Teaching English in Sao Paolo

I'd like to land a job in Sao Paolo as an English teacher. Despite my Spanish name I was born in the US and I speak English fluently.

What's the best way to look for work as an English teacher in Sao Paolo from here in the US?

Hi and welcome on board lsmgmz!

Maybe you should try posting an advert in the Sao Paulo jobs section.
It might help!


Hope you get through

From my personal experience I can tell you that for native speakers getting a teaching position in any of the private language schools is no problem at all. Even if you have little or no previous teaching experience you will probably walk away from the very first school you go to, with a firm job offer in hand.

Don't commit yourself to the first job offer. Go to several schools and choose the one that will offer you the highest hourly pay and greatest number of classes. You are also free to work for several different schools and give them your hours of availability, they will schedule classes for you during those times. This can be a bit of a pain, but it will offer a bit more assurance that your hours will get filled up.

Generally speaking, teachers are contracted by schools as "service providers" rather than regular employees. Therefor you will have to take this into consideration as well. As a service provider you will not get holiday pay, transportation costs, 13th salary (Christmas bonus), etc. If you are hired as a regular employee then you get these benefits.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog

The tricky thing for Brazil is to obtain your work visa. It's a long and bureaucratic process, but not impossible. Check out the private schools in Brazil and talk to them to first get a job with them (part-time or full-time) and they will be able to obtain a visa for you. From what I hear, there are a lot of teachers out there that do private tutoring to earn an extra income (to make up for no Holiday Pay, benefits, etc) Good luck!

It really all depends on how long you plan on staying in Brazil. If for example you only plan on spending half of the year here in São Paulo and the other half back home you can get a teaching job without all of the necessary documents (you didn't hear that from me OK!!!) since many of the schools that contract teachers as service providers really don't care if your documents are in order or not.

If you intend to work for a school as a "regular employee" then, yes, you need a work permit and all the other documents. This also applies if you plan on taking up permanent residency. The schools that will actually help with the immigrations process are few and far between. If you are lucky enough to get a job offer from one of them, then jump at the chance. This will open the door for you to work anywhere else you chose as well.

Getting a permanent visa and work permit are very complicated processes, much more so if you are applying from within Brazil. Permanency is granted only in specific situations; marriage to a Brazilian or stable relationship with a Brazilian which may be heterosexual or same sex relationships (this is also extended to marriage or stable relationsip with a foreigner who already has permanent status), having a Brazilian child (biological or legally adopted) that is in your care and custody and being supported by you, retired persons with qualifying income, investors who meet the required amount for investing in Brazil.

The other option is a temporary visa and work permit, which is usually issued in cases where a foreigner has signed an employment contract and the company helps with the process. In these cases the visa is issued for the length of the contract, generally speaking one or two years at most.

It might be easier for you to come to Brazil on a tourist visa which permits a maximum stay of 90 days (which can be extended for an additional 90 days), find a teaching job (documented or otherwise) then decide what you want to do from that point on. If you want to divide your time between Brazil and your home country, stay here permanently or return home following your stay here and forget the idea of immigrating. Good luck with whichever you choose.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog

hey guys, im a recent graduate from manch uni, england. Native speaker with a bachelors. taught in sao paolo before but only a little, with a few hours and the pay wasnt great.

I want to go back, do it fulltime with a decent, competitive pay of say at least $1500 usd/per month. Is this possible?

I have some teaching experience, casual, and could spend 1000pounds doing a CELTA but not sure if itll make much difference to getting a job and pay in sao paolo? also that 1000 could go towards my living costs for the first month or so in brasil and a plane ticket.

I thought like elsewhere in the world would make a difference but it seems it doesnt, and the hourly rates i have seen are too low for a city like sao paolo? Can i make a decent wage in Sao Paolo???

Hi Micahman,

Teaching English you will be lucky to earn R$1500 per month, don't hope for USD 1500 you will never earn that much unless you have lined up lots of private students and are giving at least three classes per day. I've been teaching here for over ten years and you can take it from me, it isn't an easy way to make a living. São Paulo is also has a lot of competition so recruiting students isn't a snap either.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog

oh god, was hoping you wouldnt say that. Been reading around, and it seems yes.. average salary is more like half of what i wanted :( which really really sucks as i really did want to move out there for a while but living on such a low salary would not be be much of a worthwhile experience. Not sure if i should do the celta either now, or aim for another country... stuck :(


Don't give up on your dream completely. What I would suggest is that you start out working for a few different schools and let them fill your schedule. Once you are earning an income, even though it may not be as much as you'd like, start recruiting private students (who pay considerably better than schools) and then as your student roster grows you slowly wean yourself off of the dependency on the schools. Your income will grow slowly as you recruit more students, but in the end you can have an income almost as high as you are looking for.

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog

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