What more can be said about Paris, one of the most famous cities in the world, if not the most well-known overall? Regarded widely as the most romantic city in the world, La Ville Lumière is one of the most important locales on the planet in terms of art, culture, sights, history and European civilisation as a whole.
From the glistening Sacre Cœur to Boulevard Saint Michel, Paris is absolutely cluttered with rich cultural history. There are a million stories in every quarter, and every avenue and alley has its own unique past. A crucible of language, theatre, music – there’s no place in the world quite like it. Talking of language, it’s also very likely top of the list for a great many TEFL teachers wanting to teach English as a foreign language around the world.
After all, whether you’re into cinema, art, photography, sport, history or pretty much anything, Paris is a city brimming with opportunity. It’s also a city where curiosity and education are cultural currencies, and though requirements can be strict to teach English in Paris, it’s a fantastic area to live and work in.
There’s a reason there are TV programmes and films about people getting away from grey, industrial cities and moving to Paris. With the right qualifications and experience, and through fantastic teaching programmes, you could be the TEFL equivalent to Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway or, if you like, Emily from ‘Emily in Paris’.
Paris: an overview
Again, what more is there to be said about Paris as a city to live, love and teach English?
For those dreaming of teaching English in France, it’s a competitive field. Even extremely qualified candidates with excellent teaching experience will need to elbow out the competition for top-paid jobs. Typically, most teachers wanting to teach English in Paris long-term will start by getting a working holiday visa, or even working as an au pair, and aim to gain permanent residence once they’ve found a full-time teaching job in France.
In the past, the resistance to English learning in France meant that jobs for English teachers were limited to summer camps and au pair roles. En masse, the skill of being able to speak English just wasn’t highly valued in France. However, the TEFL market has grown over the last 20 years, and while French is still widely spoken as a mother tongue across the globe, the status of English as the business lingua franca means there’s a real incentive to learn.
Generally speaking, if you do find yourself teaching in Paris, it’ll be to younger generations. This is for a number of reasons; pride in the French language, the relative recency of English being taught in schools, the impact of English-language culture and the importance of business English, for example. This isn’t to say that you’ll never teach anyone over 50, but it’s certainly more likely – due to cultural shifts in the very recent past – that the job opportunities you find will involve young professionals and children.
As with the rest of France, younger teachers are preferred, and though it sounds oxymoronic, you’ll also need some teaching experience on your side. Qualifications, including a four-year bachelor’s degree and – of course – a TEFL certificate, will see you in a prime position for a Parisian teaching opportunity.
Requirements for teaching English in Paris
So, the crucial question: what do you need on your CV to teach English in Paris?
The most common basic requirements for teaching jobs in Paris are:
- A 120-hour TEFL certification from an accredited, reputable provider
- A bachelor’s degree (in any subject)
- Previous experience
- Be a native English speaker (or provide detailed evidence of English fluency)
A TEFL certificate truly is a must for making the most out of teaching English abroad. Equally, a bachelor’s degree is extremely important for finding work, if not just for visa requirements, then also to meet the standard of teachers working in France.
Previous experience can include childcare if you’re specifically looking to work with young learners. So, while TEFL jobs in France aren’t just au pair roles, those kinds of experiences definitely help if you have them on your CV.
French schools are more likely to hire native English speakers, but if you can prove fluency – primarily with an IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent – don’t rule yourself out of an English teaching job in Paris.
Salary & cost of living in Paris
In a city like Paris, you’ll most certainly need to earn a good wage as you teach. Glasses of wine on the Boulevard Saint Michel, trips up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and football matches at the Parc de Princes cost money, after all.
So what kind of salary is on offer to those who teach the English language in Paris, and how does it contrast against the cost of living?
Let’s take a look.
Though there is a range of jobs with different requirements and salary expectations, the average salary for teaching classes full-time in Paris is around €1,200 – €2,000 (£1,030 – £1,720/$1,300– $2,535) monthly.
Of course, you can earn a higher base salary at highly-esteemed institutions, including private schools and universities, depending on the role and number of hours you’re doing. If you’re working a full-time teaching job, you could top up your salary with private lessons, either online or in person. The demand for private lessons in Paris is considerable!
Read more about Teaching English abroad salaries.
Cost of living
As for the cost of living in Paris? Well, as one of the biggest and most-visited cities in the world, you can expect that everyday items, as well as rent and utilities, are costlier than other major TEFL destinations.
Per Numbeo, we can see that rent, in general, is still 32% less expensive than London, and consumer prices are cheaper than New York. Those are the basics, but let’s get more specific about spending in Paris.
Though it’s cheaper than London, rents in Paris can be quite pricey. A month’s rent in a city centre one-bedroom apartment can cost around £1,117/$1,418, though it’s cheaper in the suburbs, costing closer to £800/$1,010 per month. For a three-bedroom dwelling in the city centre, a typical month’s rent is £2,450/$3,115.
For basic utilities, expect to spend around £170/$215 per month, while internet connection is around £25/$32.
You’ll want to experience Parisian cuisine; a three-course meal in a mid-priced restaurant is around £56/$70, whereas a solo meal in an inexpensive restaurant is about £13/$16.
If you’re looking to zip around Paris on the Metro, a monthly travel pass will set you back £64/$82.
English teaching jobs in Paris
Now we know how much you can potentially earn in Paris, what the cost of living is and why it’s an incredibly exciting place to live. So, let’s have a deeper look into what kinds of teaching jobs are on offer.
Competition for teaching places in Parisian public schools is rife, though there are opportunities through TAPIF, which we’ll discuss later. Teaching programmes are your best bet for jobs in the state education system, though if you have some experience under your belt and the requisite qualifications – a degree and a TEFL certificate – you might be able to find work.
English teaching programmes in Paris
While the requirements to teach in Paris can be quite strict, and the competition for jobs is considerable, there are still opportunities through teaching programmes. Like in much of Europe, teaching programmes provide a path for TEFL educators who can explore new career opportunities, with the backing of a recognised and robust teaching organisation.
The most prominent of those, when it comes to France at least, is TAPIF. If you’re an American citizen with designs on teaching English in Paris, this one is most definitely for you!
TAPIF stands for ‘The Teaching Assistant Program in France’. Established for American citizens, TAPIF has 1,500 slots for prospective teachers to “teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of France such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion”. Each candidate is required to pick their 3 preferred locations in France – teaching English in Paris through TAPIF, then, is a real option.
The teaching placements can vary depending on a range of factors. Successful TAPIF applicants will be teaching English to different year levels, across the proficiency spectrum, within the French public school system. Much depends on the kind of experience you already have teaching English.
A considerable number of teachers who complete the TAPIF program end up living and working in France permanently or go on to get hired off the strength of their experience through completing the program. There are “over 27,000 TAPIF alumni across the U.S” according to the programme’s directors.
What does TAPIF involve?
If you’re a successful candidate, you’ll be working in Paris as a Language Teaching Assistant (LTA), providing support to a primary English teacher. Each TAPIF assistant will be expected to work at least 12 hours a week; this gives ample time to really explore the length and breadth of Paris!
Being an LTA is no small task. You’ll be expected to lead conversations with students, give one-to-one support when needed, provide cultural exchange and really represent the US in Paris. Being able to generate ideas, like fun games and exercises, is a major boost.
What do you need to be considered for eligibility?
- TAPIF applicants must be native English speakers
- Applicants must be ages 20-35
- Applicants must be US citizens. US nationals with a green card can apply
- Applicants must have French Language proficiency (B1 level or above)
- Applicants must have completed at least 3 years of college education
To find out more about the TAPIF programme, read The TEFL Org’s detailed guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much do English teachers make in Paris?
If you teach English in Paris full-time, you can expect to make a starting salary of €1,200 – €2,000 (£1,030 – £1,720/$1,300– $2,535). If you plan to tutor, you could reasonably charge £20-£30/$25-$38 as an hourly rate.
Q. How can I work as an English teacher in Paris?
There are plenty of great options to find an English teaching job in Paris. Programmes like TAPIF are excellent routes, while private businesses, public schools, language schools and private tutoring are also prominent ways of finding work teaching English.
Q. Are English teachers needed in France?
Yes: skilled, qualified people are needed to teach English in France. Over the last 20 years, more importance has been placed on learning English in France, and the TEFL industry has made significant inroads, with high demand and plenty of English teaching jobs now available.
Q. How much money can you make teaching English in France?
The average salary for an English teacher in France is €1,000 – €2,000 (£926 – £1,852/$1,082 – $2,164) per month working full-time. Private tutors can charge rates of around €15 – €25 (£13.88 – £23.13/$16.24 – $27) per hour. In bigger cities, like Paris and Marseille for example, these rates tend to be higher to meet the cost of living.
Considering the size and popularity of the city, loads of TEFL teachers want to teach English in Paris. Clearly, there are a lot of pertinent questions about teaching English in La Ville Lumière, so here are our most informed and up-to-date answers!