Is a Career as a TEFL/TESOL Teacher Ideal For You?

In the past, people for the most part just went to school and then got a job and that was that. If you happened to like what you did that was just a bonus.

Is a Career as a TEFLTESOL Teacher Ideal For You

Image Credit: LTIT College

But now-a-days there is a lot more to life than working in an unfulfilling job and rather than waiting until retirement to realise your dreams, you have the opportunity to do that right now. One great way to live a life less ordinary is to become a TEFL teacher.

Why Teach English

There are a lot of good reasons to become a TEFL teacher and for anyone interested in travel and seeing the world there are endless opportunities to be explored. Don’t fall into the trap of imagining the cliché party-goer spending a dossing in Thailand. Teaching English can be a real career.

The Travel

Teaching English isn’t all about travelling, but the opportunity to travel is certainly a big part of the appeal. What other careers would give you the opportunity to live in different countries all over the world?

You might choose to start in Asia, but if your first year goes well you can build up more experience and then teach in south America, Europe or anywhere at really.

It’s Fulfilling

But the travelling isn’t the only appeal. Teaching is a fulfilling career where you get the feeling of giving something back, particularly if you take some time to work in the poorer parts of the world. Later in your career you can even consider volunteering in a poorer school to help children that otherwise can’t afford education.

Not Travelling

The other side of the coin is that you don’t have to travel. There are many opportunities to teach English in the UK and the USA and teaching as a TEFL teacher is also a great way to get into mainstream teaching.

Many TEFL teachers start a career by teaching overseas for a few years before then returning home and training as a regular teacher – the experience is a big help.

How To Start TEFL

The simplest way to start a career in TEFL is simply by deciding where you want to go and getting a TEFL certificate so that you have the experience to do so. A TEFL certificate isn’t always necessary, but it is well worth the investment either way.

Before getting into applications there are a few things you need to work out:

  • Which countries would you like to see?
  • Are there jobs available there?
  • What is it like to teach in that country?
  • Do you need particular qualifications?
  • How well are teachers paid in that country?

It is best to start with a list of possibilities and research each of the above. Decide what matters the most to you and narrow down your preferences.

Other Bits Of Advice

Don’t think of becoming a teacher as a way to go on an endless vacation – it takes work and you will face challenges just like in any career. Getting the right job will take some work and you will have to be proactive and resilient…

But once you get started, you will soon find that you have started a wonderful new career

Author Bio

Hi there. My name is James, I work at Ical TEFL. We offer internationally recognised TEFL certificates and courses for anyone wanting to teach English abroad (check out our TEFL courses here).



  1. Jackie

    I don’t think it’s all about the travel though. Like it’s an actual job and you have to go into work every day and are tired so you just want to relax on the weekends!

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  3. Robert Oakden

    Thanks for the comments guys, I would recommend anyone do it. You’re never too old.

    You will definitely not regret doing it, but personally I regretted not having done it sooner!

  4. Kristine

    I wish I had done this when I was younger. I have heard stories of people loving their TEFL teaching jobs not long after they had left school. What an experience to have!

  5. Juliann

    Very helpful. My husband, who is a high school English teacher, often thinks about teaching abroad for a year. I’m not sure when, but I think someday we’ll do it.

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