The Next Step ~ Find a TEFL Job

So, in  Step 1 of the blog series, Decide to Teach English Abroad,  we talked about finding your WHY. This means, taking the time to dig deep and ask some questions to find out:  why you are going abroad in the first place and what you want to get out of this super amazing life-changing experience. If you haven’t read Part 1, you can find it HERE. Now that you’ve figured all that stuff out, we can move on to the next step which is to actually find a TEFL job.

I want to take the time to point out here that I have chosen to use the term TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language). There are a lot of other terms to use ESL, EFL, TESOL etc. but for this blog post, I like the terminology of TEFL because essentially that is what you are looking to do! Teach English in a foreign country.

The next step in the process is all about how you will find a TEFL job that works for you!

Let the adventure begin - Find a TEFL job

This post is going to focus specifically on four things:

  1. The types of  ways to find a TEFL job
  2. The different kinds of TEFL jobs offered
  3. Common TEFL job requirements and certifications
  4. Where to find a TEFL job online

there are two ways you can Find a TEFL job

The first way to find a TEFL job is to get certified as a TEFL teacher first through a TEFL, CELTA or TESOL training course.  Then applying for jobs through various websites on your own.

The second way to find a TEFL job is to sign up for a certification course through a reputable website that also guarantees a placement upon course completion. Some TEFL courses also offer a placement upon completion for a  more expensive course. The company will then help you with your job search and placement.

Before you decide on any of these options I would first suggest looking at different jobs to check for their requirements and certifications. That way you will have a better idea of what kind of course to take and whether to go the first or second option.

 different kinds of TEFL jobs offered

Here is a breakdown of the jobs you will likely see on TEFL job recruitment websites:

  • Private English Institutions: teaching children or adults (although most job offers are for teaching children). This is basically working for a company, where the students are paying to go to school to learn English. This means the curriculum will be variable and the schools themselves will vary in caliber, professionalism and management style.
  • Public schools (Elementary, Middle. High School): These jobs will most likely be a more school-based, structured environment and will most likely ask for a higher level of English certification. Some schools may even offer in-house training depending on where you go.
  • Paid internships: this is for training and a 5  to 6-month internship placement in a school in another country.
Common TEFL job requirements and certifications

Different countries and kinds of jobs ask for different certifications and requirements. Now, what do I mean when I talk about certification vs. requirements. Let’s break this down a little shall we? When I talk about requirements I’m referring to general education (University, College, High School) and teaching experience. When I talk about certification I am referring specifically to English Language certifications like TEFL, TESOL or CELTA courses. (Certification is a blog post all on its own! All of these certifications will be explained in Step 3 of the series…so hang around or subscribe to my newsletter and get it delivered directly to your inbox!)


My recommendation is to first just take some time to look through the different jobs offered and get an idea of what requirements they are looking for. Each country and type of job will have different requirements and certifications. Once you have a good idea of what kind of job you want and where you want to teach, you can then have an idea about what kind of certification you will need.

To give you more of an idea of what I’m talking about certification and requirements let me give you an example. In general, most jobs in Asia require a University or College degree (in any major) and a TEFL certificate. This is somewhat of a standard requirement for most TEFL jobs across the board.  But don’t worry there are deviations! In Korea, for example, you will most likely need an Undergraduate degree as opposed to a TEFL certification to get a job. Whereas in Thailand some jobs offered don’t require a University or College degree but instead, you can work there with just a TEFL certification.

Make sure to have a look at the different kinds of TEFL jobs to determine what you are eligible to apply for, whether you need to get any certifications and what jobs align with your WHY. Click To Tweet
Where to find a TEFL job online

Okay,  I’m not going to bombard you with a long long list of websites to look for teaching jobs on, because there are a lot! Instead, I’m going to give you the more reputable and well-known websites that are easy to navigate and offer a lot of insight and information.

The most popular websites to look for teaching jobs online are as follows:Step 2 - Find a TEFL job

The Next Step…

In Step 3 of the Decide to teach abroad series, we are going to look at certification in more detail.  I’m going to break down the different certifications, what they mean, what courses I would suggest you register for and give you some links to LEGIT certifications to really get the process started!

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Welcome to the Unconventional Life Blog! I'm Eliza a professional English Langauge teacher living an international life. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about teaching English, working and living abroad.


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