Peru is home to some of the most extraordinary wonders of the world, including the headwaters of the mighty Amazon River and the breathtaking 15th century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. ESL teaching jobs are available in large numbers and the demand for teachers is set to grow considerably in the next few years. The majority of jobs are found in the bustling capital Lima, although there are plenty of opportunities to be found in smaller towns and cities across the country. One reason for its recent popularity with foreign teachers is there are generally less restrictions on hiring than you will find in some other countries in the South America region.
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English language teachers in Peru typically earn around $500 to $1,000 US per month, depending on the location, the type of employer, and your own level of experience and qualifications. It is also very common for TESOL qualified teachers to earn extra cash by taking on some private tuition in their spare time away from their main teaching job. Hourly rates for private lessons are usually in the region of $10 to $20. The highest pay rates for most types of jobs are found in the major cities, while rural based jobs are often volunteer based or include a small stipend.
The main employers of foreign TESOL qualified teachers in Peru are private language schools that cater to young learners looking for extra lessons outside of school hours or adults who want to improve their English skills for work or business purposes. Lima, the countryâs capital, is at the center of the ESL job market, with a large number of potential employers spread throughout the city. Significant job markets can also be found in Arequipa and Cusco. The strong demand for private tutoring also means it is possible to work independently, although it can take some time to find enough clients to make it a full time concern.
A relatively small number of jobs are advertised online allowing you to organize everything before heading overseas. However, most employers will expect to interview you in person, which is why most people fly into Peru first and then complete the recruitment process on the ground. The school year runs from March to December, although many language schools operate year-round. The best times to look for teaching jobs are February to March and July to August.
Most teachers enter Peru on a standard 90-day tourist visa which is issued without any paperwork at the airport. This initial visa can then be extended for a further 90 days from within the country. Most teachers find it is fine to work on the tourist visa and then do a border run to a neighboring country to renew it after the six month period is up.
Teachers in Peru should expect to break even rather than be able to save much of their income. Average salaries are not particularly high at the lower end of the average $500 to $1,000 per month, although the low cost of living means you can live comfortably at the higher end of the pay scale or by taking on some private tutoring. Higher salaries are usually found in the main big cities, particularly Lima.
Living costs in Peru can be anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on your lifestyle. Just remember that you will need a pot of money on arrival to cover start up costs before you get your first salary. You will need to cover accommodation, groceries, transport costs, etc. We recommend starting out with at least $1,000 to $1,500 to cover your costs in your first month.