The most frequently asked question of all about teaching English as a second language in Argentina has to do with the pay. There are many people who support themselves as English teachers in Argentina and even more who get by with a combination of teaching English and other paid work. In any case it is recommended to come to the country with sufficient savings to cover your costs for a few months until you build up a regular clientele.
Q. How much money will I be making as an English teach in Argentina?
A. Most English teachers in Argentina are paid an hourly wage. If you work for an institution, they generally pay between AR$30—$40 per hour. For a private class a typical fee is AR$40 per hour, although you can sometimes ask for as much as AR$50, depending on factors such as travel time, number of hours per week and your reputation as a teacher. If you are just starting out, you may want to offer private classes for a cheaper rate, in order to build up your number of students.
What this amounts to per month depends entirely on how much you work. Most ‘full-time’ teachers average about four or five classes per day. Such a workload would see you making about AR $800-$1000 pesos per week, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. A very important factor to consider is the travel time between classes. Not many academies can offer you a whole batch of classes at the one company, so you will likely be traveling around by foot, bus or subway in order to get to different classes around the city. So it is possible to ‘work’ a 12-hour day, but only actually earn a fee for five or six of those hours – with the rest of the time spent traveling between destinations, or on little breaks of one or two hours that you could not fill with a class.
The majority of English students prefer classes at one of three times of day; before work, lunch time, or straight after work. Therefore you tend to easily fill those time slots with classes, but have more trouble filling the spaces in between. So you can earn AR$4000 per month after hanging around a while and if you are prepared to work long days, and are lucky enough to fill up your schedule or find well-paying private students. Otherwise, you should expect to earn less than that. Many opt to teach less classes per day, or only work three or four days a week and earn a comfortable AR$2200-AR$3000 per month. To see how this relates to the cost of living in the country, see this article.
Note: There is a high inflation rate in Argentina; luckily class fees tend to increase a little bit every year as well.