One of the most common concerns/questions that I get asked by those thinking of coming to Mexico (or elsewhere) to teach English is…how easy is it to get a job, how much can you earn, how far does that stretch. It’s not such an easy question to answer. It really depends where you plan to set up camp and how well you can network. A little luck helps too. I arrived nearly 5 years ago, took a TEFL course, largely because of the promise of work afterwards through the school, and have made it from there.
The first year had its tough moments. It takes a little time to build up a schedule. But if you keep at it, there’s no reason success won’t follow. For the first year and a bit I worked mostly for schools, who gave me Business English classes, and got paid a paltry $90 to $120 (Mexican pesos) per hour. I had to travel long distances and as a result was unable to do as many classes as I would have liked.
But I eventually shed those classes in favour of better paying private classes, closer to home. The amount you can charge will depend on several factors. The ability of your students to pay it being one! Do you have Recibos (tax forms) so you can charge companies? It’s a good way to go. You’ll pay tax but can charge so much more. I guess most teachers providing cash in hand private classes charge between 150 to 300 pesos per hour.
I’ve just done my income planning for the first quarter of 2010, for my own teaching classes. In theory I could earn around the 20,000 peso per month mark, but it will never happen. January will see more cancellations than usual, as a lot of companies are slow to get back from Christmas. February is a short month and March will see plenty more cancellations as people head out of the city on Easter breaks prior to Easter itself in early April. If I pick up 75% of the planned classes in any month, I’m generally happy.