My top tips for finding ESL work in fabulous Mexico!

By ESL Teacher Julie Darling

From gorgeous, tropical beaches to pine-covered mountains and deserts, Mexico has something for everyone. Mexico welcomes you with it’s warm, friendly people, vibrant history and delicious food. I’ve been having a great time living in Mexico and teaching ESL here for over 3 years. I’ve taught business English in a busy, automotive, industrial city, I’ve taught in a small town language school, at a resort hotel on the beach and in a private high school. It’s so easy to find ESL teaching jobs here in my adopted country.

Get TEFL certified!

First, you’ll need a TEFL certificate. International House has several locations in Mexico that offer the CELTA. And it’s possible that IH will either hire you as a teacher or will assist you in finding a job. You can also complete an in-person TEFL certificate at International TEFL academy in Guadalajara which also provides job search assistance. There are many other schools that offer TEFL certificates but not all are created equal so be sure to do your homework.

The nitty gritty about work visas

About that all important work visa, it’s a requirement in Mexico. The employer must be authorized by the government (INM) to hire foreigners.  Once the employer offers you a job and you accept then the employer starts the visa process. You must appear at a Mexican consulate or embassy outside of Mexico for an interview and a visa stamp in your passport. Interestingly, you can look for a job while on a tourist visa then go to the USA to visit a consulate once you get your authorization letter from INM. Many people often work while on a tourist visa as long as the work visa is in process.  Thankfully, you don’t have to be a native English speaker to get a work visa nor is there a requirement to have a bachelor degree.

Some Mexican schools will hire non-native speakers if you are at least C1 level and well-qualified for the job.   

The best way to find a job in Mexico is to network!

Tip number one and the most important for finding a good job in Mexico is to network, network, network. The best jobs aren’t always advertised on the online job boards. In fact,  I got my first job through a referral from another student who was on the CELTA course with me at IH in Mexico City. Oddly enough, there were 3 of us from the same course working in the same school. So there really is an advantage to completing a TEFL certificate or CELTA here in Mexico. There’s also a Facebook group called English Teachers in Mexico where jobs are posted daily, mostly in Mexico City. The members of the FB group are quite friendly and they’re very helpful in answering questions. They’ll give you job search advice and also let you know if the pay you’re offered is fair. It was through this group that I found my gig teaching ESL in a resort hotel in Puerto Vallarta. I’d posted an inquiry to the group asking about jobs in Puerto Vallarta. A member told me about a job opening in a hotel where he was working. I sent him my resume, went for an interview and landed the job.

The students here are bound to put a smile on your face!

Being here in Mexico is definitely the best advantage to finding a good job, especially if you’re open minded and not too fussy where you want to live. Just living here and talking to people will bring you job leads. It seems that every private school and language school is looking for ESL teachers.

Search the online ESL job boards!

Here are some more job searching tips for those that are keen on coming to teach ESL in Mexico. You already know that there are loads of online job boards for ESL teachers. One of my favourites and the one that I successfully used to land a job in a small town language school is I like that this job board is super easy to use. You can also search on the international job board on DavesESLCafe.  If you’re goal is to teach in IB or international schools then your best point of contact is which recruits well-qualified teachers. And of course don’t forget to use good old Google search terms such as English teacher Mexico.

Do your online search in Spanish!

And my last but super secret and how crazy is this tip. Search for ESL jobs in Spanish! I’m not kidding! Many schools and language schools here in Mexico advertise open positions in Spanish. Go to and search “maestro de ingles”. Or try searching “maestro de ingles Guadalajara” in Google. You’ll be surprised at how many results come up. Then use Google translate and fire off your resume.

Your dream of teaching English in Mexico can come true! English teachers are in high demand all over the country. Whether you want to teach in a resort hotel on the beach, teach business English to executives in Mexico City or you want to fully immerse yourself in small town Mexican culture you can find that perfect job here. Just follow my tips!


Start your own life of teaching and travel by getting TEFL certified.

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Click to learn about our online certification course and free job placement support.