Published 23rd February 2018

You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time thinking about your TEFL qualification and finding a job, so you probably know the steps involved pretty well:

  1. Browse jobs boards for jobs
  2. Find a suitable job
  3. Apply for a job
  4. Have interview
  5. Have second interview (possibly)
  6. Receive rejection email and go back to #1 OR
  7. Be offered a contract

Going through these steps can be an arduous process and you may not have considered what you will do once you have a contract in your hands, but this is the most important part of looking for a job. Do you know what to look for in an EFL job contract to make sure you want to sign it?

If you haven’t thought about it yet, make sure you follow this checklist to make the right decision on your job offer:


  • Are you paid weekly/monthly?
  • Are you paid a salary or an hourly rate?
  • Does the school pay your tax?
  • Will it be paid into a local bank account?
  • How much will you be paid overtime?

Working conditions

  • What are your working hours?
  • How many contract hours will you teach?

[For a full-time job, 20 – 25 teaching hours is the norm.]

  • What is the maximum capacity for your classes?
  • What administrative duties are expected of you?
  • Is there a probationary period?
  • Do you have an assistant?
  • What else is expected of you on top of your usual lessons e.g. leading extra mural activities, staff meetings, paperwork.
  • How many holidays are there?
  • Are holidays paid or unpaid?


  • Is accommodation provided? Is it shared? Are you expected to pay bills?
  • Is there an accommodation allowance?
  • Will the school help you find accommodation?


  • Will the school help you organise your visa?
  • Who will pay for the visa?


  • Will you be paid a contract completion bonus?
  • Will the school pay for your flights?
  • Will you be reimbursed for your flights?
  • Does the school offer medical insurance?
  • Are you allowed to teach private students?
  • Are there opportunities for Continued Professional Development, such as workshops and conferences? Are these optional or mandatory?
  • What happens if you break the contract?


Clearly there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to your TEFL contract, but it’s important to bear these considerations in mind so you know what you are getting into. Relocating across the world to start a new job is daunting and if you examine your contract critically, it will help you feel more comfortable with your new circumstances.

Besides these points, you must also make sure you do your due diligence and find out everything you can about your new employers. Do an online search to find out if they have had any bad reviews, make sure their website is legitimate and if possible, find the contact details of someone working there. All of this may seem like a lot of work before you’ve even started your job, but rather safe than sorry!