Teaching English in Brazil

Teaching English in Brazil is like a big multicultural fusion.  It’s a great place to live. It has sandy beaches, the Amazon Rainforest, and of course, Carnival.

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English teachers are starting to see demand in business English such as in language schools in Brazil. The majority of the work is found in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília. Finding work in Brazil is not difficult but the visa process makes it a bit challenging.

The requirements for teaching English in Brazil is a minimum of a TEFL certificate. A Bachelor’s degree is not needed. But of course, it can get you a higher earning potential.

Teaching English in Brazil is like a big multicultural fusion.  It’s a nice place to live. It has sandy beaches, the Amazon rainforest, and of course, Carnival. It also may be a possible global economic engine of the future.


Lots of people will say teaching English in Brazil can’t be done. The main reason is that it’s extremely difficult to find an employer to sponsor a work visa. In short, schools don’t want to do all the paperwork, costs, and hassle of sponsoring foreign teachers.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of teachers who work illegally in Brazil on tourist visas (which we do not recommend). They go there and find employment. But every 90 days, they renew their tourist visa by doing border runs. It’s a bit of a conundrum of sorts. You need to get sponsored for a work visa. But you need a work visa for employment.

Hiring slows down considerably between Christmas and Carnival (mid to late February/early March). Otherwise, it’s usually a good time to get hired. If the work visa isn’t putting you off from teaching English in Brazil, here are some of the types of schools you can work at:

Language Academies – There are a lot of private language schools you can apply for in Brazil. For example, some of the big chain schools are Berlitz and EF. Some of the bigger local schools in Brazil are Cultura Inglesa, Eszett, and Wizard. 

Private lessons –  Networking is the key to finding private lessons in Brazil. You can also get your name into agencies that will find one-to-one lessons at companies. If you can find high-paying private lessons, this is the best way to go.

International Schools – Usually, you can just go to Brazil and find employment when you’re there. But for an international school, you typically do this before at a Brazilian consulate in your home country. International schools are a bit more strict for qualifications and you need to be a licensed teacher in your home country. But the pay is generally much higher.

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Compared to the rest of South America, salaries are higher in Brazil. But the salaries are considerably lower compared to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  You can expect to earn a monthly salary of $800-1,300 USD in Brazil. If you need extra hours, you can increase your monthly salary by teaching online. This seems to be the norm for teaching abroad now.

Jobs in Brazil have no benefits whatsoever. You are responsible for flights, visas, healthcare, and accommodation. The cost of living is higher in major cities like Rio. For example, accommodation is about R$1200-R$1750 per month, R$30 for food and transportation per day. Of course, it all depends on your lifestyle and standard of living.

Overall, teaching English in Brazil is often a break-even situation without much savings potential. You might not make enough money but you’ll enjoy the experience of being in Brazil and experiencing the culture.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Although the salary ranges is based on the type of school you are employed at, you can expect to earn a monthly salary of $800-1,300 USD in Brazil.

In any teaching situation, you will have varying attitudes toward learning English. Adults want to learn English because it’s good for their careers.  Then, some students are preparing for tests to emigrate to other countries. These students are typically more serious and put a lot of effort into learning the English language

The currency in Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL).

Brazil has an interesting lifestyle, good nightlife in Rio, sunny weather, sandy beaches, and the Amazon rainforest.

The socio-economic disparity brings a high risk of theft in Brazil.  Keep your possessions close to you at all times and don’t leave them unattended.  If you’re a solo woman traveling to Brazil, you will need to take caution. There is a hotline dedicated to serving women who require assistance.

No. You don’t need a degree to teach English in Brazil.


  • Brazil borders all countries in South American except Chile and Ecuador.
  • Brazil is home to the largest population of Japanese people outside Japan.
  • Around 60% of the Amazon Rainforest is in Brazil.
  • Brazil is the fifth-largest country by landmass.
  • Soccer/football is enormously popular in Brazil.
  • The population of Brazil is the sixth-largest in the world.
  • Brazil’s capital Brasilia is shaped like an airplane from above.
  • Carnival is a 3-day Samba Parade held the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday.
  • Brazil is home to seven natural and 14 cultural UNESCO world heritage sites.