Please advice on how to get english teach job


Nov 11, 2009
I am a 30 year old British national. I am a scientist by training (Cambridge educated; BA, MA, MSc, PhD) so I am well qualified. I have taught english previously in Taiwan (6 months). BUT I have NO tefl, celta etc. I have just completed one year's voluntary service in the British Army and have decided to have a bit more fun in my life. I want to relocate for somewhere exciting for a period. At present I speak zero Spanish, tho I hope to get this changed in time. So, what will I do for work in Argentina (was thinking of BA specifically)? - teaching english seems the easiest way. I am in england now and would love to get something set up whilst im still over here although i realise that in all liklihood i need to get over there and on the ground. So, are there any web resources for finding english teaching jobs in Argentina - like job boards etc? Does anyone know some big chain schools that I could contact?

I guess that perhaps the best idea is to get private classes set up and be almost running your own small business. This of course takes time. For me now - in the first stages, I would like to get a salaried position and leave the potential entreprenurial (spellign!) side for when I am there and set up. So, I think a school position would be best at this time. But then how to find these schools?!

I would be really grateful if there are some peeps out there that can lend some advice.
If you search for "language schools in buenos aires" or "english schools in buenos aires" you will find a list of schools. You really won't be able to set up anything before you get here though—it's really important to interview in person here, and they probably won't take you too seriously if you say you're GOING to come but you're not here yet (no matter how sure you are of coming).

Once you get here, you just need to contact schools like crazy. The best places I've found for advertised jobs are in Clarín in the classifieds (online) and craigslist. Craigslist is mostly used by extranjeros, here, but I guess the schools are aware of that, so they use it to find extranjeros.

There are a couple different ways you can get set up teaching English:
1. with an institute: you will have a schedule with about the same amount of hours every week, and you will teach at that center (though many have various centers throughout the city).
2. with an agency type of company: I'm not really sure what they're called. But basically they employ LOTS of teachers, and then businesses call them and set up classes, and they pair a teacher with that class. Then, as the teacher, you go to the various businesses that you have classes with and teach in their offices. That means that you will be running around the city a lot, and while you might only work 6 hours per day, it'll be spread out over 12 hours-ish. This seems to be the most popular way of teaching, and many people are hired with multiple agencies in order to have a full schedule. The agencies provide the textbooks/materials, but you must still prepare for the classes.
3. independent: You recruit and find your own students, often doing lessons in your house or theirs. Of course you prepare all the materials and lesson planning, but you can charge more, too. This may not offer as much stability, however, and you'll still be running all over the city, most likely. It is still something that most English teachers do to some degree, though, if only to supplement their income.

About income: You will JUST make enough to live, here. If that's all you want, great! But if you're looking to save... it won't be that easy. You will get paid hourly, so a salaried position doesn't really happen here. Maybe in a colegio or primaria, but those jobs are in a whole other league, and from my experience don't pay as well. And for those, you definitely will need to know Spanish. The other jobs, they've rarely asked if I speak Spanish (which I do), and all the communication has been in English. If might be different for recruiting students, however.

Also, you need to talk to the schools about cancellations. Many schools don't pay you if the student cancels, and different schools have different cancellation policies. Especially if you're teaching English to businesspeople, you will probably have a lot of cancellations to accommodate for their meetings, etc.

I personally work in an institute. It doesn't pay as well as some of the other options, but I get paid for the hours I'm scheduled, no matter WHAT—transportation strike/problems (common!), cancellations, etc. Also, all the material is prepped for me, so when I'm not at school, I don't even have to think about it. I also like that I really get to know my students, and don't have to travel all over the city all day. I think all that makes up for the lower hourly rate, because I'm not putting in pay-free time. But that's just me... everyone has a different opinion.

Also, pretty much every school requires that you are certified. That having been said, not one school has asked to see my certification. Do with that what you will...

Okay, well good luck!
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.

When you say certified - I guess you refer to CELTA or TEFL etc. Yes, I havent got anything like this. So ummm - yes I may well have to wing it somehow.

Yes, I think my preference would be to work in an institute. At least at first. I have been enquiring about working in Brazil as well. And the news ive heard from there (through web forums) is that their english institutes dont tend to employ native speakers (as institutes in Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc. do) but only brazilians. And so im interested that you say that native speakers (ie. foreigners) can and do work at language institutes in Argentina. So, would you say that these institutes are very open to employing foreign native speakers? And are they employed legally or illegally? I guess for me I dont really care which as long as I get paid. Have you heard about what I refer to in Brazil - that institutes just wont take on foreigners?
Hello everybdoy there

Iam a local but I have some expats friends one of them has been teaching English at home there is wide range of people who already know English but need to improve it (executives, students, people who need English to work like me for instance and people who are studing English as a career) most of these people are eager to study with expats I have done it myself with very good results (having a book to teach as a guide for instance). And I suggest to advertise in the Buenos Aires Herald and in La Naciòn I have no doubt that for teaching at a good level expats are excellent cause you have no doubts as it is your own language.
So all the best you can have a lot of people being competitive
Also as far as I know the CUI (Centro Universitario de Idiomas), an Institute of languages dependent on the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) hires native speakers as teachers, I don't know the requirements of the CUI but you can contact them and ask, a lot of teachers there are foreigners. Their website:
hey everyone. so i do have a question about teaching english. if you come to BA with a tourist visa, hoping to find a job teaching english, how do they hire you if you don't have the working papers? do they help you get a work visa? or do you have to find a job working somewhere else beforehand until you get a working visa? i want to teach english but a lot of the institutes i have contacted have told me that i need to papers in order to work there. any advice on how to get working papers would be great, thanks.
As I understand a working visa, you have to have some sort of contract between yourself and an Argentine company in order to qualify. I've seen other people here and there talk about trying to work out the timing on getting the contract and the visa taken care of, with the job needing to start before the visa comes through kind of thing.

The only way you'd be able to teach just on a tourist visa would be in the black (illegal), advertising to locals most likely. That might be able to work, but would take a while to build up a business. And you always run the risk of having problems, like if you piss someone off and they complain and you're found out.

Do you speak Spanish? You're going to need to for what you're looking to do. Probably pretty good Spanish.

Best way to do it, I would think, would be to be able to live here for a few months (maybe more?) and look for something in person, where they know you're here and not wasting their time. You'd probably not make any money in that time, and would spend money on traveling around a lot interviewing, waiting in lines to get the visa stuff done, paying visa fees, etc. Find someone who's willing to give you a contract and go get a visa with it.
Teaching English is somewhat complicated on the en blanco/en negro level... most institutes will not go through the trouble of getting you a work visa—this would require you both to sign a contract, and it's a lot of paperwork, etc. BUT they do want to be able to pay you legally. To pay you legally, they must receive an official "factura" from you (an invoice), that they can use to show where their money is going. You can only get these facturas (you get a book of them) with a CUIT number. A CUIT number is for tax purposes, it is used by "monotributistas"—freelancers or independent contractors, if you will. It is like a tax id number in the States.. a number different from your SSN (or DNI, here), that you use to pay taxes on income you make from your own business or independent contracting work. The kicker is, you're "not allowed" to get this number on a tourist visa. You technically have to have some sort of residency here, although I'm not sure of the specifics. I just know you "can't" get it on a tourist visa.

I put "not allowed" and "can't" in quotes because, well, it's Argentina, and there are exceptions to every rule and law. As of last week, in fact, I am the proud owner of a CUIT number, on a tourist visa. It really just is the luck of the draw.. and there are many threads on how to get the CUIT. I happen to live in the jurisdiction of the AFIP office that hands out those numbers like candy (Constitucion AFIP!!). Lucky me!

So, for me... I am working illegally, here illegally (well, on a valid tourist visa, but not allowed to be here more than 6 months out of the year, which I am...), but I am getting paid legally, and billing my employer legally. I also have to pay a whopping $33 pesos in taxes per month. Crazy, huh?

And yes, institutes here do prefer to hire native speakers.

I hope that covers it all!
Might help if you can speak and write English correctly in the first place!

Spend a year learning Spanish as well - Or come as a tourist and just enjoy the place.... With all your Cambridge qualifications, you could do far more.....