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.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Hours of Operation and What to Wear in Peru

Updated 1 July 2013

Living in Peru can take some getting used to. Learning about Peruvian culture can help you understand more about daily life and customs.

Time is different. Many institutes and universities will have you work split shifts, four hours in the morning, a break between two and four hours and then four more hours in the evening. Sometimes classes finish at 9pm, or even as late as 10pm. Although at first it seems difficult, you will get used to it and can use the time in the afternoon to take a nap or run errands.

Smart casual is usually the rule here. Some places require you to wear a uniform, other say that men have to wear ties and women appropriate clothing. For men, you should wear dress pants and a dress shirt and for women, nice pants or a skirt with a blouse. Jeans are usually not accepted and piercings and tattoos should be hidden. Depending on where you are, you may be allowed to wear sandals, especially in the north.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Teaching Tips for Peru

Updated 1 July 2013

You can find out more about the TEFL market in different cities across Peru by reading, Breaking into the TEFL Market in Peru. If you're new to teaching or TEFLing, you can find good tips at Learning about TEFLing and Teaching. Be sure to look at Know Before You Go as well so you know what to expect before you arrive in Peru. Even if you can’t arrange a job before you arrive, you should be able to secure one within a few weeks.

Money Matters
Money's always an issue. Learning how to budget is the first step to having enough money. Next you should look at getting a good paying job.         You can find ways to supplement your salary in Supplement Your Teaching Salary. But if you don't find a job with your dream salary, don't despair, there are plenty of ways to earn extra money.  Just take a look at Money Matters for a complete list.          Below you can find some ideas for teachers to earn extra money.
  • Look at this article about supplementing your teaching salary
  • Teach online. For a list of good schools to teach at see Teaching Online
  • Teach night classes at a university or institute (About $5-$10 an hour)
  • Teach private classes (About $15-$25 an hour). Here's info on Getting Private Students.
  • Sub at primary or secondary schools.
  • Give teacher training sessions. Check with local publishers.

Learning How to Teach
There are plenty of one month training courses out there, though not every institute will require one. Look at Is a TEFL Cert Necessary? for more info. Make sure the course has at least 100 teaching hours and 6 hours of teaching students. Your library is a good place to start researching about TEFLing. In addition, you can find plenty of resources online. Take a look at my list of Top Resources as well as the links below.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pay, Benefits, and Retirement Plans in Peru

Updated 1 July 2017

The average pay in Peru is $6-8 an hour, so you'll probably earn about $600-800 a month. If you don't have a budget the first thing I recommend doing is learning how to budget. You can live on $600-800 a month as long as you don't live like an expat meaning don’t expect to take taxis everywhere and eat out all the time. Look more at the following articles for info on money and budgeting.

The average Peruvian salary is around $250 a month. However, you have to remember most of them live with their family, so they are not paying rent or food. Also, they will take public transport rather than taxis, so this allows them to save money.

International Schools
International schools pay around $25,000 plus benefits, but you usually need a teaching license (qualified teaching status) from your country plus two years experience teaching in a school and you may have to sign a two-year contract. Also, if you have a legal working visa, you will be more likely to be paid more, because the school knows that you will stay for a while rather than only teach in order to get money to travel.

Earning More Money
A good place to start is buy buttons which has everything you need to know and shows you how you can do what you love while being your own boss. There's also 501 free websites you can use to make extra money in your spare time. Making extra money isn't easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. Just look at it for what it is: extra money. If it turns into a steady income, great! If not, that's ok.

Perks and Benefits
Benefits may include transport, insurance, lunch, a housing stipend, and paid vacations. Make sure you clarify everything with your employer and sign a contract. You will usually have one month of vacation unless you work at a school, in that case you will probably get more than a month of vacations.

Some schools may put you on planilla. That means that you get an extra month salary in July and December. You also get another bonus in June, called CTS. This is an unemployment fund. You're allowed to take half of the money out every six months. If you quit or get fired, you’re allowed access to the funds after completing the necessary paperwork.

Retirement Plans
Retirement plans in Peru are called AFP. (If you're considering a retirement visa, look at this article about Retirement Visas in Peru.) Your employer should set up the fund for you. When you leave Peru or retire you can get AFP contributions back on a simple checking account. Use CPP as a reference and after 6 weeks you should get a wire on your personal checking account. Check your AFP for more details, here’s information about Integra as an example. Some of the most common ones are below.
Reference Letters
If you leave your job because you finished your contract or quit, you should get both recommendation letters and a constancia de trabajo. Recommendation letters speak well of you and your work. The constancia de trabajo should be given by the head of the company and should state whether you were full-time or part-time, the dates when you started and finished working, your title, and duties. If possible, have this put in your recommendation letter as well. Have the constancia de trabajo signed and stamped with the company seal. If you’re in planilla, when you leave your job, you’ll get liquidacion, which is basically your last salary plus a month and a half. You can also take out all the money in your CTS. Be sure to ask about this.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Training and Professional Affiliations for Teachers in Peru

Updated 13 March 2014

If you are in Lima, there are many congresses and conferences for you to attend. If you are in the provinces, there are opportunities to go to conferences, just not as many as in Lima. Peruvians stress training sessions, so your school may offer these free to their employees. If not, try to attend a conference, as it allows you to do some networking.

Try to have a section on your CV that lists a few of the recent conferences that you have attended. There are lots of sample CVs and resumes out there to help you create a great one.

You can read more about training sessions in the article Conferences and Training in Peru. In addition, there are quite a number of professional affiliations that you can join. Some offer discounts for conferences and others publish newsletters.

Month-long intensive certification courses


  • Britanico offers a part-time CELTA course for its teachers.


Distance / Online Programmes in TEFL
There are many programmes out there. Click on the links below to find out more information.

Conferences and Training






Professional Affiliations links


Thursday, December 4, 2008

CVs and Cover Letters for Peru

Updated 1 July 2013

Here are somethings that are usually included on a CV in Peru. There are lots of sample CVs and resumes out there to help you create a great CV or resume.
  • Photo
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Sex, nationality
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Carne de extranjeria number
  • Work / Teaching Experience
  • Education
  • Conferences / Workshops given
  • Conferences / Workshops attended
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Other Skills (languages / computer)
Here are a few websites that has information for teachers on how to write a CV and cover letter.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Paying Income Tax in Peru

Updated 1 November 2017

Take a look at following for basic information about paying taxes in Peru.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Work and Study Abroad for Peruvians

Updated 1 November 2017

If you're a Peruvian and looking to teach abroad, try Fulbright or VIF or Amity. More programmes can be found in this article about Teaching Exchanges

.If you're not a teacher, there are still plenty of opportunities available. Internships are always great opportunities. Here's some info on how to land your dream internship.

There's more info in Visas for Peruvians.

  • There is an agreement with the MERCOSUR countries and Argentina allows Peruvians to work in Argentina for two years.

  • GNA Peru will find you work in Canada.

New Zealand


  • Crucero Stms has work on cruise ships.
  • Hispano Tours have au pair, internship, work and travel, and trainee programmes for the USA, Holland, France, Brazil, Austria, Australia, Germany, Norway, Belgium, and the UK.
  • INTEJ has work and study, work and travel, and au pair programmes for the USA, Australia, the UK, Canada, and Brazil. They also have language and higher education programmes for Italy, the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, China, Spain, and Brazil.
  • Intered has work programmes in the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
  • Student Partners have work programmes for the USA. And language and higher education programmes for Germany, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Ecuador, Spain, the USA, France, the UK, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and Switzerland.
  • Universal Student Exchange have work and study, work and travel programmes for the USA. They have language programmes for the UK, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Germany, Malta, Spain, Italy, Ecuador, Costa Rica and China.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Immigrant Visas for Peru

Updated 28 July 2017

***Be sure you ask at immigrations about your visa as rules and fees seem to change often.You now need an appointment in order to go to immigration. Make the "derecho de tramite" payment in order to schedule your appointment right away.***

Ok, so Peru may not be on the list of the top 20 countries to immigrate to, but it's pretty easy to get an immigrant visa! After three full years with your Carne de Extranjeria you can do one of three things.
  1. Keep your current visa.
  2. Apply for "inmigrante"' status (which is a permanent visa with no expiry date. You still have to pay the yearly foreigner's tax though. I'm not sure if you can get an inmigrante visa if you have a retirement visa.). Some people have asked if there's a minimum time that you have to be married (if you're switching from a marriage to a inmigrante visa). There's not. You just have to have held the CE for a full three years.
  3. Become a Peruvian citizen.  

You can find the forms and more information at Migraciones, they also have general foreigner information.
  • Form F004. Check "Cambio de calidad migratoria a inmigrante"
  • Pay the fee for F004 and to change your calidad migratoria. If you're married to a Peruvian, you're excepted from paying the latter.
  • Make sure your Tasa Anual and Prorroga have been paid
  • Copy of your Passport
  • Copy of your CE
  • Letter to immigrations.
  • Not have left Peru for more than 3 consecutive months in one year. Or no more than 6 non-consecutive months in a year.
  • Present your first and most recent paystubs. They should show that you earn at least 10 UIT of the GDP (renta neta anual). You have to prove net worth and solvency. You might also be able to take bank documents that the bank will give you.
  • INTERPOL background check

Additional requirements for marriage / family visas
If you have a marriage / family visa (This visa is for underage children of Peruvians, parents of Peruvian children, parents of special ed Peruvian children, or people who are married to a Peruvian / immigrant.) you have a couple more requirements to fulfill.
  • Original marriage certificate (if married). If you got married outside of Peru, it has to be apostillised and translated. The marriage certificate has to show three years of marriage. (There might be exceptions to this rule. For example, if you had residency for at least three years but you had two different residency statuses, then it might be ok to have been married for less than three years.)
  • Copy spouse's DNI (if married)
  • Original birth cert of Peruvian children (if your visa is through your children). If they were born outside of Peru, it has to be apostillised and translated.
  • Copy of children's / parent's DNI / passport. (if your visa is through your children / parents).
  • Make copies of everything so that they can stamp your copies. Leave the originals at the Mesa de Partes at Immigrations come back when they tell you to. It supposedly takes one month to proceed. You must make sure that your passport and CE are still valid during the processing time. Then they will give you a new CE that says "inmigrante" .


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