How to Get a Teaching Job Your First Week in Mexico City
By Andy Peloquin
Did you know that you could get a teaching job within just one week of arriving in Mexico City?
You can arrive in Mexico City with no experience, no idea of what to do, and nothing more than your personal items, and you will be employed within a week—provided you know how and where to look for good English teaching jobs. I arrived in Mexico City with a family of four. No idea of how or where to live. One week later, I had a steady job that lasted for 18 months and paid more than enough to cover my living expenses.
No worries if you do not have a job lined up before arrival; just come to Mexico City! Once you are here, you will find that it is much easier to get a job than you think.
What You Will Need:
- An Open Personality: English schools are always looking for teachers that are outgoing, fun, and able to connect well with their students.
- Fluency in English: If you speak English fluently, there is going to be a job for you.
- Degree (Optional): A degree is optional, as most companies are just looking for native English speakers.
The first two attributes, it turns out, were all I needed to land a good teaching job!
Step-by-Step Guide to Finding English Teaching Jobs in Mexico City
It is surprisingly easy to find a teaching job in Mexico City.
How did I do it?
Step 1: Purchase a Cell Phone
Most English teaching companies will contact you via cell phone regarding an interview, class assignments, schedules, etc. Most malls, shopping centers, or department stores in Mexico City will have kiosks belonging to local cell phone companies.
Telcel is the primary cell phone provider in Mexico, and they often have the best services or the best rates. Some people prefer Movistar, as the phones are cheaper. However, it is best to choose Telcel, as they have the best coverage and offer the lowest cost for calls.
A cell phone will cost as little as $15 or $20, though they will be simple phone. A smartphone will cost you, but you can bring your U.S. mobile phone and purchase a cheap Mexican SIM card for $20 to use it locally.
Step 2: Get Online and Find Job Postings
The internet has become the best place to for job hunting in Mexico, and there are many sites you can check out to find a job. Here are two of the best, both in Spanish (and truthfully, you should be able to read the language to teach in Mexico):
Visit these websites, and do a search for “English Teacher” or “Maestro de Ingles.” The companies you want to work for will usually post job ads in English.
Another resource to check out is the local newspaper. There are dozens of newspapers local to Mexico City, but it is best to look through the larger ones in terms of circulation. These newspapers include:
- La Reforma
Step 3: Call and Set Up Interviews
You will find dozens of listings in the websites and newspapers above, but focus on smaller companies that teach Business English. Larger companies like Berlitz, Harmon Hall, and Interlingua are better established, but they tend to be much more rigid in terms of work, schedule, and requirements. Smaller companies will be more flexible, and they will generally not require the degree or years of experience that the larger companies do.
Call the numbers in the job postings. You can speak in English, as the companies hire English-speaking staff to handle communications. Simply state who you are, ask for contact information, and request an interview.
Most of the companies will ask you to send a resume, and they will provide an email address. Send your resume to the company, and expect a response within a day or two. Keep sending out your resume to as many companies as possible, and you will get a callback to set up an interview. Attend the interview and speak only in English.
If the interviewer likes you, you will be hired on the spot!
Step 4: Receive Training
Before you can start teaching, most of the English schools will train you.
The training can last as long as three or four weeks, or it can be as short as 4 to 6 hours. Most of the companies will give you some classes during your training period, as there is nothing better to train you than hands-on experience.
The training will be fairly easy, as you already know English grammar, structure, and the proper accent. They will simply train you to teach using their specific method. You will not have any problems getting through the training.
Step 5: Start Working
Once you have completed the training, you are ready to teach!
I started working for a local company within a week of arriving in Mexico, as the training period was just a couple of days. You can be employed and teaching your first lesson within a week of arriving in Mexico—provided you follow the steps laid out above.
Legal Requirements to Teach English
Work Visa: You may not be required to obtain a work visa to begin teaching, but it will be a requirement if you are going to work long-term in the country. Your company will often provide you with the letter of petition requesting the work permit, and they will either submit the paperwork for you or help you to do so. It will take at least 45 days to get the visa, as paperwork generally takes much longer in Mexico City. Read this in-depth Transitions Abroad article on How to Work Legally in Mexico to find out more.
Tax Number: You will need to apply for a tax number, called an RFC (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes), but you can only do so once you have received your work permit. You will need to call the local offices of the SAT, the Tax Administration Services, and set up an appointment. It is a fairly simple process, but it will take time.
Payment Receipts: Many companies will not hire you as an employee, but they will contract you on a freelance basis. If you are a freelancer, you will need to obtain payment receipts to be filled out for tax purposes. You will need to take your tax number to any print shop, where they will print out the receipts for you using a simple template. Once you have the receipts, you can fill them out and give them to your employer with each paycheck, usually once every 15 days.
All companies will require that you obtain these legal documents, though most will allow you to work before you obtain them. They will help you to do the paperwork, and they will make it easier for you to obtain the documents so that you can legally teach in the country.
Just like that, you can get a job teaching English!
Yes, it sounds complicated, but you will find that it is actually a lot easier than you might think. It will take time, and you may not be the highest paid teacher during the period that you are working on the paperwork, but your salary will generally increase once you have the documents.
Good luck and happy job hunting!
Born and raised in Japan, Andy Peloquin is a Canadian that has spent years traveling around and living in Mexico. He has visited most of Central and Northern Mexico, and he loves to experience the wonderful culture, see the beautiful sights, and taste the delicious food Mexico has to offer. After 13 years of traveling around Mexico, he knows all about living and working in the beautiful country.