English ESL/EFL teaching in Japan

English ESL/EFL teaching in Japan

Asian labor market is quite generous and lucrative for English teachers. Japan, as a leader of cutting-edge technology, offers decent work conditions to linger. Given that there are warm and beautiful springs, rich historical heritage, and friendly environment, so almost everyone dreams of working here. As long as English is a mandatory language at schools, there will always be motivated students. Considering Japan as a home, take into account some points relate to ESL tutors. Given the rate race, it takes some effort to get a place in the sun. However, we've collected whole information about teaching English in Japan to help you.

There are many ways not only to realize a professional potential, but also to put money by. An average salary ranges between $1,300-3,000 depending on lots of things. Thankfully, there are so many language institutions, so that there is a fat chance you will stay with no hope to make dough. Before you start daydreaming, let's have a look at requirements to fit the bill. 

Requirements for English teaching in Japan

When it comes to qualification to work in Japan, the list of must-haves isn't so long and strict. The two of them are significant enough to land a job. Candidates must be bachelor's degree holders in any subject and native speakers. It's good for you if you are from one of such countries as, the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. But if you are a non-native, you just have to prove you know the language perfect having either TOEFL exam or a degree.

Previous experience and language certificates are preffered but not required. However, the more achievements you can boast, the higher salary you may expect. Despite the fact that visa regulations in Japan have nothing to do with TEFL or CELTA, most of the employers prefer to hire teachers with such qualification. Clean criminal record is a necessity wherever you want to work. As soon as you get visa and arrive, you have to take a medical check-up in a local hospital. 

So, you can work legally in Japan if:

  • You are a native speaker or have C2 level of English and can prove it.
  • You have a college degree.
  • You are a law-abiding citizen.

Other points as experience and TEFL certification will be your advantages among other candidates. 

Teaching ESL without a degree

As we mentioned, having a degree is one of the most important requirements you have to fit. Otherwise, there is a fat chance to get a visa and even a work permit. Even online teaching requires candidates to have a diploma. Usually schools help and sponsor applying for a visa, so if you can't provide a major, it's your responsibility for the result. It's better to be locked and loaded in advance. And there is always a chance to get a job, if you are a degree-holder. Some Asian countries have the same rule.

Teaching English with no experience

The good news is teaching experience isn't included in the list of must-have requirements. However, you should understand that the lack of it may take a toll on your income. Apparently, most institutions are interested in hiring professionals. So, shortage of practice won't let you work in prestigious language schools and international companies. But anyway, it's incredible chance to get international experience in teaching.

Another way to provide at least something is demonstrate some background relating to teaching. So, if you remember that your neighbours hired you as a babysitter, or you were a volunteer at school, don't forget to mention it at an interview.

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Types of teaching jobs in Japan

There are plenty of places to work depending on your preferences. Somewhere you may work hard with a full schedule to make a fortune, others suggest having a part-time job with an oppotunity to explore nearby places and the culture. This is the case when your ability to introduce yourself plays the same role as your professional achievements. Be sure your CV and resume seem right and impressive. Also, you shouldn't send the same letter to all potential employers. All institutions have different missions and students. For example, an international company is looking for an English tutor to teach employees Business English to communicate with partners and providers. Given that you will hardly impress them with teaching General English to kids. Try to provide pertinent information depending on a place you apply.

Public Schools

You may apply through a whole year, however the season starts in January and ends in April. Sometimes such institutes hire staff through word-of-mouth recommendations, but sometimes they turn to some recruiting agencies located in Japan. A common work week includes 30-35 hours, there are some lessons with students and work with reports, lesson plans, and official events. If you find a paperwork engaging, give it a shot. Such qualities as patience and kindness are necessary to teach children from 5 to 17. Usually, probation takes a couple of months. However, you must be ready to commit to one-year contract to begin. It's a good start for newcomers because there is no need to make lesson plans and course program, materials are also provided.

Private Language Schools

Famous and trust-worthy agencies as AEON and ECC are constantly looking for ESL trainers. You need to have a flexible schedule and to be ready to work on weekends and in the evenings. Most students are adolescents, so you may help them to develop critical thinking in English. Such academies provide all necessary materials and course books to have lessons. The duties include assessment students' progress and use of different approaches. The requirements might be high, however the salary isn't low as well. The more accomplishments you mention, the more chances you will get a job.

The JET Program

The Japan Exchange and Teaching program offers fresh graduates to take a part in international education. The main idea is to unite different nations with English. There are some vacancies as assistant language teacher and coordinator for international relations. The first suggest working with Japanese native speakers, making lesson plans, assisting in leading activities and games. There is a typical schedule 7 hours a day from Monday to Friday. A salary and other benefits depend on a city and place.

Private lessons

It's also possible to work on your own having individual lessons and even group sessions. It will take some time to advirtise and find students to teach. Some people conduct lessons in cafes and parks. There are many advantages of working with no boss. You don't need to make reports and use particular textbooks. However, it means you are the only who are responsible for the result. Needless to say that work without methodological and financial support is really tough. But it lets you set your own price and have a flexible schedule.

Teaching English Online

Online teaching proposes incredible opportunities to have convenient working hours and a decent income. Moreover, it's possible to choose a category of students. Work with teenagers to teach General English or adults to teach Business one. Needless to say that an interview process goes easier as well. Usually online schools provide authentic materials and even training to newcomers. However, some paperwork comes with the territory. The only thing you have to get used to and accept is time difference. Depending on a place where you live, you have to work according to Japanese time zone, it's much ahead of some famous cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. 

Average salary and benefits for English teachers in Japan

When it comes to money and work conditions, Japan is a leader that can offer decent terms. As usual, the higher salary you expect to get, the more impressive your accomplishments must be. Fortunately, it is possible to make up for the lack of experience with credentials. Japan provides almost the same perks as China.

Benefits you may expect:

  • flight reimbursement;
  • free-rent appartment;
  • compensation of transport fares;
  • free meals at school.

Depending on some things, a salary changes from $1,500-3,000 a month. If it's not your first job, probably, you understand how labor market works. Employers are interested in hiring high-qualified professionals, otherwise, they don't have much to offer and hire newcomers. Think of your advantages that might be extraordinary and worth attention. Work on your CV and resume to highlight them.

Factors influence salary:

  • amount of years of experience;
  • education;
  • English level;
  • TEFL certification;
  • knowledge of methodology and learning approaches.

However, matching all of those things doesn't guarantee getting much money. It has nothing to do with unfair terms or Japanese employers. You should remember about some essential expenses after getting paid. And an amount of money to save depends on a cost of living. It's difficult to predict how much money you'll have saved by the end of the month. Some cities are quite expensive in terms of food and entertainment. Living in a small city allows to save at least $500 each month. So, you have to chose what is more important for you, fast pace of life in a metropolis, or calm way of living in a rural area.

Japan takes the fourth place in terms of the highest salary for ESL teachers in the world. If you want to make dough, you should consider different places in our article.

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