How do I get a job teaching English in Chile?

Thanks to its robust economy which is among the most advanced in the whole Latin America region, Chile has long had a strong demand for English language skills. Growth in international trade and industry, as well as tourism, have fueled the demand for English language skills in the workplace and there is no shortage of TESOL qualified teachers who are happy to take advantage. During your stay you can enjoy exploring some of the most diverse terrain in the world, including a coastline of over 4,000 miles, the mighty Andes Mountains, and the Atacama Desert which is known as the driest place on Earth.

What are the requirements for teaching English in Chile?

Another reason for the popularity of Chile as a teaching destination is that the typical requirements expected by employers are not as high as in many other countries. As long as you have a TESOL certification and a native-level understanding of English you should have little trouble finding a suitable position. A degree is not usually a requirement when applying for jobs, but it is preferred by some employers. Previous classroom experience is also not necessary in most cases, although it will put you towards the head of the pack if you do have some on your CV/resume.

Also read: How much can I earn teaching English in Chile?

Who are the main employers of ESL teachers in Chile?

The largest employers of foreign ESL teachers are private language schools that can be found in most built up areas. The capital Santiago is at the center of the TESOL job market as it contains around 40% of the country’s population. Most teachers start off in the capital as jobs are widespread and relatively easy to secure. Once established with some experience under your belt you can then choose to look towards other more sought after areas, such as coastal resorts or ski towns.

One other option for anyone looking for an authentic local experience is the English Opens Doors Program, a voluntary scheme that places foreign teachers into public schools. To be eligible you need to be a native or near-native English speaker aged between 21 and 35. A bachelor's degree is also required, plus the funds to pay for flights and living expenses. In return you receive free housing and meals, health insurance, free transport within Chile, Spanish language lessons, and a monthly stipend of around $100.

Also read: What is the English Opens Doors Program for teaching English in Chile?

What are the visa requirements for teaching English in Chile?

There are typically two main options for working legally in Chile, a Subject to Contract Visa ($600) and a Professional Visa ($470). As requirements often change it is best to visit the Chilean Embassy website for up to date information. One other option available is to bypass the work visa route and simply work on the 90-day tourist visa that you are issued with on arrival. However, you will need to do a border crossing every three months to renew the visa which can be inconvenient and time consuming.

What is the best way to apply for English teaching jobs in Chile?

Many employers in Chile advertise their vacancies online so it is often possible to apply and interview for jobs from within your home country. In this case most employers will organize your work visa before you leave home. If you choose to head to Chile and look for work on the ground you will have a much wider choice of jobs and you will be able to check out the school and its location before signing a contract. In this case you will need to enter the country on a tourist visa which can then be converted to a work visa once you have secured a job. The peak hiring seasons for ESL teachers in Chile are February to March and July to August.

Also read: What are the best countries to teach ESL in Latin America?