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ESL Teaching Qualifications

English teacher at work / Deposit photos

English as a Second Language, ESL Teaching is a skilled job that requires you to be aware of the nuances and tricks of teaching English as a Second Language. Teaching English as a Second Language is different from teaching English subjects such as literature, creative writing, or journalism. Special certification and training for ESL teaching are required for many ESL job applications.

Most popular, worldwide recognized ESL Teaching qualifications are:

How old do you have to be to apply for an ESL Teaching Job?

The minimum age to apply as an ESL teacher varies from country to country. 18 years of age is the average, but tutors and homework-helpers have started ESL teaching careers as young as 16 in some cases. One of the good thing about ESL teaching is that it can also be a fulfilling part-time job or a job to do at retirement age as well.

Is work experience necessary?

Experience is always a benefit when applying for a teaching job. ESL Teaching internships abroad can be an excellent starting point. With a paid ESL internship you can gain teaching experience, travel and experience a different culture. There are also many volunteer organizations and missions which offer educational programs and need teachers.

I’m looking to change careers, is ESL teaching a good option?

Schools advertising ESL Teaching Jobs and placements usually want people with some business experience. Ideally, teachers with work and business experience in other fields can impart their knowledge and experience to their English language students. Living other cultures also helps. Being able to have open dialog and understanding different points of views is essential. It is always beneficial to have other work experience or experience living in other cultures when searching for an ESL Teaching job.

Many ESL teachers who worked in other careers have created niche services and teaching programs for finance, law medical professionals and many more. Specializing in a specific field can be very lucrative.

Is a university degree required to apply for ESL Teaching jobs?

To get a TEFL or CELTA teaching certificate, a university degree is not required. You will need to demonstrate that you have have finished the required schooling for your country, which in most cases is high school or the equivalent. Local laws and requirements are different in each country. For example, ESL teaching as a full time job in a public school in Italy would require a university degree, whereas teaching in a private language school or for private school programs would only require an ESL teaching certification. Thus making ESL teaching a great second career choice or as a part-time job during retirement.

Do you need to be a native English speaker to apply for ESL Teaching jobs?

No, it is not necessary, however this is determined by the school hiring. Most schools look for native English speakers for ESL Teaching jobs. “Mother Tongue”, or MT teachers are sought out throughout the world. The thinking is that MT speakers know the language better, but in some cases this is not true. Many non-native speakers know the language as well or better than MT speakers.

How to get an ESL Teaching certificate

You can get a certified TEFL teaching certificate from Premiere TEFL.  Click here to learn about online courses .

CELTA certificates are available from approved training centers as are Trinity certificates.

Once you have a recognized certification like the Trinity, TEFL or the CELTA, you will be ready to apply for ESL Teaching jobs.

Are you already certified and looking for a job in English Teaching?
Click here to see the English Teacher job bank


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