¡Hola! Are you interested in brushing up on your Spanish — or just seeing the world?
Teaching English in Peru is a great option to get paid for traveling to South America.
Peru has a booming job market, beautiful sights, and some seriously delicious cuisine.
Read on to find out why you should make Peru your new home and learn about the requirements, opportunities and salaries for ESL teachers in Peru.
|Types of Jobs||International schools, universities, volunteering, private tutoring (freelance)|
|Visa Requirements||Valid passport|
|Average Teacher Salary||$500-$1,000/month|
|Average Living Costs||$500-$1,000/month|
|Peak Hiring Months||January-March, July-August|
An Intro on Peru
Peru is best known for being home to Machu Picchu and part of the Amazon rainforest, but those aren’t the only things this South American country has to offer.
Here you can climb the Andes, swim in the Amazon river, and see a host of interesting wildlife as well as relics from Incan civilization.
And you can do it all with a belly full of ceviche and skewered meats.
The world is your oyster here in Peru!
Basic Requirements to Teach English in Peru
Want to teach English in Peru, but unsure what the requirements are?
Don’t worry: whether you’re a certified teacher or you have no certifications at all, you’ll be able to find a teaching job here if you look hard enough.
Having a bachelor’s degree will give you a leg up, but it’s not required to teach English in Peru. Being a native English speaker is also not required, though it will help you get jobs.
It is recommended that you get a TEFL certificate if you want to teach English in Peru: while not all jobs require it, many do, and even schools that don’t require TEFL certification prefer teachers who have it.
You should also bring some money with you to Peru: a little over $1,000 will get you situated and tide you over until you’ve received your first paycheck.
TEFL Courses in Peru
Getting TEFL certified in Peru is a great option because it gives you a chance to get acclimated to the country and to make friends with other ESL teachers in the area.
Their course, which costs, $1,550 not including housing, is a great option because it has small class sizes and includes job placement assistance — so you don’t need to worry about getting a job before you come and you can rest easy knowing you’re being placed in a reputable school.
ITTT also offers a 4-week TEFL course in their Cusco training center for a similar price.
If you decide to get TEFL certified online before you arrive in Peru, check out the accredited 120-hour online course by Let’s TEFL, which has everything you will ever need.
Job Opportunities and Salaries
International schools generally require teachers to have two or more years of teaching experience.
If you qualify for this kind of job you should definitely apply because international schools offer competitive salaries ($1,000-$2000/month) and good benefits.
You can find work teaching all ages of students at international schools.
If you have teaching experience, you might consider teaching ESL at a university in Peru. The job market for university spots is pretty competitive, so be prepared to really show your stuff if you want one of these coveted jobs.
The competition is worth it, though: if you get a university job, you’ll find yourself with a generous paycheck and good benefits.
Teaching at a university is also super rewarding because you’ll build stronger relationships with your students than you might otherwise.
This is best done in addition to a full-time job rather than instead of one. You may be able to find students through your school, or by posting on classifieds forums like Living in Peru’s.
You obviously don’t need any qualifications to be a private tutor because you’re your own boss. You also get to set your own rates and hours, which is pretty nice!
Depending on where in the country you are, you can charge $5-$20 per hour as a private tutor.
If you don’t have any teaching experience and want to give back to the community, consider volunteering. It’s a great way to get acquainted with Peruvian culture and gain some teaching experience!
Hiring and Application Process
While it’s possible to get a job online before arriving in Peru, people have the most luck looking for jobs in person once they’re already in the country.
You can approach schools directly and ask if they’re hiring, bringing with you a CV or resume with a photo of yourself attached.
While the peak hiring season in Peru is January-March and July-August, you can find jobs here pretty much year-round.
Visa Requirements for Teaching English in Peru
A huge percentage of ESL teachers in Peru work on a tourist visa. You generally don’t need to apply for a tourist visa beforehand; simply show up at the airport and you’ll be granted a 90-183 day stay.
There are a few countries whose citizens do need to apply for a tourist visa before departing for Peru: check to see whether your country’s on the list here.
Note that although many teachers do work on tourist visas, it is illegal, and if you do so you should be aware of the risk you’re undertaking.
If you do end up working at a job that provides a work visa (such as a university or international school), your company or school will help you through the process.
You can enter the country on a tourist visa and change it to a work visa once you’ve gotten a job.
Your local Peruvian embassy can also help you with any questions you might have if you end up getting a Peruvian work visa.
Universities and international schools in Peru tend to offer teachers benefits that may include housing or a housing stipend. However, it’s rare for other schools here to provide teachers with accommodation.
You can find information about housing on Facebook expat groups or in your local paper. You can also look for housing listings on sites like inmobilaria.com or Craigslist. Keep in mind that many listings will be in Spanish.
You can find a one-bedroom in Lima for $400-$800, and you’ll spend even less if you live with roommates, outside the city center, or in a smaller town.
Can You Save Money Teaching in Peru?
While you can make enough money to live comfortably in Peru, you probably won’t be able to save up a substantial amount of money here.
If your primary goal is to teach in a foreign country to make a ton of money to bring back home, consider going to China or the Middle East.
However, if you’re trying to go somewhere new, experience the world, and have enough money to cover your expenses and some luxuries, your Peruvian paycheck will do the trick.
On Numbeo.com, you’ll find a breakdown of costs for everyday items in Peru.
The Best Cities to Teach English in Peru
This city of 9 million is one of the hottest places in Latin America for ESL teachers.
You’ll find plenty of coasts here, as well as cute cafes, bountiful parks, and bopping nightlife.
Prepare for a higher salary — and a higher cost of living — here.
This southeastern city’s tourism industry has created a surging market for ESL teachers here in recent years.
If you live here you’ll be able to visit a number of museums and historical sights, and you’ll live comfortably on your teaching salary here.
The second biggest city in Peru, Arequipa is dominated by El Misti volcano, which makes for quite a distinctive skyline — and quite a challenging day hike.
If you love outdoor adventure, delicious food, and Incan architecture, this is the city for you.
It’s a little more laidback than Lima, but Arequipa is still a sizeable city. You’ll be able to find a good job and a good paycheck here, and you’ll love living life in this beautiful city.
Classroom and Work Culture
ESL teachers in Peru tend to work 20-30 hours per week, not including planning and prep time. If you work at a private language institution or university, you might find yourself working at odd hours, until as late as 10 at night.
You will probably have to do your own lesson planning (and provide many of your own classroom resources) in Peru. This gives you more control over curriculum, but it also means more work for you.
You should dress up a little for class in Peru: you don’t need to wear a suit or anything, but definitely don’t roll into the classroom wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Comb your hair, put on a pair of slacks or a skirt, put in some minimal effort appearance-wise.
Peru has a ton of ESL teaching opportunities, and it’s easy to find a good job here if you’re a hard worker.
Even without a degree and as a non-native speaker, teaching English in Peru is possible for you!
You’ll love living in this Latin America paradise for all it has to offer: surf, sun, seafood, and Spanish culture.
Come to Peru and start your ESL journey today!