Since joining the European Union, the demand for qualified TEFL teachers has steadily grown in Hungary. Today you will find plenty of jobs available at all age levels and with all types of employers. Native English speakers are particularly sought after, but non-native speakers who are fluent in English will still find opportunities in many parts of the country. The largest markets for foreign teachers in Hungary are in the bigger cities such as Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc, Szolnok, and Szeged.
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The average monthly salary for English language teachers in Hungary is between $700 and $900 USD, although this can be higher at college or university level. Most jobs require around 20 to 25 hours of teaching per week which also allows many teachers to supplement their main income by taking on private students in their spare time. Please note that many employers expect applicants to have a degree and a TEFL qualification.
Job opportunities in Hungary are varied and include primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, language schools and private businesses. Private tutoring is also popular, either part time or full time. Students can often be found in classified ads in the local newspapers, via online forums, or by simply posting flyers around the local area.
Another popular option with native speakers, particularly American teachers, is the CETP Program which places applicants into teaching jobs around the country. Although this program charges a fee for your placement, it does include a salary that is equal to local teachers, as well as paid accommodation, health insurance, and paid vacations. Another benefit of this program is that you can arrange it all before leaving your home country, which removes any hassles with visa applications, job hunting and interviews etc.
Unless you are involved in the CETP Program, most jobs are filled via an interview in person. To have the best chance of success, you should make sure you are in the country before the school year starts in early September. There is also a secondary hiring season in January. Contracts generally run until late June. Most employers will help you through the process of obtaining a work permit, although in private language schools you might be expected to work on a local freelance licence.
Some schools do advertise their vacant positions online via job boards and teaching forums, but for the widest choice of options you are probably best to list all the employers in the area and simply pay them a visit with your CV/resume in hand.
Although the average salary is not particularly high in Hungary, the cost of living is low in comparison to many other countries in the region. Some employers will provide paid housing or a housing supplement which can make a huge difference to your monthly outgoings. The level of help given to housing is largely dependent on the finance of the individual school so it is a good idea to shop around when looking for work.
Other benefits such as airfare are rarely included, although university jobs often include a higher salary to compensate for travel to and from your home country. Once in Hungary, a monthly public transport pass will cost up to $30 which can sometimes be covered by the employer if you negotiate well. Groceries will be one of the bigger expenses, with an average bill being around $450 per month. The overall cost of living for an EFL teacher in Hungary is between $650 and $950 USD per month, although this will vary depending on the location and your lifestyle.