If you are interested in applying for overseas teaching jobs, you will almost certainly come across something called Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or TEFL, certification. As a result, you are probably wondering if getting a TEFL certification is a good idea.
Table of Contents
Regardless of your other qualifications and experience, a TEFL certification is always a valuable addition to your resume. Furthermore, it will set you apart from the competition in the eyes of principals and hiring managers all over the world. Even if a TEFL certificate is not required for a specific position, it is always a huge plus and preference.
A TEFL certificate opens doors to exciting opportunities in teaching English as a foreign language in countries all around the world. The most common requirement is 120 hours of TEFL training minimum for a full-time, paid teaching position in most countries worldwide. Most employers prefer to hire English teachers who have completed a 120-hour TEFL course from an internationally recognized TEFL provider.
The number of hours (120) represents the number of hours for which the course has been externally accredited based on the course content and the perceived number of study hours required to complete it. Depending on how quickly you study and work through the course units, the actual time required to complete the course could be more or less than 120 hours.
ITTTâs 120-hour online TEFL courses are self-paced, allowing up to 6 months to complete the course. Most people complete a 120-hour TEFL course in around three months, which equates to about ten hours of study per week. This pace allows you to schedule your TEFL course around any other commitments you might have without losing track of where you are at in your studies.
Different schools and employers have different hiring standards and not all require a TEFL certification. However, there are opportunities for TEFL-certified teachers in almost every country, including English-speaking countries and through online English teaching platforms.
Europe has a very competitive job market for teaching English as a foreign language. If you want to teach English in Europe you will need a TEFL or TESOL certificate of at least 100 hours and most of the time a four-year university degree.
Major European cities such as Madrid, Milan, Prague, Rome, and Istanbul all have dozens, if not hundreds, of private language schools specializing in English language instruction, and between 3,000 and 5,000 English teachers work in these cities each year.
Spain, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey, and France are major job markets in Europe. Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania also have a large number of teaching job openings.
Teaching programs like the French government's assistantship program, which recruits over 1,000 qualified Americans every year to work as assistant English teachers in public schools, is a great option. Spain also has a comparable teaching program.
Turkey has a high demand for English teachers and a great job market, especially for Americans who do not have to deal with a bias against EU citizens because Turkey is not a member of the EU.
Asia has become the world's largest market for English language instruction as it is the driving force of the international economy and the world's largest population center. More than 100,000 foreign English teachers work in Asia, and each year, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and other Asian countries face a shortage of tens of thousands of new English teachers. Every month, a thousand English teachers are hired in Korea and China alone.
A four-year degree and a 120-hour TEFL/TESOL certificate are typically required in major Asian countries and native English speakers are strongly preferred throughout the region. Asia has more opportunities than any other region for teaching English to children.
Costa Rica, Santiago in Chile, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and the great Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are all popular places to teach English in Latin America. While salaries are not as high as in Asia or the Middle East, the region's low cost of living makes it financially appealing while also providing a rich cultural experience.
Central and South America also provide numerous opportunities for those without a four-year degree, as well as fluent English speakers from non-native English speaking countries.
Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries are all looking for certified English teachers. Many Arab countries have English-taught university classes, and the region's location at the crossroads of East and West has made cities like Dubai major hubs of commerce and leisure where English is the norm.
Most positions in the wealthy Gulf States, in particular, are offered to experienced teachers with a Bachelor's or Master's degree in education, as well as an accredited TEFL/TESOL certification. Such jobs frequently come with lucrative contracts ($2,000 - $5,000 per month tax-free, free airfare and housing, and free health insurance).
Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey provide numerous job opportunities as well as opportunities to visit some of the world's most historically and culturally rich countries.
Many online teaching platforms now require TEFL certification, and many of them simply dismiss unqualified teachers because they lack the necessary skills and knowledge.
However, a TEFL certificate is not required to start your own online teaching business, though it is safe to say that your future students will prefer a certified teacher.
If you want to earn a good living by working in a professional teaching environment and believe that your students should have every opportunity to succeed, we believe you should definitely get TEFL certified.