Teaching English in Ecuador

By | December 10, 2013

The Republic of Ecuador is bordered by just two other South American countries, Colombia to the north and to the South and East lies Peru. The huge Pacific Ocean to the west of the country is home to the famous Galapagos Islands which are also part of Ecuadorian territory.

Although not the largest city in Ecuador, the largest being Guayaquil, the capital city of Quito has been hallmarked by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its historic centre. In fact, Ecuador boasts another World Heritage Site in its third largest city, both by size and economics, Cuenca. The award was given to the city just before the last millennium for being an outstanding example of a planned Spanish colonial city in the whole of the Americas.

As Ecuador is located on the equator (Ecuador is Spanish for equator) the days in the countries are almost exactly twelve hours long, with the sun rising at 6am and setting at 6pm. There is a great variety in the climate though which is mainly determined by altitude. In the mountain valleys you can expect mild weather, humid sub-tropical weather around the lowland rain forest areas and the Pacific coastal regions experience a tropical climate with a very severe rainy season.

Read more information about Ecuador from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Ecuador

Teach English in Ecuador

Machala image courtesy of WikiMedia.

The main language in Ecuador is Spanish, but there is a growing demand to learn English in the country.

With the adoption of the US dollar at the turn of this century and huge oil exports amounting to 40% of all exports, Ecuador maintains a positive trade balance and has seen general poverty levels decreasing year on year since 2000.

Businesses in the country, like all South American countries, realise that speaking, understanding, reading and writing English is a huge asset to compete on the world stage. Therefore opportunities for native English are high.

Ecuador can be a fascinating place to teach English as a second language because of its diverse and natural landscape, fauna and wildlife. There is plenty to do and see outside of school work.

Where to Teach English in Ecuador

You will usually find the most teaching opportunities in the bigger cities in Ecuador. Three of the more popular destinations are Quito (Ecuador’s capital city), Guayaquil, the commercial centre of the country and Cuenca which is a popular tourist destination.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Ecuador

Private Language Schools

Marine Iguana, Espanola Island, Galapagos

Marine Iguana, Espanola Island, Galapagos

There are many private language schools across Ecuador and they often have the lowest standards in terms of qualifications and experience for their teachers. In fact, a number of schools will employ teachers with no qualifications. They do, however, pay a less than other schools.

International Schools

International schools in Ecuador are better paying than language schools, but you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate to even be considered for a job.


Universities also pay quite well, but you will need to have good qualifications to secure a job teaching English in a university.

Public Schools

Public schools often pay the highest in Ecuador, but they do require that you have a bachelor’s degree and some kind of teaching certificate. You might find that classes will be a bit harder to teach because the students are forced to take English classes and some of them might not want to learn English!

Private Lessons

You often find that teachers in Ecuador take private lessons to supplement their income. Many parents are happy to pay for extra classes for their children so that they can become proficient in English. However, you shouldn’t consider this your primary source of income.

[sc:ESLBannerInText ]

Teaching Requirements and Qualifications



It is possible to teach English in Ecuador without a degree or a teaching qualification. Some schools will employ unqualified and inexperienced teachers, but the pay will be much lower.

Some schools will require that you have either a bachelor’s degree or a teaching certificate like a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA and others will require that you have both.

Usually, the schools that require a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA will pay the most.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1224″]The salary for teaching English in Ecuador is around $400 to $600 per month even for those English teachers with a degree or one of the recognised TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificates.

Schools don’t often provide accommodation for their teachers and you’ll be expected to pay for your own living expenses.

The cost of living is very low in Ecuador when compared with western countries and you’ll find that $400 to $600 is enough to live on especially if you’re not out every night and traveling every weekend!

For a breakdown of living costs in Ecuador, see Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

Salinas, Ecuador

Salinas, Ecuador

One thing to bear in mind is that to work as an English teacher in Ecuador you officially require a working visa. Some teaching organisations may employ you with just a tourist visa but it is not recommended as you would have no comeback should you have any problems with your employer.

In most cases your employer will help you get a work visa as in most cases you will need to have a work contract in order to get the work visa. Ecuador is actually a very lenient country when it comes to its immigration policy.

For more information about visas in Ecuador, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Ecuador

Ecuadorian Amazon

Ecuadorian Amazon

Schools in Ecuador employ native speaking English teachers all year round. You’ll sometimes find schools advertising for vacant positions on ESL Jobs boards and other websites.

Moreover, you’ll also find that schools advertise for teachers on their own websites. However, you will be expected to complete a face to face interview in person as most schools don’t recruit online.

It’s also possible to find a job when you are already in Ecuador. There are many places to look for a job and one of the most tried and trusted methods is to get a list of schools and go around and speak to them directly.

Teach English in Ecuador

With Ecuador being the one of the safest countries in Latin America, tourism is a growing industry and of course with the US dollar being the country’s currency, visitors from the United States are increasing. This gives even more impetus for the country’s government to encourage the teaching of English within its schools, colleges and universities.

It is expected that because of this, salaries for English teachers will in the near future certainly outpace inflation and rise in real terms.

[sc:ESLBannerEndArticle ]