What do breakeven wages mean when teaching English in Nicaragua?

What does breakeven even mean?

Teach English Nicaragua


When figuring out where you want to teach in the world, money is always a big factor.  How much money will I make is always at the top of the list of questions people ask me.

In this article, we are going to explain exactly what break even means, and how thousands of English teachers every year survive living abroad?

According to the Merriam – Webster online dictionary, the definition of breakeven is the point at which cost and income are equal and there is neither profit nor loss. 

Ok, great.  But what does that mean if I am an English teacher living in Nicaragua?Teaching in Nicaragua

First and foremost, maybe breakeven isn’t the best word.  I mean, it has the word break in it, which might be a little too close to ‘broke’ for some people’s comfort levels.

In any event, what it means is that you will live a comfortable lifestyle living as a middle class person in Nicaragua, or any country for that matter.  So for Nicaragua, you will make enough money to pay your rent, pay for public transportation, work, go out a few times a week, and have money for in country and regional travel.

In all of Latin America, you can expect breakeven wages.  So whether you teach in Mexico, Nicaragua, or Chile, you will basically live life as a middle class person in that country. All of those countries the teachers make a different salary relative to that country.  (There may even be differences in salaries within a given country.  For example in Nicaragua people working in Managua, the country’s capital, can make a slightly higher wage.)Volunteer dinner at La Cucaracha

Sometimes people get caught up in a particular dollar amount, and this can be misleading because it is relative to that country’s local economy.  On average, most local English teachers in Nicaragua make around $2.00/hour teaching English, and this is enough for them to live life as an English teacher here.  Of course, more is useful, and most of our graduates start off making around $5.00/hour after graduating with our TEFL/TESOL certification.  This translates into about $250 – $500 month depending on where and how many hours you work.  Some schools pay as high as $10.00/hour depending on individual’s educational background.Teaching English Nicaragua

See what housing accommodations are like during the four week TEFL course here.

Online teaching is also becoming more and more popular here in Nicaragua, as salaries usually start at $10.00/ hour and go up to $16.00/ hour!  This is a nice supplement to your income, especially during the low months of December and January.

To learn more about the job market in Nicaragua, check out this article.

Often times, our graduates have other expenses to pay, like student loans.  Those individuals usually come down to Nicaragua to do the four week course in person and get some firsthand foreign teaching experience, because it is so cost effective, and then make their way to Asia where the can save some money for things like student loans, etc.  So as you can see, many people get TEFL/TESOL certified in Nicaragua to take advantage of how cost effective the country is, even if they are not going to teach here.

So, breakeven wages are not the end of the world. A cost effective country, with an emerging English teaching market with little competition, (ITA Nicaragua is the first 4 week TEFL/TESOL program of it’s type!) Nicaragua is the perfect destination for those who are looking for a professional, cost effective,  in person 4 week TEFL training program.

See staff article about how Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America!  For real!!





  1. 7 Expert Tips For Getting a Job Teaching English in Nicaragua - October 13, 2016

    […] Depending on city and your level of education, $300 – $800 US dollars. Certified teachers from the US/Canada for example at the more prestigious schools in Managua with a Master’s degree can earn up to $1200 a month, but this is not typical.  Another related article: What do break even wages mean in Latin America? […]

Leave a Reply

International TEFL Academy Nicaragua BBB Business Review