TEACH ENGLISH IN PORTUGAL

About Teaching English in Portugal

While not as large as Spain, Italy, or Germany, Portugal offers a good job market, particularly for EU citizens.

English teachers in Portugal typically find work towards the beginning of September or October, and then again in January. Most English teaching contracts for teaching English in Portugal end in late June.  For those looking to teach through the summer, opportunities at summer English language camps are available throughout Portugal and the whole of Europe. Summer positions typically start in late June and early July.

English teachers will be expected to interview in person once they arrive in Portugal, and they will also be responsible for their airfare, as well as housing.  Most teachers share a flat with their coworkers.

Teach English in Portugal TEFL Teach English in Portugal TEFL

Schools are becoming less likely to hire teachers without work papers and are becoming less willing to help obtain them. If a non-EU citizen is able to find an employer who will sponsor them for a work visa, they can apply through the local labor office but expect the process to be quite long. It is also common in Portugal for teachers to be self-employed and work on a freelance basis, which is much less difficult if you are an EU citizen. 

Wages are not high but teachers can sustain a comfortable lifestyle and cover their expenses. Many teachers take on private students on the side or teach English online to make extra money.  Schools typically offer around 20-25 hours per week of work, leaving you plenty of opportunities to travel and explore.  English teachers need to have a BA to teach in Portugal, and a TEFL certification is absolutely necessary as well.  Major cities for English teaching jobs are Lisbon, Oporto, Coimbra, Braga.

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Portugal. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview for jobs in-person in Portugal, therefore it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below:

You may also wish to take one of the 4-Week In-Person TEFL Courses that we offer in 21 locations worldwide. 

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

Portugal represents a more challenging job market for any teacher who does not already have citizenship from a qualified European Union (EU) nation or working rights in Portugal.  We highly suggest to not count on getting a legal work permit to teach in Portugal if you are not an EU citizen.  

European Union citizens and those who already possess residency and working privileges in addition to a BA degree and TEFL certification can find jobs throughout the country.

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Portugal, however, you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs.  

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

English teachers need a bachelor's degree to teach English in Portugal. Please note, your bachelor's degree does not need to be in education, it can be in any field.

TEFL Jobs in Portugal

JOB TYPES

The most common ESL jobs in Portugal consist of:

  • Teaching adults in foreign language schools.
  • Teach Business English to adults in a corporate environment.
  • Private one-on-one tutoring.
  • Teaching English Online.

HIRING & VISA

English teachers can expect to find ESL jobs in Portugal during the peak hiring months of September and January.

Interviews are conducted face-to-face, meaning you will need to be in Portugal to interview for your teaching job.

Portugal represents a more challenging job market for any teacher who does not already have citizenship from a qualified European Union (EU) nation or working rights in Portugal.  We highly suggest to not count on getting a legal work permit to teach in Portugal if you are not an EU citizen.  

HOURS

Schools in Portugal offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

STUDENTS

It is most common that your students will be adult business professionals. 

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $2,300 - $2,900 USD (1,850 – 2,400 Euro). These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Portugal until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

SALARY

A solid salary enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Portugal. Teachers can expect to make $1,300 - $1,850 USD per month (1,050 - 1,500 Euro).

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent.

COST OF LIVING & SAVINGS

The average monthly cost of living ranges from around $1,300 - $1,700 USD per month (1,050 - 1,400 Euro).

English teachers in Portugal can expect to break-even month over month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you should not expect to save money at the end of the month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

What does teaching in Portugal look like?

Check out our blog to read stories from our alumni teaching English in Portugal and Europe.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day in the life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Europe could look like!

AS SEEN IN

Teaching English in Portugal FAQs

Do I need a degree to teach English in Portugal?

To teach English in Portugal, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A four-year college degree in any field.
  • A TEFL certification.
  • EU Citizenship - Portugal represents a more challenging job market for any teacher who does not already have citizenship from a qualified European Union (EU) nation or working rights in Portugal.  We highly suggest to not count on getting a legal work permit to teach in Portugal if you are not an EU citizen.  
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available.
  • Savings for start-up costs.

Not Required:

  • You do not need to be a native English speaker, but you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. 

What is the salary for teaching English in Portugal?

Teachers can expect to make $1,300 - $1,850 USD per month in Portugal (1,050 - 1,500 Euro) and expect to breakeven month over month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

Start-up costs will range from $2,300 - $2,000 USD (1,850 - 2,400 Euro). These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Portugal until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent.

What are my job opportunities for teaching English in Portugal?

The most common job types in Portugal consist of:

  • Teaching adults in foreign language schools.
  • Teaching Business English to adults.
  • Private one-on-one tutoring.
  • Teaching English Online.

English teachers in Portugal can expect to find jobs during the peak hiring months of September and January and will need to be present in Portugal for face-to-face interviews.

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Portugal?

Portugal represents a more challenging job market for any teacher who does not already have citizenship from a qualified European Union (EU) nation or working rights in Portugal. We highly suggest to not count on getting a legal work permit to teach in Portugal if you are not an EU citizen. 

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in Portugal

Part-Time Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 170-Hour Online Certification
  • 11 Weeks Part-Time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
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  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 20-Hours Live Practice Teaching

Intensive Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 4 Weeks Full-Time (40+ hours per week) - required class time typically 6-8 hours daily
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10-Hours Live Practice Teaching (Virtual) built into the course
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David Witter

Taught English in Portugal

David Witter

I chose to teach English in Portugal in the city of Aveiro. Of all the schools I contacted, I felt most welcome and appreciated in Aveiro. The director of the school invited me to meet in person, bought me lunch, and talked to me informally, like a friend. When I first thought about teaching abroad, Portugal wasn't even in the top 10 countries where I wanted to teach. Now I can't recommend it enough. The people were some of the kindest I've ever met. Absolutely research visa requirements and be certain you can secure a legal work visa before making the move. 

Keith Gissubel

Teaches English in Portugal

Keith Gissubel

ITA's support staff was the best at answering my questions and keeping me calm throughout the process of deciding to sign up. When I made the decision, I found that they weren't lying about the amount of support they provide throughout the whole process. My ITA advisor was amazing and got back to me very quickly with answers and solutions to any problems I had. I chose to teach English in Portugal in the city of Braga. I'm also a student at the university here! Teaching here pays you so much more than money can ever buy you, and you will forever be changed.

Isabel Baez

Taught English in Portugal

Isabel Baez

We are currently teaching English online in Lisbon. The culture here is rich and full of life. In the streets of Lisbon you will find many tourists down by the city center. Many people from all over the world are spellbound by the energy of the city. You have artists performing, vendors selling items, children playing in the parks. If you wander around the city you find many coffee shops with other like-minded expats. I am loud when I teach so I prefer to sing my ABCs in the comfort of my apartment where I can't disturb anyone else.

Visit our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in Portugal, the rest of Europe, and all over the world.