How to Become an IELTS Examiner

Find out what becoming an IELTS Examiner involves and whether it’s the right fit for you

One way ESL teachers can gain career experience and earn additional income is to become an IELTS examiner.

This is an easy transition for teachers who have experience working with students aged 16 and older. It can also be quite well paid, with the potential earn as much as or even more than your regular teaching job.

So, let’s look deeper into the what an IELTS examiner does and what is required for becoming an IELTS examiner, so you can decide if this is a good career option for you to pursue.

What does an IELTS examiner do?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test developed and administered by the British Council, IDP Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. The test has been designed to assess a person’s English language proficiency.

For anyone who intends to study, work, or migrate to an English speaking country, IELTS is an accepted proof of one’s English language proficiency.

With over 5 million people taking the IELTS each year, there are plenty of opportunities for qualified ESL teachers to become an IELTS examiner.

As an IELTS examiner, you are responsible for administering and scoring the writing and speaking tests of the IELTS exam. Examiners come from a variety of backgrounds and work all around the world. 

Who should become an IELTS examiner?

The requirements for becoming an IELTS examiner are:

  • An undergraduate degree or higher in a related field of study
  • A TEFL/TESOL/ CELTA or other English language teaching certification
  • At least 3 years of full-time English language teaching experience or the equivalent in part-time experience. The majority of this experience must be teaching to adults (full-time is considered at least 14-hours of face-to-face teaching each week)

Not everyone who satisfies the qualifications is a good fit for the position. There are certain personality traits which lend to someone being an ideal candidate for the IELTS examiner role.

For example, IELTS examiners are required to demonstrate consistency in how they review and score tests according to very stringent standards. One of the prerequisites to becoming an IELTS examiner is to consistently score a certain number of written tests accurately.

If you are going to be successful as an IELTS examiner, you will need to be consistent and attentive to detail. Going through tests can be monotonous, so you need to be the type of person who can consistently perform repetitive tasks and adhering to set standards. 

Many examiners work between 2 and 7 hours during each testing session. You will need to be both diligent and accountable in your work ethic to be effective in the role.

The upside is that IELTS Examiners are well paid for their time. According to the website PaySa, the average pay for examiners is around $50,000 per year, with some examiners earning over $66,000 per year.

How can you become an IELTS examiner?

If you feel you have what it takes to be an IELTS examiner and enjoy the work involved, here is how you can start the process.

  • Find an IELTS Examiner training program near you. There are several official IELTS training and test centers that provide the training. You can also apply directly IELTS directly. You can apply by contacting a IELTS testing center near you. Applications are reviewed, and then candidates are shortlisted. Shortlisted candidates are interviewed and assessed based on their interpersonal skills, professionalism and attributes. 
  • After the interview, if you are selected, you will complete an induction process before beginning training. The training lasts for four days and is led by an experienced IELTS trainer. You will then be required to complete a certification assessment to ensure that you can consistently use the scoring criteria you’ve learned on actual tests. Once you successfully complete this, your examiner.
  • During your first year as an examiner, you will be monitored at least three times while administering and grading examinations to check that you are consistent in your scoring. You can subsequently be monitored up to four times a year each year after. At the very least, you will be monitored once every two years and will be required to re-certify every two years.

Overall, this process doesn’t take too long to complete. You can complete the IELTS examiner training and certification in less than a month. So, if you have the experience, and if you feel this is a role you would excel at, then becoming an IELTS examiner could be a rewarding step up in your ESL teaching career.

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