Average salary for TEFL teacher.


Apr 28, 2012
Hello all,

I have been offered a job teaching English at Wall St Institute in Buenos Aires. I've done my research, and know the pros and cons of teaching for an institute, but what I'd really like to ask is, does anyone know the average wage for a TEFL teacher working for an institute? Wall St are offering 23 pesos an hour, which I think is below the argentine minimum wage (25 pesos / hr), and with approx 22 hours of work a week, I think I would struggle to live on this salary. Is this a normal TEFL salary (for an institute,) or exceptionally low?

It's the first job offer I've received so am unsure whether to take it despite the low wage, or whether to continue applying to other places.

Any advice would be very gratefully received.

It is very low and not average. However, Wall Street is probably banking on the fact that they may be able to give you more hours at that rate, however if all they've promised you is 22 hours, it doesnt seem like much at all. I know of teachers working for companies making considerably more, and many of them don't hold TEFL certification nor are actual teachers, but are simply native speakers.
I know someone who is working freelance for companies teaching english, and getting 70 + pesos per hour depending on hours, pupils etc, without TEFL cert.

I also meet a guy through a friend who was making close to 50 peso per hour working for a language school... cant remember which one though..

20 peso an hour is nothing, and it would be very hard to live on it.. and i think you are right about the min wage being more than that..
I'm a certified and experienced ESL instructor who's considering moving to BsAs to make a living there. Is it worth it? Now I wonder. I live in Santa Barbara, CA, but I'm barely making it on what I earn here. Any advice?
23 pesos an hour times 22 hours a week times 4 weeks is just over 2000 pesos a month. Can't live on that here. At least not the way you'd want to.
I worked for WSI both in South Korea and here for far too long. I was treated like an indentured servant, because at that time, I didn´t know very much about the way things worked in Argentina/the TEFL field, and they took advantage of it.

Don't do it. Not only is the pay insulting, but you also have to be a monotributista on top of that (deducting a significant percentage of your already super-low wages). I was treated like crap by both the staff and students (a student once threw a book at me, and the administration did nothing!).

They have approximately 60+ "levels" of English, hence the reason the student has a class with you (to demonstrate that they learned enough to be promoted to the next one). This is a formality- all the students, no matter how poor their English is, no matter if they complete that silly workbook that they are required to do, are promoted on so that the school doesn't risk them feeling frustrated or challenged and lose their business.

To the original poster- if you have specific questions, PM me. But if I were you, I would RUN AWAY from there!
23 pesos an hour?? With current prices and inflation, that is absolutely HORRIFYING. When I taught with an institute, I got 40 pesos an hour if students came to me, and 50 if I had to travel someplace ridiculous like Belgrano. The pay was still too low to keep me working (and now it might be a bit higher, since subway fares have increased), but at least it was over 50% of what the school charged and the owner was a super-nice lady. Private students will pay more, about 60-80 pesos an hour.

Even at 40-50 pesos an hour, working 15-20 hours a week, you won't make more than 3,000-3,500 pesos a month (it's really hard to predict your salary, since adult students often cancel last-minute, go on vacation, etc.) Even THAT was hard to live on, and I was only paying 900 pesos a month for rent (many foreigners pay upwards of USD400 per month, which would practically be your entire month's wages...)
23 an hour is insane. Babysitters often get paid more than that. Most teaching places will offer 35-45. I work for an institute in Palermo that pays 50-60!! So don't settle for that crap- it's just not right!!
BBBuler, we split our time between BA and the central coast. I think it's far easier to make a good living in California. Lots of those teaching English here are low paid kids. Most I know came with mony to supplement their earnings.

Rent is chep if you're willing to live in a dump, but food and entertainment is expensive. Inflation makes it very difficult for most. I'd probably go to Silicon Valley, which is hot right now, if looking to make a good living. You'll just be poor in BA.
Curious - what does ESL certified mean?
Is there a local/int'l body that does TEFL certification and recognized by all?
Assuming that it does exist, is it generally required for a job in the field?
And where does one get such a certification?