You’ve got your TEFL certificate…so what to do with it? You are likely to have three choices. Or a fourth if you combine the first three, somehow! Chances are, if you’ve taken your TEFL course in the country you are going to work in, the course provider will sort things out for you. You will either work in their school, or far more likely, they will offer you either a placement in a school, or a number of Business English jobs.
There is a big difference in teaching business people and working in a school. The former tends to pay more, sometimes far more, per hour. But you will work fewer hours, and the increased travel time may mean you spend so much of your life on buses/metros or in cabs that the saved time in classrooms is all lost!
Personally I prefer teaching business people. A lot more variety to my working day, and with my Video MP3 player, I can catch up on the telly I’ve downloaded whilst sitting (or as often standing!) in a seat on some form of public transport.
Of course, whether you work in a school or accept jobs from your course provider to go to businesses, you are working for someone else. The third option is to take on private classes. They will come your way, and you can charge a lot more, and keep it all for yourself. But obviously, they are unlikely to appear in sufficient quantity to pay all the bills on day one.
Pay rates are going to vary of course. The last I heard, for Mexico City, pay rates in a school tended to be about 7,000-9,000 pesos per month. Assuming you are there 8 hours a day, that works out at about 40/50/60 pesos an hour. Business English classes pay a lot more, obviously. The absolute minimum you should expect is 120 pesos an hour, but the vast majority will pay 130 to 160 pesos per hour. There are a few who pay as much as 200 pesos an hour.
If you manage to snag a few private classes, well, you can charge what you feel you can get away with! I have several now, which range from 180 pesos an hour for those who I know are not so rich, up to 250 pesos an hour for those who can afford it. If you can get them locally (and bless the maker, I have!) then it can be quite profitable!
How many hours will you work? Well, you’d want at least 20. But no more than 30, unless you are a real workaholic! If you can average 20/25 hours at 150 pesos an hour then you could take home in excess of 12,000 pesos. But what with cancellations and holidays, don’t expect to achieve your maximum potential salary! I have regularly started a month looking to earn 13,000 to 15,000 pesos and ended up with 10 or 11,000!