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How To Make Money Teaching English in Mexico

by Kary Vannice


If you’re planning to move to Mexico, have I got good news for you! You have a skill that is in high demand and makes it easy for you to earn money once you’re here – Your ability to speak, read and write English!

You may never have considered your native language and its earning potential, but once you cross the border into a non-English speaking country, your voice box becomes a valuable asset and one that can make you money!

But, how do you go about getting a job teaching someone English? It’s actually quite simple. There are some basic steps you’ll want to follow to give yourself the best options and have your pick of the opportunities available to you.

Here’s your Five Step Path to Making Money Teaching English in Mexico:

1) Decide how you want to teach

There are many ways to earn with English. You can work in primary and secondary schools, teaching children and teens, or if that doesn’t appeal to you, universities often hire native speakers too. There are lots of opportunities to teach adults English, as well. Many cities have language institutes that offer English to local residents. Private businesses also hire contractors to come in and teach their business professionals. However, if you prefer to be more autonomous and set your own hours and choose your own students, private tutoring is always in demand!

2) Get certified

Once you’ve decided which ages and abilities appeal to you most, then you’ll want to look into becoming a certified TEFL instructor. There are many companies that offer classes that will teach you how to teach English as a Foreign language. Yes, you speak, read and write English, but if you’ve never taught English before, you’re going to want to take a certification course. It will make your life A LOT easier, even if your tutoring conversational English at your local coffee shop.Having a certificate to teach English will open up many more doors of opportunity to you too. If you plan to work as an employee, having taken this training may be a condition of hire.

3) Take a scouting trip

There are many ways to find English teaching jobs. The primary way is to use online job boards to find out who’s hiring in the area you want to live. However, in Mexico especially, job openings are not advertised on job boards. Most job openings are filled by word of mouth. That means making personal connections is the best way to find jobs in the city you want to live in. Get to know someone in your destination city that can introduce you to people seeking an English teacher or tutor. Or, better yet, take a scouting trip and gain some local knowledge. You’ll be able to find out what it’s like to live there and what the cost of living might be. You’ll also find out how much it costs to rent or buy a home, how to best get around town and who is looking for English teachers in the area. This way, you can seek out potential students and employers and introduce yourself personally!

4) Apply for jobs

Once you know who’s hiring English teachers in the area, you can find out what the process is to apply for a job. If you’re just going to tutor students independently, then it might be as simple as arranging when and where you’ll meet and how much you charge. If, on the other hand, you’re going to be employed by a school, university, business or language institute, they’ll likely have a formal application process you’ll have to follow. This might involve submitting a resume or a Curriculum Vitae (CV) along with a cover letter. There may also be an interview process, where you will be asked to perform a “demonstration lesson”, so they can see your teaching style.

5) Secure a work visa

Lastly, let’s not forget the legal matter of earning in another country. If you are going to be earning money in Mexican Pesos, then you’ll need a work visa. To obtain a legal work visa, you’ll need to apply for residency in Mexico. At the time you submit your paperwork for residency, let them know you’ll be working as an English teacher, and they will help you with the additional paperwork to ensure you have the legal right to earn money. One benefit of working as an employee is that many employers will assist you, or even file all the necessary paperwork for you, so you are legal to be on their payroll. And they’ll often pay the fee, as well!!

Teaching English is more than just a way to make money in Mexico. It is a great way to integrate into your new community, make an impact in the lives of your students, and stay sharp and active in your new home!

If you’d like help on your journey to becoming an English teacher in Mexico, click here!

Written by Kary Vannice

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BurakE March 19, 2018 - 12:17 pm

Thanks so much for the suggestions, Helen

Robert Macioce April 3, 2019 - 3:39 pm

Kary, I am interested in learning more about the opportunities of teaching English from home or abroad. I viewed your presentation last October through International Living. At the time I was working full time but have since semi-retired. My wife and I are entertaining many ideas regarding our future. This seems like a realistic way to supplement my income.

I look forward to your guidance.


Erin May April 6, 2019 - 9:38 am

Hey Robert!

Thank you for reaching out. We will definitely pass your message and contact info to Kary.


Becky Eveland January 28, 2020 - 10:04 am

Hi Kary I just returned from Huatulco and would like to come do a scouting trip in May 2020. I’d love to talk to you more about teaching English there for a short while from 1-6 months either paid if staying 6 months or volunteer if for a month. I can be reached at
Beckyeveland@hotmail.com all lowercase

Also where to stay with a small kitchenette? Thx

Erin May March 18, 2020 - 11:49 am

Hey Becky,

We will be glad to share your contact information with Kary.


Sam January 1, 2021 - 12:47 pm

You left out the approximate taxes one would incur doing this. I think people would be interested in knowing roughly what they would be. If one was doing this online and getting paid outside the country, like with Paypal, then would it be tax free? Is your taxation dependent on where you are doing the work or where the person you are working for is or where you are paid? I’m asking this as someone who is not entangled in American citizenship. They have different concerns with their country demanding tax on worldwide income.


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