Teach English in North America

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Kirsten Colquhoun
July 18, 2023

A-F

M-R

Mexico

S-Z

Contents

Why Teach In North America
Where to Teach in North America
How to Qualify
Types of Teaching Jobs
How to Get a Job
Average Salary in North America
Cost of Living in North America

Since the Age of Discovery, North America has been a land that has always enticed explorers and adventurers. The continent has become one of the economic hubs in the world, with the skyscraper-filled skylines of New York, Toronto and Washington still inspiring thousands of visitors and their dreams of making it big. 

But, with English as the first language in both the United States and Canada, there can’t be much demand to teach English in North America, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong! There are ample TEFL jobs even in English-speaking countries, whether it be teaching English online or in language classes to those whose first language isn’t English. So, are you ready to explore the wild deserts, urban metropolises and stunning natural scenery only found in this part of the Western Hemisphere? Check out everything you need to know about how to teach English in North America with The TEFL Academy! 

Why Start Teaching English In North America?

With its long history of travellers, visitors and migrants, North America is one of the most culturally diverse and exciting destinations for those looking to live the modern nomad life. The influence of European, African and Latin cultures can be felt across the continent, making teaching English in North America one of the most enriching (and lucrative!) experiences anywhere in the world.  

Here are some of the biggest appeals of teaching English in North America:

  • High salaries: North America is one of the most competitive regions in the TEFL market when it comes to salaries. Whether it is private or public work, your salary on offer will be more than enticing. 
  • Vibrant lifestyle: From NYC to the Canadian Rockies, North America is a continent where the most vibrant lifestyles in the world find a home. The diversity in cultures give teachers so many new opportunities to explore, meaning life in North America is never dull! 
  • Personal growth: Teaching English in North America gives you an incredible opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and gain a fresh perspective on the world. With so much diversity, it’s a huge opportunity for growth both professionally and personally.
  • Plenty of opportunities: North America boasts a wealth of opportunities for English teachers. With a growing demand for English language instruction, there are a whole range of jobs available that are sure to suit your skills, qualifications and preferences.

Overall, North America represents one of the most culturally enriching and professionally fulfilling destinations for those looking to teach English abroad. With a high-quality TEFL certification behind you, it is the dream nomad location whether it’s your first time abroad or your fiftieth!

 

Best Places To Teach English In North America

Every country in North America has its own mix of cultures, norms and landscapes that make them unique. Here are some of the best places to teach English in North America: 

USA

Best for those who like EVERYTHING

From the sun-soaked streets of California to the hustle and bustle of life in the Big Apple, the USA is the country where people flock for their perfect life. As culturally diverse as it is geographically, the US is a country that has it all. 

Canada

Best for the nature lovers 

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

Mexico

Best for the party animals

With an abundance of local festivals, spicy cuisines and deepy entrenched rituals and beliefs, Mexico has become one of the most sought-after TEFL destinations. Alongside the fiestas, the country also houses dazzling sand beaches and ancient Mayan temples, making it the ultimate nomad hotspot. 

How Do I Qualify To Teach English In North America?

North America has some of the biggest demands for English tutoring. But, the requirements that teachers need to have can vary from country to country. Here are some of the essentials we recommend making sure you have covered to begin teaching in North America: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree: Some positions may ask for a degree at Bachelor’s level. Some may prefer a degree in education, or linguistics.
  • A TEFL/TESOL certification: TEFL or TESOL certification is normally an essential requirement for employers. 
  • Prior teaching experience: Prior teaching experience can be a huge plus on a resume when applying for positions, though it isn’t always essential. 
  • Native or near-native proficiency in English: A high level of proficiency in English is vital for a position teaching English abroad.
  • Visa requirements: To work legally as an English teacher in North America, you will need a work visa. The requirements and costs behind these visas can vary, so make sure to do some research beforehand! 

Types Of English Teaching Jobs In North America

North America might not be the first potential destination you think of when it comes to teaching abroad. The likes of the US and Canada have a majority English-speaking population, but there are still ample opportunities to work with those looking to improve their English skills either in the classroom or online. 

  • Classroom teacher: There are opportunities to work as an English teacher in North America working with both young and adult learners. 
  • Tutor: private tutoring can be an opportunity for TEFL teachers looking to teach English in North America. Whether it be full- or part-time, online or in-person, tutoring can be one of the most lucrative ways of making money.
  • Cultural exchange programmes: designed to bring teachers mainly to the US and immerse themselves in a new culture, these programmes allow teachers to work as language assistants through companies such as Odyssey and VIF. 

As well as these programmes, teachers who have gained TEFL certification can look for positions at international and bilingual schools across the continent. These positions usually come with one or two year contracts, giving a more stable position and the opportunity for visa sponsorship and assistance with permanent residency.

There are also plenty of TEFL teaching opportunities in Puerto Rico and nearby locations in Central America such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica

How To Get Teaching Jobs In North America

The demand for English language skills is still growing across North America, so here are some of our top tips on how to get a job abroad across the continent: 

  • Research: Start by researching the types of English language jobs in the areas that interest you. You can search job boards, networking sites, online directories and across social media. 
  • Application: Tailoring your CV and resume to each employer you send it to is vital. Make sure you really sell yourself as someone who loves what they do. 
  • Applying: Once you have submitted your application, be sure to check in with your employer if you haven’t had a response from them in a timely manner.
  • Paperwork: Always check the visa requirements and how your employer will support you before you leave. 

Keen to stand out from the crowd? Our Level 5 TEFL course is the perfect resource for helping you get the skills and qualifications you need to begin your teaching career in North America!

What Is The Average Teacher Salary In North America?

We mentioned it above, but the types of exchange programmes and private tutoring jobs on offer usually carry the opportunity of paying for your accommodation, food and transportation. 

The average TEFL salary in North America ranges from $2,000 – $5,000 a month depending on the position, your qualifications and if you choose your own rates. Here are some of the average TEFL salaries from different countries in North America

  • USA: $2,000 – $4,000 a month.
  • Canada: $2,000 – 4,000 a month. 
  • Mexico: $400 – $1,000 a month

What Is The Cost Of Living In North American Countries?

North America is one of the most developed parts of the world and enjoys some of the highest standards of living. Major cities such as New York and Los Angeles hold the highest salaries, but also the highest costs of living. It should be remembered that these costs can swing wildly depending on the state you find yourself in. The average cost of living in North America is roughly $3,000 a month.

Here are some estimates of what monthly expenses (rent, utilities, food, transportation and health care) might add up to in a few North American countries:

  • USA: $2,500 – $3,500 a month.
  • Canada $1,000 – $2,500 a month. 
  • Mexico: $620 – $800 a month.

Remember to dive into all of our unique country guides to teaching English abroad for the full lowdown on the costs of living in these places! 

 

Contents

Since the Age of Discovery, North America has been a land that has always enticed explorers and adventurers. The continent has become one of the economic hubs in the world, with the skyscraper-filled skylines of New York, Toronto and Washington still inspiring thousands of visitors and their dreams of making it big. 

But, with English as the first language in both the United States and Canada, there can’t be much demand to teach English in North America, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong! There are ample TEFL jobs even in English-speaking countries, whether it be teaching English online or in language classes to those whose first language isn’t English. So, are you ready to explore the wild deserts, urban metropolises and stunning natural scenery only found in this part of the Western Hemisphere? Check out everything you need to know about how to teach English in North America with The TEFL Academy! 

Why Start Teaching English In North America?

With its long history of travellers, visitors and migrants, North America is one of the most culturally diverse and exciting destinations for those looking to live the modern nomad life. The influence of European, African and Latin cultures can be felt across the continent, making teaching English in North America one of the most enriching (and lucrative!) experiences anywhere in the world.  

Here are some of the biggest appeals of teaching English in North America:

  • High salaries: North America is one of the most competitive regions in the TEFL market when it comes to salaries. Whether it is private or public work, your salary on offer will be more than enticing. 
  • Vibrant lifestyle: From NYC to the Canadian Rockies, North America is a continent where the most vibrant lifestyles in the world find a home. The diversity in cultures give teachers so many new opportunities to explore, meaning life in North America is never dull! 
  • Personal growth: Teaching English in North America gives you an incredible opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and gain a fresh perspective on the world. With so much diversity, it’s a huge opportunity for growth both professionally and personally.
  • Plenty of opportunities: North America boasts a wealth of opportunities for English teachers. With a growing demand for English language instruction, there are a whole range of jobs available that are sure to suit your skills, qualifications and preferences.

Overall, North America represents one of the most culturally enriching and professionally fulfilling destinations for those looking to teach English abroad. With a high-quality TEFL certification behind you, it is the dream nomad location whether it’s your first time abroad or your fiftieth!

 

Best Places To Teach English In North America

Every country in North America has its own mix of cultures, norms and landscapes that make them unique. Here are some of the best places to teach English in North America: 

USA

Best for those who like EVERYTHING

From the sun-soaked streets of California to the hustle and bustle of life in the Big Apple, the USA is the country where people flock for their perfect life. As culturally diverse as it is geographically, the US is a country that has it all. 

Canada

Best for the nature lovers 

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

Mexico

Best for the party animals

With an abundance of local festivals, spicy cuisines and deepy entrenched rituals and beliefs, Mexico has become one of the most sought-after TEFL destinations. Alongside the fiestas, the country also houses dazzling sand beaches and ancient Mayan temples, making it the ultimate nomad hotspot. 

How Do I Qualify To Teach English In North America?

North America has some of the biggest demands for English tutoring. But, the requirements that teachers need to have can vary from country to country. Here are some of the essentials we recommend making sure you have covered to begin teaching in North America: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree: Some positions may ask for a degree at Bachelor’s level. Some may prefer a degree in education, or linguistics.
  • A TEFL/TESOL certification: TEFL or TESOL certification is normally an essential requirement for employers. 
  • Prior teaching experience: Prior teaching experience can be a huge plus on a resume when applying for positions, though it isn’t always essential. 
  • Native or near-native proficiency in English: A high level of proficiency in English is vital for a position teaching English abroad.
  • Visa requirements: To work legally as an English teacher in North America, you will need a work visa. The requirements and costs behind these visas can vary, so make sure to do some research beforehand! 

Types Of English Teaching Jobs In North America

North America might not be the first potential destination you think of when it comes to teaching abroad. The likes of the US and Canada have a majority English-speaking population, but there are still ample opportunities to work with those looking to improve their English skills either in the classroom or online. 

  • Classroom teacher: There are opportunities to work as an English teacher in North America working with both young and adult learners. 
  • Tutor: private tutoring can be an opportunity for TEFL teachers looking to teach English in North America. Whether it be full- or part-time, online or in-person, tutoring can be one of the most lucrative ways of making money.
  • Cultural exchange programmes: designed to bring teachers mainly to the US and immerse themselves in a new culture, these programmes allow teachers to work as language assistants through companies such as Odyssey and VIF. 

As well as these programmes, teachers who have gained TEFL certification can look for positions at international and bilingual schools across the continent. These positions usually come with one or two year contracts, giving a more stable position and the opportunity for visa sponsorship and assistance with permanent residency.

There are also plenty of TEFL teaching opportunities in Puerto Rico and nearby locations in Central America such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica

How To Get Teaching Jobs In North America

The demand for English language skills is still growing across North America, so here are some of our top tips on how to get a job abroad across the continent: 

  • Research: Start by researching the types of English language jobs in the areas that interest you. You can search job boards, networking sites, online directories and across social media. 
  • Application: Tailoring your CV and resume to each employer you send it to is vital. Make sure you really sell yourself as someone who loves what they do. 
  • Applying: Once you have submitted your application, be sure to check in with your employer if you haven’t had a response from them in a timely manner.
  • Paperwork: Always check the visa requirements and how your employer will support you before you leave. 

Keen to stand out from the crowd? Our Level 5 TEFL course is the perfect resource for helping you get the skills and qualifications you need to begin your teaching career in North America!

What Is The Average Teacher Salary In North America?

We mentioned it above, but the types of exchange programmes and private tutoring jobs on offer usually carry the opportunity of paying for your accommodation, food and transportation. 

The average TEFL salary in North America ranges from $2,000 – $5,000 a month depending on the position, your qualifications and if you choose your own rates. Here are some of the average TEFL salaries from different countries in North America

  • USA: $2,000 – $4,000 a month.
  • Canada: $2,000 – 4,000 a month. 
  • Mexico: $400 – $1,000 a month

What Is The Cost Of Living In North American Countries?

North America is one of the most developed parts of the world and enjoys some of the highest standards of living. Major cities such as New York and Los Angeles hold the highest salaries, but also the highest costs of living. It should be remembered that these costs can swing wildly depending on the state you find yourself in. The average cost of living in North America is roughly $3,000 a month.

Here are some estimates of what monthly expenses (rent, utilities, food, transportation and health care) might add up to in a few North American countries:

  • USA: $2,500 – $3,500 a month.
  • Canada $1,000 – $2,500 a month. 
  • Mexico: $620 – $800 a month.

Remember to dive into all of our unique country guides to teaching English abroad for the full lowdown on the costs of living in these places! 

 

Download our TEFL Factbook

We have created a unique TEFL World Factbook of teaching abroad guides in over 100 countries to help TEFL teachers decide where in the world to teach English. Each country profile outlines everything a TEFL teacher would need to know including average pay, living costs, working environments and even the weather!

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