Teaching English in Mexico

By | December 9, 2016

Mexico is a North American country bordering with the United States to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the south. With a population of more than 113 million people, it is the 11th most populous country in world and the biggest Spanish speaking country in the world. Although it is officially a Spanish speaking country, English is important for the nation because of the high level of tourism and trade with the United States.

Mexico is one of the world’s largest economies and is considered to be a newly industrialised country as well as an emerging power. Its economy is closely linked to other countries in North and South America and in particular that of the United States.

There is no slowing down for Mexico either and it is estimated that by the year 2050 the country will rank as the 6th or 7th biggest economy in the world!

Read more about Mexico from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Mexico

Teach English in Mexico

Mexico City Skyline image courtesy of WikiMedia.

Tourism is an integral part to the large economy of Mexico and it boasts 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which means it ranks 6th in the world and 1st in The Americas. This old culture, beautiful beaches and tropical weather means that it attracts over 20 million visitors each year and it also makes Mexico an attractive option for ESL teachers.

As the country has a fast growing industrial base, close economic ties with the United States and huge levels of tourism, English is seen as an important language in the country. There are many Mexicans who are very keen to learn how to speak English. This means that there is a big demand for native English speaking TEFL teachers in Mexico.

Where to Teach English in Mexico

Although there are teaching opportunities all over Mexico, you’ll find that most language schools are located in the bigger metropolitan areas. These include cities like Mexico City, Ecatepec, Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana and more.

There will be a few job opportunities for ESL teachers in Mexico outside of the larger cities, but not many.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Mexico


Cancun Beach

By far the biggest employer of native speaking English teachers is language schools. Here you will be teaching students of all ages and all abilities. Usually, these schools are busier outside of normal working or school hours.

In the beginning, language schools aren’t ready to offer their teachers a lot of hours and as a result, you might find that your time is split between two or more schools. After you have proven yourself as a good teacher, you’ll find that you will be offered more classes.


Some companies employ native English speaking teachers to provide classes for their staff. These types of jobs will offer the highest salaries and will also provide you with a great opportunity for networking in Mexico.

Usually, students will come to lessons either before or after work and you will probably divide your time between a few different companies. This can lead to a long working day and a lot of traveling, but the financial rewards are far higher than language schools.

Private Lessons

A lot of English language teachers in Mexico take private lessons. There are many students that want to study privately with a native English speaking teacher to improve their lessons and it isn’t that hard to find students. This type of teaching can easily supplement your income and should be considered as a part-time job.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications


Puente – Mexico

It is possible to teach English in Mexico without a degree and the government doesn’t require one for visa purposes. You will find that some schools will employ you with no degree as a long as you have a teaching certificate (TEFL, TESOL or CELTA). However, these schools will often have lower salaries for teachers.

In other cases, you will find that some schools require a bachelor’s degree, but not any teaching qualification (again a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate) or experience.

Finally, some schools will require that you have both a degree and a teaching certificate of some kind.

If you do have a degree and a teaching certificate you will usually be paid a much higher salary than those without and you’ll find it a lot easier to find a job.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1239″]Salaries can be quite low when compared to the United States or many European countries, but you can expect to earn around $1000 per month with a degree and teaching certificates. If you don’t have a degree or any teaching qualifications, the salary in Mexico can be as low as only $400 per month.

Schools usually pay hourly rates for teaching hours and some even pay other benefits such as transportation, teaching materials, health insurance and housing. So you want to check what extras you will receive before you sign your contract.

The cost of living is also fairly low in Mexico and if you live like a ‘local’ you should be able to live a fairly comfortable life on around $300-$500 per month.

For more information about the costs of individual products in Mexico, take a look at Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

El Monstruo más bello

El Monstruo más bello

To work legally in Mexico, immigration permission is required from the Instituto Nacional de Migracion where, if successful, they will issue you with a FM3 form. In most cases, schools will often assist you in this matter.

You will need a range of documents to process your FM3 form, so check out the official website for more information.

For more information about getting a Mexican visa, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Mexico

Cozumel Mexico

Cozumel Mexico

Paid teaching jobs in Mexico can be found all year round. You might find a lot of schools advertising for vacant positions online either on jobs boards or their own website, but they will not offer jobs without conducting a face to face interview.

You should arrive in Mexico and expect to start looking for a job when you arrive. There are many places that you can check, take a look at both local and international jobs boards, local newspapers and visit websites for schools located in Mexico.

Finally, you could try getting a list of contact details for the schools and contacting them directly, either by email, telephone or in person.

Teach English in Mexico

Although the salaries in Mexico are quite low, so is the cost of living in the country. You could expect to break even and maybe save a few dollars every month depending on your lifestyle.

There are many opportunities for paid teaching jobs in Mexico and if you have the relevant qualifications and experience, you won’t find it hard to secure a job.


Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Mexico, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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