How To Avoid TEFL Job Scams

After you’re done celebrating achieving your TEFL certification, It’s time to start looking for a job. When looking for a teaching job, it’s crucial to keep certain criteria in mind, whether you want to go on an adventure in a new country or teach English online. There are plenty of possibilities available, but you must be prepared to avoid TEFL job scams both online and in the classroom. How To Avoid TEFL Job Scams

The English teaching industry has been developing year after year, it is now witnessing unprecedented growth. With more students and teachers than ever before, some shady characters are attempting to take advantage of teachers looking for TEFL work. While it’s understandable to be concerned about these scams, the reality is that there are quite a few compared to the thousands of genuine jobs available.

Also Read: How To Write The Best TEFL CV To Land Your Dream Teaching Job

 Nonetheless, it’s critical to recognize the warning signs of a scam or a poor employer, which is why we’ve compiled a list of recommendations to keep you safe during your job hunt!

TEFL Scams to watch out for 

  • Employers are requiring you to pay money upfront. It should never be necessary to pay to find work. It is common for these “employers” to ask for money to be sent via an untraceable provider. While there are a variety of charges associated with working abroad none of them should be paid to an individual.
  • Another approach to spot suspected fraud is if the school has a shady website. Make sure there’s a means to reach the company or institution at all times, as well as a physical address. It’s a good sign that you’re getting a respectable job if you’re able to communicate clearly and consistently. 
  • There is no charge for the first class with pupils. Some schools or recruiters will provide students with a complimentary first lesson. This offer to entice students, however, should not come at the expense of you, the teacher. Some companies are utilising this as a strategy to avoid paying teachers at all, and that teachers are never assigned classes beyond the initial “free” lesson.
  • Some scammers will use the name of a well-known school in their job adverts to get people to apply, check the school’s website and make sure they’re using the same contact information. You could even get in contact with the school to double-check it was their job advert.
  • If Penalties and fines are harsh. It’s perfectly normal that a teaching company would impose penalties on teachers who fail to show up for scheduled courses. However, be sure you read your contract carefully because some online teaching companies have penalties and fines that are so excessive that it’s nearly certain you’ll lose a significant portion of your monthly pay to them.     

What does a legitimate TEFL job look like?

  • Before you get an offer for your dream job you’ll have to go through a few steps,  Filling out the first application, having one or potentially more interviews, or conducting a demo class are all prime examples of this
  • For TEFL positions abroad, It’s common to be paid monthly and have around a one-year contract. However, contracts for TEFL jobs could be shorter! As well as this,  the pay should be in line with the cost of living in the area where the employment is located, do your research of the area you wish to travel.
  • The hiring procedure will not be rushed. In fact, if you want to work in a school in another country, the application procedure could take many months from start to finish.
  • In the case of an online TEFL employment, you’ll almost certainly be working as an independent contractor. This means you’ll be paid for each lesson you teach, and you’ll be responsible for invoicing and paying your own taxes. Make sure the contract includes all of this information!
  • Check that the school or company has a legible website, good reviews, and a social media presence, whether you’re planning to move abroad for a job, teach online, or do both at the same time.

Tips for getting legit jobs 

  •  Research! Find out what the average teaching pay, working hours, and visa requirements are in the location you want to teach. You’ll be able to detect fraud adverts and employers from a mile away once you know what to expect.
  • If a job advert seems too good to be true, it most definitely is. If a particular job is offering above average salary and lots of holiday time etc. It’s best to avoid. 
  • Use your best judgement! Common sense will be your best friend in this situation. Don’t waste your time applying if the website or job description doesn’t seem professional or legitimate.

Also Read: How to Prepare for the Perfect TEFL Job Interview?

If you’re feeling unsure, here’s how you can do further research to ensure everything is legit

  • Google: First and foremost, check out the employer/recruiter’s presence using Google. Check to see if there are any reviews, but do be cautious as these might be fake! Someone may have blogged about it online to alert others if it’s a scam or the employer is a nightmare to work for. To help with your search results, use quote marks to get more accurate results from Google
  • Job boards: such as Glassdoor, that allow employees and customers to leave reviews will be very helpful in finding out all the information you need on potential employers and reassure you on their legitimacy.
  • You should request to speak with an existing employee. For a respectable employer who treats their employees well, this will never be an issue. If they decline however,  it’s either because they don’t have any employees to connect you with or because they don’t want you talking to their current and possibly unhappy employees, which is a big red flag.
  • Examine a variety of job postings in the same country to understand what to expect in terms of pay and benefits. If you come across a job that offers a salary and benefits that are far higher than anything else you’ve seen, it’s almost too good to be true. When a degree is a requirement for working in a country, employment advertisements will state that a degree is needed.

TEFL Teaching in Classroom

To ensure every TEFL student is legitimate, employers verify each applicant’s certificates. This is too guarantee that they have completed the TEFL course. As more and more people are attempting to fake TEFL certificates. If you can’t validate your TEFL certificate, companies will assume you  didn’t get it at all. To put it in other words, you might not be able to get the job.

The importance of verification

Once you have verified that it was received from a reputable company, you can verify that the course was completed by the applicant presenting the TEFL certificate by checking the verification number. With more companies and schools verifying TEFL certificates, it’s more important than ever to make sure you got your certification from a reliable company and finished the proper course. It could mean the difference between you getting a teaching job and living your dream life!

When a teacher decides to work in another country, they are making a significant financial investment in their life. Don’t be afraid to slow down if you start to feel uncomfortable with any requirements from a possible employer. If you have any doubts, take some time to research as much as possible.

Because of the internet’s anonymity, there are always a few sketchy people wanting to make quick cash. The field of TEFL job recruitment is no exception. Despite the fact that the overall quality of schools and the contracts they offer varies. The truth is that the majority of offered employment, both excellent and terrible, are 100% legitimate.

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