Teach English in Japan

Japan is one of Asia's most popular ESL job markets. English teachers in Japan can enjoy living in a modern country while relishing limitless opportunities to explore temples, palaces and picturesque scenery.

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Recommended TEFL Certification to
Teach English in Japan

What to Know about Teaching English in Japan

Employment Requirements

  • Education

    A minimum university bachelor degree is required to teach English in Japan.

  • TEFL Certification

    TEFL Certification is required. A minimum of 120-hour TEFL certification is recommended.

  • Citizenship Requirements

    Most employers have a strong preference for citizens of recognized English-speaking countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Other nationals with a high English proficiency, university degree and TEFL certification may also find employment in Japan.

Contract Hours and Terms

  • Types of Jobs

    Private language centers, public schools and corporate training, universities

  • Teaching Hours

    20-30 teaching hours and lesson preparation time, depending on type of employer

  • Vacation

    Public holidays plus paid vacation. Vacation pay varies by employer

  • Contract Period

    Typically 12 months

Income and Living Costs

  • Salary

    $1800 - $2500 per month

  • Living Costs

    $1000 - 2000 per month

  • Savings Potential

    $500 - 1500 per month

  • Startup Cost

    $2500 - 3000

  • Housing

    Some employers offer housing or housing allowance

  • Airfare

    Some employers offer airfare

Getting Hired

  • Best Time to Apply


  • Hiring Process

    1-2 interviews by phone or Skype, followed by job offer and contract if successful. Recruiters often hold in-person interviews in USA, Canada and UK.

  • Visas

    Instructor Visa, Specialist in Humanities Visa, or the Working Holiday Visa, depending on your employer, and in the case of the Working Holiday Visa, your nationality.

Popular Cities to Teach English in Japan

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