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Your Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Mexico

the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Boasting a rich heritage, a vibrant culture, and world-renowned food, Mexico is an excellent place for English teachers who want to TEFL abroad with a sense of adventure. As this Spanish-speaking region is brimming with opportunities for English teaching that generally have accessible requirements, it attracts not only teachers who want to gain experience and thrive in a physical classroom but also digital nomads! If you picture yourself teaching English in Mexico, we’ll dive into the essentials of getting started in this exciting country.

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Are English teachers in demand in Mexico?

Mexico is one of the countries in Latin America with a strong demand for English teachers, so finding positions for teaching English tends to be easy. Although there’s no shortage of opportunities across the country, you’ll find the bulk of English teaching jobs in Mexico City and other large cities like Guadalajara and Cancun. With the booming international trade and tourism in these cities, there is a great need to teach adult learners or Business English students. These areas are also home to many international schools and universities, so there are many positions you can find for teaching very young learners, young learners, and teenagers.

Andres, a Bridge grad running his own English teaching business in his home country, shared why ESL teachers are in high demand in Mexico: “According to my experience, there are three main reasons. First, parents want their children to be bilingual. Second, some university students need to have a good English level to get a bachelor’s degree. Lastly, employees need it to reach higher job positions.”

Andrés, a Bridge alum and online EFL trainer in Mexico, poses with a friend during a Día de Muertos event.

What qualifications do I need to teach English in Mexico?

Do I need to be TEFL certified?

Overall, the qualifications for teaching English in Mexico are not stringent, although you must be TEFL/TESOL certified! A certification is a major requirement for English teaching positions, be it in language academies or private international or bilingual schools. And if you don’t have a TEFL/TESOL certificate yet, don’t worry! It’s never too late to get this certification and be qualified for the jobs in Mexico you’re interested in.

If you haven’t undergone any training for teaching English as a second language, taking the self-paced, 120-hour Master Certificate will equip you with not only the skills you need to teach EFL but also the main qualification for many English teaching jobs in Mexico and all over the world. It will also give you the confidence you need to plan your lessons, help your students improve their English skills, and choose the right materials for your lessons.

If one of your goals as a teacher is to land the best quality English teaching jobs, work in higher institutions, or earn the most competitive TEFL/TESOL certification, go for the graduate-level International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™). This certification earns graduate-level credits for a Master’s in TESOL pathway while also equipping you with knowledge of effective, modern English language teaching methodologies and practical classroom management, lesson planning, and testing and evaluation strategies.

Given the high number of professionals who want to learn English in Mexico, you can also prepare yourself for teaching Business English and further stand out as an English teacher by adding a Specialized Certification in Teaching Business English or a Specialized Certification in Designing Custom Courses, especially if you want to teach workers in specific sectors like tourism or hospitality.

Can I teach English in Mexico without a degree?

If you’re concerned about landing ESL teaching jobs in Mexico without a university or college degree, we’ve got great news! A bachelor’s degree is not a prerequisite for many positions in Mexico. Although it may be required in schools or universities, many language institutes in the country are not strict about this requirement. So, in many cases, having a TEFL/TESOL certificate and high English fluency makes you qualified to start teaching!

Can I teach English in Mexico without experience?

Similarly, previous teaching experience is not required for English teaching positions. Nevertheless, having some experience can open more doors for you in the country, especially in schools. But if you haven’t started giving classes yet, there’s no problem at all! In fact, Mexico is an excellent place for kickstarting your English teaching career, as many jobs welcome teachers new to TEFL. Additionally, tutoring private students can be the first step to sharpening your teaching skills as you apply what you’ve learned from your TEFL/TESOL certification course and acquire English teaching experience. And you can definitely showcase your work as a private English tutor later on when you start applying to companies!

You can also gain experience by adding a guided teaching practicum to your TEFL certification, volunteering in classrooms in your hometown, or participating in a volunteer program teaching abroad.

Learn more about teaching English abroad requirements in an in-depth breakdown of requirements in locations worldwide.

Ruben, a Bridge alum, began his TEFL career at an English school in Mexico but now teaches Business English online independently.

Visas for English teachers in Mexico

Working as an English teacher in Mexico will require an FM3 Visa, a temporary residence visa that lets you work in Mexico, open a bank account, and even get medical insurance coverage. This visa allows you to stay in the country for up to a year and can be renewed up to four times. To apply for the FM3 Visa, the documentation you’ll need includes your TEFL certificate, your passport, and a job offer from an employer in Mexico. It’s also not uncommon for English teachers from other countries to come to Mexico with a tourist visa to find jobs and apply for the visa once they get an offer from a company.

How much do English teachers make in Mexico?

The typical monthly salary of English teachers in Mexico ranges from $500 to $1,000 USD. Private language companies (in-person or online) pay by the hour, which can be anywhere between $8 to $15, while most private tutors charge up to $15.

You may be wondering, “How much is the living cost in Mexico?” Although this pay may seem lower than other TEFL destinations in Latin America, it can be enough to break even or live comfortably in Mexico. The cost of living in the country, in general, is very low, and basic necessities like housing, food, and transportation are fairly affordable. For example, accommodation can cost around $400 to $500 per month, and the price of an average meal can be between $4 to $15! Because of this, it is also not a secret that Mexico is popular among expats or digital nomads looking for long-term stays in a country with cheaper living costs.

Find out more about teaching abroad salaries, locations with the highest pay, and factors to consider when calculating potential TEFL salaries.

How do I get a job as an English teacher in Mexico?

Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced English teacher, you can choose among various types of jobs in Mexico.

Jobs in schools

You can teach in public schools or private schools, which will mean instructing preschool to secondary students or in universities teaching adults. Take note, however, that the qualifications for teaching in these institutions may be higher, such as a bachelor’s degree in education or, for teaching in universities, a Master’s in TESOL or a related degree.

Learn more about the university-affiliated IDELTOnline™ professional certification, which earns credit toward an MA in TESOL.

Jobs in language institutes

A vast majority of English teaching jobs are found in language institutes. You can apply to big language academies, which typically have a chain of institutes across the country, or apply to smaller ones. Nine times out of 10, your students will be adult professionals who are looking to learn or improve their English for work or business. So, if Business English is your niche, you already have an edge! But aside from professionals, there are also plenty of options to teach kids after school hours or university students preparing for English proficiency exams.

It is also possible to teach in ESL programs organized by local government, like Nuevo Leon’s Cursos de Inglés para Jovenes, which sponsors English language learning programs for students 12 and older.

Gabriela (left), a Bridge alum, poses with one of her students from a K-12 international school in Mexico City.

Teaching English online as a digital nomad

Mexico is a popular digital nomad location, and the temporary resident visa allows you to live in Mexico for six months to four years. Digital nomad English teachers can run their online teaching businesses, providing remote instruction to their portfolio of students. While these entrepreneurial teachers usually have online students from all over the world, there are also great opportunities to find students looking for private tutors in Mexico.

If you’re considering making the leap to a digital nomad English teacher, Bridge’s Teacherpreneur Academy provides training, resources, coaching, and additional support. Members earn the Specialized Certificate Succeeding as an English Teacherpreneur, learning practical knowledge and skills of marketing, business, and course design, and attending monthly interactive workshops and networking sessions with other teacherpreneurs.

Being a digital nomad in Mexico is comfortable, as there are many spots with good internet connectivity you can work in, such as cafés and coworking places. And of course, there are many cities, beaches, and villages with beautiful scenery and rich culture to explore!

Gabriela, a Bridge alum who teaches at an international school in Xochimilco, Mexico City, describes Mexico City as a fantastic place to live and teach:

“Mexico City is my hometown and I feel proud of it,” she said. “It is an amazing place where culture, gastronomy, joy, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people join together to make this a fantastic place for living!”

Interested in learning more about how to teach English abroad? Read our step-by-step guide to starting your teach-abroad adventure!

Back in her hometown in the Philippines, Krzl worked as a writer at a TV station before moving to Chile. After she completed her TESOL certification, she worked for language institutes and then decided to become an independent English teacher to business professionals. When she’s not giving classes, she’s either surfing along Chile’s long stretch of coastline, traveling, or practicing photography by the beach.