Finding work FAQs

When is the best time for me to look for work?

This varies from country to country. Generally speaking, in Europe the academic year runs from September/October to the end of June. The recruitment is done locally so you should try to be there and actively looking in early September, since most schools may be closed due to the summer break. The second best time is after the Christmas holidays. In other parts of the world starting dates vary: January in Japan and other Asian countries, March in South America. 

What if I’m a non-native?

Some schools will have policies whereby they will only hire native speakers due to client requirements or because the government won’t approve work visas for candidates from countries where English isn’t the native language. A proficient level of English (near-native) and a Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge CELTA will usually be more important. Typically there is more demand for a non-native speaker in their country of origin. Germans are used to being taught English by German natives, for example. An advantage for non-native speakers is that they can offer another “useful” language. A French graduate from Oxford TEFL, for example, was employed by a language school because of her ability to teach both English and French. You might like to watch this video of one of our teachers.

What if I don’t have a degree?

A few countries, notably Japan and other Asian countries, will only employ teachers with a university degree. In most parts of the world your Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge CELTA is sufficient for teaching in a language centre. If you want to teach English at university level, then a degree will of course be required.

What if I’m a more “mature” teacher?

Much depends on the background you have come from. You may have been in another industry for many years and some employers and students will like that you can show transferable skills. Any extensive work experience in another field will make you a better teacher when it comes to teaching Business English to people in that same field. Some employers will actually really value your maturity and may see you as someone that’s more likely to be a reliable employee. The average age of our graduates is 28 years old and the oldest person we have trained was 71 years old.

What if I don’t speak the local language?

Occasionally, some schools like the teacher to know the basics of the local language when teaching kids classes (for discipline purposes) and / or low levels. This is not going to be a problem in the majority of countries as the whole point of our TEFL courses is that you give your lessons only in English. On the other hand you will be expected to make efforts to learn the language of the country where you work!

What if I’m a non-EU teacher?

Our non-EU graduates are usually successful in finding work around the world. The Oxford TEFL career service and visa support team will offer you support and advice about the options available as a non-EU citizen.

If you hold a passport from an English speaking country, say the USA, South Africa or Australia, then you’ll be able to easily find work in countries in Asia and South America, since it could actually be a requirement for them to help you process a work visa.

Can I use the Trinity CertTESOL Certificate or CELTA to teach in the USA or the UK?

The Trinity CertTESOL and CELTA courses are not just for those who want to travel and experience other parts of the world; they highly practical for use in your home country. Many people do a course as a way to travel for a short period, but then find that it is equally useful when they return home, either permanently, or just for a short stop-off. Just about every college and university in major cities in both the UK and the USA has an ESL programme, due to the enormous demand for English from the immigrant population. Even for those who return home after a period of TEFLing abroad to start a new career path,  course can be used to gain university credits towards masters degree programmes.

How much do you think I’ll earn if I take a job in Spain?

Average pay rate for someone fresh out of an accredited TEFL course in Spain is around €14-€16 per hour. If you have private students, then you could charge more, around €15-€20. This also depends on where you teach, since they should pay a bit extra (1€) for any commuting transportation costs, if you teach young learners, or if you teach exam classes. If you have 10 teaching hours a week, then you could be earning 560€ – 600€ a month. A full-time TEFL schedule would have 25 teaching hours, since you’d also be using some of your time for lesson planning. If you can achieve this, you could earn €1400 – €1500 a month. However, most of our graduates don’t get a full-time teaching timetable during their first few weeks after completing the course. So you might start off with 6-10 teaching hours at a language centre, combining it with more teaching hours with one-to-one students. As your employers get to know you and get positive feedback from your students they’ll eventually offer you more teaching hours. 

How much do you think I’ll earn if I take a job in the Czech Republic?

The average new teacher working a full-time schedule (18 hours per week/12 x 90-minute classes) in Prague should expect to earn somewhere in the region of 18,000 – 20,000kc per month. Most employers will cover the cost of your Opencard (ticket for public transport) for the duration of your contract, which can save you up to 4500kc per year – a nice bonus. Many teachers also take private lessons, with rates varying from 300kc -600kc per hour depending on experience, preparation and travel time. Prague is one of the cheaper European capitals, when compared with bigger cities such as Munich, Barcelona or London. so these rates should mean you can have a pretty comfortable life and enjoy your time in this wonderful city. 

How long will it take me to find a job?

A lot will depend on the time you look for work and how proactive you are doing so. The sooner you finish creating your TEFL CV, the sooner it can be sent out to potential employers and you can secure some interviews. Getting private students by posting your ad online or handing out flyers is something else you could do to get teaching hours more quickly. If you’re on top of this and look for work during peak hiring months, you will likely secure teaching hours within the first month after completing your course or maybe even before finishing it. On the other hand, if you’re looking for work outside peak hiring months then it may take a few weeks after finishing the course for you to gather enough teaching hours to make a living. If this is your case, we recommend saving enough money so that you don’t stress out during those first few months.

How can Oxford TEFL help me secure work? 

Our comprehensive, lifelong careers service is available to all of our CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, Trinity DipTESOL and Developing Teacher course graduates. For a full description of this service, visit this page.