Teach English in Australia

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
April 9, 2024

Contents

Why teach in Australia?
Where to teach
Requirements and qualifications
Jobs and programs
Salaries and benefits
Cost of living
Saving opportunities
Life and culture

What an intriguing country! From kangaroos to koalas, Bondi to barbecue, surfing to Sydney, Australia is a country of great beauty, interesting culture and fantastic opportunities.

The TEFL sector is strong in Australia and there are plenty of job opportunities for teachers, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

However, rules and regulations are strict here so you’ll need to be qualified and preferably experienced. There are loads of private language schools and, due to visa restrictions for many nationalities, a constant flow of teachers, so there are always vacancies.

Why teach English in Australia?

Are you looking for a position in a place where the people are friendly, the weather is good and the pay is generous? Look no further than Australia. Teaching English in Australia you can enjoy:

  • A laidback lifestyle: Teaching positions in Australia usually involve teaching for 25 hours a week.
  • The breathtaking natural scenery: Australia is absolute paradise for teachers who love the outdoors.
  • Friendly Aussies: The locals love to have a laugh and are very open and friendly.
  • Strong ESL market: As a hub for international students, Australia has lots of opportunities for TEFL teachers.

Best places to teach English in Australia

Private language schools offer the most jobs for TEFL teachers in Australia. It makes sense that the bigger cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are home to the most language schools – and so are the best places to look for teaching jobs.

Sydney

For those who enjoy the high life

The largest city in Australia, Sydney is cosmopolitan and international. The CBD may be concrete but there are beaches, museums, art galleries, and restaurants galore to keep you entertained. 

Melbourne

The foodie capital

Multicultural Melbourne is a haven for food-lovers and shopaholics. Known as Australia’s most liveable city, it’s the top destination in Australia for international students. So a top destination for TEFL teachers too!

Perth

For the chilled teacher

Perth is known as the most isolated city in the world, but it’s a great city to live in. Perth is a big city with a suburban feel which is known for its natural beauty and relaxed vibes.

Requirements and qualifications

To teach in a public or private mainstream school in Australia you’ll need to have a teaching qualification from the UK, US or Canada. 

For TEFL positions, you need a degree and a reputable TEFL qualification.

Do you need a visa for teaching English in Australia?

A work permit is required for foreign workers. If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and from the UK, Ireland or North America, you qualify for a 12-month Working Holiday Visa. There are other eligibility criteria for other nationalities. 

If a Working Holiday Visa is not an option, you’ll need to apply for a sponsored work visa, which is quite a lengthy and complicated process.

You could also be eligible for a skilled Independent Migrant Visa, Skilled Independent Visa, or the Skilled Regional Provisional Visa.

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Australia?

Not strictly speaking, but because of the competition for TEFL teaching jobs in Australia, teaching experience is preferred by employers.

Which TEFL certificate do I need to teach in Australia?

To teach in Australia you need at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate. But because of the high competition for TEFL jobs, we recommend you have our Level 5 certificate.

Can I teach English in Australia with no degree?

To teach English in Australia you need to have a Bachelor’s degree of some sort. A BEd or PGCE is preferred.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Australia?

Absolutely. Classes in language schools in Australia are usually multilingual. Besides, for the most par, TEFL jobs prefer the teacher to use only English in the classroom. This is to create an immersion environment, which is known to be beneficial to language learning.

How much start-up capital do I need?

Here are a few costs you need to consider when starting out in Australia:

  • Accommodation: First month’s rent and security deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable. 
  • Visa application: The cost of a visa is subject to your home country. You can expect to pay between $100 and $150.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about AUD 1,500 – AUD 2,500 ($1,000 – $2,000).

Types of teaching jobs in Australia

In Australia, you’ll find teaching opportunities in language schools, international schools, and businesses offering English courses for professionals.

There are loads of private language schools and a constant flow of teachers (due to visa restrictions for many nationalities), so there are always vacancies. However, rules and regulations are strict here so you’ll need to be qualified and preferably experienced. 

Types of teaching jobs in Australia

The majority of teaching positions in Australia for TEFL-qualified teachers are in private language academies. 

Private language schools

Foreign students from various countries, particularly neighbouring Asian countries, come to Australia to study English intensively for a few weeks or months.

The typical contract length for an ESL position is 3 months, with peak hiring seasons year-round, particularly in July.

Public schools

Teaching as an ESL teacher in public schools is possible, though you need to have a teaching license as well as a TEFL qualification. Depending on the state, there may be further requirements you need to satisfy.

Private lessons

Private lessons are a convenient way to earn a bit of extra cash. Private students are relatively easy to find, considering the number of international students, expats and immigrants in the country.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a clever way of dodging visa requirements. The state runs the Adult Migrant Education Program and the Department of Technical and Further Education runs English courses for permanent Australian residents with non-English-speaking backgrounds. You have to commit to volunteer for at least 1 hour a week for six months.

Volunteering positions often provide food and accommodation, and sometimes a stipend. You might find yourself teaching children, adult migrants, indigenous people or international students from all over the world.

Online

Teaching English online is a popular option for TEFL teachers in Australia. A large part of the market of online English students is in Asia. In any other part of the world, teaching English online to students in Asia can be problematic when it comes to time differences. But that isn’t a problem if you’re in Australia!

How to get a job teaching English in Australia

Look for teaching vacancies on online jobs boards and websites. If you’re looking at working in a private school, you can contact the schools directly.

Salaries and benefits in Australia

There are a variety of teaching opportunities in Australia for English teachers. Salaries and benefits differ based on which teaching route you choose to follow and in which state you choose to teach. Salaries are further dependent on qualifications and years of teaching experience.

What is the average teaching English salary in Australia?

  • Private language schools pay AUD 30 – AUD 50 ($18 – $36) an hour.
  • In public schools, teachers can earn AUD 4,000 – AUD 4,500 a month ($2,500 – $3,000).
  • For private lessons, TEFL teachers usually charge AUD 30 – AUD 50 ($20 – $35) an hour.

What are the common benefits for teachers in Australia?

Teachers in Australia can expect:

  • Paid vacation days 
  • Health insurance

Benefits differ between the different Australian states.

Cost of living in Australia

The cost of living in Australia is quite high, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. The average monthly cost of living is between AUSD 1,500 – AUSD 2,000 ($1,000 – $1,300).

What is the cost of living in Australia?

Here are some of the usual costs for living in Australia – but bear in mind, these vary quite a lot depending on which region or city you are in:

Accommodation

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre: AUD 2,000 ($1,100) a month
  • A one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre: AUD 1,500 ($545) a month

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: AUD 300 ($200) a month

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: AUD 500 ($330)  
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: AUD 20 ($13)

Transport

  • Monthly travel pass: AUD 175 ($38) 
  • One-way ticket: AUD 5 ($1.60)

Internet 

  • Unlimited: AUD 85 ($30)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: AUD 100 ($100) a month

Is it possible to save as a TEFL teacher in Australia?

Teachers are not attracted to Australia for the high salaries, but rather for the way of life. Though you’ll be able to live comfortably on a teacher’s salary, and travel around the country, you’re not likely to be able to save the big bucks.

Top tips to save in Australia:

  • Eat in. Eating out can be an expensive adventure in Australia. Save money, shop at the grocery store and cook for yourself.
  • Share accommodation with friends or colleagues to save on rent.
  • Enjoy the countless free attractions around your city.
  • For long-distance travel, don’t hire a car. Opt for the bus to save money on petrol, parking and insurance. Van life is another popular option!

Life and culture in Australia

  • Australia is a surfer’s paradise, heaven for the adventurous and a haven for culture lovers. One day you could be soaking up the sun on one of the many gorgeous beaches on the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast, the next you could be enjoying a tour of the Sydney Opera House.
  • You could go road-tripping to Margaret River to enjoy one of Australia’s best food and wine destinations or you could be scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. And let’s not forget the breathtaking sight of Uluru at sunset.
  • The history of the Aboriginal people is an important part of this culture and is apparent in its traditional food, music and festivals.
  • Because Australia is an English-speaking country, there is likely to be less of a culture shock when you arrive – because you’ll be able to understand the language!

Start your teaching journey with a certified TEFL course provider!

Contents

What an intriguing country! From kangaroos to koalas, Bondi to barbecue, surfing to Sydney, Australia is a country of great beauty, interesting culture and fantastic opportunities.

The TEFL sector is strong in Australia and there are plenty of job opportunities for teachers, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

However, rules and regulations are strict here so you’ll need to be qualified and preferably experienced. There are loads of private language schools and, due to visa restrictions for many nationalities, a constant flow of teachers, so there are always vacancies.

Why teach English in Australia?

Are you looking for a position in a place where the people are friendly, the weather is good and the pay is generous? Look no further than Australia. Teaching English in Australia you can enjoy:

  • A laidback lifestyle: Teaching positions in Australia usually involve teaching for 25 hours a week.
  • The breathtaking natural scenery: Australia is absolute paradise for teachers who love the outdoors.
  • Friendly Aussies: The locals love to have a laugh and are very open and friendly.
  • Strong ESL market: As a hub for international students, Australia has lots of opportunities for TEFL teachers.

Best places to teach English in Australia

Private language schools offer the most jobs for TEFL teachers in Australia. It makes sense that the bigger cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are home to the most language schools – and so are the best places to look for teaching jobs.

Sydney

For those who enjoy the high life

The largest city in Australia, Sydney is cosmopolitan and international. The CBD may be concrete but there are beaches, museums, art galleries, and restaurants galore to keep you entertained. 

Melbourne

The foodie capital

Multicultural Melbourne is a haven for food-lovers and shopaholics. Known as Australia’s most liveable city, it’s the top destination in Australia for international students. So a top destination for TEFL teachers too!

Perth

For the chilled teacher

Perth is known as the most isolated city in the world, but it’s a great city to live in. Perth is a big city with a suburban feel which is known for its natural beauty and relaxed vibes.

Requirements and qualifications

To teach in a public or private mainstream school in Australia you’ll need to have a teaching qualification from the UK, US or Canada. 

For TEFL positions, you need a degree and a reputable TEFL qualification.

Do you need a visa for teaching English in Australia?

A work permit is required for foreign workers. If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and from the UK, Ireland or North America, you qualify for a 12-month Working Holiday Visa. There are other eligibility criteria for other nationalities. 

If a Working Holiday Visa is not an option, you’ll need to apply for a sponsored work visa, which is quite a lengthy and complicated process.

You could also be eligible for a skilled Independent Migrant Visa, Skilled Independent Visa, or the Skilled Regional Provisional Visa.

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Australia?

Not strictly speaking, but because of the competition for TEFL teaching jobs in Australia, teaching experience is preferred by employers.

Which TEFL certificate do I need to teach in Australia?

To teach in Australia you need at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate. But because of the high competition for TEFL jobs, we recommend you have our Level 5 certificate.

Can I teach English in Australia with no degree?

To teach English in Australia you need to have a Bachelor’s degree of some sort. A BEd or PGCE is preferred.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Australia?

Absolutely. Classes in language schools in Australia are usually multilingual. Besides, for the most par, TEFL jobs prefer the teacher to use only English in the classroom. This is to create an immersion environment, which is known to be beneficial to language learning.

How much start-up capital do I need?

Here are a few costs you need to consider when starting out in Australia:

  • Accommodation: First month’s rent and security deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable. 
  • Visa application: The cost of a visa is subject to your home country. You can expect to pay between $100 and $150.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about AUD 1,500 – AUD 2,500 ($1,000 – $2,000).

Types of teaching jobs in Australia

In Australia, you’ll find teaching opportunities in language schools, international schools, and businesses offering English courses for professionals.

There are loads of private language schools and a constant flow of teachers (due to visa restrictions for many nationalities), so there are always vacancies. However, rules and regulations are strict here so you’ll need to be qualified and preferably experienced. 

Types of teaching jobs in Australia

The majority of teaching positions in Australia for TEFL-qualified teachers are in private language academies. 

Private language schools

Foreign students from various countries, particularly neighbouring Asian countries, come to Australia to study English intensively for a few weeks or months.

The typical contract length for an ESL position is 3 months, with peak hiring seasons year-round, particularly in July.

Public schools

Teaching as an ESL teacher in public schools is possible, though you need to have a teaching license as well as a TEFL qualification. Depending on the state, there may be further requirements you need to satisfy.

Private lessons

Private lessons are a convenient way to earn a bit of extra cash. Private students are relatively easy to find, considering the number of international students, expats and immigrants in the country.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a clever way of dodging visa requirements. The state runs the Adult Migrant Education Program and the Department of Technical and Further Education runs English courses for permanent Australian residents with non-English-speaking backgrounds. You have to commit to volunteer for at least 1 hour a week for six months.

Volunteering positions often provide food and accommodation, and sometimes a stipend. You might find yourself teaching children, adult migrants, indigenous people or international students from all over the world.

Online

Teaching English online is a popular option for TEFL teachers in Australia. A large part of the market of online English students is in Asia. In any other part of the world, teaching English online to students in Asia can be problematic when it comes to time differences. But that isn’t a problem if you’re in Australia!

How to get a job teaching English in Australia

Look for teaching vacancies on online jobs boards and websites. If you’re looking at working in a private school, you can contact the schools directly.

Salaries and benefits in Australia

There are a variety of teaching opportunities in Australia for English teachers. Salaries and benefits differ based on which teaching route you choose to follow and in which state you choose to teach. Salaries are further dependent on qualifications and years of teaching experience.

What is the average teaching English salary in Australia?

  • Private language schools pay AUD 30 – AUD 50 ($18 – $36) an hour.
  • In public schools, teachers can earn AUD 4,000 – AUD 4,500 a month ($2,500 – $3,000).
  • For private lessons, TEFL teachers usually charge AUD 30 – AUD 50 ($20 – $35) an hour.

What are the common benefits for teachers in Australia?

Teachers in Australia can expect:

  • Paid vacation days 
  • Health insurance

Benefits differ between the different Australian states.

Cost of living in Australia

The cost of living in Australia is quite high, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. The average monthly cost of living is between AUSD 1,500 – AUSD 2,000 ($1,000 – $1,300).

What is the cost of living in Australia?

Here are some of the usual costs for living in Australia – but bear in mind, these vary quite a lot depending on which region or city you are in:

Accommodation

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre: AUD 2,000 ($1,100) a month
  • A one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre: AUD 1,500 ($545) a month

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: AUD 300 ($200) a month

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: AUD 500 ($330)  
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: AUD 20 ($13)

Transport

  • Monthly travel pass: AUD 175 ($38) 
  • One-way ticket: AUD 5 ($1.60)

Internet 

  • Unlimited: AUD 85 ($30)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: AUD 100 ($100) a month

Is it possible to save as a TEFL teacher in Australia?

Teachers are not attracted to Australia for the high salaries, but rather for the way of life. Though you’ll be able to live comfortably on a teacher’s salary, and travel around the country, you’re not likely to be able to save the big bucks.

Top tips to save in Australia:

  • Eat in. Eating out can be an expensive adventure in Australia. Save money, shop at the grocery store and cook for yourself.
  • Share accommodation with friends or colleagues to save on rent.
  • Enjoy the countless free attractions around your city.
  • For long-distance travel, don’t hire a car. Opt for the bus to save money on petrol, parking and insurance. Van life is another popular option!

Life and culture in Australia

  • Australia is a surfer’s paradise, heaven for the adventurous and a haven for culture lovers. One day you could be soaking up the sun on one of the many gorgeous beaches on the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast, the next you could be enjoying a tour of the Sydney Opera House.
  • You could go road-tripping to Margaret River to enjoy one of Australia’s best food and wine destinations or you could be scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. And let’s not forget the breathtaking sight of Uluru at sunset.
  • The history of the Aboriginal people is an important part of this culture and is apparent in its traditional food, music and festivals.
  • Because Australia is an English-speaking country, there is likely to be less of a culture shock when you arrive – because you’ll be able to understand the language!

Start your teaching journey with a certified TEFL course provider!

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