Are TEFL Teachers In Demand?

Are TEFL Teachers In Demand?

According to the Department of Education, TEFL teachers are highly sought after worldwide. So, what drives this demand? English, often referred to as a ” language” or “lingua franca “, is widely used in business, travel and education. With over 1.35 billion speakers globally, there is a number of people who want to learn or improve their English skills. As a result, the demand for teachers remains strong.

Considering Teaching English as a South African?

If you’re from South Africa and considering teaching English, you need to meet some requirements. You must be 18 years old and hold a TEFL qualification. Additionally, you will need to undergo a background check and have advanced proficiency in English. The TEFL qualification should consist of 120 hours of training, with preference given to courses that are accredited and internationally recognised.

How to Teach English Abroad with a South African Passport

Navigating the process of teaching English abroad with a South African passport might seem daunting, but many TEFL Institute alumni holding South African passports are successfully teaching and exploring various corners of the world.

One avenue is visa-free travel, which, as of January 2022, allows South African passport holders access to 104 countries without a visa requirement. Notably, popular teaching destinations like Thailand, Ireland, and Brazil are included in this list. However, it’s crucial to note that while entry may be visa-free, a separate work visa is often necessary for employment. This implies that although initial entry might not require a visa, securing a working visa is still essential for employment purposes.

For countries mandating a working visa for South Africans, obtaining one is generally less challenging than perceived. A job offer from a school, university, or company qualifies you for a working visa, and your prospective employer typically assists with the required paperwork for visa application.

Certain countries offer the flexibility of entering on a tourist visa, and this can then be converted into a working visa once a job is secured. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential visa expiration, requiring a ‘visa run’ to renew or change your visa status if needed.

Navigating the landscape of teaching English abroad with a South African passport involves dealing with various visas, qualifications, and requirements. To streamline the process, we’ve compiled a list of top countries for South African TEFL teachers, clarifying where South Africans can successfully teach English.


Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Spain

To teach English in Spain, it is necessary to have a TEFL certificate, and we always advise ensuring it is 120 hours minimum and the course is regulated and accredited. Although prior experience is not obligatory, it is often preferred. There are opportunities in Spain, including positions in private schools, public schools, language centres and private tutoring. However, remember you must abide by any self-employment rules if you go down this route. Paid employment in Spain will see you making around R16,508.75 – R23,858.53 per month.

Top 3 Cities in Spain

For South African TEFL teachers looking for vibrant opportunities in Spain, Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia are the preferred choices.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Poland

Over the two decades, Poland has become a popular destination for South African TEFL teachers in Europe. Its strategic location and connections to the UK make it an ideal place to start an English teaching journey. Teaching English in Poland can earn TEFL teachers approximately R11,010.54 – R13,766.71 per month. To secure your desired job in Poland, having a certificate and a bachelor’s degree is essential. South African TEFL teachers in Poland can explore positions such as tuition, private schools, public schools and English language centres.

Top 3 Cities in Poland

For TEFL teachers looking for opportunities in Poland, Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk are the top choices.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Mexico

This is an excellent destination for all TEFL teachers, and those from South Africa will find plenty of opportunities. Mexico is one of the destinations for TEFL teachers, even if you don’t have a university degree. TEFL teachers from South Africa can earn R7,067.10 – R14,134.20 per month by teaching English in Mexico. No degree is necessary; having a TEFL certificate is sufficient, but always remember the importance of an accredited qualification, or you could find it is not accepted. TEFL opportunities are available in schools, public schools and language centres.

Top 3 Cities in Mexico

South African TEFL teachers thrive in Mexico City, Tijuana and Leon.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Mexico

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Colombia

Colombia calls out to those who dream of teaching English without a degree. With plenty of openings and the promise of adventure, it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a complete change of lifestyle. Teaching English in Colombia can earn TEFL teachers around R9,893.94 – R14,134.20 per month. To teach English in Colombia, having a TEFL certificate is essential. You can explore teaching positions across language centres and both private and public schools nationwide.

Top 3 Cities in Colombia

Bogota, Medellin and Cali.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Peru

Peru is also a choice for those looking to kickstart their career without a degree or prior teaching experience. The country’s breathtaking beauty makes it an ideal destination. In terms of salary, South African TEFL teachers can expect to earn between R7,067.10 and R9,893.94 per month. To teach English in Peru, the only requirement is an accredited 120-hour TEFL certificate. Various job opportunities await teachers in Peru, including language centres and state-run schools located across the country.

Top 3 Cities in Peru

Lima, Arequipa, and Trujillo.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Taiwan

If you want to teach English in Taiwan, be prepared for competition. Having teaching experience and confidence in the classroom, along with holding a degree, will make you stand out. Typically, if you want to teach English in Taiwan, most roles expect you to have both a TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree. African TEFL teachers can earn R28,268.40 to R33,922.08 per month while teaching English in Taiwan. There are plenty of good job opportunities for English teachers in Taiwan, including positions in private and public schools, private tutoring and even the chance to teach business English on the side.

Top 3 Cities in Taiwan

Kaohsiung, New Taipei and Taichung

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in China

China continues to be a destination for English language teachers due to its higher-end salaries, abundant career prospects and rich cultural heritage. Whether you prefer cities or traditional settings, China offers it all! In terms of salary expectations for TEFL teachers teaching English in China, you can earn around R11,929.26. R44.056.30 per month. To teach English in China as a TEFL teacher, having a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate is essential. Similar to Taiwan job opportunities mentioned earlier, there are roles such as teaching at private or public schools or language centres. You may also have the option to teach classes or business English during your free time.

Top 3 Cities in China

Shanghai and Suzhou top the list due to their popularity among expat communities.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in China

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Cambodia

Cambodia, situated in Southeast Asia, provides an opportunity for TEFL teachers who seek travel experiences. There are plenty of opportunities on offer for South African TEFL teachers available in language centres and public schools across Cambodia. When teaching English in Cambodia, South African TEFL teachers can earn a monthly salary ranging from R14,134.20 to R28,268.40.To teach English in Cambodia, having a TEFL certificate is a requirement, but you can teach there without a degree.

Top 3 Cities in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Takeo and Kampong Saom are considered the best cities for South African TEFL teachers seeking employment opportunities.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Thailand

If you’re eager to teach while enjoying beaches and stunning scenery, Thailand should be your destination! With its coastlines and numerous TEFL openings, it’s time to start submitting those application forms. South African TEFL teachers can earn R11,010.54 – R16,508.75 per month teaching English in Thailand. In order to teach English in Thailand, you will need a TEFL certification along with a degree. However, if you don’t possess a degree, there’s also the option of considering volunteer TEFL Internship programs in Thailand! TEFL positions are available in schools, private schools, and language centres throughout Thailand.

Top 3 Cities in Thailand

Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai are the cities for TEFL teachers from South Africa.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in Vietnam

Like Thailand and Cambodia, Vietnam offers an opportunity to kickstart your TEFL career. Don’t have a degree or prior teaching experience? No need to worry – the high demand for TEFL teachers coupled with the low cost of living makes Vietnam an ideal choice! TEFL teachers from South Africa can earn R18,402.73 – R29,455.67 per month while teaching English in Vietnam. Having a TEFL certificate is necessary. In some cases, a degree is required for visa purposes; however, if you have 3+ years of experience, there’s still a chance to obtain a visa using the experience criteria.

Top 3 Cities in Vietnam

There are positions in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Haiphong that offer diverse teaching opportunities throughout Vietnam.

TEFL Teacher

Top Tips for South Africans Heading Abroad for New Adventures

One of the biggest pieces of advice we can offer is to prepare early. No matter where you plan to go, you will need a clear police check, and this can take around six weeks to process from start to finish. You can apply for this by visiting your local police station. The Visa process also tends to be rather laborious.

In some cases, applying for a Visa will trigger a request to prove your English language capabilities. It depends on the individual country; some of them don’t view South Africa as being an English-speaking country. The most recognised way to prove your English language skills is to take the IELTS exam. They can ask for this at any point, and they are definitely likely to ask if English wasn’t the main language used in your high school and university. Last year, the cost for the IELTS exam was around R4600.

If you are struggling to find work or things seem to be taking a long time, why not look at teaching English online? With the time zone differences, South Africa is an excellent base for online teachers, and you will find yourself working at convenient times for you because this is when Europe and Asia are looking for lessons. It usually works out that you will be working 9 to 5 office hours while they are doing their courses in the evenings and weekends.

Finally, when you do crack the job market, remember that there is no place like home. It’s great to travel the world, but don’t forget to take a few small home comforts with you. Food and drink can be very different in new countries, so don’t forget to pack your rooibos and niknaks and plenty of pictures of your loved ones in case you find yourself feeling a little bit homesick.

Are You a TEFL Teacher Looking to Work in South Africa?

By working as a TEFL Teacher in South Africa, you will have an amazing place to call home. Explore a unique and diverse culture surrounded by vast national parks, impressive wildlife and spectacular mountains. Animals, animals and more animals await you, so be sure to book a safari tour or two in your downtime.

When you think of teaching English abroad, South Africa may not be the first place that comes to mind because English is the official language there. However, the demand for TEFL teachers remains high, and with its stunning scenery, diverse mix of wild grasslands and vibrant cities, and comparatively low cost of living, this fascinating country is a magnet for TEFL teachers around the world.

An exciting choice if you’re looking for a TEFL destination for the adrenaline junkie or animal lover, South Africa has it all. We’re talking wildlife safaris, shark cage diving, helicopter and balloon tours, countless water sports and more!

Choose TEFL in South Africa and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

The Job Market in South Africa

As you might expect, the demand for TEFL teachers is lower in English-speaking countries. It’s simply a case of having more native speakers than those looking to learn English. However, that said, it depends a lot on how cultural a country is. South Africa is multicultural in spades. This means that there are actually more opportunities for TEFL teachers than you might expect. Of course, the amount you can earn will vary, depending on the job, and it can be anywhere between R30,000 – R45,000. As with most countries, the cost of living is comparable to the wages, so you will be able to make ends meet.

Teaching English in South Africa comes with certain prerequisites, including having a bachelor’s degree, although the subject does not have to be English and holding a TEFL qualification that is accredited and should be at 120 hours as a minimum. Volunteers are incredibly welcome in South Africa, which obviously isn’t for everybody. Still, it could be a great way to see the country and gain some experience on a gap year, for example. Obviously, volunteers are not paid, but most positions come with accommodation and meals provided.

As with most countries, you can find work in public schools, private schools, language schools and even as a self-employed tutor. If you choose to become a tutor, be sure that you understand any tax rules and responsibilities. Language schools tend to operate evening and weekend classes to cater for people who are already working and looking to improve their English skills. This means that you do get time off during the day, but again, having an unusual work pattern is not for everyone. Private schools will pay better than public schools, and of course, your qualifications and experience will impact the pay you are offered.

Popular Destinations for TEFL Teachers in South Africa

There are plenty of opportunities to teach English in cities in South Africa, like Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. In Johannesburg, the British Council office is a place for finding positions in TEFL. Cape Town is known for its use of space, which makes it a great choice for people who enjoy activities such as abseiling, hiking, surfing, paragliding, and generally spending time outdoors. Table Mountain National Park is a feature of the city and a bucket list photo opportunity for many people. It also has geological and botany significance as it is home to more than 3,600 species of plants and flowers. Additionally, Cape Town has a reputation for being relatively safe compared to other parts of South Africa.

On the East Coast lies Durban, with its climate and 25 miles of beautiful beaches surrounded by lush forests, making it another popular location to base yourself as an English teacher in South Africa. Unlike some of the other areas in South Africa, English may not be the first language spoken by students. In Durban, nearly 80% of the population there speaks Zulu.

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the second largest city in Africa; the only one larger is Cairo in Egypt. The bustling city is home to many dynamic urban hubs while also being home to over 10 million trees, sometimes referred to as ‘the world’s largest man-made forest’. There are plenty of opportunities for TEFL teachers here, so let’s take a closer look at the area.

More About Johannesburg

Found in the province of Gauteng, Johannesburg has a couple of nicknames, Joburg or Jozi, and is easily the biggest city in South Africa. The area is very culturally diverse and vibrant, and it has an excellent economic track record by performing in a dynamic and reactive manner. It first took shape in 1886; the land it was established from used to be farming land. However, the discovery of gold brought many people to the area, and it rapidly transformed into a bustling metropolis in record time and has continued to grow ever since. It is a wealthy province and has a lot of status across South Africa.

The population reached over 100,000 within ten years of the city being established, and it is now in the top 50 globally ranked populous urban areas. It is the only largest city that is not located on coastlines, lakes or rivers, giving it a unique appeal.

Johannesburg is also constitutionally significant and plays a very important role in the framework of South Africa. It might not be a capital city, but it is home to the constitutional court, which is the final authority on judicial matters relating to how the Constitution and any issues arising from it are interpreted.

That’s all very official, but there are plenty of lifestyle reasons why Johannesburg is also an excellent choice for TEFL teachers looking for new adventures. It is, as we mentioned, already culturally diverse, which means that there are lots of different languages in daily use, you can enjoy some fantastic cooking and local dishes, and yourself in the traditions. If you enjoy socialising, there is a great music scene, and you can also take part in many outdoor pursuits.\

Some Extra Idea’s

Speaking about the outdoors and food together, South Africans embrace braaing, a popular way to eat where barbecuing is a cherished tradition, showcasing their love for meat. It’s a very entrepreneurial area, so if you plan to start your own business while there, go for it. Highly regarded universities and educational institutions exist in the area. So, if you have a degree and a TEFL certification, you could find yourself working at one of these leading institutions.

The TEFL Institute Accredited TEFL learning courses

Where to Look for Work In South Africa

Most TEFL positions fall into one of four categories. Public schools, private schools, language schools, schools, and volunteer positions. Each of these establishments offers a unique experience to TEFL teachers, and you will need to find the one that suits you best.

Public Schools: finding work at public schools can be quite challenging. There are high rates of unemployment, and jobs often go to anyone who fits a minority group category or was previously part of the apartheid-era discrimination. At public schools, you will find that English is often the second language, which means as an English teacher, you could find yourself struggling to fit in and understand what is happening. It’s possibly the least appealing option for TEFL teachers, but if such an opportunity happens to come your way, don’t be quick to dismiss It. It may well be perfect for you, and you will certainly find a diverse range of students from different backgrounds, giving you a well-rounded experience.

Private Schools: Private schools tend to use English as the primary language for teaching and communicating with their pupils. It could be easier for you to find work in one of these establishments. There are many highly-rated private schools in the Johannesburg area. They do value qualifications, so if you have a degree, this is a great place to look. However, they express interest in meeting individuals with diverse cultural and teaching experiences, aiming to build a diverse team on their payroll.

Language Schools: language schools almost always have adult learners. They function during evenings and weekends, aiming to deliver English or other language education for adults requiring it for work or social purposes. That means they are generally at their own jobs during the day and can only attend out of hours. A lot of people who teach English in foreign countries. Enjoy this lifestyle because it means they are available during the day to go exploring and sightseeing, and then they come home and work in the evenings.


sadly, in some areas, the economic climate and unemployment rates have meant that there are children who simply cannot afford education. Many outreach programs have been set up with volunteers, especially in Johannesburg. They welcome volunteer teachers with open arms, but of course, this may not be suitable if you need to make money to live. Everyone in the schools shows enthusiasm for learning, and even though you don’t receive payment, they often provide food and board in exchange for your time.

So, are TEFL Teachers in Demand?

The bottom line is that no matter whether you are a South African looking to develop a new career as an English teacher abroad or come from another country and want to work in South Africa as an English teacher. That demand is still there. What matters is that you have a solid TEFL qualification accredited by a recognised industry body like the ones we provide. Look at the courses on our website and see what we offer. You can obtain your qualifications over the Internet, making it a breeze to fit in with your other existing commitments. We recommend the 120-hour certification, and we have students from all over the world, including South Africa studying with us.

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