Teach in Puerto Rico
Known as the Island of Enchantment, teaching in Puerto Rico will certainly give teachers a glimpse at how this nickname came to be.
Teaching in Puerto Rico
Both certified teachers and TEFL teachers interested in teaching in Puerto Rico will find most of the international and ESL schools located in urban centers like San Juan and Ponce. Though there are positions in more rural areas throughout the country, the most competitive salaries will be located in bigger institutions in the cities.
Options for teaching in Puerto Rico
Because of the booming tourism industry in Puerto Rico, there is no shortage of interest in learning English. Though English is one of the official languages of the island, it isn’t widely spoken.
ESL jobs are scattered across the country. Certified teachers looking to teach abroad can find positions of interest in international and public schools, but positions are competitive.
Universities - several universities in Puerto Rico look for international teachers for a number of subjects. These positions require a degree in a relevant field and relevant professional experience.
International schools - private schools follow either an American curriculum or a bilingual curriculum. Certified teachers can apply to these roles in a variety of subjects, including English.
Public schools - though public school classes are typically conducted in Spanish, the Department of Education’s new emphasis on bilingualism and English language instruction means that ESL teachers and teachers that can teach other subjects in English are in demand.
ESL - teachers with a TEFL certification looking for work in Puerto Rico will find many opportunities throughout the country, as the general interest in improving the country’s bilingualism for economic and commerce purposes is high. Teachers are usually recruited to work in language institutions.
Teaching in Puerto Rico — Hiring
Hiring for teaching jobs in Puerto Rico happens all year long, and although peak hiring times occur for the beginning of the school year in August and September, many ESL institutions and international schools are looking to hire teachers year round.
Qualifications for teaching in Puerto Rico
The job market for teachers can be competitive in Puerto Rico. Teachers from native English-speaking countries are generally preferred. A Bachelor’s degree is required for both certified teachers and ESL teachers, but certified teachers will also need to produce a valid teaching license in their state or country of origin, and ESL teachers will need a TEFL certification.
Visas in Puerto Rico
A working visa is mandatory in order to teach in Puerto Rico. Teach Away placement coordinators will work with educational institutions or teachers directly to organize the visa application.
Salary and benefits for teaching in Puerto Rico
The average salary for teachers in Puerto Rico is between $1,000 - $2,000 USD, enough to live comfortably and modestly.
Some teaching packages include benefits like health insurance, vacation and sick days, and completion bonuses. Flights to and from Puerto Rico are not usually reimbursed, though some schools may offer this incentive to their teachers.
Living in Puerto Rico
Cost of living
The cost of living in Puerto Rico is moderate and often compares to that of the United States. As the currency is the US dollar, the cost of things is often comparable. Local food and transportation are generally inexpensive.
Teaching in Puerto Rico is a good opportunity to do some local travel and break even by the end of the contract.
Housing in Puerto Rico
Housing is usually not included as part of a teaching benefits package, although most schools will provide assistance in helping teachers find an apartment before arrival. Rent in a city center like San Juan can be around $800 USD for a single-dweller one bedroom apartment, but shared accommodation is cheaper, and rent outside of bigger cities is also more affordable.
Things for teachers to do in Puerto Rico
An unincorporated territory of the United States, Puerto Rico is known to celebrate its multicultural identity, with Caribbean, Spanish, and African influences. There’s something for everyone in Puerto Rico: the avid explorer, the big-wave surfer, and the beach bum. Puerto Rico isn’t the most reclusive destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose your own adventure.
Any trek out of the bigger cities will open up the doors to a more authentic Puerto Rican experience. Those looking to stretch their legs can explore El Yunque, a national forest with more than 25,000 acres of protected rainforest. With friendly rangers on staff and well-marked signage, it’s an easy and enjoyable weekend escape.
If you’re curious enough to leave the bigger cities for a couple of days, Rincon is only a two-and-a-half hour drive from San Juan and is known as the surfing capital of the Caribbean. Home to an edgier, more laid-back Puerto Rican crowd, you’ll be able to catch some waves or lay back on the beach and watch more experienced surfers cruising around in crystal-clear waters.
TEFL Certification for teaching abroad
Many schools in Puerto Rico require teachers to possess a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification. A TEFL certification from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education OISE can help you become a leading candidate for some of the top teaching jobs in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico at a Glance
Capital - San Juan
Language - Spanish/English
Population - 3,957,988
Currency - US Dollar (USD)
Government - U.S. unincorporated organized territory(U.S. Commonwealth)
- Puerto Rico is a US territory.
- There are over 270 miles of beaches on Puerto Rico’s coasts.
- Basketball, volleyball and boxing are the most popular sports in Puerto Rico.
- Puerto Rico is home to the world’s largest telescope and is used to study asteroids in space and watch how close they get to Earth.
- Rum has been major contributor to the country’s history and economy for over 400 years.
- Rio Camuy Cave Park in Puerto Rico has over 200 caves that can be explored.
- The streets in Puerto Rico are paved with blue cobblestones.