Teaching English as a second language in Turkey

Teaching English as a second language in Turkey

Looking for an opportunity to realize your teaching potential, consider Turkey as a place to settle down. Thanks to its location, you have a chance to travel around with minimum expenses enjoying gorgeous mountains and beautiful shores. In addition, it is a culturally diverse country. There are welcoming environment and friendly people who are got used to foreigners. It makes us sure that it is a comfortable place to live. But what about work?

Taking into account that Turkey is one of the most sought after places in the world, there isn't shortage of workplaces. Each year this country friendly greets many tourists and immigrants where everybody can find his call. When it comes to teaching English, it is a required profession there, as not only foreigners but also the citizens want to speak English. There are many opportunities as for experienced as for new brand teachers. Keep reading this article to know what to expect working as an English teacher in Turkey.

Requirements for English teaching in Turkey

In comparison with other countries, Turkey has a minimum of requirements to ESL teachers. However, even if you fit the bill having all of them, it is always better to stand out from the crowd having something else up your sleeve.

As usual, a typical list of requirements includes the following:

  • to be a native English speaker or to have C2 English level;
  • bachelor's degree;
  • TEFL/TESOL certification;
  • previous experience;
  • clean criminal background check;
  • English Prociency certificate;
  • visa & work permit;
  • local health check.

Let's figure out which requirements are strict and necessary to fit.

Coming back to the point that Turkey is the multicultural country, it comes with no surprise that being a native English speaker isn't a necessity. What is really important is your fluent English speech and ability to catch different accents. Most of the employers don't care whether you have international certificates proving your English level, they can check it with an interview or tests.

Also, having working experience is always an advantage, but it doesn't mean you can't find a job in Turkey without it. As for resume, it is better to mention at least something. It may be some relevant experience working with kids or teens in summer schools or during exchange programs. Everything that has something to do with teaching should be included in your CV. There are many places where you can start your teaching career, and we will tell how to get a well-paid job having no experience in teaching.

It doesn't matter where you are going to work, because the requests about criminal and health check are always important and immutable. So, don't worry about it.

There are only two strict requirements to ESL teachers to work in Turkey: a bachelor's degree in any subject and TEFL certification. According to the unspoken rule, you must have a college degree to get a work visa and be a legal teacher. And, it is significant to know different learning approaches in order to teach English in Turkey. Depending on a workplace and type of your students, you will show your competence and knowledge in teaching having TEFL certification under your belt.

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Types of teaching jobs in Turkey

Fortunately, there is a strong demand for ESL teachers in Turkey, so it won't take a while to get a job. Depending on your credentials, you may expect to make dough working there, as the cost of living is lower in comparison with other East and West countries. It isn't a secret that not all vacancies from Turkish employers are on the Internet, that is why there is always a chance to find something on the spot. Be sure you make a good first impression, especially if you lack of experience and practice.

The population is so into learning English, so you can easily find a job depending on a type of students you are used to working with. If you love singing songs and active games, you will love teaching kids in private schools. However, it is also possible to work with teens or adults in universities and other institutions.

Language Academies

Academy is the most reliable and required for English teachers in Turkey. The students are grown-ups who come to upgrade their English level to move or study abroad. Such level of motivation usually leads to progressive results in learning a foreign language. Often, academies provide all necessary materials and curriculum, so you can teach with pleasure and ease. Most of the working time is evenings, so you can have free mornings and devote some time to explore new places or rest.


Another type of the prestigious jobs is teaching English at University. You will have a fixed salary rather than a wage per hour, however paperwork and academic duties comes with the territory. It is a job for active and initiative tutors who always have ideas how to make learning English more interesting in a classroom. Obviously, you will have all supplies you need to work. There are some good advantages as paid holidays and sick leave. As this job has more benefits than others, it isn't easy to get it without any professional achievements. In other words, working experience gets a necessity if you want to work at University.

Private Schools

It's a good chance to get such a cushy job and work in private schools in Turkey if you have already had an experience of working at school or with children. Usually, it ranges from kindergarten to secondary schools. Needless to say that it's a quite competitive and desired position. But as we mentioned, previous experience isn't everything you need. Newcomers in teaching may get such a job having enough knowledge and TEFL certification to prove it. Prepare to the interview to demonstrate all your advantages.

Teaching English Online

Since online education became so popular worldwide, Turkey has offered to teachers around the globe decent work conditions to teach remotely. Obviously, there are some advantages such as: you stay at home having the same lifestyle and convenient schedule. In that case, you don't need to mull over where to live, where to go, and how to get used to a new environment. However, you should understand that there aren't some benefits that you could get working offline. The salary isn't the highest either, but the typical for online schools. You can make a fortune depending on an amount of working hours.

ESL Teaching Salary and Benefits in Turkey

Considering working in Turkey, you should know not only the amount of salary but also other possible benefits. Obviously, they depend on an employer, however there are the most popular you may expect to get:

  • housing allowance or free-rent apartment;
  • free meals at work;
  • flight reimbursement;
  • medical insurance;
  • paid holidays and summer break.

The salary depends on your credentials and knowledge, but usually it ranges $850-1,600 a month. Needless to say that such advantages as having even a minimum experience and some international certificates will make you a preferred candidate.

Visa regulations aren't so difficult and some employers cover teachers' visa expenses. But even if it isn't going to happen, it doesn't cost much (about $60).

Teaching positions are available all year round, but if you want to get offer in advance, check vacancies on the Internet.

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Where to teach English in Turkey?

If you have been thinking about teaching abroad for a while, you know that work terms depend not only on an employer but also on a location. In other words, the capitals offer more benefits rather than provinces. But the last ones usually have wonderful local environment.

The most popular locations for ESL teachers in Turkey:

  • Istanbul;
  • Izmir;
  • Antalya;
  • Ankara.

If you enjoy vibrant nightlife and hustle and bustle, you should opt for such cities as Istanbul and Antalya, there is permanent traffic of immigrant and tourists. Izmir and Ankara offer less in terms of money and benefits, but they are perfect for those who prefer quiet places and stable life.

If you are ready to live in a paid accommodation, you must understand that it won't be a palace. Usually, it's a small flat with all necessary appliances. It will help you to save at least $300 each month. Thankfully, the local food is affordable for everybody. Having any salary you may expect to eat tasty food on the street spending about $3 on a meal or even less. 

Another good news is that such cities as Antalya and Istanbul can boast about their good transportation network. Whether you are in the centre or in the suburb, you may go by bus or underground. There aren't rush hours, so you won't have to spend much time in a traffic jam.

As you see, residency expenses may eat the half of your salary, so it's better to opt for offers with paid accommodation and at least the allowance. The more advantages you have as a candidate, the more chances you will get all possible perks.


It isn't so difficult to get a cushy job in Turkey as it seems to be. Everything you need to do is to prepare a brilliant resume and feel confident to have an interview. As long as English is the most spoken language worldwide, you won't be unemployed in Turkey. Depending on your academic background and qualification, you may make about $1,600 a month. However, some schools have longer teaching hours than the same ones in the West.

As TEFL/TESOL certification is not only necessary but also favoured certificate, you should be locked and loaded before you apply for a dream job in Turkey. It doesn't matter whether you are going to work online or on the spot, the international certificate about knowledge in teaching is always your huge professional accomplishment. It is a way to prove your self-efficacy.

Enroll in online TEFL/TESOL course studying at your own pace combining with work and usual life. In a few months, you will get the certificate that is recognized by all employers worldwide. After the course, you may connect with a personal employment assistant who will help you get a job abroad and make your resume better. Now, you can purchase the course at a 50% discount.

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