Monday, 19 October 2009

How to Get a TEFL Job

Updated 5 September 2013

Basic Requirements to Teach English Abroad
While most institutes prefer native speakers there are still many opportunities available as long as you are fluent in English. Most schools prefer that you have a college degree. In addition, some countries require that you have a passport from an English speaking country. Lastly, some countries may require you to been educated in English for 10 years or so.

Qualifications Needed to Get a TEFL Job
A TEFL certificate is useful but a BA may be a requirement. TEFL certification classes will help you learn how to teach English as a Foreign Language. They will also give you practical teaching tips and you will practise teaching EFL students. If you want to learn more about getting a TEFL cert then read how to choose a TEFL course and doing a TEFL course at home vs. abroad. If you're not sure if you want to take a TEFL certification course read is a TEFL cert necessary?


While it's not mandatory for you to have a TEFL cert, knowing about the English language is. Whether you go to a library to do research, talk to teachers or enroll in a course, you need to be prepared. The articles learning about TEFL and teaching and general teaching tips have a lot of helpful tips.

If you have the right qualifications and experience you might be able to teach at a primary or secondary school. There are bilingual and international schools out there. International schools are more competitive and they usually QTS (Qualified Teaching Status / a teaching license) and two years teaching experience in a primary or secondary school. If this sounds like something you would enjoy doing take a look at how to teach in an international school.

Money Matters for TEFL Teachers
The cost of living in some countries is pretty low compared to others. However, you will still need to bring money with you to tide you over until you get paid. $1000-$2000 is usually enough though you might want to have access to a credit card just in case. You can usually live well and save a bit. To find out more about which countries have a good lifestyle and which are the best for saving check out the best countries for TEFLing.

If you take public transport and cook at home you'll be able to save more. This means that you can spend your money on studying a language or travelling. Creating a TEFL budget has more money info. Taxes depend on many things, however if you're an American you will still have to file. The tax guide for overseas Americans is a good place to start.


Getting a TEFL Job
Remember to be professional when looking for a  TEFL job. Make sure you have a professional email address and a professional photo. Read about how to write a TEFL CV and how to write a TEFL cover letter. Watch what you put on Facebook or Twitter as employers might google you. Set your privacy settings on high and consider putting a formal photo on Facebook. Don't say anything bad about your old employers either. Here are some guides to teaching English overseas.

Vary the methods you use to look for a TEFL job: answer adverts online, get a recruiter, use LinkedIn, post your CV online, contact family, friends, and past employers. If you are looking for a job and don't have one at the moment try to get relevant experience by volunteering, doing research, or studying. Make sure you have business cards. When you meet new people keep in touch with them. You should send them a quick email reminding them who you are and tell them that you enjoyed meeting them. If you speak a foreign language, put that on your CV as well.

Once you get a job make sure you find out about the visa requirements. Sometimes you may need a medical check up or a police background check. You should also ask who is going to cover the fees and how long it takes to get it.

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This article has also been featured in the ELT Times.

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