How do I get an English teaching job in Australia?
Last updated: 15th June 2021
One of the questions we get asked pretty often is: how do I get an English teaching job in Australia? It would be nice if the answer was straightforward, but life is rarely simple and the answer is “it depends”.
It depends on your existing qualifications.
It depends on your experience.
It depends on which institutions you want to teach in (universities? English language centres? Tour groups?)
It depends on what level of English you want to teach (are you going to teach conversational English? Academic English? Volunteer teaching migrants?)
In Australia, teaching positions are very competitive, more so than overseas or online teaching positions. Your existing qualifications and teaching experience (volunteer or paid) play an important role in what types of positions you could potentially hold in Australia. The level of positions open to you will also depend on the type of English training provider and level of English taught.
Don’t be discouraged though! If you have your heart set on teaching English, then there are ways to get your foot in the door.
If you want to boost your chance of landing a job in TESOL, then you can consider doing some of the following:
Keep in mind that some positions in Australia may need you to hold more than one qualification or have a set amount of experience.
Lets take a look at two of the most rigorous sets of standards for teaching English in Australia: ELICOS and NEAS (not every English school operates under these standards, but some do).
If you are looking at positions in Australian ELICOS centres, employment eligibility and conditions for teachers and certain other English language college staff are regulated by the federal government through the Department of Education. Specifically, the ELICOS Standards 2018 set out. Teachers in ELICOS Centres must:
There are further requirements for teachers who teach on English language programs in the primary or high school sector. Similarly, there are further requirements for those teachers who teach on English language programs for students under the age of 12.
(Source: ELICOS Info - https://www.englishaustralia.com.au/our-sector/teaching-in-australia)
If you are looking at teaching in NEAS endorsed ELT Centres, then you would be required to hold at least the following qualifications:
To break this down more:
*1. a recognised degree or equivalent - NEAS expects your Bachelor degree or equivalent to be at least three years full-time (or its part-time equivalent) in length. It also says that teachers holding a degree or equivalent from overseas institutions should contact the relevant State or Territory education authority or Department of Education and Training to confirm local equivalence.
**2. a recognised TESOL qualification - NEAS wants a TESOL qualification that results from a program of study having all of the following characteristics:
OR as opposed to meeting the above requirements, you can instead hold ***3. a recognised degree in education with TESOL method - for example: a Bachelor of Education with a major in TESOL. Again, teachers holding a degree from overseas institutions would need to contact the relevant State or Territory education authority or Department of Education and Training to confirm local equivalence / acceptance.
(Source: NEAS Info - https://neas.org.au/resources/career-advice/#neas-teacher-qualifications)
If you're passionate about teaching English in Australia, then we encourage you to keep working towards it. Right now, it might seem like there are a few things you need to check off - and that's true, but keep in mind that it is a truly rewarding career choice where you can make a difference in people's lives by helping them to achieve their goals!
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