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Teach English in Brazil

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Want to teach English in Brazil? As South America's largest country and one of the biggest tourist destinations in Latin America, Brazil is a dream destination for anyone who is looking to experience South American culture and teach abroad. 

Brazil’s growing international trade sector and booming economy means that there are plenty of jobs for English teachers in most of its major cities. Plus, with endless miles of beautiful beaches and tropical rainforests, tourism is on the rise. Consequently, more and more people in Brazil want to learn English in order to work in the tourism sector. This in turn means that there are an increasing number of TEFL jobs available here. Let's take a look at how to teach English in Brazil.

How to teach English in Brazil

Brazil is a large country with over 210 million inhabitants and many people here want to learn or improve their English.

Many TEFL teachers in Brazil work at private language schools, international schools, or tutor students privately.

Work for Private Language Schools

If you want to teach abroad in Brazil, it’s worth looking up private language schools before you go as these provide the most job opportunities. 

At these schools you can be asked to teach students of any level, from beginners to advanced. Classes are usually held early in the morning or the evening as many students attend them before or after school or work. You can expect to work 20 to 25 hours per week, plus lesson preparation time.

Many of these schools or English language institutes also set up classes where you go to local businesses to teach more bespoke courses to business professionals.

Teach Business English 

If you want to take this avenue, you’ll almost certainly need a TEFL certification and perhaps some prior experience in either teaching Business English or even working in a business. Teaching in this niche can certainly open doors to more teaching opportunities in Brazil, especially in the major cities where it is in high demand. 

Private Tutoring

Most teachers in Brazil eventually go into private tutoring. Teaching privately in Brazil can be lucrative. Many language schools only offer split teaching schedules working mornings and evenings, with mid-morning and afternoons free. This leaves free time during the day when you can start looking for your own private students.

It’s important to make sure you don’t sell yourself short when negotiating a rate with your private students and don’t forget to consider lesson planning and commuting time when coming up with a fee.

Teach English online in South America

Since you’re likely to only get a tourist visa and not a work visa, you could just go to Brazil and teach online. Teaching English online is a great way to make some extra money and, while not on the same level as the demand in China, there are still plenty of companies based in South America that are looking for online tutors. 

Teach English in Brazil salary

Salaries for English teaching jobs in Brazil offer you the opportunity to live comfortably, but it may be harder to save money than in other popular TEFL destinations. 

The average salary for an English teacher in Brazil can range from $800-$1,500 USD per month. The majority of employers pay per hour and the hourly rate tends to be between $10-15 USD with schools typically offering teachers 20-25 teaching hours per week. Remember, teaching hours do not include preparation time and time spent planning lessons. 

Salaries in Brazil are paid in Brazilian Reals so it’s essential to check the conversion rates before taking a teaching job. 

Requirements for teaching English in Brazil

Depending on the teaching jobs you want to apply for, you will need to meet certain requirements to teach English in Brazil. However, some employers may not require you to have anything other than the ability to speak English fluently. 

TEFL certification

You will almost certainly need to hold a TEFL certificate to be an English teacher in Brazil and it’s a standard requirement in most countries. You'll need to complete a TEFL course to earn your TEFL certification.


When choosing a TEFL course, it’s important to ensure that it's fully accredited, at least 120 hours long and that some teaching practice is included. The best teacher training courses tend to include an element of teaching practice and more employers are starting to look for this.

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor’s degree is not usually required to teach English in Brazil although many employers prefer it. If you don’t have a degree it is still entirely possible to find a teaching job in Brazil.

Language requirements

You do not need to be a native English speaker to be an English teacher in Brazil. However, if you plan on teaching English in Brazil or anywhere else in the world you will need to show that you are fluent and can use the language at a native level. Teachers from English-speaking countries such as the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand do have an advantage often preferred over other nationalities.

If you are not a native English speaker, you should definitely complete one of the many TEFL certification programs available. This will show that you have the skills and knowledge to teach English. 

Fortunately, you won’t be expected to be able to speak Portuguese, but it could be worth taking a beginner's course once you get to Brazil or even before you arrive as it may give you an advantage. You can also check out language learning apps like Duolingo to help you pick up some basic vocabulary.

Previous teaching experience

Although having previous teaching experience is always an advantage, teachers who don’t have professional experience can still find a job teaching English in Brazil. 

Documents and visa

To have the right to work in Brazil you will need a work visa, but this isn’t easy for English teachers to get. If you do find an employer who is willing to go through the process, they should arrange your visa for you. However, it is a long and difficult process and because of that, it’s fairly common to see English teachers working on tourist visas in Brazil. While a tourist visa doesn’t give you the right to work, a blind eye seems to be turned towards this. Just make sure you tread carefully, any risks you take are your own.

As a tourist, you can get a 90-day visa if you are a resident of an EU country, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and South Africa, among others. 

You may also be able to apply for an additional 90 while in the country.

Always be sure to check out the latest visa requirements with your nearest Brazilian embassy well before you go in case of any changes.

Teach English in Brazil jobs

The number of job opportunities, your salary, and the cost of living all depend on where you decide to live and teach in Brazil.

Where to teach English in Brazil?

Here are some of the locations where you can find jobs teaching English in Brazil:

Rio de Janeiro

If you’ve heard anything about Brazil, you’ve heard of Rio de Janeiro. Home of the world-famous and breathtaking Christ the Redeemer statue and Copacabana beach, this major city is popular with both international travelers and Brazilians alike.

Because tourism is flourishing here, there are many opportunities to teach English. However, because of its popularity popular among travelers and English teachers, the job market in Rio de Janeiro can be a lot more competitive, so it’s worth getting a TEFL certificate before you go to have that advantage.

São Paulo

São Paulo is Brazil’s commercial and financial capital and is home to more than 20 million people. This megacity may not have the same famous attractions that Rio has, but its cultural diversity and thriving expat and local communities make it the perfect place to settle down for a year or so. 

The cost of living in São Paulo is slightly higher than elsewhere in Brazil, but salaries usually make up for this and there are a good number of teaching positions. 

Where to find jobs?

It’s easier to find a job teaching English in Brazil if you are already in the country. However, some employers interview in advance online these days.

Because the visa situation in Brazil isn’t the best and work visas are notoriously difficult for English teachers to come by, you will most likely have to work on a tourist visa. This means that contracts are usually 6 months to fit the length of most tourist visas. 

When should you apply?

Peak hiring months for English teachers in Brazil are March and August. There are fewer hiring opportunities in January and February as these are their summer months and most people will take their vacations during this time.

What it's like to teach English in Brazil

When moving to another country to teach abroad, it’s always important to have an idea of the cultural etiquette and standard classroom practices of the country you're moving to. This can help you avoid any potential embarrassment or culture shock. 

Teaching hours

Classes conducted within companies usually run in the early morning or the evening after your students have finished work for the day. These classes may also run on weekends. You will generally work anywhere between 10-25 hours per week.

Classroom culture

Brazilian students are generally very friendly and courteous and you will likely be teaching English to adults. However, just because your students will be adults doesn’t mean that they will be too businesslike or serious. Brazilians are usually very animated and love to chat so expect your classes to be fun and very lively.

Attitudes towards punctuality are relatively laid-back. It’s important not to be too strict about students being in the classroom right when the lesson is supposed to begin. You should always make sure to check your employer’s policies on this as many schools take a relaxed attitude towards lateness.

Lesson planning

Because lessons are usually scheduled before or after work, some of your students may be tired. Brazilians also love to have fun and so for these reasons, it’s a good idea to include some fun ESL activities to wake your students up and make them feel more motivated to learn. 

Teaching attire

When you’re writing your packing list and getting your bags ready to travel across the globe, it’s important to consider the clothes you will wear while teaching. Dress codes can vary greatly with some employers asking you to wear business casual and others not caring much at all. If you haven’t secured a job before you go, pack at least one or perhaps two outfits you can wear that are modest and professional-looking.

Cost of living in Brazil

The cost of living in Brazil is generally higher for expats than the rest of South America, but salaries are also a bit higher too.

If your salary is on the lower end of the pay scale and you plan on enjoying yourself while you are here by taking advantage of all that Brazil has to offer, you can expect to probably break even most months with average expenses of $800 to $1,300. However, you can take on private tutoring jobs or teach online if you want to save money.

Life in Brazil

Life in Brazil can only be described as one thing and that is hypnotic. It’s a mesmerizing country full of astounding beaches, lush rainforests, diverse cultures, and modern cities, which combine to form the perfect backdrop for your time teaching English abroad. It’s no wonder that many TEFL teachers come to Brazil.

Brazil has something for everyone, and while it may not be the highest paying country in the world for English teachers, the low cost of living and the chance to experience the lively Brazilian culture will surely make up for it.


Are English teachers in demand in Brazil?

Becoming a world leader in the exports of many different types of goods and commodities, Brazil’s economy is thriving. As international trade and business grows, so too does the ESL industry. Because of this economic growth, there are plenty of English teaching jobs in Brazil.

How much money can you make teaching English in Brazil?

The monthly salary for an English teacher in Brazil is typically between $800-$1,500 USD depending on where you work and what kind of job you get.

How can I teach English to Brazilians?

First of all, you will most likely need to get a TEFL certificate under your belt. Once you have that, it’s as easy as applying for a 90-day visa. Brazil also offers a visa on arrival to residents of certain countries. 

Can I teach English in Brazil without a degree?

If you want to teach English abroad but don't have a bachelor's degree, it’s still entirely possible to be an English teacher in Brazil. Some employers may prefer that you have a degree, but others will be happy to take you on if you are a native or near-native English speaker with an accredited TEFL certificate.

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