Depending on where you are living, your possible employment is probably pretty limited. If you live in a tourist area, you may be able to find employment with hotels and agencies looking for the assistance of a native English speaker. In major cities, you can usually find an American, international, or language school to find employment as an English teacher. I only have experience in an American school, but I am told that international schools pay the most and language schools pay the least. A great option is tutoring; you can set your own hours, work from home, and possibly earn more money than teaching in an actual school.
There are also online possibilities, including writing, freelancing in various fields, and teaching online. Some people purchase items in bulk on eBay and then sell them to small stores here. I have also met people who buy hand-made crafts here and then sell them on-line for profit.
In addition to these, you may also be able to run your own business, but this can be pretty difficult; be certain to speak with locals about what all you need to consider, including possibly paying a “protection” fee to whomever might control the area.
To work in Mexico, you need a work permit. If working online for a non-Mexican company, this is not needed. The best possibility is finding a job where they will pay all costs for getting your permit–most American and international schools will do this. Try to negotiate with any employer to at least assist in the logistics of getting the permit, even if they will not cover any costs.
If you are wanting a teaching job, here are some things to think about:
If you are looking to get a job at a school in Mexico, you will almost always need a minimum of a high school diploma; in some cases, less might be accepted if the school is in a bind, especially for support positions. A college degree will most often be the minimum accepted. In general, schools will look hire people with degrees that specialize in the subject they will teach (someone with a history degree teaches geography or world history, someone with a literature degree teaches reading and writing). The preferred degree is in education, as you would expect. Those with education specialization and higher degrees tend to be paid more.
Depending on the school, they may hire at different times. The more in-demand schools may begin hiring for the next year as soon as the current one begins. Most schools start the hiring process in February. No matter the school, May is an excellent time to send in your resume. It is at this time that many teachers finally inform the school that they are not returning and the school needs to begin looking for others to fill their positions. If you do not hear anything back, follow up in June; there may be teachers who backed out of their agreement to come to the school, which means that the schools will be looking to find someone and find them quickly.
If you are looking to post a job that you want Mexpats to find, try Expat Blog.
Questions for my Readers
Have you worked in Mexico? Ho was your experience?
What qualities do you think are most important for a teacher in Mexico to have? Are they different from those of a teacher back home? Why?