home to several industries and multinational corporations.

Moreover, there is an unexpectedly magnificent environment. The city is encircled by stunning mountains and is home to impressive architectural designs.

Queretaro

Average salary range: MX$18,798/ mo ($1,070)

The average cost of living: MX$11,568/mo ($659)

Queretaro is renowned for its vast past, which goes all the way back to pre-Columbian times. It was a key center for silver mining during the colonial era and had a considerable impact on the Mexican War of Independence. 

The city’s distinctive fusion of indigenous and colonial architecture shows its voluminous cultural past. 

For those who enjoy the old-world charm, Queretaro is an intriguing location since the past still has an impact on the present.

Tips on getting a teaching job in Mexico

Do the research

There are as many opportunities as scams, especially for a person who has never been to Mexico. Be attentive to all the little details, carefully consider all the pros and cons and see whether teaching in Mexico is something you want. 

Then, look for the perfect city, educational establishments and requirements. 

Get certified

Increase your chances of landing a respectable job by getting a TEFL certificate. Look for an online or offline course at the place of your residence and apply. 

This outstanding experience not only unlocks many job opportunities in Mexico but also boosts your teaching skills.

Want to know more about TEFL?

Apply for the job

Carefully examine all the available job opportunities. Pay attention to the location, requirements, conditions, working load, and length of the contract. Be very attentive as your nearest future depends on this decision!

Make all the necessary travel arrangements

After finishing your TEFL course and applying for the job, carefully plan your journey. Make all necessary arrangements and reservations. Make sure you can arrive on time to start the term. 

Don’t hesitate to ask professionals for help in case you are anxious. Plenty of TEFL courses also help ESL teachers with organizing their first trip abroad.

Sign the contract

Make sure you are aware of the conditions you agree on and sign the contract where all of them are listed. This is an extremely important step that prevents a lot of scams and protects your rights

After you complete all of these steps, you may start your exciting journey to Mexico!

Frequently asked questions

Where should I look for my first ESL job abroad?

There are plenty of resources which you can look through in order to find some nice job offers. 

Here are some of the resources we advise:

Also, make sure you look through some of our articles on the topic:

Improve your online teaching skills

Teach online like a pro with us!

How can I apply for a Visa? 

To enter Mexico, all foreign nationals must submit an FMM application. That is why you need to contact the Mexican embassy and schedule an appointment. 

Then, you are supposed to fill in the Mexico Visa Application Form. You have to collect all the required documents as well. 

At the end, you only need to submit the application, pay the fee and wait for the results.

Other useful resources:

Should I be fluent in Spanish?

No, it’s not necessary to speak Spanish. However, having an elementary understanding of the fundamentals can be helpful for communication in class and while speaking to locals.

Keep up with the latest trends

You don’t need a visa to go to Mexico as an ESL teacher.

It is possible for ESL teachers to get a big salary in Mexico.

Article authors & editors
  • Arina Kravchenko

    Arina Kravchenko

    Author

    Teacher of General English & IELTS

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