Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finding Teaching Jobs in Peru

Updated 1 May 2014

I've put together a basic guide for those who would like to teach English in Peru. For more comprehensive information on teaching, try looking in The Ultimate Guide to Teaching in Peru, which was featured in Transitions Abroad. If you're going to be going to Peru make sure you take advantage of all the things you can see and do here. There are a number of great Peru guide books out there that will help you pick and choose what to do. 

Finding a Job Before You Arrive
In general it’s difficult to secure a teaching job before you arrive here, but not impossible. You might try contacting schools before you arrive, and can find a list of schools in The Little Black Book of English Institutes in Peru. Keep in mind that only institutes are mentioned in the link above. If you're a qualified teacher and interested in primary or secondary schools, try IBO or TES.

Side Jobs and Working Online
Nowadays there are many places that need online teachers. Usually you will be a conversation teacher, but there are other positions available, such as assisting with writing. Pay varies, but is around $10 an hour. You can find more info at Teaching Online.

If you'd like to do something other than teaching, there are lots of possibilities, such as selling art, being a doula, or even a tour guide. For more ideas read, Supplementing Your Teaching Salary. There are more things you can do besides teaching, selling photos online, editing, or creating database are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out more ways in the article, Making Money Online.

Getting Teaching Work
Although it might take a lot of work at the beginning, you{ll soon build up a solid schedule. Try looking at the advice in What to do Upon Arrival to find out how to get a good job quickly. If you're a single parent or have children, you'll have more things to take into consideration. Be sure to read TEFLing as a Single Parent and Teaching with Kids in Tow.

In most places, employers will want to meet you before having you sign a contract, they might also have you take English tests, psychological tests, and do a demo lesson. Don’t worry too much about TEFL certs. Having a degree and being a native speaker are usually enough to get a job. Experience and is also a big help. And if you have a teaching license, you can get a job just about anywhere. Watch out for chain schools, although some are good, they may not treat their teachers as well as other places. And remember don't just accept the first job offer just because you need a job. Look at the article, Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job before you sign a contract.

Working Legally
Getting permission to work legally is difficult, however, this is Latin America, so laws tend to be shades of grey rather than black and white. Some options are getting a permission to sign a contract visa, see Permission to Sign a Contract Visa for more info. Have your work get you a work visa: schools and universities are more likely to get you a work visa than institutes. Or if you’re married to a Peruvian and get a llamado de familia / marriage visa, you can work legally.

There might be other visa options for you that let you work legally, such as student, independent worker, artist, immigrant visa, and religious. Here's the general foreigner information from Migraciones. You could also work under the table and border hop. Keep in mind that this is illegal.

Job Placement 
If you’ve done a TEFL certificate programme or are planning on doing one, often they have a lifetime job placement service that you can use. If this isn’t an option for you, there are places that specialize in job placement for teachers. There’s usually a fee involved, but they tend to have good contacts with schools. Some good places are Innovative English and TEFL Job Placement, they have placements in Cusco. Lastly, although it may be a long shot, try your local college or university. If they have a career service centre, they might be able to provide you with some places that are looking for teachers.

School Year
The school year goes from March/April until November/December. International schools may start looking for teachers as early as May to start in February. Recruiting usually starts in May and runs until the first week of February when schools are desperate to fill vacancies. Universities may wait until the beginning of the year (January or February) to start hiring. Many institutes hire year-round.

Where to Go 
Some people are certain what city they want to live in while others aren’t. Many people want to go to Cusco. Keep in mind that there are lots of tourists and it is similar to Europe, so if you want the real Peru experience, I would advise against Cusco. Smaller towns are an option. Piura and Chiclayo are close to the famous beaches. Trujillo is a uni town. Lima is the centre of everything. Arequipa is famous for its volcano. Puno has snow. Iquitos is in the jungle. Do some research; what appeals to some many not appeal to others. Go to your local library and get a Peru guide book or two. You can also read more about Peruvian cities in this article.

Sending your CV works, but going in person is better. You will probably have to have an interview and might be asked to do a demo lesson. For tips on how to make a good impression, see The Interview and Demo Lesson. Also, with lots of places, you will need Recibos de Honorarios, and unless you are legally here, you can't get them. You’ll have to find someone who does have these. They're like receipts. Many people won't want to give you theirs since there's a limit on how much money you make a month without paying taxes. If your recibos de honorario total more than 2550 soles a month, you have to pay taxes. So if you don't have these, start looking for someone who does.

Short-term Work
If you want to come here for a short time it's difficult to get a job and a visa before you get here. It's not impossible though. Look at Working Holiday Visas and Short-term Teaching for more info. However, if you want to stay for six months, you could sign a year-long contract with a school and simply leave after six months. It’s not that honest, but it is an option. Chances are that they would get you a visa. But, if you have a work visa, the school has to give you papers in order to leave the country to prove that you have paid taxes. See Leaving Peru and taxes for more information.

Many people simply come here and hand out their CVs. You will probably make about $5-$10 an hour. Keep in mind working without a visa is illegal. However, many people do it though and chances are slim that you will run into problems. You get up to 183 days upon entry. There are no visa extensions, you'll have to border hope. Some places hire people on tourists visas. Expect to get around $6-$10 an hour. For lists of schools try Breaking into the TEFL Market in Peru, and The Little Black Book of English Institutes.

Answer Adverts
Advertised jobs in Peru are few and far between. If you’re in Peru try buying El Comercio on Sunday. The good jobs can be found in the Empleos section. Here are some more websites for finding jobs.

Cold Calling
This comes in many forms. Applying to schools can be discouraging. Many places won't reply. This may be because they usually hire in Jan or simply because they would rather have you come in person before they hire you. Don't give up. Being persistent pays off. You can try emailing places.

Another option is calling or going in person. If you’d prefer to work in a school or university than an institute, check out the Education section for links to Peruvian schools and universities. Top Institutes in Lima might also help you if you want to work in an institute. The Little Black Book of English Institutes has info about the pay for the best institutes in Peru. The Ultimate Guide to Teaching in Peru has info about schools, institutes, and universities around Peru. Try also contacting top hotels as they often need to train their staff English.

Many jobs aren’t even advertised and are filled by word of mouth. Learning how to network is key here in Peru, look at Using Connections to Get a Great Job to find out more about networking. People often find jobs through friends of friends and that it especially true here in Peru. Be sure to tell everyone that you’re looking for a job. Who knows, your cousin’s girlfriend might know of a perfect job for you. You can also make contacts through forums as people tend to help each other out.

Private Lessons
Another option is coming and teaching private lessons. Try posting at private schools and universities. You can also try posting your advert at Expat Peru and Living in Peru. You can also post in the local paper. Privates outside of Lima pay around $5-10 an hour. In Lima they can pay up to $20 an hour. Have them pay in advance. You might also charge more if you go to their house.

Word of mouth, the yellow pages, and business cards work well. Sending out fliers, business cards to your target area. If you want to teach Business English, go to businesses; if you want kids English, stand outside schools. Try posting in El Comercio. Read the classifieds as well.  Read more about private students in this article.

Volunteering can be expensive and some places charge very high fees. The places below don't charge a fee or have a small fee. AYNI, Awaiting Angels, Cross Cultural Solutions, The Colour of Hope, and Habitat for Humanity. See Section 5 and Volunteer South America for more volunteer opportunities. More can be found at the Business Directory at Living in Peru and Trabajo Voluntario.

Other Jobs
If you can get hired in your own country and get transferred to Peru, all the better. You'll have a better salary and benefits. If you want to try to get a job while in Peru, checking El Comercio is good. Contacts and connections help as well. Try going to Living in Peru and Expat Peru and seeing what kind of jobs are there. Jobs which cater to foreigners and rich Peruvians pay better. You could also work online, read Supplement Your Income Online. The type of jobs you can get here are endless: secretary, tour guide, (see Amazing South America or Peru for Less) financial advisor, and many more. You can even start your own business.



  1. WOW! I am hoping to travel to Peru later this year after taking a TEFL course and was beginning to give up hope about Peru as alot of forums dont paint the prettiest picture. your site is great, factual and informative, my hope has been replenished and i am now feeling much more positive and excited about the prospect that i can actually get there, get a job and enjoy it! thank you for your time and efforts with this bog!

  2. Wow! This is a great site, thanks for all the useful tips, Sharon!

    About me: I'm a German college student who will graduate next year with a Masters degree in Political Science and Economics. I have fallen in love with a girl from Peru and think about emigrating there. I've always dreamed of going to Canada, but maybe I'm better served outside of the western world. More later...

  3. Thanks! I do what I can. Feel free to ask any questions you have. Donations are always welcome as well :)

  4. Do you know what kind of paper work we need to obtain a work visa or teaching position in Peru. Specifically what kind of criminal background check we need? A state(local) or FBI? Thanks

  5. NOthing is required to get a teaching job, but to get residency, you will have to go to INTERPOL. YOur school in Peru will help you with that. It has to be done in Lima.


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