Teaching English in Japan

Situated along the Pacific Ocean’s “ring of fire,” Japan is a country formed by volcanoes, with diverse offerings that range from snow-capped mountains to breathtaking beaches to mega-metropolises.

Overview of English Teaching Jobs in Japan

Typical English Students
  • K-12
  • University
  • Adults
  • Business Professionals
Best Time to Get Hired October – January

April – June

Typical Start Dates April and August
Average Contract Length 12-month contracts
Typical Teaching Schedules Full-time and part-time schedules available
Average Salary $2000 – $2500 USD per month
Average Cost of Living $800 – $1000 USD per month depending on lifestyle and location
Typical Teaching Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • TEFL certification (see recommended courses below)
  • Native speaker or fluent in English
Typical Benefits for Teachers
  • Housing reimbursement
  • Visa assistance
  • Japanese language lessons
  • In-country orientation
  • Travel stipend for off-site classes
  • Reimbursement of Emergency Travel Insurance
  • Reimbursement of airport pick up

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Download the full country guide!

Demand for English Teachers

Japan continues to reign as one of the most popular countries for teaching English as a foreign language. Most TEFL teachers in Japan will find positions as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), working alongside local instructors at a public school in a smaller city or rural area. These placements offer a truly unique cultural experience—often you will find yourself the only non-native speaker in the town, providing a real opportunity to immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture.

Typical English Students / Popular Teaching Destinations

Many public schools offer subsidized housing for teachers, and with the low cost of living in more rural areas, English teachers can do quite well. TEFL positions can also be found in private schools across the country, including in many of the larger cities. These private schools often offer benefits such as airfare reimbursement, but the hiring environment tends to be more competitive and positions harder to come by. Your students in Japan will likely be school-aged learners in public schools and adults learning conversational English or professionals improving their business English in private schools.


Japan Overview

The large and intriguing collection of islands off the coasts of Korea and Russia make up the nation of Japan. The bright green hills, striking architecture, and distinctive culture of Japan have seduced visitors for centuries. The country’s four main islands are surrounded by thousands of smaller ones, each of which prides itself on its unique traditions and customs. About 80 percent of the landmass in Japan is covered by mountains, with numerous small and narrow plains found along the coasts.

Today, the Japanese people are known for their strong work ethic and mastery of high technology. Those who teach English in the big cities of this country will also be immersed in the world-famous fashion scene, unique pop-culture, and vivacious nightlife that characterize modern urban Japan. Contemporary Japan exists as a multi-layered culture of the modern and the traditional, the high-tech and the ancient, the competitive and the humble-and offers endless opportunities for foreign visitors to learn about, enjoy, and experience a truly unique country.

Download our Japan country guide!

Topics covered in the Japan guide are:

    Country description
  • Culture
  • Language
  • Things to do and see
  • Teaching overview
  • Demand for teachers
  • Major TEFL cities
  • Typical students
  • Peak hiring season
  • Hiring process
  • Typical contract length
    Cost of living
  • Currency
  • Sample cost guide
  • Job tips
  • How to find jobs
  • Interview advice
  • Hiring process
  • Work visa process
  • Recommended TEFL certification to qualify for jobs

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