Tuesday 5 February 2008

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching in Peru

Updated 21 February 2012

It can take some time to get used to Peruvian culture.  It may be months before an employer gets back to you after you send your CV. It's not uncommon to get a phone call at 4pm and have them tell you that you have an interview the next day at 8am. If you ask them to reschedule chances are that they won't call you back.

Try to find out the salary first since some places pay so low that's it's not even worth going to the interview. If you're looking to work at an institute, getting a TEFL cert would be helpful. You can find lists of schools at conferences and training in Peru.  

Pay and Where to Apply
  • Institutes usually pay $6 to $12 an hour, don't expect visas, flights, housing, medical, or pension.
  • Bilingual schools usually recruit up to 6 month in advance. They tend to get you visas, medical, pension, paid vacations, and they may pay your taxes too. Expect about $700 to $1500 a month.
  • International schools have two categories of teachers: those who are hired abroad and local hires. You need to be a qualified teacher. Teachers hired abroad get flights, paid housing for a couple of weeks, medical, pension, visas, reduced tuition for their kids, and up to 3000USD a month. They often recruit through their own websites, on TES and through recruiting fairs.
  • Universities pay from $5 to $20 an hour. In Lima they don't help out with visas, but outside of Lima they might. Expect medical and some of them pay "utiles" in May which is a share of the university's profits. They recruit up to a semester ahead of time.
Places That Get You a Visa
In general institutes will not get you a visa. Saxoncourt advertises jobs but their salary is so high that I'm not if it's legit. TEFL Job Placement will place you in an institute, but they don't mention visas. ISR has reviewed schools and you can read more on their forum.

Places That Require You to Have Legal Working Status
Most places will hire you on a tourist visa and have you work illegally. These places are the exception.

Finding Work
Working on tourist visas is not uncommon, but it's not legal either. Most people get 183 days upon arrival and either border hop or pay the $1 a day fine. Some institutes require Recibos de Honorarios and unless you are legally in Peru you can't get them. You’ll have to find someone who does have these. If you’re in Peru try buying El Comercio on Sunday. you can also look online at Teach Abroad, Living in Peru, and Expat Peru .If you're looking to make extra money you can teach online or teach private lessons.

Applying to schools can be discouraging. Many places won't reply because many people email their CVs, promise to come, and never show up. Don't give up. Being persistent pays off. Go to schools in person. If you’d prefer to work in a school or university than an institute check out the LA Job list. Try also contacting top hotels as their staff often needs to speak English.

If you’ve done a TEFL certification programme they may have a lifetime job placement service. There are also companies that specialise in job placement for teachers like Innovative English. Try your local college or university's career service centre they might be able to provide you with some places that are looking for teachers. Conferences and Training in Peru have a list of events that you should consider attending. Going to conferences is a great way to network.

It can be expensive and some places charge very high fees. Here are some places that have low fees: AYNI, Awaiting Angels, Britannia Teachers Peru, Cross Cultural Solutions, Habitat for Humanity, My Pro World, and Volunteer South America.

Teaching in Peru
The school year goes from March until December. International schools and schools may start looking for teachers at early as September. Universities may wait until the beginning of the year to start hiring. Many institutes hire year-round. You may have to work split shifts. Sometimes classes finish as late as 10pm. Smart casual is usually the rule here though you may be allowed to wear sandals, especially in the north.

The minimum Peruvian salary is around $275 a month. However, you have to remember most of them live with their family so they are not paying rent or food. The average pay is at institutes about $600 a month. Expect $10,000 at a bilingual school and at least $25,000 at an international one. Benefits may include transport, insurance, lunch, a housing stipend, and paid vacations. Some schools may put you on planilla which means that you get an extra month salary in June, July, and December. For more information about teaching in Peru check out top institutes in Lima, the best institutes in Peru, FAQ Peru, and The Ultimate Peru List.

This article was featured in Transitions Abroad.


1 comment :

  1. Enjoyed Peru many years back and now it is on my bucket list. Very useful webpage. Thank you.


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