From sparse desert to buzzing cities, tropical beaches and lush jungle; the Americas are a pair of diverse continents spanning the northern and southern hemispheres. The most widely spoken language is Spanish, however English is quickly growing as a widely spoken second language and demand for teachers is high. Salaries are just as diverse as the continents, however the comparative cost of living almost always evens it out. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get a work permit in Latin American countries than it is in a lot of other regions of the world.
Teaching Life in the Americas
Salaries across the Americas range from as little as US$700 per month in Peru, and up to US$40,000 per year in the United States. In Argentina, for example, you’ll mostly find work teaching business professionals, and can earn around US$1,500 a month, whereas in Chile there’s a lot of work available in primary schools, where the going rate for ESL teachers is about $1,000.
Options for accommodation across the Americas is varied: in the States or Canada, you’ll be expected to find your own place to live, whereas teachers in regional towns in South America are often offered small, furnished flats as part of their packages. In places like Argentina, Brasil, and Mexico, rent for a one-bedroom flat in a major city centre will set you back about a third of your wage – in Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala it could be even less.
A full-time contract usually entails between 20 and 30 in-class hours. Latin American countries offer anywhere between 15 and 35 paid days off per year, including public holidays, however the United States is notorious for having no statutory minimum paid leave. That said, teachers in public schools can expect to have most of the summer free.
From seafood ceviche on a beach in Ecuador, to spicy all you can eat beef in a Buenos Aires restaurant, the variety of food across the Americas is positively mouth-watering. A week’s worth of groceries from the local markets in Sao Paulo, Brazil, can set you back as little as US$10, but a giant hamburger in New York City could cost about the same.
"There’s a reason why New York is one of the most sung about, talked about, filmed, visited and analogised cities in the world. It’s the bright lights and the glamour, the grimy, mean city streets, the street art and the art galleries, the melting pot of cultures and peoples. It’s the kind of place that makes or breaks a person – but not necessarily your budget, too..."