How To Get A TEFL Job – Part 1 – Decide Where You Want To Go!

By Scott Beckman
March 28, 2012

We get a lot of questions from people interested in teaching English abroad. While these questions can be about a range of topics, such as the intensive nature of the CELTA or TEFL programs, the schedule of our online TEFL certification courses, our accreditation, and more, they all boil down to just one thing: people want to know how to get jobs teaching English. This is the first post in a series of blogs that will provide extensive detail on how to do just that.

How to Filter Through The TEFL Noise

If you do a little research online, you’ll discover that there are a lot of people talking about TEFL and a whole host of options. You’ll find a wide variety of TEFL certifications, both online and on-site, as well as talk of jobs recruiters who will find you work overseas, online tutoring options, private tutoring options, etc… How do you narrow it all down? How do you choose what to do?Your first step is to make a decision about where you want to go. For some people, this is very easy as they already have a particular destination in mind but others have no preference whatsoever. That needs to change if you want to start narrowing all of your options down to the one that is best for you.

Things to Consider When Choosing your TEFL Destination

Here are some things to think about to help you decide where to TEFL:

Money. In most countries around the world, you’ll make only enough money to live on, but you can probably make more in Asia than anywhere else. If money is important to you, try South Korea, Taiwan, or Vietnam.Benefits. TEFL schools in Asia often provide housing for teachers and sometimes even reimburse your airfare costs. These are not often provided elsewhere, though sometimes Eastern European employers will provide housing. If benefits are important to you, try South Korea, China, and Turkey.

Students. You may have a preference for teaching English to adults or to children. Most teachers in Latin America teach business English to adults so it’s not the best place if you prefer children. In general, you’ll find opportunities to teach either children or adults everywhere else, though many Asian countries have more opportunities for teaching to children than adults.

Complications. It is almost impossible for non-EU citizens to get work visas to teach legally in Western Europe, and nearly all job opportunities in the Middle East require 3-5 years of experience. As a new English teacher, these would not be good options for your first job. If you’re interested in Europe, try eastern countries like Czech Republic or Hungary, and for the Middle East, you’ll have the most luck in Turkey.

Education. Nearly all employers in Asia require a bachelor’s degree, so if you don’t have one, don’t bother. Instead, focus all your efforts on Latin America, where many employers do not require degrees.Hopefully these pointers will help you decide where you want to go to teach English abroad! Once you know that, you can move on to the next blog in the series. Because most beginning teachers find jobs most easily in Asia and South America, there will be two blog paths for this series: Get a TEFL Job in Asia and Get a TEFL Job in Latin America.

The next post for each will be on which TEFL certification to take to find teaching jobs in those locations. Stay tuned!

Looking for more? Check out BridgeTEFL’s e-books, dedicated to helping you throughout your TEFL journey, from picking a destination to looking for a job!