TEFL Certification: What Are The Top 3 Destinations for ESL Teachers?

TEFL certification is a great first step for recent graduates who have little or no teaching experience.

Many graduates tired from grinding though course work to get their degree look to teaching abroad as a chance to see a new culture, make some money, learn a language and try their hand at teaching their native language in Asia, Eastern Europe or some other exotic destination.

The world is a pretty big place and so finding a destination that suits the recent grad with their eye on a new future can be a bit of a task. Asia? Eastern Europe? South America? Despite all the choices there are out there, still there remains some of the most common places that ESL teachers find their first jobs in and for good reasons. Either the salary is the main attraction or the culture is the point that allures the teacher. Sometimes it is a combination of the two.

In this article we will look at the 3 most common places that TEFL teachers go to to find work teaching ESL.


Is probably the most common destination for teachers who want to experience Asian culture and life. (It is worth noting that Korea is quickly becoming almost as popular as Japan.) Salaries will be around 250,000 yen per month and work can be found in all areas. Private schools, public high schools and universities and corporate jobs. Ages of students will range from kindergarten up to seniors in their 70’s. Common destinations are Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto and Kobe.


Another extremely common destination because of how much English fluency helps Spanish find better paying jobs. Salaries will be paid in Euros and you can expect to receive between 700 to 1000 Euros per month. Work can be found in the private sector and in state schools at all levels of education. Some cities that are the easiest to find work in are Madrid and Seville. Private work tutoring is also pretty easy to line up so teachers can make a little extra on the side.


Competition in the workplace is a big reason why French are avid learners of English and also why work is plentiful in France. Work can be found in both public and private sectors. France is more competitive than Japan so TEFL certification and / or experience help a lot. Salaries are paid in Euros and teachers can expect to receive between 1,100 and 1,500 Euros per month. The cost of living is higher than Spain so many teachers resort to private tutoring to make ends meet.