Why Teach English?
Teaching English is probably one of the most lucrative and easy ways to see the world. It’s really easy to get started, even with little to no savings. Some schools will reimburse airfare, or even pay for your accommodations on top of giving you a monthly stipend or salary. Contracts vary from three months to two years or longer, and you often have plenty of time to tour the country on the weekends.
Wages will depend on what country you want to see. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan pay the highest salary, but you can still make ends meet or even save a bit of money in other countries, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t immediately drawn to those countries.
How to Get Started
- Get a TESOL (or don’t)
I got my TESOL through Oxford Seminars. It was a bit pricey, around $1200, but they guarantee placement for 2 years. Youcanteach abroad without a TESOL/TEFL/CERTA, but chances are, you will get higher wages if you have the certification. Plus, Oxford Seminars sent out my resume for me to whatever countries interested me and helped me get interviews all over the world. You can also get it later after you obtain a job. A lot of places will look for prior experience over a TESOL certification
2. Apply to jobs. See below for resources
3. Save some $ for your plane ticket.
4. What are you waiting for?
Don’t ever pay to post your resume or apply to teaching jobs. Those are scams!!!
I have found Daves ESL Cafe to be invaluable. There are tons of jobs listed in the job boards and other teachers give a kind of glassdoor-type review of the opportunities at times. You can even post your resume to be contacted by anyone looking for a teacher
Another super useful resource for finding a job teaching.
Because you can never have too many job boards!
Did you think I was kidding?
Japan-Specific Teaching Jobs
In case you really want to start in Japan, here are some Japan-specific job boards and individual companies. I have given my personal opinion about some of the companies based on personal experience or things I have seen and heard from other people. I have also found that one of the most lucrative ways for me to spend my time is to freelance as a 1-on-1 tutor. I make $40/hour as a conversational partner here in Tokyo. I have posted the links to the freelance websites I use to obtain clientele as well.
Japan Specific Job Boards
- Gaijin Pot
- Jobs in Japan
- Foreigners in Japan
- Nagoya Info (for those wanting to go to Nagoya….which I recommend)
- JET Programme Mind the DEADLINES
- I hear that it pays around 340,000 yen/month + travel in Tokyo. By far the highest paying ESL jobs I have come across in Japan. Downside: you need to sign a 2 year contract
- Seiha Rolling Acceptance
- My company. There is a TON of downtime. Pay is 250,000 yen/month + travel expenses. They provide healthcare and visa sponsorship, which is nice. Sometimes you have to travel up to 2 hours each direction for a day of work. You always work 10a-7p, even if classes don’t start until 4pm. (You can imagine that there is lots of time to do other things then…..like blog) You work out of shopping malls and teach ages 0-12, occassionally adults as well. They will reimburse flights if you sign a year contract.
- Similar to Seiha. Pay is about the same. I don’t personally know anyone that works for this company
- From what I hear, they work you very hard. Same model as Seiha- you work out of shopping malls. Pay is slightly higher, around 275,000 yen/month
- This is a freelance position. It is better for travelling if you want to go on longer trips throughout Japan or where ever. Early mornings or late evenings make the most money here, as they provide extra incentive to work those hours. You make your own shift, and can earn >300,000 yen/month if you work a lot of hours. No travel expense is given, or healthcare.
This is where I make all of my spending money. I meet up with adults about 5 hours every week and bring in about 40,000 yen/month to play with. I usually meet at the station I teach at, and Seiha pays for my train home!! Sometimes I stack 2 classes back-to-back, and make a whole day’s salary in 2 lessons. Often times my clients will buy me a coffee or a snack if we meet at a restaurant or coffee shop. They often just want a language partner.