Top English teaching jobs in Japan

Teach in Japan

This comprehensive guide provides essential information on teaching in Japan, a nation that marries tradition and technological advancement perfectly. Discover the best ESL and K-12 teaching vacancies available. This newly revised guide aims to facilitate your path to teaching in Japan, whether it’s obtaining a TEFL certification for ESL teaching or a standard teaching certification for K-12 education.

Varieties of Teaching Jobs in Japan

English teaching roles in Japan are highly sought-after, providing a wealth of opportunities for new graduates or certified teachers alike. English teaching contracts typically span from six months up to a year. Here are the four types of teaching positions available for all grade levels in Japan:

  1. ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) teaching jobs within the Japanese public school system
  2. Teaching jobs at private language institutes (also known as English conversation schools or Eikaiwas)
  3. Teach English in Japan Summer Program
  4. Teaching English to Japanese students online from anywhere in the world
Pagoda in Japan for teachers teaching English in Japan to visit and explore

English Teaching in Japan’s Public Schools

English teaching roles in Japanese public schools are highly sought after as English learning is popular among Japanese students. The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET), managed by the Japanese government, is the most favored teaching program in public schools. JET is an exchange program that brings recent college graduates from over 40 countries to Japan to serve as Assistant Language Teachers.

ALT positions are available in public elementary and junior high schools across Japan. The duties of ALTs vary, but typically, they work alongside a Japanese teacher of English (JTE). Classroom sizes range from 35 – 40 students. ALTs usually work around eight hours and teach four lessons a day. Contracts usually begin in April and September, lasting until late March of the next year.

Find out what it’s like to live and teach English in Japan:

Japan mountain scenery for teachers teaching English in Japan to visit and explore

Teach in Japanese Private Schools

Teaching positions at private language institutions, also known as English conversation schools or Eikaiwas. Private language institutes across Japan also offer many teaching opportunities. These roles accommodate students from kindergarten to adults, with varied shift timings from day to evening. In-depth training and support are offered to teachers, with performance incentives making the teaching experience enjoyable and motivating. Applications are open year-round, but it’s best to apply in advance due to the long application process.
Temple in Japan for private school teachers with teaching jobs in Japan to visit and explore

Teach English in Japan Summer Program

If you are intrigued by the prospect of teaching English but are not ready to settle down for a long period, the Japan Summer Program may be your perfect choice. Teaching English in Japan during the summer offers an exciting opportunity to become acquainted with the educational system, culture, and lifestyle of this technologically advanced country.

Regular teaching contracts in Japan often last anywhere from six months to a full year. While this offers an immersive and potentially life-changing experience, it also requires a significant time commitment, which may seem daunting for some.

For more details about summer jobs in Japan, we’ve put together a short guide to teaching English in Japan for the summer.
Temple in Japan for private school teachers with teaching jobs in Japan to visit and explore

Teach Japanese Students Online English

If you’re seeking a flexible, part-time teaching role, online English teaching for Japanese students could be ideal. Several companies cater specifically to Japanese English learners and are currently seeking fluent English-speaking teachers for numerous online positions.

If you have the necessary skills and experience (such as a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate), now’s the perfect time to apply to teach English online! While you can’t teach English in Japanese schools without a degree, you can teach English online to Japanese students.
teaching English online to Japanese student - teach English in Japan

What you need to know about teaching English in Japan

Wondering how you can start your teaching journey in Japan? The great news is that it’s easy to become a teacher in Japan! You just need to meet a few minimum requirements and then you’re all set for your teaching abroad adventure.

What are the job requirements to teach English in Japan?

A bachelor’s degree in any subject, a TEFL certification, and fluency in English.

Can you teach ESL in Japan without a degree?

The short answer is no. You can teach in Japan without a degree in Education, but you’ll still need a bachelor’s degree (in any subject) to qualify for ESL teaching jobs.

Can you teach in Japan without speaking Japanese?

Yes! You don’t need to know Japanese to teach English as a second language. You’ll be speaking English in the classroom to fully immerse your students.

Do you need TEFL to teach English in Japan?

Yes. It is a minimum requirement for ESL teachers to be TEFL certified. You can become a leading candidate with one of our university-backed online TEFL courses.

How do you become a teacher in Japan?

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification handy, then the best place to start is by signing up with Teach Away and applying for jobs through our exclusive job board.

How much money can you make teaching English in Japan?

It depends! As an English teacher in Japan you can expect to make around $2,400 USD in public schools or from $2,400-2,625 USD at a private school. More info on salary and benefits below!

Salary and benefits when teaching English in Japan

Want to know how much money you can make teaching in Japan? Working in Japan can be super lucrative and comfortable for teachers. Take a look below to learn more about salary and benefits as an English teacher:

Basic Benefits Public School ALT Jobs in Japan Private School Jobs in Japan
Monthly Salary ¥260,000 (approx. $2,200 USD) ¥260,000 – ¥300,000 (approx. $2,400 – $2,625 USD) for full-time English teaching positions
¥125,000 (approx. $1,500 USD) for part-time English teaching positions
Working Hours 08:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday 5 days/week Monday – Saturday
Hours vary and are agreed upon by the teacher and the school.
**Must be flexible
Teaching Hours 29.5 hrs/week 26.6 hrs/week full-time
13.3 hrs/week part-time
Vacation 3 – 4 weeks in August (60% paid)
2 weeks in December/January (75% paid)
All National Holidays and Bonus Personal Days
All National Holidays
10 working days (full-time)
Number of holidays varies for part-time contracts
Foreign Teachers 1 (only 1 foreign teacher/school) 2-15 teachers/school
Class Size 35 – 40 students/class 1-15 students/class
Varies depending on location: ¥15,000 – ¥80,000/month
Average: ¥50,000/month for a shared apartment
Teacher pays for key money
¥40,000 – 90,000/month (approx.)
School can act as guarantor
Assistance in finding accommodations provided
Airfare Teacher pays for flight and is reimbursed by school on arrival
Japanese immigration requires proof of return flight booking
Teach Away can assist teachers with finding an affordable flight
Teacher pays for flight and is reimbursed by school on arrival
Japanese immigration requires proof of return flight booking
Teach Away can assist teachers with finding an affordable flight
Bonuses Free Japanese online lessons
Location preferences honored whenever possible
Health insurance provided
Contract completion bonus
Locations Towns & rural areas
(easier to find a job teaching English in rural areas)
Tokyo (90%)
Towns and rural areas (10%)

Apply to Teach in Japan

Teaching jobs in Japan open regularly, with start dates throughout the year. Apply through Teach Away to teach in Japan.

Japan at a glance

Country information

Capital: Tokyo

Language: Japanese

Population: 127,799,000 (10th)

Currency: Yen (¥) / En (円 or 圓) (JPY)

Government: Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy

Major religion: Buddhism, Shinto

Climate: Temperate

Quick facts

More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes.

Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan, is an active volcano.

A nice musk melon, similar to a cantaloupe, may sell for over $300US.

There are four different writing systems in Japan, romaji, katakana, hiragana, and kanji.

Japan’s literacy rate is almost 100%.

There are around 1,500 earthquakes every year in Japan.

The first novel, The Tale of Genji, was written in 1007 by a Japanese noble woman, Murasaki Shikibu.