With its vast territory and a steady influx of immigrants, the USA consistently offers abundant opportunities for TEFL-certified teachers. You will encounter a vast pool of potential students among the nation's immigrant population, migrant workers, international students who choose the US for their collegiate studies, and business professionals temporarily residing in the country.
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Most formal teaching positions in the US require a university degree. State and public school district job postings often also mandate a state teaching license or an education-related certification. However, TEFL certificate holders without a degree can still find opportunities in private language schools, community centers, colleges, and even local libraries. Having prior teaching experience will significantly increase your chances of securing such positions.
In the USA, most English students are adults who have immigrated from various parts of the world. These individuals seek English language instruction to better integrate into local communities and improve their job prospects. Some may opt for paid classes through private language schools, while others may prefer community centers, libraries, or other community-based providers.
Owing to the high demand from immigrant communities, there is a plethora of private language schools across all major American cities and many smaller towns. You will find a particularly large concentration of schools and language centers in urban hubs like New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Seattle. These schools cater to students of various ages and backgrounds, offering general English lessons, business English, and exam preparation courses like TOEFL.
Like any job hunt, finding the best teaching positions requires effort and initiative. If you are in a specific location or have a target area in mind, start by reaching out to all local language schools and lesson providers. Initially, you may be offered part-time roles or trial periods that could eventually lead to full-time positions. Exploring multiple part-time opportunities initially is common until a more permanent role comes up. Job vacancies are often posted on local job boards, TEFL-specific sites, and other education-related websites.
Private lessons are a popular choice among English teachers in the USA, given the high demand from both adult learners and younger students seeking additional tutoring outside school hours. To attract students for private lessons, be proactive in advertising your services on notice boards, networking events, and online job boards. You could also consider placing ads in local newspapers, especially those in foreign languages. Business cards, flyers, and word-of-mouth referrals can also be effective marketing tools.
If you have previously taught English overseas, it is advisable to obtain a letter of reference from your employer to present to potential employers in the USA. Recording video footage of your teaching sessions can also serve as a practical demonstration of your teaching proficiency to prospective employers.
Also read: Can I teach English abroad in my gap year?