Can You Make A Career Out Of TEFL?

Jun 7 2023

Teaching English as a foreign language has a bit of a reputation of being a slackpacker backpacker occupation. TEFL teaching was something backpackers did to earn some money to fund their bus trip to their next destination, or buy a banana pancake for lunch.

Maybe it’s true that the TEFL industry started out that way, but that’s certainly not the way it is now.

These days TEFL teachers can be teachers for a few weeks or months, a few years, or even for the rest of their days. It’s up to you, the TEFL teacher, to decide how you want to make TEFL work for you.

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. A TEFL teacher teaches English to speakers of other languages.

Can TEFL be a career?

In other words, absolutely yes, TEFL can be a career.

The beauty of TEFL is in its flexibility. Gone are the days of one job for life. Same office, same desk, same colleagues - no more! This generation of work-seekers constantly look for new opportunities and adventures. They don’t want to sit in the same position for decades, or even years. They want to discover the world, explore new industries, forge their own path.

Just look at me. I’ve been involved in TEFL since 2003 - in a variety of countries, in a range of positions, in numerous different capacities.

I have:

  • Taught in kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, language schools, universities, and privately
  • Taught in English-speaking countries and non-English-speaking countries
  • Taught on summer camps
  • Worked as an editor and proofreader for publishing houses
  • Developed lesson materials
  • Started a blog
  • Trained native speakers to pass English exams for immigration purposes

TEFL has allowed me to live in Thailand, China, Spain, the UK and Qatar. Now I work from home in South Africa.

Is TEFL a good career?

If you’re looking for a career with flexibility, longevity and money-earning potential, then yes, TEFL is a good career.

A TEFL career can be anything you want it to be. You can teach from home or in your home town. You can teach for a few months or a few years. You can teach and then pivot into a related position in the same field. There are a wealth of opportunities available to you in terms of a TEFL career.

Is TEFL a good career?

To get involved in TEFL, all you need is a TEFL qualification.

But remember, not all TEFL qualifications are created equal. Make sure your TEFL qualification is from a reputable, internationally recognised TEFL course provider. It should be at least 120 hours long and include a comprehensive syllabus. The course tutors must be trained and experienced TEFL professionals, who are available to help you when you need it.

If your TEFL course is online, there should be a support team on hand to help you through any logistical or technical issues.

Can I teach English without a degree?

Simply put, yes.

Some countries require a Bachelor’s degree for potential teachers to qualify for a work permit or work visa, but there are countries which don’t. Online positions, too. And if you’re working as a digital nomad or a private TEFL teacher, there are even more possibilities for non-degreed TEFL teachers.

How can I make a career out of TEFL?

Simple. All you need to do is sign up for a TEFL course, get TEFL-qualified, and get started on your TEFL journey. Good luck!

Travel Blog

Latest Articles

What Job Can I Get With A TEFL?

If you’re looking for adventure, then perhaps a TEFL job is exactly what you are looking for. But what job exactly can you get with a TEFL?

Teaching English Abroad Without A Degree

In short, yes. but the answer is a little more complicated than that.

Do You Need To Be Bilingual To Teach ESL?

ESL teachers don’t need to speak the home language of their students. They usually don’t.

Discover the world, one adventure at a time!

Our Contacts


Suite 4461, Unit 3A 34-35 Hatton Garden, Holborn

London, EC1N 8DX


Follow us

Let us help you!

Submit your application below, and one of our consultants will get in touch regarding possible TEFL career avenues upon meeting the minimum eligibility requirements.
Best Travel Theme

Elementor Demos

With Love Travel WordPress Theme you will have everything you need to create a memorable online presence. Start create your dream travel site today.