Of all the questions we get asked as a provider of TEFL certification, this is probably the easiest to answer. The simple truth is that the demand for TEFL qualified teachers is generally very high in most parts of the world and in some areas you can even take your pick of a range of job options as there are not enough teachers to fill the available positions.
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Although for many TEFL course graduates the aim is to head overseas to experience living and working in a foreign culture, it is not the only option. Plenty of people use their teaching qualification within their home country as increasing levels of immigration have led to a rapid increase in demand for EFL teachers in English speaking countries, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. While there are teaching opportunities in most parts of the world, if you are newly qualified and short on experience it might make sense to look at countries that have the strongest demand.
As it has the world's largest population it is no surprise that China offers the single largest market for foreign English language teachers. However, you should be aware that foreign teachers technically require a degree to qualify for a work permit. While the big two cities of Beijing and Shanghai do tend to adhere to this policy, you will find that the rules are often less strictly enforced in many other areas.
Outside of China there are plenty of other countries where there is a strong demand for EFL teachers. Highly developed countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all have a long history of employing large numbers of foreign teachers. There is potential to earn a high salary in all of these locations, although the competition is likely to be stronger and the requirements more stringent than in China. Southeast Asia is another hotbed for those looking to teach English. Although salaries are unlikely to match those of the countries above, the laidback lifestyle and low cost of living is a major plus side for many. The countries with the most numerous opportunities in this region are Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The demand for EFL teachers is generally very high across Europe. Countries such as Italy, France and Spain have been attracting teachers from all over the world for decades. However, you will find that competition is strong for jobs in the most popular areas. In recent years countries further east, such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, have also become more popular as demand has grown rapidly and the cost of living is considerably lower.
Most countries in Central and South America have some level of demand for foreign teachers and few requirements for experience and qualifications other than a TEFL certificate. Traditional hotspots for employment include Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Costa Rica. In recent years other countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have also seen a steady increase in demand.