So you are thinking about teaching English in Japan and you are wondering how to get a job? If that is correct then you are in the right place.
This post will get you started off in the right direction for finding a job teaching in Japan.
Here is a quick look at the teaching scene which was previously mentioned in "What's it REALLY like to teach English in Japan?"
Here's a quick overview of the scene teaching in Japan
- Requirements: 4 year degree & native English speaker, plus possible preferences for experience, TEFL certification, etc.
- Job Market: Most Competitive
- Average Salary: 250,000 Yen ($2,030) a month
- Cost of Living: Most expensive
- Housing: Not free, employers sometimes help find
- Airfare: Usually only a free flight home with the JET program
- Teaching hours: 22-30 a week
*These are just averages expect differences between institutions
What kind of school will you work in? Programs?
Most teachers will work in either an eikaiwa or as an ALT (assistant language teacher) in a public school.
- Eikaiwa (after school institute)
- Public school or university
To work in a university you usually need to have a master's degree and experience. And international schools usually require a teaching license.
Eikaiwa's will vary more and you will usually work as a solo teacher. As an ALT you work as an assistant language teacher which is a similar position to the EPIK program in Korea and that can be easier, yet you have less autonomy.
Eikaiwa positions are usually held after school.
Learn more about eikaiwa.
ALT positions are like the JET program.
This is the best ALT program to get into. This one is run by the government vs. a dispatch company. The dispatch companies take a cut of your salary.
Year 1=2,800,000 Yen
And it goes up the next year.
It has a long application process though. Some other ALT positions are usually through private companies that act like a recruiter for these public schools. In my experience teaching in Asia it's usually better to get hired directly by the school vs. a recruiter, however every situation is different. It just depends.
You could also try to find a job directly through a public school, but if you aren't in Japan now or can't speak Japanese then this will be hard because these sorts of public schools don't advertise positions. Usually they get a dispatch company like:
- Interac (most popular)
- Altia central
- OWLS pay is near 2,400,000 Yen a month
People have different experiences.
Things you'll need to teach in Japan to get a visa
You need the same basic qualifications mentioned above which are normally:
- native English speaker or proof that you have 10 years of English learning experience
- 4 year degree
- Passport photos
- Documentation from your employer
Option 1: Going there to look
If you take a look at sites like Ohayosensei like in the pic above you'll soon see that most jobs are looking for teachers who are already in Japan.
So one option is to go over on a tourist visa and look for a job. Americans get three months free right of the boat/plane. You might need plenty of cash without anything lined up, but now I live in Japan and I know how to get started and live here for pretty cheap.
Hostels are going to cost at least $18-30+ a night for a dorm bed so that's not a good long term living situation. Staying in a sharehouse like I did is a good way to get started living/teaching in Japan. I wrote an article here about how to get started living in Japan cheaply.
Once you find a job your employer will help you change your visa status. To change your visa in Japan from a tourist visa to humanities visa (the one for teaching English) you will probably need maybe 6 weeks or so left on your tourist visa based on experience. Otherwise you may need to do a visa run to Korea.
Option 2: Find a job online 1st
If going to Japan to look sounds too expensive or daunting then you can find a job in your home country. Some of the largest companies and organizations in Japan like:
- The JET program
All of the above companies and programs do some hiring from abroad. Learn more about some of these large companies.
Option 3: Working holiday visa
Websites for finding a job in Japan
- Ohayosensei.com is especially good for finding a job in Japan if you are already there.