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How to earn extra money as a TEFL teacher

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TEFL jobs are not always the best paid in the world unless you get really lucky but most packages do usually include accommodation and sometimes even the cost of flights and this does need to be added onto the basic salary.  Also, many TEFL jobs are not full time so this does leave teachers with time on their hands if they want to do other things like sightsee or study.  You can also use this free space to supplement your income and here’s how:-

  • If you have started to pick up the native language or if you are in a predominantly English speaking country then you can acquire lots of part-time casual work like bar work particularly if you are in a holiday area.  This is a great way to get to know local people away from the TEFL classroom
  • Private tuition is another option and you may find yourself approached by some of your current students who are looking to get ahead with extra classes during the evening or weekends or other people connected to the school or college you are teaching in who want to improve their English language skills.  Private classes can offer a really attractive hourly rate but they are not as reliable as a salaried position where income is guaranteed but it’s just not that high.  Combining the two together can really boost your remuneration and add a different skill set to your TEFL CV
  • Teaching English online is the perfect portable way to carry a portfolio of students around the world with you and provides a moveable second income anywhere that you have an internet connection.  The beauty of an online teaching business is that you can take it with you when you travel and the additional income may allow you the luxury of choosing less well-paid roles in poorer countries that you really want to visit.  Just always be cognizant of the time difference so you are able to maintain your student’s usual lesson schedule when you change your location.  There are lots of freelancer sites where you can advertise your skills and attract either private paying individuals or companies who are always looking for TEFL teachers; they can feed you more work although the rates are not as high as if you work privately
  • If you are bilingual then working as a translator or interpreter is a no-brainer.  You can do this in the physical location you are based in or do online work or a mixture of the two.  If you have picked up some of the language then you could still consider doing some casual translation work by just advertising locally
  • Babysitting is a rather surprising option and not for everyone but, in some cultures, you may be invited into the homes of other teachers who are on the staff at the school or college you are working at; babysitting can be a logical extension of this.  Parents can often be keen to acquire an English speaking babysitter as it’s a chance for their little ones to hear English spoken in their home
  • Start a blog, you will be amazed at how popular ‘real-life’ travel blogs are and, if you create a following, then your blog might interest companies who want to advertise on it or generate income via affiliate links.  Blogging could launch a book, increase your visibility as a TEFL teacher putting you in line for other lucrative opportunities further down the line or you could be invited to write guest posts for other sites.  Why not create your own learning aids and study tools and sell them via your blog?  When it comes to income, blogging is a slower burn than some other routes but definitely worth looking into
  • Create online courses, just open up an account with YouTube and get teaching and filming or you could consider using Udemy where you choose your topic, create your course and then promote it through the site for which Udemy takes a percentage of the sales.  The courses you create can be based on your own specialisms or any topic, it doesn’t have to be connected to teaching
  • If you have subject knowledge or a degree then consider doing some specialist writing which doesn’t have to be annexed to the country you are in or the institution you are teaching for, it could be entirely independent of both
  • If you have a sport you are interested in then you could do some coaching on the side, appealing to both schools and clubs because of the English language element as well

How to land the best TEFL jobs

If you want to bag the best TEFL salaries then it is essential that you have a decent TEFL course and accreditation; CELTA is one of the best to choose and if you can throw in a University degree as well then you will definitely be at the top of the pile when it comes to the best remunerated positions.  Experience is another hard hitter when it comes to landing the best salaries and this can make up for not having a degree but not in every scenario. 

  • Ace your CV, make sure it is current and up to date
  • Spend time working on a short personal statement and a tailored application letter which should be personalised for each job rather than just a generic wording which is not specific to either that post or the country in question
  • You will likely be interviewed via a video conferencing platform like Skype or Zoom so practice your presentation and think about the location and backdrop which will create a neutral or favourable impression
  • Have a list of intelligent responses to hand about why you want to work in that particular country and teach in that specific sector – don’t give standard or generic answers
  • Research thoroughly the region of the country the job is located in and have an understanding of the culture and local scene

TEFL is not going to make you a millionaire but it is possible to earn well with a little intelligent forethought and planning.  Most TEFL jobs are not full time so this provides scope for other income-generating ideas although some people do use this spare time to sightsee, study or develop other things.

From television to the internet platform, Greg switched his journey in digital media with California Herald. After serving as a journalist for popular news channels he currently contributes his experience for California Herald by writing latest and trending Politics news.

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