A beautiful combination of historic cities (Quito and Cuenca), stunning natural landscapes (the Andes) and amazing wildlife (the Galápagos Islands), Ecuador is a country with a lot to offer TEFL teachers.
You can hike in the Andes – a 4,300-mile mountain range stretching along the western edge of South America, climb Cotopaxi – a high-altitude active volcano with a snow-topped peak and stunning views, visit the Galápagos Islands – off the coast of Ecuador and a haven for amazing volcanic landscapes and wildlife lovers, or camp on Quiltotoa – a volcano in the Andes known for its giant crater filled with bright blue water. If it wasn’t already apparent, Ecuador is a fantastic destination for adventurers and nature lovers!
Demand for English teachers is steady, so you shouldn’t struggle to find work as long as you have a TEFL certificate. But the type of work can vary widely and, as the cost of living is higher than other Latin American countries, there is often more competition for the higher paid positions.
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£320-£630 per month
Bachelor’s degree preferred
Cost of living
TEFL certificate needed
120 hours +
Main job types
Private language centres
Private international schools
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Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, split into three distinctive regions: wild, endless rainforest to the east of the equator, giant mountain ranges in the centre of the country, and stunning beaches and coastline to the west. It’s not only stunning to look at though, but Ecuador’s impressive natural beauty is also ideal for adventure seekers. The country provides the perfect playground for hiking, surfing, climbing and rafting.
The country also offers an authentic view of Latin American lifestyle, with many ancient traditions kept alive by generations of locals, including the indigenous population. From the delicious meals – such as ceviche (a fresh, spiced seafood dish), a number of surprisingly tasty guinea pig meals, and arguably the best chocolate in the world – to centuries-old architecture, Ecuador’s history is available to anyone interested in finding out more about it.
The most popular places to find teaching work in Ecuador are Cuenca, Guayaquil and Quito. These are the largest cities in Ecuador and have the highest need for English teachers.
Quito is the capital city of Ecuador and is located among the peaks of the Andes. Although the city may be surrounded by forest and mountains, it offers a surprisingly modern lifestyle – including up-to-date apartments and facilities – as well as a more traditional side in the city’s Old Town.
Cuenca is a more traditional city, boasting 16th-century architecture, cobblestone streets and a handful of archaic churches. This is the place to be if you want to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of Ecuador.
Guayaquil is Ecuador’s commercial centre, filled with towering buildings and a growing urban landscape. It has some of the best options for entertainment in Ecuador, especially when it comes to the arts, as well as a bustling, exciting riverfront.
The average wage for a TEFL teacher in Ecuador is $400-800 per month, depending on qualifications and experience.
If you work at a private language centre, you’ll likely be offered a wage of $4-5 per hour and 20-25 hours of teaching per week, equating to roughly $350-540 monthly. Public school teaching jobs offer a similar wage, but you will need a teaching licence to secure a job. This is a modest wage in Ecuador, allowing for a bit of travel and exploring in your spare time – but you’re unlikely to come away from Ecuador with any savings.
Teaching jobs at international schools or universities offer a higher wage of about $5-7 per hour, though you may need a teaching licence from your home country or a Bachelor’s degree to be eligible for these positions.
The cost of living is considerably lower than in Western countries. A meal at a standard restaurant costs £2.50-£4 / $3-5, a beer costs £0.80-1.60 / $1-2 and a coffee costs £1-2 / $1.50-2.50. A one-way ticket on public transport costs less than 25p / 30¢, a cinema ticket is £4-6.50 / $5-8 and monthly gym membership is about £35 / $45. Rent is likely to be your biggest expense costing anywhere from £160-500 / $200-600 for a one-bedroom apartment, depending on location.
Most institutes prefer to interview and hire in-person, but there are a few companies that hire TEFL teachers for positions before they enter the country. If you’d rather secure a job before hopping on a flight, try looking for positions on TEFL jobs boards and keep an eye out for jobs at national or international companies, as these are more likely to cater to candidates applying from abroad. You can also look into teaching programmes or internships in Ecuador – these positions usually offer a lower wage but may cover your flights and accommodation.
If you’re looking for work on the ground in Ecuador, make sure to bring along your relevant qualifications, such as your TEFL certificate, Bachelor’s degree or teaching licence. You should also have enough savings to keep you going while you’re looking for work. Bear in mind, it may take a little while to find a job and get your first paycheck, so you could need at least $1,000 to get started. Some TEFL teachers do private tutoring while searching for full-time work, which can help with living costs in the first few weeks in Ecuador.
The most popular type of TEFL teaching work in Ecuador is in private language centres. These institutes offer a modest salary in line with the local cost of living. Candidates are required to have a TEFL certificate but usually, don’t require any higher qualifications or previous teaching experience. Private tutoring is another popular type of TEFL teaching in Ecuador,
Teaching English at universities, public schools and private international schools are becoming increasingly popular in Ecuador. To work at a public school or a private international school, you’ll need a teaching licence from your home country. And if you’d like to work at a university, you’ll usually need a Bachelor’s degree.
Most TEFL teachers will need a Professional Visa or a Volunteer Visa to teach English in Ecuador. Obviously, the former is suitable for paid teaching work, whereas the latter is used for volunteer teaching jobs. Both types of visa may incur a fee and can be processed in the Consulate of Ecuador in your home country.
Once you have a job offer from a school in Ecuador, your employer should help you attain the correct visa. For your visa application, you’ll need your passport (which may need to be valid for a minimum number of months), passport photos, health insurance and a police check from your home country. You may need to provide extra documents, such as a signed contract and proof of your qualifications. Some documents may also need to be apostilled, certified or translated to Spanish, but your employer should let you know exactly what’s needed.
Depending on your contract, your work visa will likely be issued for 1-2 years. This will then allow you to work and be paid legally in Ecuador.
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