How to land the most sought-after English teaching jobs with TEFL

Land online English teaching jobs with TEFL

It’s no secret that there are thousands upon thousands of global job opportunities available for TEFL teachers at any given time. 

Unfortunately, not all of these opportunities are created equal.

Salaries, working conditions and expectations for teachers can vary from job to job and country to country.

Of course, all aspiring teachers want to get hired for the best teaching roles, whatever that may mean for each individual. 

But, how can you land the most sought-after online English teaching jobs with TEFL, the ones with the highest salaries and in the best destinations? 

Let’s take a look at the following questions:

  • What are the most sought-after TEFL jobs?
  • How can I land the most sought-after TEFL jobs?
  • What kind of TEFL qualifications do I need?
  • Is there anything extra I can add to boost my TEFL resumé?
  • I’m TEFL qualified, my resumé is in shape, and I’m looking for jobs. What's next?

What are the most sought-after TEFL jobs?

To some extent, the answer to this question depends on what you are looking for.

Some jobs are sought after because they are in great locations. 

For example, many TEFL teachers dream of working in countries around Europe, and such roles are highly sought after, even though they don’t always pay the best salaries.

But here we’re talking about the most sought-after jobs, so let’s take a look at where the best locations with high-paying roles are.

The highest paying roles are generally found in the Middle East and Asian countries, including Japan, Taiwan and China.

CountryAverage salary USD / month
United Arab Emirates$3,500 - 5,500
Japan$2,200 - 5,000
Kuwait$2,600 - 4,000
Taiwan$2,000 - 3,000
China$1,400 - 2,200


Salaries in the table above vary but it’s worth remembering that where you live can make a big difference to your overall quality of life. 

For example, living expenses in a smaller city in China may be much lower than in the capital of Japan, meaning you could potentially live a more luxurious lifestyle on a lower salary. 

Ask yourself what type of lifestyle you want to live while teaching abroad. 

All of these locations offer you a great diversity of lifestyles, geography, food and culture. 

Take some time to research each country individually and choose the place that excites you the most! 

How can I land the most sought-after TEFL jobs?

TEFL roles in Asia and the Middle East often have very specific entry criteria for teachers who apply for jobs there. 

This is also true for other high-paying roles around the world.

The number one piece of advice to bear in mind when applying for these jobs is that you must meet these criteria.

This is because, often, they are non-negotiable. 

If a TEFL role says applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree, for example, it is also likely to be a required part of your visa application.

Even if you have a great profile otherwise, certain schools may not be able to offer you a position if you can’t provide the required paperwork.

So, what paperwork do you need?

Common requirements for good TEFL roles are:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • A TEFL certificate.
  • Citizenship from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK or the US

What kind of TEFL certification do I need?

This is where things get a little more complicated as there is such a wide range of TEFL certifications available.

Most schools will ask for at least the 120-hour TEFL training, although you can find courses that vary their hours.

Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter if you do your TEFL certification online or in-person since both options offer the same level of training.

Plus, online teaching skills are increasingly in demand!

Tip: It’s a great idea to do a TEFL course that is accredited, or affiliated with a respected institution like a University.

Doing specialized TEFL extension modules (like teaching to young learners, or teaching business English) can be a good idea if you know what field you want to specialize in, but this isn’t essential for most jobs.

Is there anything extra I can add to boost my TEFL resume?

Beyond the basic requirements, there are a few extra things that might make your TEFL resume stand out to employers.

When you are applying for more specialized roles, there is a chance they require a Bachelor’s degree in Education or teaching license. 

Even if this isn’t a requirement, having either of these is sure to make your application stand out.

Do you have any prior teaching experience? Add it to your application to make it even more appealing.

But if you don’t have any teaching experience, you can always volunteer in a classroom for some time! 

Volunteer experience is just as valuable in the eyes of employers.

And depending on the job you are applying for, it is worth mentioning other relevant experience. 

For example, if you want to teach English to kids and you already have experience working with this age group, you’ll definitely want to mention that in your application.

I’m TEFL qualified, my resume is in shape and I’m looking for jobs. What’s next?

It’s time to get ready to ace your interview!

When applying for highly in-demand TEFL roles, the best way to stand out from the crowd is to prepare, prepare and prepare. 

Look up practice questions and spend some time thinking through your answers for them, especially the ones you might find more difficult to answer.

Most importantly, be ready to talk about things you’ve done well in your time spent as a teacher.

If your interview has a grammatical component, don’t stress too much. 

Simply make sure you brush up on some of your grammar knowledge and remember to be confident in yourself while you’re completing the assessment. You got this! 

Another common worry is a lack of teaching experience, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Any school would be happy to take on a teacher that is keen to learn, willing to take on feedback, and is up for trying new ideas.

A lot of schools may also see lack of experience as an advantage, as it means they can train you to use their teaching methods. 

The job search begins!

Now you’re ready to start searching for those sought-after teaching jobs

Think of your job search as a time to let your mind roam free.

Let your imagination run wild with all the different lives around the world you will be opened up to and experience as a TEFL teacher.

The more you look at job ads and know what you want, the more you’ll narrow down exactly what the perfect job for you is. 

And if that turns out to be one of the most sought-after jobs in the TEFL world, you’re now in great shape to start applying. Good luck!