English teaching jobs in London, England – as one might expect – are considerably more difficult to come by than in Asia, South America or even Eastern Europe. The London TEFL market is a difficult one to break into at any time outside of the industry’s peak summer hiring season.

But while the job search may not be for the fainthearted, those set on teaching English as a second language in the center of the country that spread the English language across the globe can make that goal a reality –- as long as they accept that securing a full-time teaching position could initially be a entire job in itself.

Photo credit: Rob Bye.
Private Language Academies/Schools:

There are more than 200 English language academies in London, but work can still be hard to come by for new TEFL teachers. Most teachers start off on hourly paid contracts during the off-season. Those looking for full-time work should aim to send out as many job applications as possible in the months leading up to the city’s busy summer session (June to August).

Tutoring:

Taking on private tutoring is a prime way for TEFL teachers to supplement their income. Those searching for work should advertise at university campuses or other areas where professional workers are likely to congregate, according to TEFL international. Teachers can also post advertisements on niche websites like The Tutor Pages.

When and Where to Look for Jobs:

The summer season -- when foreign students tend to flood the city for classes -- is absolutely the best time for new and experienced TEFL teachers to search for work in London. The London TEFL market is a fast-moving one, where jobs go quickly, so those looking for teaching position should begin their search sooner rather than later. Newly-qualified teachers, however, should beware. While it is certainly possible for new teachers to land a full-time job if they hustle, the competitive London market tends to favor experienced and highly qualified teachers. TEFL Jobs London and The Gumtree are useful resources for teachers searching for job opportunities.

Qualifications:

The more, the better! Most private language schools and tutoring services ask applicants for proof of a university degree, TEFL certification and proof that they are eligible to work in the United Kingdom. Although not absolutely required, earning an additional CELTA or DELTA certification can give teachers a better chance at securing permanent or full-time work at private language schools.

Salary and Cost of Living:

The average TEFL salary varies by season. During the summer, the city’s peak hiring season, qualified teachers can find temporary full-time work that pays between $650-$700 per week (not including housing). Teachers with additional CELTA or DELTA qualifications can expect to earn slightly more.

During the off-season a vast majority of English schools only offer freelance positions that pay hourly rates. Living in London, however, isn’t cheap. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is more than $2,400 a month. While living outside the city center is slightly less expensive, prices for a one-bedroom still average a hefty $1,500 per month. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant runs about $16, while a single trip ticket on the city’s subway costs almost $5 a pop (Numbeo).

Classroom & Work Culture:
  • Student/Teacher Relations: London’s TEFL market is simply too competitive to tolerate subpar English teachers. To find permanent or regular freelance work, teaches must be demonstrate both reliability and competence, according to TEFL Jobs London's article on how to impress an English school in London.
  • Dress Code: Teachers who are punctual, presentable – business casual dress is preferred -- and capable of presenting compelling lesson plans are the one’s who will obtain repeat work. Constant vigilance is also a must: It may not be fun, but TEFL freelancers in London should make a habit of staying in contact with hiring managers so they are the first in mind when a school has available full-time or contract work.
Contributed by Ashley Portero

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