TEFL Courses

How Much Does a TEFL Certificate Cost?

Wondering the in's and out's of a TEFL Certification, including how much it costs? You've come to the right place!

When it comes to teaching abroad, think of the TEFL certificate as your passport to countries across the globe! A TEFL course will not only teach you the nuance between teaching English as a first language and as a foreign language, but it’s a legal requirement for teaching English in a range of popular destinations.

So, now you know the significance of a TEFL certificate, let’s discuss how much they cost and how much you’ll realistically need to budget for.

Factors that influence price

TEFL courses and certificates come in varying shapes and sizes. Here are some of the most significant factors which influence the price of TEFL courses:

  • Type of course: Courses can be in-person, online, or a hybrid of both, and these will vary in price. In-person courses will cost more since they require additional resources, facilities, and synchronous instructor-led training.
  • Course length: This can range from 100 hours to even 350. The longer and more extensive the course, the higher its cost will likely be.
  • Course location: In-person TEFL courses can take place anywhere in the world. If you undergo training at a base in Thailand, for example, you must consider other aspects such as housing, flights, cost of living and so on. But taking a course back home or online, will save you some cash.
  • Accreditation and reputation: TEFL courses are accredited by various organizations, and the higher the quality and reputation, the more it’ll typically cost. Courses from accredited providers such as World TESOL Academy, TEFL Nomad, or International TEFL Academy, will cost more than one called “FreeTEFL123.com”, for example.
  • Synchronous vs. asynchronous learning: Synchronous TEFL courses require you to study alongside (in-person or online) instructors and classmates, and are more expensive as a result. Asynchronous learning - associated with online learning - means you can study whenever you like, and is cheaper because of its flexibility.

Cost of in-person TEFL training

TEFL teacher eliciting target vocabulary from student

An in-person TEFL course typically costs around $1,000-$2,500 USD. Similar to CELTA courses, these are more expensive forms of TEFL courses because they require more facilities and provide a higher level of interactive training with qualified teachers.

During an in-person TEFL course, you’ll do around 8 hours of daily training in a classroom for 4-6 weeks.

In-person TEFL courses are typically more intensive, compared to virtual or hybrid courses, since you’ll be required to physically attend the daily lesson demonstrations, complete homework assignments, and keep up with the class’ structure and pace. This is particularly beneficial for those who see teaching English abroad as a career path, and want maximum preparation before stepping into the classroom.

Some of the main benefits of of an in-person TEFL include:

  • Interactive training with experienced teachers: An in-person TEFL course requires interactive face-to-face training, led by experienced teachers. They’ll be able to directly answer any questions you have and provide instant feedback.
  • Higher level of support, resources, and facilities: In this well-equipped training environment, you’ll be coached through different teaching techniques directly in the classroom, allowing you to gain hands-on practice using classroom materials, similar to the type of environment you would be teaching in.
  • Live teaching experience: In-person TEFL courses often allow trainees to lead a real classroom by the end of their course. This will be observed by a licensed instructor who’ll provide invaluable feedback.
  • Higher employability: Employers like in-person tefl certificates because they know the teacher gained teaching experience and refined their skills under the supervision of a licensed instructor.

Cost of online TEFL certificate

The average online TEFL course will cost around $200-$500 USD. An online TEFL course is completed entirely online. Aspiring teachers will have access to their course regardless of time or location, and they’ll navigate modules and tests at their own pace. Trainees typically have around 6 months to complete the course modules, but can extend deadlines if necessary.

Some of the main benefits of an online TEFL include:

  • Flexibility: Online TEFL courses are distanced and self-paced forms of learning, offering the highest levels of flexibility. They’re optimal for those who are unable to take time off work or their studies. For teachers who need to save up and be frugal before moving abroad, this is the most viable option for them.
  • Affordability and accessibility: Typically, online TEFL courses are the most affordable, and aspiring teachers can find a range of courses to choose from wherever they are in the world. TEFL courses range from as short as 30 hours (for specialized subjects) or as much as 350 hours.
  • Less commitment required: Due to its convenience and affordability, it’s a safe option for those who want to learn more about classroom management and lesson presentation without a long-term teaching commitment. If you only want to teach abroad for a semester, or at a summer camp, an online TEFL course is a great option.
  • Read more: The 11 Best Online TEFL Courses

Suggested Online TEFL Courses:

Cost of Hybrid TEFL certificate

A TEFL teacher teaching fruit in the classroom

A hybrid TEFL certificate can vary from $300-$1000 USD and is a combination of an in-class TEFL course and an online TEFL course. This is beneficial for those who want the convenience of an online TEFL course, but also the experience of leading a classroom.

Typically, trainee teachers will study online but arrange a date and time where they can attend a teaching practice session,either in-person or online, with a licensed instructor. Often, they’ll navigate around 90-120 hours worth of TEFL modules before completing around 10-30 hours (or more) of supervised teaching demonstration.

Some of the benefits of hybrid TEFL courses include:

  • Convenience: Beneficial for the inbetweeners who want to complete a TEFL course from a distance but gain valuable teaching practice. When it comes to the teaching observation, you can choose a date and time which suits you.
  • Instructor-led teaching practice: Theory can only take you so far, so it is important for some people to carry out their own teaching demonstrations and undergo teaching observation in order to receive the necessary feedback.
  • Affordability: Since much of the course is completed online, and only a portion of the course requires in-person learning, hybrid TEFL courses are typically an affordable option.

Suggested Hybrid TEFL Courses:

Commonly asked questions about TEFL

TEFL teachers and their students holding up signs

Since TEFL courses are a diverse bunch, we’re sure you have a few questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about TEFL.

Is TEFL worth it?

Absolutely! Once you’re TEFL certified, you’re certified for life! Diversifying and adding new skills to your resume is always a great investment. Not only does TEFL improve your skills and knowledge of teaching abroad, it opens doors to many opportunities across the world.

Should I take an online, in-person, or hybrid TEFL course?

If you’re struggling for time or prioritizing affordability, we suggest taking an online TEFL course. However, if you have time and money on your hands and want to maximize your TEFL knowledge and experience, you should consider an in-person TEFL course.

On the other hand, why not do both? It sounds silly - but hear us out - many employers accept online TEFL certificates, and many teachers start their journey with this certification to dip their toes in the water. Once they’ve established that TEFL is a long term option for them, they upskill their TEFL qualifications by undergoing higher reputation in-person courses. Remember, you can upskill at any time!

Read more: Should I Get TEFL Certified Online or In-Person?

Does the location of my TEFL course matter?

It depends on your teaching goals. If you want to become TEFL qualified before choosing a location and starting your job search, you should become TEFL certified in your home country, either online or in-person.

However, if you already know where you want to teach, it may be more effective to become TEFL certified in that specific country. By completing a TEFL course in-country, you’re in a great position to directly find jobs at that destination. Additionally, your TEFL provider or instructor may have contacts with schools across the country, which is helpful for securing a teaching job once you’re certified.

In addition to TEFL course costs, be sure to consider factors such as:

  • Flight costs
  • Cost of living
  • Accommodation
  • Visa requirements

Should I get a free TEFL certificate?

No. We could leave it at that, but it’s helpful to understand why. Free TEFL certificates are often unaccredited and lacking in training or resource quality. If they are not accredited by a known or reputable organization, employers are unlikely to consider your application or qualifications. However, please note that this is different to internships or jobs offering free TEFL training as a requisite for placements.

Does spending more mean higher quality training?

Not always. Investing more time, money, and effort into an in-person TEFL course will certainly make you more employable. Additionally, you can undergo instructor-led teaching practice after you’ve already obtained an online TEFL.

However, while employers often require a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training, stacking hours, if it doesn’t diversify your skills, won’t improve your application. In this case, more is not more. You can choose to add valuable hours by specializing in niches such as online teaching or business English courses.

Are online TEFL certificates accredited?

Yes, however not every online TEFL certification is accredited. Be sure to research the TEFL course provider, who they’re accredited by, and what the TEFL certificate looks like. Additionally, you can use frameworks such as the UK’s RQF, Australia’s AQF, or state accrediting bodies in the US in order to see how reputable some of the courses are.

Read more: Are Online TEFL Certificates Recognized by Recruiters?


Become TEFL certified today!

Although it can be hard to decide which course is right for you, TEFL courses are flexible and can cater to your unique requirements, whether you prioritize affordability and convenience, or the highest quality training available.

Regardless, once you’re TEFL certified, you’re certified for life!

Begin your TEFL journey today!