Requirements to teach English in different countries

Country requirements for TEFL teaching

* Click here to view a comprehensive list of country requirements. You can also view a small sub-section of countries below:

Vietnam has recently attracted a great number of foreign business and investments, creating a big demand for English throughout the country but especially in the big cities like Hanoi, Hoi Chi Minh and Ga Nang. Life for an English teacher in Vietnam can be full of rewards as the Vietnamese society is very welcoming and holds TEFL / TESOL teachers in high regard. Students normally are very polite, respectful and eager to learn, as they understand the importance of English to their future achievements. Salaries are high compared to the cost of living, averaging US$15 per hour and there are positions available throughout the year.

Teaching English in Turkey seems to be a great experience for the majority of teachers there. Turkish people, especially the middle class, are very eager to learn the language and the demand for it keeps growing. Although a degree will open many more doors to a teacher, it is also possible to find opportunities without one. There are many positions available in the private sector, like primary schools, language schools, but also some at public universities. Availability varies according to the teachers’ qualifications but the salaries are reasonable, especially in the big cities like Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, averaging US$1000 per month.

Thailand is one of the easiest countries to find a job in South East Asia, as the demand for qualified teachers is huge at the moment. Positions are available throughout the country but in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and the most sought after touristic areas like Phuket, you can find them in more abundance than in rural parts. A university degree, regardless of the field, is a must to apply for a position but as the demand is so high there are some schools making an exception to this rule. Students are very polite, warm and respectful towards teachers, as they hold teachers in high regard within their society. Salaries, averaging 30.000 Baht per month, are not as high as some other countries but it’s more than sufficient for a comfortable living.

In the last few years, English native speakers (from USA, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, UK & Ireland and Canada) who hold a university degree and TEFL /TESOL qualification will have no problem finding a position in Taiwan. The country has a big demand for TEFL /TESOL teachers, especially within its private school section, where teaching children makes for the vast majority of the TEFL / TESOL teaching positions. Salaries are reasonably high, averaging US$2000 per month, with a low cost of living.

South Korea is one of the most popular destinations for TEFL / TESOL teachers due to its high salaries and huge demand within their private sector (language schools) and public sector (universities). A native English speaker with a degree and a TEFL /TESOL qualification will have many opportunities not only in big cities like Seoul and Pusan but also in other parts of the country. Although salaries average between US$2.200 to US$2.700 per month, it can easily double up if you are willing to work overtime.

Since joining the EU in 2004 Poland has seen a huge increase in the demand for qualified English teachers. A university degree is important but not always required. Salaries are high for local standards, averaging 2.500 Zloty per month, and you can live comfortably with it, although complimenting it with extra lessons will go a long way to help with your savings. Polish people are very welcoming and eager to learn and finding a job couldn't be easier within both the private and the public sectors of education, especially in the big cities like Warsaw and Krakow. It is also important to note that TEFL / TESOL teachers will be required to have EU citizenship to work in Poland.

Peru is a lovely country to teach English as the people are very polite and welcoming and the working conditions are nice, especially in the capital, Lima, with the teaching schedule normally split in two (morning and early evening) leaving you with some free time during the day. Unfortunately its low salaries and red tape regarding visa permits (not to mention the bad reputation it gets over its crime rate) put many people off heading there. Salaries average US$5 per hour and the bulk of the students will be adults, although young learners will also be part of your group.

Mexico has a very vibrant and warm society. People are very welcoming and eager to learn. Being next door to the USA puts Mexico in a great position to have a huge demand for English teachers, especially in the business area. You can find many opportunities in every corner of this country and although a university degree is a must there are some language schools that will hire teachers with just a TEFL/TESOL qualification. There are opportunities in primary, secondary and tertiary schools as well as companies and language schools. Salaries can vary a bit, especially if you secure a university job, which will pay quite handsomely otherwise you can expect to average 8.000 pesos per month.

If you hold a BS or BA degree and are TEFL /TESOL qualified you will have no problem finding a position in Japan, as the country has a big demand for English teachers, especially in big cities like Osaka and Tokyo, where there are more offers than there are candidates. As it’s typical of Asian culture, a teacher is a highly respected figure and the students are very polite and keen to learn and do well in their studies. Japanese companies are always on the lookout for TEFL / TESOL teachers who are energetic and have a good sense of humor. Salaries are high, averaging US$ 2000 per month, and you can always add to your income with private lessons.

Indonesia has a huge demand for English teachers and you should find positions, both in the private and public sectors, throughout the country, although the best opportunities will be in the main island of Java. You don’t have to hold a university degree to get a work permit to work in Indonesia, just be a qualified TEFL / TESOL teacher, even though some schools will indeed demand a degree as the hiring process is flexible. Salaries are good as the cost of living is low, allowing you to live comfortably, even though you won’t have a lot of savings left compared to other Asian countries. Your average salary will be 9.000.000 Rupiah per month.

India is such a vibrant and diverse country and knowledge is highly regarded the making teaching a respected position within society. As English is already widely spoken, schools look for teachers who can commit to long term contracts and sometimes 6 working days a week. A degree in education and/or a bucket load of experience is necessary to get you in. The field of business and corporate English is vast but that normally requires previous experience and/or qualifications in this area. There are plenty of language schools offering jobs all over the country and the salaries average US$400 per month.

Egypt offers one of the highest paid salaries for English teachers in northern Africa. A university degree and a TEFL / TESOL qualification would be necessary to secure a position in Egypt. Although many Egyptians are qualified to teach English themselves, there are still many job opportunities available, mainly in the fields of computers and business, throughout the country. Students are extremely polite and eager to learn, working very hard to achieve their goals as they know how the language can boost their future prospects. Salaries average US$500 per month.

One of the most popular destinations to teach English in Eastern Europe, Czech Republic has a big demand for English teachers and only require you to be TEFL / TESOL qualified. Although the salaries are not so high it will allow you to live comfortably within your means compared to the cost of living. Prague will offer more jobs opportunities and higher salaries than the rest of the country but the cost of living will decrease the further you are from the capital, so you won’t be worse off for not being teaching in Prague itself. You can always increase your earning with private lessons for individuals and business. Salaries average 22.000CZK per month. It is also important to note that TEFL / TESOL teachers will be required to have EU citizenship to work in the Czech Republic.

China has a huge demand for English teachers all year round and not enough supply. A university degree and a TEFL / TESOL qualification will be necessary to secure you a work permit and you can find opportunities in every corner of the country. Salaries and costs vary from one region to another but you can expect it to go up to 10.000RMB per month. You can always increase your income with private lessons. Living costs, travel and food are inexpensive, which should allow you to save accordingly.

The need for English in Cambodia has increased in the last few years, creating more opportunities for TEFL / TESOL teachers to find positions there. Cambodians seeking better job offers will require to have English as part of their resume. Although most are on a voluntary basis, there’s still paid positions available. Salaries are low but the cost of living is also very low. Salaries average US$8 per hour A TEFL / TESOL qualification will be necessary and in some cases, a university degree.

The more Chile’s economy grows the bigger the demand for English teachers, especially in the field of business and young learners. Schools are obliged to give you a contract as you will need it for work permit purposes. Without one you will have to leave and re-enter the country to have your tourist visa renewed for another 90 days. Bureaucracy is slow in Chile but the schools normally give you a helping hand when it comes to that. Class sizes and teaching hours can vary considerably but there are positions available in the private and public sectors throughout the country, with salaries averaging US$500 per month.

Brazil has great opportunities for English teachers throughout the country. The bigger cities not necessarily offer the best salaries so sometimes you are better off immersing yourself in a smaller city, lowering your cost of living and getting a closer perspective on the local culture and customs. You can consider entering the country on a tourist visa and seeking employment before sorting out your paperwork. Locals are very warm and respectful toward English teachers and you will feel as part of their community in no time. Salaries are not very high but you can be comfortable with your earnings and can even double it by offering private lessons. Salaries average US$900 per month.