Tips for Negotiating your TEFL Salary

19 August 2013

Teaching English abroad affords the opportunity to soak up new cultures while earning a steady income.

For some TEFL is nothing more than a ticket for travelling, however you might want to consider exactly how much you are going to get paid as it won’t be much fun if you don’t earn enough money to get to travel and enjoy your new exotic home. So as a TEFL teacher in a foreign country you might be wondering if it is possible to negotiate your TEFL salary. This is certainly possible and to do this why not consider some of the following.

The location of your TEFL Job and Benefit packages

Asian Students 13 If money is a concern to you, which it is for many of us, then you may want to narrow your job search to areas that are known to have a higher teaching salary. Generally salaries in Asia are pretty high compared to those in Central or South America. Of course the cost of living is also lower in the latter but you might need to dip into savings while you are away and it can’t strictly be guaranteed that you will break even.

Because countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea place such a high value on English classes, it is no great surprise that salaries for TEFL teachers reflect this and are generally higher. Of course these places tend to be the most popular and competition for TEFL jobs can be fierce. If you do secure a TEFL job in Japan through the JET programme teachers have reported being able to save up to 50% of their salary. It should also be duly noted that South Korea in particular offers fantastic financial incentives for teachers such as accommodation, end of contract bonus and flight reimbursement.

Your qualifications and experience

Gone are the days when any backpacker could pick up a teaching job without having any TEFL qualifications. These days the latter would be the exception not the rule and employers now look for a minimum of a TEFL qualification. Our TEFL courses provide the skills you need to teach English abroad and demonstrate to employers a certain commitment and dedication to the field.

TEFL certificates work in the number of hours completed and naturally the higher number of hours, the better the qualification and the more marketable to you will be when searching for TEFL jobs.

For the highest paying TEFL job a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training is a must, which aspiring TEFL teachers can achieve by taking one of our Recommended TEFL Courses. You might also want to consider taking a specialisation in TEFL such as Teaching English Online, Teaching Young Learners or Teaching Business English as this will be advantageous when apply for certain TEFL jobs and will also make your TEFL application stand out from the crowd.

Finally is it worthwhile checking the accreditation of your TEFL course provider so that you know your TEFL certificate is going to be recognised internationally.

Getting some experience teaching English will also boost your application and give you the best chance at getting hired. You could consider volunteering, teaching English over Skype or starting your own freelance TEFL lessons where you teach English one-to-one.

Find TEFL jobs through our TEFL Jobs Centre.

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