Teaching jobs

Many foreigners work as English conversation teachers while they’re in Japan. For many people, the work is not too demanding and it gives them the opportunity to travel within Japan during holidays. To be a language teacher, most people need just two qualifications:

  • native-level ability in the language they wish to teach (so they can do the job);
  • a degree (so they can get a work visa).

English language teachers are by far the most in demand. The native language requirement can cause problems — I have heard of people from Europe who can’t get jobs as English teachers because they aren’t native English speakers, even though they speak, read and write English fluently. Japanese people want to learn from a nativen speaker with a standard accent — this mostly means North American, British, Australian or New Zealand. If you have a different accent then it may be more difficult.

My impression is that pretty much any native English speaker with a degree can get a job as an English teacher. I don’t know about other languages. Demand is lower, but I suppose supply of teachers is lower too.

Salaries are around 3 million. Schools will organise work visas, and some even organise accommodation. Sometimes you may not be able to choose where you work, so you could end up anywhere in Japan. This could be a good thing — you could discover places you would never even think of going.

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