Work as an English Teacher in Buenos Aires
There is high demand in Buenos Aires for native English teachers. Companies are eager to sponsor the bilingualism of their employees, private schools are seeking to bolster their bilingual educational programs, and there are always individual porteños looking to brush up on their conversational skills before business trips or vacations. Although Native English speakers on the lookout for teaching positions will never lack for opportunities, a bit of familiarity with the terrain can make a big difference when it comes to securing and keeping jobs.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when looking for work as an English teacher in Buenos Aires:
While many jobs don't require an English teacher certification, there are many more that do. The ones that do are often much more comfortable than the ones that don´t, in terms of pay and consistency. Teachers with certification are more likely to be offered jobs first, and to qualify for full-time, in-company positions. Through our program you can start working as an English Teacher in Buenos Aires right after your TEFL Course here. Teachers without certification will be able to find work, but are more likely to end up scurrying about the city, juggling multiple part-time positions.
You don´t need a working visa to find work as an English teacher in Buenos Aires. There are some companies that will sponsor an English teacher´s working visa, but usually only if the teacher is planning to stay for at least a year or two. For jobs that require a commitment of 6 months to a year (or less time) it´s highly unlikely that you will need a working visa.
You're going to put in more hours than you're paid for.
The hourly wage for native English teachers and tutors is exceptionally high, by Argentine standards. To do your job well, however (read: to keep your job), you will need to put in more time than just your teaching hours. Expect to devote several hours per week on lesson planning and preparation. And if the majority of your work is with private students who you tutor individually in their homes or workplaces, you can expect to travel between multiple barrios every day. Keep in mind your commute time (and the changeability of public transportation, due to the weather, time of day, or strikes) when deciding whether or not to commit to a new class.
The pros and cons of working through an agency.
There is no shortage of agencies in Buenos Aires that act as the middleman linking native English teachers to job positions in companies. Working through an agency you will almost certainly earn less per hour than you will arranging directly with private students. You will, however, be connected with potential students more frequently and consistently if you work through an agency than you will self-promoting. You will also benefit from the support of an institution -- most agencies, for example, require students to pay for any class cancelled with under 24 hour´s notice, a policy which can be trickier to enforce when just dealing one-on-one with students. Many agencies also provide you with materials and curricula to save you some planning time. In general, English teachers in Buenos Aires work in part with agencies, and in part directly with private students.
Your schedule will be inconsistent.
Although there are full-time, 9-to-5 positions to be had teaching English, they are relatively rare. Take heart: as a native English teacher in Buenos Aires, you are unlikely to ever be without work. But be prepared: you are unlikely to have a stable work routine that you can sustain unchanged from one month to the next. You will be teaching adults with busy lives, for whom English classes will probably be lower priority than the demands of work and family. Expect about one cancellation or rescheduled class for week. Many of your students will also be taking English classes for just a few weeks or months to prepare for some time-bound necessity: a trip, a test, an application or interview for a job or academic program. Once the important date of the trip/test/interview has passed, the student will probably not continue with English classes. You will almost constantly have holes in your schedule that you´re looking to fill. On the bright side, you´ll always be able to fill them.
Well-informed decisions and realistic expectations will make all the difference between a highly infuriating teaching experience and a highly rewarding one.
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