Teach English in Canada

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
April 9, 2024

Contents

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

Known for the friendly locals, quirky neighbourhoods and cosmopolitan lifestyle, Canada is the more chilled version of the US. It houses some of the most stunning vistas on the continent, with breathtaking mountain ranges, dense woodlands and the clearest blue seas surrounding its borders. 

Why teach English in Canada?

Besides the beautiful scenery and friendly locals, there are a ton of reasons to teach English in Canada:

  • The surplus of students. Canada is home to a large immigrant population, as well as Canadians who speak French as their first language. Besides local students, many international students come to Canada to improve their English. International students don’t require a visa to study in Canada for less than six months, making it a very attractive option for foreign English language learners.
  • The vibrant cities. In your free time in whichever Canadian city you choose, you can explore art galleries and museums, visit a range of different restaurants or enjoy live music or comedy.
  • The food! Poutine, butter tarts and lobster rolls are just a few of the deliciously interesting dishes Canada is famous for.

Best places to teach English in Canada

Schools in Canada offer ESL and LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) programs. The best cities to find English teaching jobs in Canada are Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. 

Vancouver

For the outdoorsy teacher

Vancouver is known for its mild weather and outdoor life. With mountains and the sea right on your doorstep, Vancouver is as chilled as you’re going to get in Canada.

Calgary

For the career-oriented teacher

Calgary is the new kid on the block for ESL in Canada, but the market is expanding rapidly as the city grows.

Toronto

For the people person

Toronto is a cosmopolitan city with over 50% of its population being immigrants. The largest city in Canada (but not the capital), Toronto is a popular destination for TEFL teachers.

Montreal

For anyone and everyone

Montreal is a charming blend of history and modernity. From arts and culture to food and nightlife, Montreal is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. In Montreal, it’s preferred that teachers are bilingual in English and French. Jobs can be found in language schools and public and international schools.

Requirements and qualifications

There are a few basic requirements you need to satisfy and qualifications you need to have to teach English in Canada. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Do you need a visa for teaching English in Canada?

Foreign workers need a visa to work in Canada. Getting a Canadian work visa is not a quick process and can be complicated. If you are eligible you can enter Canada on a Working Holiday Visa

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Canada?

Teaching experience is preferred. 

Which TEFL certificate do I need to teach in Canada?

Because of the competition for ESL jobs in Canada, we recommend our Level 5 Combined TEFL qualification.

Can I teach English in Canada with no degree?

You need a Bachelor’s degree (in any field) to teach in Canada. Some positions require a Bachelor’s degree in English, Linguistics or Education.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Canada?

Absolutely. It’s not necessary to be a native speaker to teach English in Canada. In fact, many teachers in Canada speak French as a first language.

How much start-up capital do I need?

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

  • 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 €750 – €1,000 ($815 – $1,100).

Jobs and programs in Canada

In Canada, you can find teaching jobs in private language schools, bilingual and international schools, universities, and summer camps. Alternatively, you can teach private students or teach online.

Types of teaching jobs in Canada

Private language schools

Private language schools are dotted all over the bigger cities in Canada. These schools teach mostly General English and Exam English to kids, teens and adults. Your level of pay depends on your qualifications and experience.

Bilingual and international schools

If you are able to speak a bit of French, you may be able to secure a position in a bilingual or international school.

Universities

Students in Canadian universities, both Canadian and international, often require English lessons to help them improve their academic performance.

Private lessons

Most ESL posts in Canada are part-time or casual work. Private lessons are a popular way to fill up your teaching schedule.

Online

Similar to private lessons, many teachers utilise online teaching to supplement their income.

Volunteering

Volunteer teaching is common in Canada. Local government and communities run programs which offer free conversational English classes to migrants.

Summer camps

Summer camps in Canada cater for Canadian kids and teens aged 6 to 16. Summer camps take place over 8 to 10 weeks and include food and accommodation.

How to get a job teaching English in Canada

Teaching jobs in Canada can be found on online jobs boards or in local Canadian newspapers. Identify an appropriate position and send in your resume and cover letter. 

Salaries and benefits in Canada

There are a variety of teaching opportunities in Canada for English teachers. Your salary will differ based on which teaching route you choose to follow. 

What is the average teaching English salary in Canada?

  • Private language schools pay C$ 25 – C$50 ($18 – $35) an hour.
  • ESL teachers at universities can earn C$50 – C$70 ($35 – $55) an hour.
  • For private lessons, TEFL teachers usually charge €22 – €35 ($24 – $48) an hour.
  • Online English teachers typically charge C$18 – C$30 ($13 – $22) an hour. 

What are the common benefits for teachers in Canada?

The majority of ESL positions in Canada are part-time or casual work. Paid vacation and sick pay are not common because you are working on a contractual basis.

Cost of living in Canada

The cost of living in Canada is relatively high – corresponding to the high quality of life.  Toronto and Vancouver have higher costs of living than Montreal and Ottawa.

What is the cost of living in Canada?

The cost of living in Canada varies depending on which region or city you are in, but a general guesstimate would be C$1,500 ($1,100) a month, before rent.

Here are some of the usual costs of living in Canada:

Accommodation

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre: C$2,000 ($1,400) a month
  • A one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre: C$1,700 ($1,250) a month

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: C$200 ($150) a month

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: C$300 ($220)  
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: C$25 ($18)

Transport

  • Monthly travel pass: C$100 ($75) 
  • One-way ticket: C$3.50 ($2.50)

Internet 

  • Unlimited: C$85 ($60)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: C$100 ($75) a month

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

The cost of living in Canada may be quite high, but it’s certainly possible to save money each month on a teacher’s salary.

Here are a few tips on how to save money in Canada:

  • Make use of public transport which is affordable and efficient.
  • Cook at home rather than eating out.
  • Sign up for a loyalty card at your local grocery store.
  • Look for discounts and deals on festivals and tourist attractions.
  • Buy a Discovery Pass, which gives you access to national parks and historic sites all around the country for a year.

Life and culture in Canada

Few places in the world are as friendly as Canada. Living and mingling with such friendly people on a daily basis is a sure way to improve your quality of life.

Education is a big deal in Canada. Teachers are respected and students well-behaved. Teachers dress quite formally in Canadian classrooms. At the same time, a good work-life balance is important so you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy.

Canada is heaven for teachers with a sweet tooth. Canada produces 80% of the world’s maple syrup! Sugar pie, Saskatoon berry pie, timbits, Nanaimo bars and matrimonial cake are just a few tasty treats you can enjoy while in Canada.

Start your teaching journey with a certified TEFL course provider!

Contents

Known for the friendly locals, quirky neighbourhoods and cosmopolitan lifestyle, Canada is the more chilled version of the US. It houses some of the most stunning vistas on the continent, with breathtaking mountain ranges, dense woodlands and the clearest blue seas surrounding its borders. 

Why teach English in Canada?

Besides the beautiful scenery and friendly locals, there are a ton of reasons to teach English in Canada:

  • The surplus of students. Canada is home to a large immigrant population, as well as Canadians who speak French as their first language. Besides local students, many international students come to Canada to improve their English. International students don’t require a visa to study in Canada for less than six months, making it a very attractive option for foreign English language learners.
  • The vibrant cities. In your free time in whichever Canadian city you choose, you can explore art galleries and museums, visit a range of different restaurants or enjoy live music or comedy.
  • The food! Poutine, butter tarts and lobster rolls are just a few of the deliciously interesting dishes Canada is famous for.

Best places to teach English in Canada

Schools in Canada offer ESL and LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) programs. The best cities to find English teaching jobs in Canada are Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. 

Vancouver

For the outdoorsy teacher

Vancouver is known for its mild weather and outdoor life. With mountains and the sea right on your doorstep, Vancouver is as chilled as you’re going to get in Canada.

Calgary

For the career-oriented teacher

Calgary is the new kid on the block for ESL in Canada, but the market is expanding rapidly as the city grows.

Toronto

For the people person

Toronto is a cosmopolitan city with over 50% of its population being immigrants. The largest city in Canada (but not the capital), Toronto is a popular destination for TEFL teachers.

Montreal

For anyone and everyone

Montreal is a charming blend of history and modernity. From arts and culture to food and nightlife, Montreal is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. In Montreal, it’s preferred that teachers are bilingual in English and French. Jobs can be found in language schools and public and international schools.

Requirements and qualifications

There are a few basic requirements you need to satisfy and qualifications you need to have to teach English in Canada. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Do you need a visa for teaching English in Canada?

Foreign workers need a visa to work in Canada. Getting a Canadian work visa is not a quick process and can be complicated. If you are eligible you can enter Canada on a Working Holiday Visa

Do I need teaching experience to teach in Canada?

Teaching experience is preferred. 

Which TEFL certificate do I need to teach in Canada?

Because of the competition for ESL jobs in Canada, we recommend our Level 5 Combined TEFL qualification.

Can I teach English in Canada with no degree?

You need a Bachelor’s degree (in any field) to teach in Canada. Some positions require a Bachelor’s degree in English, Linguistics or Education.

Can non-native speakers teach English in Canada?

Absolutely. It’s not necessary to be a native speaker to teach English in Canada. In fact, many teachers in Canada speak French as a first language.

How much start-up capital do I need?

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

  • 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 €750 – €1,000 ($815 – $1,100).

Jobs and programs in Canada

In Canada, you can find teaching jobs in private language schools, bilingual and international schools, universities, and summer camps. Alternatively, you can teach private students or teach online.

Types of teaching jobs in Canada

Private language schools

Private language schools are dotted all over the bigger cities in Canada. These schools teach mostly General English and Exam English to kids, teens and adults. Your level of pay depends on your qualifications and experience.

Bilingual and international schools

If you are able to speak a bit of French, you may be able to secure a position in a bilingual or international school.

Universities

Students in Canadian universities, both Canadian and international, often require English lessons to help them improve their academic performance.

Private lessons

Most ESL posts in Canada are part-time or casual work. Private lessons are a popular way to fill up your teaching schedule.

Online

Similar to private lessons, many teachers utilise online teaching to supplement their income.

Volunteering

Volunteer teaching is common in Canada. Local government and communities run programs which offer free conversational English classes to migrants.

Summer camps

Summer camps in Canada cater for Canadian kids and teens aged 6 to 16. Summer camps take place over 8 to 10 weeks and include food and accommodation.

How to get a job teaching English in Canada

Teaching jobs in Canada can be found on online jobs boards or in local Canadian newspapers. Identify an appropriate position and send in your resume and cover letter. 

Salaries and benefits in Canada

There are a variety of teaching opportunities in Canada for English teachers. Your salary will differ based on which teaching route you choose to follow. 

What is the average teaching English salary in Canada?

  • Private language schools pay C$ 25 – C$50 ($18 – $35) an hour.
  • ESL teachers at universities can earn C$50 – C$70 ($35 – $55) an hour.
  • For private lessons, TEFL teachers usually charge €22 – €35 ($24 – $48) an hour.
  • Online English teachers typically charge C$18 – C$30 ($13 – $22) an hour. 

What are the common benefits for teachers in Canada?

The majority of ESL positions in Canada are part-time or casual work. Paid vacation and sick pay are not common because you are working on a contractual basis.

Cost of living in Canada

The cost of living in Canada is relatively high – corresponding to the high quality of life.  Toronto and Vancouver have higher costs of living than Montreal and Ottawa.

What is the cost of living in Canada?

The cost of living in Canada varies depending on which region or city you are in, but a general guesstimate would be C$1,500 ($1,100) a month, before rent.

Here are some of the usual costs of living in Canada:

Accommodation

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre: C$2,000 ($1,400) a month
  • A one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre: C$1,700 ($1,250) a month

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: C$200 ($150) a month

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: C$300 ($220)  
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: C$25 ($18)

Transport

  • Monthly travel pass: C$100 ($75) 
  • One-way ticket: C$3.50 ($2.50)

Internet 

  • Unlimited: C$85 ($60)

Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: C$100 ($75) a month

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

The cost of living in Canada may be quite high, but it’s certainly possible to save money each month on a teacher’s salary.

Here are a few tips on how to save money in Canada:

  • Make use of public transport which is affordable and efficient.
  • Cook at home rather than eating out.
  • Sign up for a loyalty card at your local grocery store.
  • Look for discounts and deals on festivals and tourist attractions.
  • Buy a Discovery Pass, which gives you access to national parks and historic sites all around the country for a year.

Life and culture in Canada

Few places in the world are as friendly as Canada. Living and mingling with such friendly people on a daily basis is a sure way to improve your quality of life.

Education is a big deal in Canada. Teachers are respected and students well-behaved. Teachers dress quite formally in Canadian classrooms. At the same time, a good work-life balance is important so you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy.

Canada is heaven for teachers with a sweet tooth. Canada produces 80% of the world’s maple syrup! Sugar pie, Saskatoon berry pie, timbits, Nanaimo bars and matrimonial cake are just a few tasty treats you can enjoy while in Canada.

Start your teaching journey with a certified TEFL course provider!

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