Is It Hard To Become An English Teacher In Japan?

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Teaching English is considered a very popular profession today since this language is spoken all over the world. In most countries, it is a second language since elementary school. Becoming a language teacher provides you with many possibilities. You can work in schools, hold private classes, teach people online, and travel to other countries as well.

If you ever considered working as a teacher abroad, Japan is one of the best countries that you can select. It is known for its incredible culture and amazing combination of modern and historical monuments, friendly people, and excellent food. If you want to find out more about the possibilities of working in Japan as an English teacher, visit

It can be an incredible journey and experience to work in this country. You will have a chance to learn more about their culture and meet a lot of new people. However, it is very important to learn more about what to expect when you go and start working there. Here are the most important things to know about working as an English teacher in Japan.

Where Can You Work?

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First of all, you should start looking for a job while you are still in your country. If you are interested only in schools, you can choose between public schools, private schools, international schools, academies, and universities. Starting to work in a public school is one of the easiest options. You can choose a special exchange program and start as an assistant where you will be working along with a Japanese English teacher.

On the other side, if you find the job directly as a teacher, you should know that the classes have over 30 kids in most cases. Also, there is a strict lecturing plan with lessons that you need to comply with. Moreover, you will be working from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 4 pm. You will hold 4 classes every day. Also, the exchange program offers a higher salary of around $2,700 per month, while going without this program will provide you with slightly over $2,000.

When it comes to private schools, you can expect much better conditions. Also, we have to add that these schools tend to look for experts from English-speaking regions. Besides that, the classes will be much more effective since you will teach smaller groups. You will be provided with lectures and tests, and your work is to grade the students as well.

However, the working hours can be longer than in public schools. The average salary is around $2,500, but you will get benefits like paid vacation, insurance, travel expenses, and more. If you are interested in international schools, you should know that it is expected to be an experienced teacher. The salary can be over $5,000 per month in this position. If you are qualified enough, you can apply for a position at some University in Japan.

Living in Japan

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Besides the details related to your job position, you should learn more about life in this country as well. The average salary will provide you with between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the position, and the question is, how good can you live with that money in this place? It is a well-known fact that Japan has a high standard since it is one of the strongest economies in the world. However, that leads to high prices as well.

If you start working in a public school, we suggest you look for an apartment that is not in some big city because they can be highly expensive. You can find a place outside of town for around $500 per month. Also, you should know that eating in restaurants can be very expensive as well, with the standard meal being priced around $20 on average. Moreover, if you want to have a break at some bar, the price of beer is around $5.

When it comes to working in schools, Japanese people are known for their culture and behavior. Therefore, you can expect that kids will be calm and focused on your lectures. In that matter, chances are low that you will have issues with keeping the discipline in classes. Moreover, some schools require a special dress code for both teachers and students. Also, you should not be surprised if you get gifts from your students since it is part of their culture.

What Are The Requirements?

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First of all, you have to be from a county that is an English-Speaking country, like the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and Australia. Also, you need to have a degree in English from a college with proper accreditation. Besides that, you can expect that the officials will check you for having a criminal record, and you will need to pass the drug test and health examination. Also, they prefer people in their 20s to work as teachers.

Moreover, we suggest you take some money with you so you won’t have any issues during the first month. Also, you should know that it is common in Japan to pay for three rents in advance, so you should bring money for that as well. Around $4,000 will be enough for a good start. Besides that, if you are looking to start working in a private school, you should know that most of them hire only those teachers with TEFL certificates.

The Bottom Line

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When it comes to other requirements, those are related to basic documents like a diploma from a university, passport, visa, pair of photos, and the contract that you will provide to officials as proof that you are traveling to start working in Japan. Also, the average monthly utilities are around $200. The public transport will cost you around $2.

Moreover, you don’t need to speak Japanese at all when you start working there. You can combine private lessons with your work as well so you can earn extra cash. The main advantage when compared with online tutoring is that you will have a chance to live in a different country and learn more about their amazing culture.