Teaching English in Japan
The Asian market is one of the largest in the world for English teachers, and Japan has one of the longest traditions of employing English instructors. The Japanese have mandated that English be taught in all of their public schools, beginning at age 5 and lasting through the completion of high school. This broad base of child learners has opened a large market for teaching English in Japan. Adults are taking English language classes in the millions as well, and it often seems that language schools on every corner of a city block much like Starbucks coffee shops here in the US.
English teachers can find jobs year round, and in-person interviews are conducted 3 to 6 months in advance throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Instructors are usually responsible for airfare and housing costs, although schools do assist in finding housing and sometimes provide accommodations. Most teachers live in apartments recently vacated by previous teachers, and many room with coworkers.
A solid hourly wage allows English teachers to live a comfortable lifestyle, while saving up to 800 USD per month. Schools typically offer 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore. English teachers need a bachelor’s degree, and TEFL certification is required. Major cities for English teaching jobs include Tokyo, Fukuoka, Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka.
Ultimate Japan: 11 Highlights of Living and Teaching English in Japan
Feedback from our alumni who are now teaching English in Japan:
Fukuoka, Japan Q&A with Rachel Beede
Nagoya, Japan Q&A with Thomas Paeme
TEFL: The Easiest Way to Fulfill Your Dreams - Teach English in Japan - Rachel Beede
Experience With No Regrets - Teaching English in Japan - Catherine Cappello
Rachel Beede, Fukuoka: http://myjapanesetravels.blogspot.jp
Requirements to Teach English in Japan
- Education: BA/BS is required; TEFL TESOL Certification is required and students can obtain certification in any of our Worldwide TEFL locations or by taking the Online TEFL Class.
- Citizenship Requirements: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, others with fluent speaking ability and 12 years education in a native English speaking country
- Typical hiring process: Face to face interviews in U.S., Canada, or U.K. at least 3–6 months in advance
- Average teaching hours per week: 20–25 hours of classroom plus extra prep time
- Types of students: business professionals, children in public schools and private language schools
- Cost of living per month: 1,800–2,800 USD; 150,000–200,000 JPY
- Average monthly pay: 2,500–2,800 USD; 250,000–280,000 JPY
- Start-up cost: 2,600–4,200 USD
- Potential to save or break even: save 600–800 USD/month
- Accommodation/housing benefits paid: yes some, paid or subsidized depending on school or program.
- Medical Insurance - co-pay, national health insurance
- Vacation - paid 2 weeks, national holidays & sick days
- Flight reimbursement: some
Interesting Facts About Japan
- Japan has the third-largest economy in the world.
- Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 30 million residents.
- Japan is the only Asian country in the G8.
- 70% to 80% of Japan is forested, mountainous, and unsuitable for residential or industrial use, resulting in heavily populated urban areas like Tokyo.
- Japan has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, at well over 80 years of age.