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Do you want a job that can take you all over the world after graduation? Perhaps you’re looking for work that fits in around your studies? Or maybe you’re looking for a fun way to spend a few months abroad over the summer months and earn a bit of money while you’re at it. TEFL […]

Do you want a job that can take you all over the world after graduation? Perhaps you're looking for work that fits in around your studies? Or maybe you're looking for a fun way to spend a few months abroad over the summer months and earn a bit of money while you're at it.

TEFL can tick all those boxes! If you're part of your way through your studies or approaching graduation there are opportunities for you in this rapidly growing and innovating industry. To find out how you can get started in TEFL keep reading on.

What is TEFL?

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) involves teaching English language learners, whether that’s abroad, online or in your home country. EFL teachers work with students of all ages and abilities, in schools, language centres, universities, summer schools, within businesses, and in many more settings.

There are an estimated 2 billion English language learners worldwide, which means the market for qualified EFL teachers is huge .

And to get started in this exciting industry all you need is a TEFL qualification (more on that shortly) and fluency in English. That’s it. No previous experience is required, you don’t need to speak another language, and your degree doesn’t have to be related to teaching.

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Travel the world with TEFL

With TEFL you can get paid to travel the world. Just check out where TEFL has taken some of our course graduates !

EFL teachers can live and work abroad and experience a country like the locals do. Become immersed in a different culture, pick up a new language, meet people from around the world - it’s all possible with teaching English abroad.

Where there are English language learners there are jobs and there are employers across the globe looking for people just like you .

To find out more about teaching English abroad check out our Guide to Teaching English Abroad .

Work from home: teach English online

You don’t have to hop on a plane to TEFL, it’s possible to earn money teaching English right at home. The online teaching market is booming and offers flexible work that can fit in around your studies and even provide a full-time income after graduation.

There are hundreds of online teaching companies and teaching platforms out there. They’re a great place to start gaining experience, providing you with the students to teach and, often, the lesson materials and syllabus. You can also work for yourself as a freelance online teacher, potentially increasing your earnings and become fully in charge of your schedule.

One of the great things about online teaching is that the start up costs are low. All you need to start earning money online is a TEFL qualification, a webcam and a reliable internet connection!

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How much do TEFL teachers earn?

How much TEFL teachers can earn depends one where they work. You can expect to be paid enough to live comfortably in any country, but if your ambition is to save as much money as possible then this will be more achievable in some places than others.

There are a few things to weigh up when looking at salaries, such as living costs and what benefits are included in your contact.

In Japan, for example, average salaries range from £1,600 to £2,200, while in Korea the average is £1,300 to £2,000. Now, it might look like you can earn more money teaching in Japan, but you’re actually more likely to save a higher amount on a lower salary in South Korea. Why? Living costs in South Korea are cheaper, for one thing, but it’s also common for employers to include accommodation and other benefits in a teacher’s contract. These are all things to consider when looking at earnings.

To find out how much you can earn as a TEFL teacher in dozens of countries see the table below!

Getting TEFL qualified: everything you need to know

To teach English abroad or online there are two basic things you need: fluency in English and a TEFL qualification .

A TEFL qualification will prepare you with the skills and knowledge you need to get started teaching for the first time. A good TEFL course will cover English grammar, TEFL methodology, lesson planning, classroom management, and much more.

Employers abroad and online require teachers to have at least a 120-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited provider, so it's very important to ensure you take a course that meets this criteria.

Qualify online

You can get TEFL qualified entirely online and study when it works for you. This is a great option for those with busy schedules as well as those on a budget, as online TEFL courses are significantly cheaper than a classroom course such as the CELTA .

But do employers recognise online-only qualifications? Yes! As long as it has been gained through a properly accredited TEFL course provider.

TEFL accreditation

Accreditation is key when choosing a TEFL course, particularly since it’s one of the first things a potential employer will look at. With no overarching accrediting body, the world of TEFL courses can be a bit like the wild west, with nothing stopping anyone from setting up and marketing a TEFL course. You can find extremely cheap courses on sites like Groupon , but just because something calls itself a TEFL course doesn’t mean it will be accepted by employers.

What exactly is accreditation? Accreditation is essentially quality control - it’s conducted by an external organisation and granted if the course provider meets the standards they have set. A good TEFL course provider will have accreditation from several established and reputable bodies that will accredit a wide variety of courses. This then gives you assurance about the quality of the course you sign up for, as well as giving employers assurance that you’ve undertaken training of a high standard.

We’re proud to be the most accredited TEFL course provider in the UK, and you can read more about that here .

TEFL hours and levels

TEFL courses are measured in hours, with 120 hours being the industry standard. Taking a course with fewer hours will put you at a disadvantage, while going above and beyond the basic requirement can help to give your CV a boost.  

For many graduates a 120-hour course will be sufficient, but if you're looking for more comprehensive training a Level 5 course can be a great option. Our Level 5 TEFL qualifications are regulated by Ofqual.

If you're not sure what course is right for you take a look at our post all about TEFL hours and levels .

How long it takes to get qualified

Most people studying towards a TEFL qualification in their spare time complete the course within 10 to 12 weeks. With self-paced online study you can work through the course as quickly or as slowly as you like, so if you're too busy one week to work on it that's not a problem.

How much it costs

Our 120-hour TEFL courses start from £159.50 and our Level 5 courses from £299. Our course fees include everything, from course materials to your hard copy certificate - we hate hidden fees just as much as you do!

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