English is the official language of Australia, but its proximity to Asia means that Australia is a great location for ESL students to study abroad, and as such there is much scope for employment for qualified TEFL teachers. There has been an 80% increase in the number of students studying in Australia in the last 10 years. While most ESL students in Australia are from Asia, you also find students from Europe and Latin America who have travelled to Australia to enjoy the culture and gorgeous weather while learning English.
Teaching in Australia is a great choice for teachers who want to try living abroad but are worried about culture shock – with English being the official language of Australia, you won’t feel too lost at sea when you arrive in the country. While the jobs available to TEFL teachers in Australia are usually better suited to experienced and well-qualified teachers, there are also temporary contracts, part-time roles and volunteering experiences that would be perfect for those fresh off their TEFL course.
If you’re aged 18 – 30 and come from Britain, Ireland, or North America, you can apply for a working holiday visa to teach English in Australia. Visas are for 12 months, and you need to be in good health to apply, you must be able to prove that you have the funds for your return flight, and you can’t have any dependent children. You can’t undertake work for the same employer for the whole year of your visa, and work must be incidental with the main purpose of your trip being travel. The best time to apply for professional roles is September, to start with the new school year in January. However, there are short-term contracts year round for students who come to study in Australia throughout the year.
Teach English Online in Australia
Teaching English online is a great way to find students at a time to suit you – wherever you are in the world, there will be someone wanting to learn English during your peak hours! However, it’s undeniable that the Asian market is one of the biggest when it comes to TEFL customers, and so being available to teach when these students are free will give you plenty of choice when it comes to jobs. While the time difference between, for example, the UK and Japan is around 8 hours, if you’re living in Australia, the time difference is only one hour. Picking up some online teaching is a great way to supplement your income if you can only find part-time work, or if you just want to do some paid work on the side of some volunteering.
To teach TEFL online in Australia you aren’t limited to Australian companies and can teach with any online school you like. However, if you’re applying to Australian companies, be sure to stress your home country and accent – British accents are often highly sought after.
You can also teach online as a volunteer, such as with Navitas (see below).
Volunteer in Australia
Volunteering abroad as a TEFL teacher is a great way to see a new place on a small budget. Volunteers often have their accommodation and food provided for them, and some positions even come with a stipend for costs, but you usually have to fund the travel to the placement yourself. If you want to visit Australia but don’t want to be tied into a full-time TEFL job, working as a volunteer might be a great way to do it. Volunteering is also a great foot in the door for TEFL teachers who might not be experienced enough to apply for more professional roles. You’ll often find that, once you’re in the country, it’s easier to find an employer.
Navitas runs an Adult Migrant English Program along Sydney’s South West and the Canberra region, providing English and computer skills for refugees arriving to Australia. You don’t need to speak English as a first language or have any teaching experience to volunteer with Navitas. You have to commit to volunteering for six months, for at least one hour a week, and agree to attend their training program. Teaching is done online so you must have your own device with a reliable internet connection.
Another potential volunteering opportunity could be found with the Refugee Council of Australia.
For more information of volunteering as a TEFL teacher read our handy guide.
TEFL jobs in Australia
Students who travel to Australia for their studies usually fall into one of two categories – those on a short-term overseas course, and long-term students. Short-term students usually stay in Australia for around 12 weeks, so if you are planning on being in Australia for less than a year yourself, it might be possible to find work teaching these students who are on a shorter visa like yourself. Many contracts for TEFL teachers will be for a course/term/month rather than a year. There are also longer courses (around 20-30 weeks long) for students who need to improve their English before enrolling on a university course in Australia. You’ll find that a peak season for teaching on short courses takes place from September to May (the warmer months).
However long you decide to teach in Australia for, bear in mind that standards are strictly regulated and schools will expect their teachers to be highly qualified and experienced, even if its only for a short period of time. You’ll need a degree, TEFL certificate with a practical component and at least 800 hours of teaching experience to get your foot in the door. For details on current requirements for TEFL teachers in Australia, visit the NEAS website. If you don’t meet all the requirements, you might still be able to find work at a non-accredited school.
The Australian Academy of Commerce teaches IELTS and Cambridge exam preparation classes.
The Australian Catholic University welcomes overseas applicants to support with their international students.
The Australian International College of English offers IELTS classes, homestay, camps, young learners, general English and other courses. You need a TEFL certificate and a BA degree. Pay is AUS$35 – 45 per hour. Working holiday visa candidates welcome to apply.
English Language Company prefers CELTA qualified teachers with a BA degree and one year of experience with adults. Initial contract of 10-12 weeks. Salaries range from AUS$41,500 – 60,000.
English Unlimited asks candidates to have a BA degree and TEFL certificate. Work is usually for ongoing seasonal contracts, around 20 hours per week. AUS$42.02 – 55 per hour.
For a list of French/English bilingual schools in Australia, see this list.
International House in Brisbane looks for teachers with a CELTA or equivalent and at least 1 year of teaching experience. Contracts are for 25 hour per week. AUS$41 – 54 per hour.
Kimmba Bilingual Kindergarten offers childcare in Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and French as well as English, and is the only multilingual kindergarten in Melbourne.
Lexis English provides courses in Academic English, General English and Junior Programs. You need a BA degree and TEFL certificate as a minimum.
Milner International College of English looks for those with a BA degree and CELTA or equivalent. School hours are 9am – 3pm. No casual contracts. AUS$38.55 – 50.46 per hour.
NEAS lists all schools in Australia which are endorsed by NEAS against the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework.
Phoenix Academy hires those with a BA degree and CELTA. Contracts for 4 week summer courses, 12 week courses or 6 months, or permanent contracts. AUS$42,000 – $53,000 salary. On-campus residence is $30 per night.
Sydney English Academy candidates must have a BA degree and CELTA or equivalent. Contracts are usually for 12 weeks.