TEFL Jobs and Opportunities
Opportunities to Teach English Abroad
Everyone from little kids at kindergartens to university graduates and high-powered businessmen are desperate to learn English, so there are lots of different opportunities to teach English abroad. This page will give you an introduction to the main types of TEFL jobs, the kinds of people you can teach and where the best TEFL jobs can be found.
Teaching English to Young Learners
In many parts of the world, parents see a good knowledge of English as one of the most important aspects of their children’s education. Young learners are usually classed as kids between six and 12. There are opportunities to teach young learners in all of the major TEFL destinations.
Teaching young learners can be a good introduction to TEFL, as your students will have a lower level of English knowledge. It is also considered to be one of the most rewarding age groups to teach. Our specialist TEFL certificate in Teaching Young Learners should come in handy if you fancy teaching youngsters.
Teaching Business English
An increasing number of employers around the world are demanding that their executives and top level management have excellent English skills, so they can network and clinch deals with international clients. This has led to an increased demand for TEFL teachers with some training in Teaching Business English.
Due to the market’s reliance on medium to large-scale business, many business English opportunities are found in larger cities. The real growth market for business English are the stronger economies of Asia, such as China and South Korea, and the key players in the European Union.
Teaching English privately, usually on a one-to-one basis, can be both profitable and flexible. It can be an excellent way to supplement the salary from your TEFL job and some people even manage to make private TEFL tutoring their main source of income.
There are challenges and rewards to being a private TEFL tutor. You’ll usually need to find your own students. Teaching one student for an hour can be challenging as there is little scope to ‘relax’ as you would in a normal class while your students do group work. However, if private tutoring suits you, it can be both personally and professionally rewarding. Training to Teach English one-to-one is available here
Teaching English in Schools
There are two main types of schools you could teach in:
Because these schools are run by the local authorities, they offer a reliable and (hopefully!) well organised teaching environment. You’ll have the chance to teach kids aged anything from four to 18. The wages are normally pretty competitive and there’s little chance of getting ripped off.
Private language institutes
Most major cities across Europe, Latin America and Asia have a number of private language schools. When working for private schools you’ll need to do a little research to make sure you find a reputable school. The top private schools offer great benefits: a stable income, a regular working week, a long-term contract and, in many cases, slightly higher salary than in state schools.
Teaching English in Universities
TEFL jobs in universities are considered by many to be among the best English teaching jobs available. The working conditions are good, the wages are a little higher than in private and state schools, and the students are well educated and usually already have a decent level of English.
In many countries, university jobs are reserved for people with higher degrees (MA/MSc), higher-level TEFL certificates or DELTAs and teaching experience. But it’s worth checking the local job sites and newspapers once you arrive in-country.
Teaching English for Specific Purposes
Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is often divided into EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and EOP (English for Occupational Purposes). ESP is further divided up into business English, professional English (e.g. teaching English to doctors and lawyers) and vocational English (e.g. teaching English for tourism, nursing and specific industries)
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) usually revolves around teaching students to use English in order to study. It’s a branch of TEFL that has grown in recent years due to the number of students taking on higher-level studies in English.
Conversational English focuses on spoken English rather than teaching written English and grammar. Asia is perhaps the biggest market for this type of TEFL teaching. Teaching conversational English is a great way to get started in TEFL, as you don’t need lots of previous experience and if you can speak English, you can teach conversational English.
If making a difference in the world is more important to you than making cold hard cash, volunteer teaching is a great choice. NGOs, charities and locally run teaching projects operate in developing countries worldwide. Volunteer teaching is also a good way to build up your resume and improve your TEFL employment prospects.
TEFL Job Facts
There are 1 billion people learning English worldwide
There are more people studying English in China than there are people living in the USA!
There are an estimated 20,000 TEFL jobs advertised worldwide every month
TEFL Jobs and Opportunities to Teach English Worldwide
English is the international language of business, finance and tourism, so there are TEFL jobs and opportunities to teach English in pretty much every continent and country on the planet.
Asia is one of the world's most popular TEFL destinations, especially for people looking for their first experience of teaching English abroad. There are TEFL jobs in abundance and because of the huge differences in culture and affluence, Asia offers an experience to suit every type of TEFLer.
Find out more about Teaching English in Asia
Europe is one of the world’s most competitive TEFL markets. Most countries require a university degree and a top level TEFL certificate.
Find out more about Teaching English in Europe
First things first, you won’t make much money as a TEFL teacher in Africa. In fact, many people who choose to teach English in Africa do so on a voluntary basis.
Find out more about Teaching English in Africa
The Middle East is a major player in TEFL jobs market with wealthy, oil-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Wages are relatively high, as are the expectations of schools and students. Due to this the Middle East is not a good choice for inexperienced TEFL teachers. The only possible exception is Turkey.
Find out more about Teaching English in the Middle East
The USA is by far the most prosperous country in the Americas, and this drives a huge demand for TEFL teachers. From the Mexican border to Tierra del Fuego there is a demand people to teach American English, although in recent years an increasing number of British, Irish and Australians have been known to find TEFL jobs in Latin America.
Find out more about Teaching English in the Americas