Teaching English in Venezuela

By | January 24, 2014

Venezuela is located on the northern coast of South America and shares borders with Guyana, Brazil and Colombia. It is a very diverse country with beaches, islands, mountains, rainforests, lakes and more! It is also home to the world’s largest waterfall, Angel Falls.

The country is also one of the most urbanised countries in the region and most people live in cities. The capital city, Caracas is 914 metres (3,000 feet) above sea level and sits in the middle of a beautiful valley.

The culture of Venezuela is mainly split into 3: African, Spanish and indigenous and you can see examples of all three of them everywhere. The Spanish culture has had the most effect on modern Venezuela and you can see that with the fact that it is a Spanish speaking country, most people are Catholic and you’ll even see the odd bullfight!

For more information about Venezuela, visit Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Venezuela

Angel Falls

Angel Falls – Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Venezuela is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful places in South America and when you’re not working you can spend your time exploring some of the many diverse landscapes that the country has to offer.

There is also a growing demand for English teachers in the country as English is often seen as a good language to speak for people living in this developing country. With business and tourism on the rise, English is a way for people to find a better job and more and more people are looking to learn it. As a result, there are many language schools and most of these school look to hire native English speaking TEFL teachers.

You certainly won’t go to work in Venezuela to get rich as the salary is quite low when compared to other countries in the area. However, the cost of living in very low and you won’t need to earn much.

Where to Teach English in Venezuela

As is the same with most countries around the world, you will find that the larger cities are the most popular destinations for ESL teachers because of the number of opportunities available. In Venezuela, Maracaibo, Valencia and Caracas are all popular destinations.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Venezuela

Public Schools

Angel Falls (Entire Drop)

Angel Falls (Entire Drop)

The government actually employs native English speaking teachers to teach students, and children in Venezuela are now exposed to English from a very young age. Often jobs with the government pay a little more than private companies, but it will depend on the school where you are working.

Private Language Schools

Another option is to teach in private language schools. Here you will usually be teaching outside of normal school or business hours and you will probably be working very early in the mornings, in the evenings and at weekends.

You’ll find that most of your students will be either extra-curricular students from other schools, university students or older students that work during the day.

Businesses

Quite often businesses will employ native English speaking ESL teachers to provide English training for their staff. You might be required to teach a specific type of English depending on the company and it is common to be working for more than one company.

You will find that businesses involved in tourism and the oil industry will often employ native English speaking teachers.

Private Lessons

Some teachers will even take private lessons to supplement their income. Teachers don’t often get a very high salary in Venezuela and private lessons are a great way to get some additional money.

However, it is very difficult to make private lessons your sole income because it isn’t always a reliable source of money. One of the reasons for this is that students often cancel at the last minute and this means that you won’t get paid if they do!

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

Most schools in Venezuela will require that you have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA. Although it isn’t required at all schools, it is required at most schools, especially public schools and universities.

As is usually the case, if you do have a teaching certificate, a bachelor’s degree and some experience, you will get the higher paying positions. Although, it’s important to note that even the highest paid jobs in Venezuela aren’t particularly high!

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1400″]As stated above, the salaries for teachers in Venezuela are particularly low. For most teachers, the average pay is around $500 per month at the lower end and around $800-$1000 a month for the higher end. If you find a job in a university or an international school, you could expect a salary of around $2000 or more.

The average salary depends on a number of factors including where you are teaching, the school you are teaching, and your experience and qualifications.

Although the salary might seem very low, the cost of living is reasonably cheap in Venezuela for expats. Unfortunately, it’s a different story for locals who have to deal with high inflation rates.

For more information about the specific cost of living in Venezuela take a look at Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

For a number of countries around the world, you don’t actually need a visa to enter the country. Instead you will just be issued with a tourist card. However, you can’t legally work without a working visa. A number of teachers work illegally in the country and have to leave every so often to renew their tourist card, but this is never advisable as it is illegal.

Your school will have to obtain a working visa for you and it can take quite a long time and cost quite a bit, so a number of schools rarely do this for their foreign teachers. They might be more likely to do this if you agree to cover the cost of the working visa.

For more information about getting a working visa in Venezuela, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Venezuela

Angel Falls - Salto del Angel

Angel Falls – Salto del Angel

Unless you’re going to be working for an international school, it is unusual to find a job before you enter the country. Although jobs are available all year round, the peak times are January to March and June to August.

Most prospective employers will want to meet you in person before they offer a job and for this reason it’s probably best to look for work when you are already in the country.

Schools do, however, advertise online for vacant positions, either on their own website or jobs boards, so take a look and see what you can find.

You might find it better to get a list of schools in the city where you are living and contacting them directly either by phone, email or in person. You shouldn’t actually find it too difficult to secure a paid teaching job in the country and with a little persistence you should find employment quite quickly.

Teach English in Venezuela

Teaching English in Venezuela is often a long-term commitment for a lot of teachers. Most teachers just work there for a few months before moving on again.

Although you won’t get rich quickly, you can earn enough money to cover your cost of living. Unless you work at a university or international school, it’s unlikely that you’re going to save money.

The political situation in Venezuela is quite unstable and you never really know what is going to happen from one moment to the next and this is one of the reasons teachers don’t stay in the country for a long time.

Disclaimer

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 Venezuela, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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