How to Find a TEFL Job Abroad Without Teaching Experience

“How can I get a TEFL job abroad if I don’t have any previous teaching experience?”

If you’re new to TEFL this might be a question on your mind – it’s one our TEFL advisers are asked all the time! The good news is that there’s plenty of work out there for those who don’t have any teaching experience at all. In fact, many of our course graduates have never taught before.

In some countries the demand for English teachers outstrips supplies, which means employers simply can’t fill every position with an experienced teacher. The number of people learning English across the globe is increasing every year, which is only going to further drive demand for qualified EFL teachers.

In this article we’re going to look at where you can find TEFL jobs abroad that don’t require experience, and our best tips for securing work!

Where can you teach English abroad with no experience?

Below you can see a table listing dozens of countries around the world and their requirements. If a country is listed as not requiring experience then this means you should be able to find plenty of job adverts suitable for newly-qualified teachers.

If it’s listed as requiring experience then it means you’d be very unlikely to find paid work without a few years of TEFL teaching under your belt. And those listed as ‘preferred’ means that it can be possible to find work if you’re new to teaching, but expect to find it more difficult to secure work than in a country where there are lots of entry-level positions going.

Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Cambodia
Guide
£680 - £1,000
($900 - $1,300)
No November No No Yes Under 65
China
Guide
£1,000 – £2,000
($1,300 – $2,575)
Yes September No Yes Yes, if degree obtained from an English-speaking country Under 55
Hong Kong
Guide
£1,550 – £6,300
($2,000 – $8,380)
Yes August No Not usually Yes Under 60
India
Guide
£120 – £775
($150 – $1,000)
Yes April Yes No Yes None
Indonesia
Guide
£565 – £1,030
($745 – $1,355)
Yes July No Not usually No Under 60
Japan
Guide
£1,600 – £2,000
($2,100 – $2,675)
Yes April No Sometimes Yes Under 65
Kazakhstan
Guide
£360 – £470
($465 – $600)
Yes August Yes Yes Yes None
Malaysia
Guide
£550 – £1,450
($720 – $1,900)
Yes January Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 65
Myanmar
Guide
£600 – £1,500
($800 – $2,000)
Yes June Preferred Sometimes No Under 52
Mongolia
Guide
£630 – £1,000
($875 – $1,400)
Yes September Yes Sometimes Yes None
Nepal
Guide
Voluntary No April No Sometimes Yes None
South Korea
Guide
£1,280 – £1,600
($1,670 – $2,000)
Yes March No Yes No Under 62
Taiwan
Guide
£1,335 – £1,735
($1,700 – $2,220)
Yes September No Sometimes No Under 65
Thailand
Guide
£740 – £980
($1,000 – $1,280)
Yes May No Sometimes Yes None
Vietnam
Guide
£920 - £ 1,500
($1,200 to $2,000)
Yes August No No Yes Under 60
Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Austria
Guide
£700 - £2,600
($850 - 3,200)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Belgium
Guide
£1,455 - £1,780
($1,800 - $2,200)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Czech Republic
Guide
£500 – £1,285
$600 – $1,450)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Denmark
Guide
£2,900 - £3,900
($3,600 - $4,800)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Estonia
Guide
£720 - £900
($920 - $1,150)
Preferred September Preferred Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Finland
Guide
£700 - £3,050
($900 - $3,850)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
France
Guide
£926 – £1,852
($1,082 – $2,164)
Yes September Preferred No Yes None
Germany
Guide
£1,1123 - £1,872
($1,297 - $2,162)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Greece
Guide
£630 – £900
($790 – $1,100)
Yes September No No Yes None
Hungary
Guide
£390 - £650
($500 - $830)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Italy
Guide
£1,054 – £1,229
($1,312 – $1,531)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Netherlands £1,300 - £2,600
($1,600 - $2,800)
Preferred September Yes No Yes None
Norway
Guide
£2,100 - £2,500
($2,580 - $3,090)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Poland
Guide
£400 – £700
($480 – $850)
Yes September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Portugal
Guide
£616 – £880
($756 – $1,080)
Yes September Preferred No Yes None
Romania
Guide
£200 - £460
($260 - 580)
Preferred September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Russia
Guide
£800 - £1,300
($1,000 - $1,600)
Preferred September Preferred Sometimes Yes None
Slovakia
Guide
£330 - £900
($400 - $1,120)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Slovenia £550 - £950
($700 - $1,200)
Preferred October Preferred No Yes None
Spain
Guide
£614 - £1,317
($758 - $1,623)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Sweden
Guide
£1,100 - £2,400
($1,400 - $3,000)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Switzerland
Guide
£1,850 - £2,475
($2,260 - $3,015)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Turkey
Guide
£170 - £575
($220 - $730)
Yes September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Ukraine
Guide
£215 - £920
($260 - $1,125)
Preferred September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Argentina
Guide
£500 - £950
($600 - $1,200)
No March Preferred No Yes None
Bolivia
Guide
£400 - £550
($500 - $700)
No February Preferred No Yes None
Brazil
Guide
£650 - £900
($800 - $1,100)
No February No No Yes None
Chile
Guide
£550 - £800
($700 - $1,000)
No March No No Yes None
Colombia
Guide
£400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
No January/February No No Yes Under 62
Ecuador
Guide
£400 - £650
($500 - $800)
Preferred May Preferred No Yes None
Guatemala
Guide
£400 - £550
($500 - $700)
Preferred January No No Yes None
Mexico
Guide
£400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
Preferred August No Sometimes Yes None
Peru
Guide
£325 - £650
($400 - $800)
Yes March Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 70
Uruguay
Guide
£325 - £800
($400 - $1000)
Preferred March Preferred No Yes None
Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Algeria
Guide
£550 - £900
($700 - $1,100)
Yes March No No No None
Bahrain
Guide
£1,200 - £2,500
($1,500 - $3,000)
Yes January Yes Yes No Under 60
Egypt
Guide
£400 - £700
($500 - $900)
Yes September Preferred No No None
Jordan
Guide
£500 - £950
($600 - $1,100)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Kuwait
Guide
£1,200 - £2,000
($1,500 - $2,500)
Yes September Yes Yes Yes Under 60
Lebanon
Guide
£650 - £1,200
($800 - $1,500)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Morocco
Guide
£400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
Yes September No No Yes None
Qatar
Guide
£1,200 - £2,800
($1,500 - $3,500)
Yes September Yes Yes No None
Saudi Arabia
Guide
£1,600 - £3,200
($2,000 - $4,000)
Yes August Yes Yes No Under 60
UAE £1,600 - £4,000
($2,000 - $5,000)
Yes August Yes Yes No Under 65

A woman writing on a whiteboard

4 steps for finding a TEFL job abroad without teaching experience

Step 1: Get TEFL Qualified

Years ago it used to be possible for native English speakers to walk into TEFL jobs abroad with no teaching experience or qualifications. Today that’s much more difficult to do with the majority of employers worldwide requiring English teachers to have at least a 120-hour TEFL qualification.

Most of our students have no previous teaching experience, which is why our courses are designed to set you up with all the skills and knowledge you need to start teaching English for the first time. You can get your TEFL qualification entirely online or combine online and classroom study. If you’re completely new to teaching then a classroom course is highly recommended to give you some practical experience that will look great on your CV. See our previous post about online and classroom courses for more information about choosing the right option for you.

Step 2: Choose a destination

Once you have your TEFL qualification the next step is deciding where you want to teach. Asia, South America, Southern and Eastern Europe are great options if you don’t have any teaching experience yet. The biggest TEFL jobs market in the world can be found in China, where the English language industry is booming, but there is plenty of work to be found in other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and more!

Not all countries offer an abundance of opportunities for newly-qualified EFL teachers. The most lucrative TEFL positions are found in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but you’ll need a few years’ experience under your belt before you’re eligible for those. You’ll also find it harder to come by jobs in Western and Northern Europe if you don’t already have some teaching experience.

Another important factor to consider when choosing your destination is visa requirements. Many countries require teachers to have a BA degree so it’s very important to research to the requirements to make sure you’re eligible – see our post about how to TEFL if you don’t have a degree for more information.

Step 3: Prepare your TEFL CV

TEFL qualification: check. Destination: chosen. Next up: a stand-out TEFL CV.

If you have no previous teaching experience then employers are going to be looking for transferable skills and any relevant experience that would be beneficial for the role. For example, if you’re applying for a job teaching young learners then you’ll want to highlight any experience you have working with children. An employer is going to be particularly interested in evidence of good communication skills so make sure to demonstrate those – maybe you give presentations in the workplace, train up new hires, take phone calls or work with the general public?

A concern for employers recruiting teachers from abroad is how you’ll settle in and adjust to living and working within a different culture. For this reason, demonstrating independence and adaptability is really important when applying for TEFL jobs abroad if you have no experience. You want to give a prospective employer a sense of confidence that you won’t be getting a flight home a few months into the job!

And remember to always research the employer and tailor your CV and cover letter to that specific position.

For more tips and help putting together your TEFL CV see our helpful guide.

Step 4: Apply for jobs

There’s a huge demand for EFL teachers worldwide, so you can find plenty of job adverts online – if you know where to look!

All our students get lifetime access to our TEFL Jobs Centre, which is a great place to start your job search. There are plenty of other jobs boards where you can find thousands of positions worldwide – we’ve put together a handy list of some of the best to help you out.

It’s important to keep safe when applying for TEFL jobs, so make sure to read our post about how to avoid TEFL scams and bad employers before you start applying. If there’s anything you’re unsure about you can always get in touch with us.

How to find your first TEFL job – webinar with tutor Carl

Watch this webinar recording for tips for finding a TEFL job even if you don’t have any experience.

Carl is a highly experienced teacher, trainer, and recruiter, and shares his best advice to help you secure work!

For more videos from our tutors see here.

Go the extra mile

If you really want to stand out and land a great TEFL job despite having no teaching experience then there are a couple of things you can do after you get your initial TEFL qualification.

We run advanced TEFL courses in Teaching English Online, Teaching Business English, and Teaching Young Learners, and Teaching Exam Preparation Classes, which are great to add on to your training. If you’re interested in specialising and intend on applying for jobs in any of these areas, then these courses will further enhance your teaching abilities and show employers that you’re dedicated.

Volunteering to teach English as a foreign language is a good option if you do want to gain some experience before pursuing paid work. This is a great way to boost your TEFL employability, but more importantly it will improve your confidence in the classroom and give you a feel for teaching. If you are able to give up some of your time to volunteer you can find positions abroad and at home.

You can also gain experience right at home as an online English teacher! Teaching English online is a great way to get started and build up some confidence and experience teaching English. You’re able to put your TEFL qualification to use as soon as you finish the course and any teaching experience you gain will be beneficial when you apply for TEFL jobs abroad.

Want to find out more about teaching English abroad? Check out our Guide to Teaching English Abroad for everything you need to know! 

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