Are TEFL Jobs Easy to Get?


Are TEFL jobs easy to get? You have got your TEFL certification, and you are feeling very proud of your achievement, and rightly so. Now it is time to find a job, and you might be feeling a little anxious about how easy it will be to find work. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Read on for some great advice.

Where in the World?

The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for English teachers all over the world. You will find the demand varies by country, but there are loads of opportunities out there. Each location also has a different set of expectations, as you will probably already know. The TEFL certificate is pretty much a prerequisite for all countries, but there are other variables, such as whether you have a degree or any classroom experience. In the EU, you will find that only EU citizens are picked for roles in language schools, and some countries in the Middle East need higher level qualifications such as a DELTA certificate and several years of experience as a teacher, so it is not the best location for newly qualified people.

The First Job is Always the Hardest

Getting that first TEFL job under your belt is always the hardest first step, and the more experience you gain, the easier it is to move and advance your career with higher-paid jobs. However, it is a bustling industry, and the demand for English teachers is high, meaning while it might be a little more difficult when you are just starting, it is certainly not impossible. You may not have any experience yet but there are plenty of things you can do to boost your chances and make sure you stand out from the crowd.

Polish Your CV

You probably already have a CV, but now you need to add your new qualification to it and rework it to promote all your skills that relate to teaching English abroad. While you are working on it, make sure you also look for spelling and grammar mistakes. These are massive red flags to an employer, especially when you are claiming to be an English teacher! You will likely find yourself on the fast track to the no pile if you are not precise with your grammar and spelling in every part of your application.

Keep your TEFL qualifications at the top so they are easy to find and check the internet for the latest advice on preparing an eye-catching CV that employers will want to read. Finally, make sure it is concise as, with so many to read, employers also discard CVs that read like a novel.

Look at TEFL Job Sites

You may find that there are some TEFL jobs listed on normal job sites, but it is a niche industry, so unsurprisingly, there are dedicated sites that will bring together a lot more vacancies from around the world. We always try to help our students find work so we have access to various job opportunities.

However, Google is always a good place to start, and you can Google for TEFL jobs in various countries. You will soon be able to tell which countries have the most opportunities, and if this is your first job, you need to look for positions where experience is not deemed as important as your TEFL qualification.

It’s worth having a go at jobs that say they require a year or so of experience, but anything over that, you are unlikely even to make the shortlist. You may find that you can get yourself a job normally requiring experience if you have a tiptop CV and come across as very capable and personable.

Finding a job is a similar process to any other recruitment you may have experienced. Once you’ve sent your CV, if you are invited for an interview, this will normally be conducted by Skype or phone, and you can expect to be meeting the school owner, or the recruitment director on the call. All other interview tips, including being smartly presented and on time, are just as important.


Proactively Hunt for Jobs

Another good tip is to send out your CV to several language schools in the countries in which you wish to work. It is a more challenging approach, but sometimes it will just pay off. Some countries do not use the Internet as regularly as others, so they may not always advertise their vacancies online. There is no harm in politely asking the recruitment director whether there are any vacancies and letting them have your CV as it shows you are a self-starter. You never know if you might get lucky and find your dream job.

The second part of being proactive about finding work is heading to the country. You are looking to work. If you are determined to get a job in one specific country, why not head there on holiday so that you can do some on-the-ground hunting? A lot of employers like the personal touch and the chance to meet people. Be sure that you have your CV and a cover letter that works for all institutions in the area with you. You can also get contact details and follow up with them in the future if nothing else comes to life.

Speak to Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies are also a source of work. There are specialist TEFL agencies who are experts at finding work for English teachers. They know precisely what requirements each employer is looking for, and they are brilliant at helping you find work even if you don’t have any experience. The Internet is your friend when it comes to finding such a place and finding out which countries they operate within.

Build Experience

Hang on a minute; why are we telling you to build experience when we’re helping you find a job with no experience? If you’re lucky, you will find a job quickly, but if things take a little bit longer to progress, you can gain experience in your own country. There are a few ways to do this. You could find some expats living in your local area and offer free English lessons, or you could volunteer to teach English at your local language school or immigration centre. Any experience of teaching is valuable; it doesn’t even have to be English teaching. You could volunteer at a local school as a classroom assistant. The small details are the sort of thing that helps you stand out from the crowd if there are a lot of people applying for the same position.

The other way to gain a little experience is to do some online teaching. There are also a lot of jobs available teaching English online, and we will cover more of that later. The pandemic proved that teaching English online could be as successful as teaching in person, and language schools online are often quite happy to work with newly qualified teachers. It’s a great way to bolster your CV and stand out, even if the overall aim is to teach in person in a foreign country.

Keep in Touch

In the current climate, with so many people applying for the same vacancies, employers are everywhere, not just in the TEFL sector. Do not get back to unsuccessful candidates. You will only hear from them if you have got the job or at least been invited for an interview. However, this doesn’t stop you from taking the initiative and asking them for feedback.

You can ask about why you were not chosen and if there’s anything you can do to improve your chances next time. If it’s just a simple case of not having any experience, we have shown you how you could rectify this. In other cases, they can just be super busy and not have the time to respond to people, and by chasing, you may change the outcome.

It’s been seen in the past where proactive candidates who have made an effort to contact a recruiter to find out how their application is progressing have impressed them so much that they have moved from the rejected pile to the shortlist pile. It’s a very low-effort way to improve your chances of finding work as an English teacher abroad.

Teaching English Online

For some people, teaching English is a side hustle, and they don’t intend to use their skills to head out abroad in the first few years; some never intend to. Some people want to build a business so that they can leave their existing jobs and start a new life.

Teaching online is a popular way to do this, and it also, as mentioned above, gives you a way to get some experience when it comes to applying for jobs in other countries. So, let’s take a closer look at the idea of teaching English as a foreign language online. Teaching English online is quite different from teaching in person, so we will share everything you need to know.

Teaching English online is done using one of the many video platforms such as Skype or Microsoft Teams. Some English language schools that operate online have their bespoke platform. When you are teaching English online, you can work one-on-one with an individual student or with groups in a set-up similar to a standard classroom.

Other than that, it’s a very similar basis; the student’s first language is not English, and they are looking to improve their skills. In most cases, a TEFL certification is still required, but some schools don’t ask for this, so if you haven’t yet achieved your TEFL-qualified status.

you could look at online teaching to see if you’re going to enjoy it by getting a job without a qualification. However, you will always be on the back foot as you will be unaware of the very many important things we teach in the course.

The Ease of the Virtual World

The biggest appeal of teaching English online is that it can be done from anywhere in the world. Whether you are a TEFL-certified teacher in South Africa, America or England, the principle is still the same. You get to work from home or another location of your choice, provided you have a stable Internet connection.

It also means people can travel while still maintaining their work. Working online also gives you a little bit more freedom, and that’s why many people use it to start a side hustle or make the transition from regular work into a career teaching English as a foreign language. You have greater flexibility when it comes to your schedule, so you can only teach in the evenings to start with and perhaps the odd weekend.

Alternatively, if you are teaching English online full-time, you can offer lessons throughout the day. Because there are so many time zones in the world, you are always going to find some countries where pupils are awake and happy to learn.

In terms of your qualifications, you do not need to be a native English speaker, but you do need to be very fluent and able to prove your proficiency. You need to have a Webcam, reliable Internet connection, and decent software with which to work.

are tefl jobs easy to get

Teaching Online from South Africa?

In the following sections, we will look at some of the companies that employ English teachers online. They are all worth a look; you may not meet the basic spec for some of them, but if you do meet the criteria, it’s worth applying. Some online language providers employ their teachers on a self-employed basis, in which case you need to consider your tax status, whereas others employ you. If you are teaching English online from South Africa, why not check out Amazing Talker?

Amazing Talker is looking for teachers who have a year of teaching experience as well as a valid TEFL certificate. If you are looking to teach English online rather than in person, you should choose a TEFL qualification not only meets the essential 120-hour requirement but also contains a bolted-on online teaching module.

Have a look at the courses we offer.  The focus of the company is one-to-one teaching so that you won’t be working with any group classes. They try to be as flexible as possible for their teachers and have a matching system to make things easier. You provide your schedule when you would like to work, add in any areas of interest or your specialities, and they will match students who are looking for similar. It’s a great way to gain some new TEFL skills.  It’s a great way to gain some new TEFL skills.

The Great Teacher Company

The Great Teacher Company is another online employer that is worth checking out. They are more than happy to welcome new teachers to their team, and they work hard to create a good working environment. To make life a little bit easier when you are just starting, they provide everything you need, including your lesson plans and course materials.

This makes it a lot easier as you get to see how experienced teachers create lessons and don’t have to do the planning yourself at this stage. Students come from all over the world and are very different in age, so it’s a great way to gain experience. To work for them, you need to have a TEFL certification and a clean criminal record check.

Teaching Online from the UK?

If you are in the UK and looking for work, you can try the organisations above but also have a look at Preply. Initially, the idea of the website was to help children prepare for their SATS tests. However, the site was so successful that they have expanded and now offer lots of different lessons in over 50 languages to children all over the world.

This is an excellent place for non-native English teachers to work because you could double up. You could teach lessons in your native tongue and English.

There is a lovely mix of age groups, classes, and one-to-one lessons on offer, and they are good at being flexible and fitting in with the schedule you want. Aside from a TEFL qualification.

They do not seem to look for any other particular requirements from their teachers but go on the site and have a good look. This is also a great website for teaching online from the USA.

are tefl jobs easy to get

Teaching English Abroad as a Native Speaker

 While native speakers are probably the most in-demand, it’s certainly not impossible to teach English if it is not your native fun. We will start by looking at the requirements for those who are native English speakers. We’re going to assume that you already realise that the 120-hour TEFL certification is vital. The other really important thing is that you get your qualification from a school like ours where the courses are regulated and accredited. On top of this, having a degree in any subject shows that you are a good learner, and this sort of thing impresses employers. Add to that a clear criminal record, some experience of teaching, and a valid passport and you will have a job in no time.

What About Non-Native English Speakers?

 Teaching English as a foreign language when you are not a native English speaker is still very possible. You do need to be fluent, and there are plenty of tests that you can use to demonstrate your skills. Proving English skills is needed in many different industries, so the tests are standardised and recognised across the world. 

We have lots of information on the site about non-native speakers, including those from South Africa, who may not have spoken English at home but may have been educated in English. It can make finding work harder, but not impossible.

You will find a lot of adverts that say native speakers only, and that’s not something we particularly support or encourage. We have many students who are non-native English speakers, making fantastic careers for themselves as an English teacher abroad.

For some people, the passport is more of a problem when it comes to securing jobs abroad, but again, you can look up countries on a case-by-case basis, and you are bound to find some that will work with you.

Visa Specific countries

Some countries will only offer visas to specific countries where English is spoken. The big group is the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland. These are often grouped as the big seven. Other English-speaking countries do not get the same recognition. Sadly, if you are not eligible for a visa in the country, there is very little that you can do about it, no matter how good of an English teacher you are. Visas aren’t non-negotiable. However, you could still fulfil many of your career ambitions by teaching English online.

This means that the best starting point for you is to discover what countries you will be able to meet the requirements for, and then you know where you can base your job so searching. It’s fair to say this might be a longer process than someone who speaks English as a native, but if your qualifications are strong and you successfully obtain a Visa, then you will be able to find work. It may just take a little bit more perseverance than others.

The Irony is Non-Native English Speakers are Fantastic TEFL Teachers

The irony is, of course, that non-native English speakers are already bilingual, which is the goal of your pupils. A status that you have already achieved. The best English teachers are those who have good training, experience, and natural ability. It doesn’t come down to what language you were born speaking.

This is the most important point that you will need to be able to get across to any potential employer. This is why it’s essential that your CV is in tip-top condition and that you can demonstrate having two languages and experience learning a second language gives you the edge.

English speakers get a bare minimum of education on grammar at school, but as someone who has learned a second language, you have probably done a lot more.

It gives you the ability to understand your students and the challenges that they face, so you need to sell yourself and convince potential employers that this is a strength and not a weakness. We have found that many South African English teachers are good at their jobs because they speak one language at home and English in the classroom.

Spotlight on Pretoria

If you are living and working in South Africa or South Africa by birth, then you may decide to base yourself in Pretoria. So we decided to have a closer look at what it’s like to live and work there. Pretoria, located in the northern part of Gauteng Province in South Africa, is one of the country’s three capital cities, serving as the administrative capital.

Being the administrative capital of South Africa means that there are lots of different industries based there. Government offices, diplomatic missions and ministries call Pretoria home. It, therefore, has a very professional and bureaucratic feel, which is possibly a really good thing if you are looking to teach English as a second language. There are plenty of professionals who are looking to improve their English skills, and they are the type of people who would attend schools during the evenings and weekends as they would be working during the day.

The area is also home to many different academic buildings with several universities, including the University of Pretoria, which is well-known and renowned for academia. There are also quite a lot of research facilities and centres, making it an excellent place for teachers to base themselves.

So, What is it Like to Live There?

Generally, South Africa has a lower cost of living compared to other Western countries, and Pretoria is no different. It can vary depending on various factors, including your neighbourhood, personal spending habits, and the lifestyle you have. There are lots of different residential areas, which means that you should be able to find your tribe and fit in well. Some of these neighbourhoods are particularly well-known because of their historic charm, whereas others are slightly more modern. There is certainly lots to do there, and Pretoria has a rich cultural and historical heritage.

The Environment

You will find famous buildings, such as the Union buildings, the Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park. When deciding where to live, you will probably want to look at how far it is from your work, but there is a good public transport infrastructure with commuter trains and buses.

Many people still prefer to drive their vehicles as this gives them a lot more flexibility and convenience, especially if there is parking available at work. You will find that Pretoria has a pleasant climate, which is officially classed as subtropical. The winters tend to be mild and dry, whereas the summers are hot but often very rainy.

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