TEFL Courses in North America

Browse Programs

North America includes the three vast nations of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Each of these three countries contains a wide diversity of landscapes, cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles within its borders. You can traverse environments as varied as the stunning wild deserts of the Southwestern US and Mexico, the frigid snow-covered northern plains of Canada, the humid, tropical climates of the east Mexican coast and south Florida, as well as the temperate forests of New England.

TEFL Courses in Canada and the United States are quite easy to find, as they are English-speaking countries with large immigrant populations that need plenty of instructors for English as a foreign language. With Mexico's booming and increasingly globalized economy over the past decade, getting TEFL qualifications in the country has become equally easy.

There are four main TEFL course types in North America: University, On-site, Hybrid, and Online. For each kind you will need at least the following qualifications: be 18+, have a high school or equivalent diploma, and be a native or near-native English speaker. Though TEFL is the most popular course overall, many schools in all three countries also offer CELTA and TESOL certifications.

University TEFL Courses

In the US and Canada, many universities offer MA degrees in TEFL education. If you have already received a Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field, such as English or Education, you can pursue such a program. However, universities in these countries are generally expensive, and the training programs are one to two years long. You can get better and higher-paying opportunities with an MA degree, but a lot of programs train you to teach English to immigrants within North America, rather than teach English abroad.

On-Site TEFL Courses

Many aspiring TEFL teachers opt for specialized, short-term on-site TEFL courses which train you specifically for going abroad. On-site courses require class attendance at an institution and courses can be as short as four weeks or as long as 12 weeks; generally, shorter courses require more intensive attendance and study. All courses are taught by experienced TEFL teacher-trainers, and by attending an on-site course, you have many opportunities to network and potentially land a job offer shortly after graduation.

When you are comparing courses, always check that your course of choice is internationally accredited and offers a practical teaching component. Other factors you may want to consider are class sizes and job search assistance from the institution. Courses should alway include at least 100 hours of instruction and at least 6 hours of practical experience.

Hybrid TEFL Courses

Hybrid TEFL courses can be a good option for people who are unable to take a full 4 week in-country course at an institution. They blend on-site and online instruction, so you can get some hands-on in-person experience but also schedule the rest of your learning to suit your own schedule. Typically these courses offer online tutorials and Skype session with instructors, but include an on-site practical teaching component at the end in order to give you some practice as a TEFL instructor.

Online TEFL Courses

Online TEFL courses are becoming increasingly popular for students who wish to become TEFL teachers but do not have the time and flexible schedule to attend an on-site course. Always check to make sure that any online course you pick still includes a practical teaching component via Skype, as such practical studies are crucial to attaining a valid TEFL certification.

If you believe you have the self-discipline to schedule regular study sessions and Skype sessions with instructors and have a lot of constraints on your time, an online TEFL course might be the best option for you.

Best Time for TEFL Courses

Hiring times for TEFL jobs in North America are usually at the end of summer, right before the start of a new school year. Most schools in North America operate on an annual September to June calendar, with a two-month break for summer, so summer tends to be the most popular time for TEFL courses. In Mexico, the hiring season tends to last all year round, with 6-month or 1-year contracts offered to teachers.

Where to Take Your TEFL in North America

Though almost any large metropolitan area in all three countries will have TEFL courses available, major cities in which to look for TEFL courses in the United States are Chicago, Boston, New York, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami. In Canada, there are plenty of TEFL centers in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Halifax. If you are in Mexico, discover great TEFL courses in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, and Tijuana.

What to Look for in a TEFL Course in North America

The most important aspects of a TEFL Course in North America to take into consideration before enrolling include: the qualifications of your teacher, the course's job assistance and placement program, and the quality of the practical teaching component at the end of a course.

Having an experienced, certified teacher with experience in TEFL is paramount to a great learning experience, and can also help in future employment, as experienced teachers tend to have connections in the TEFL world and can help with networking. Regarding jobs, check the course's website or ask course administrators for a summary of alumni placements, so you can get a sense of what percentage of graduates got TEFL jobs, and in which countries they were primarily placed. If you have a geographic location you are thinking of in which to teach English as a foreign language, choosing a school that places others in a similar area can be very helpful for your future prospects.

Health & Safety

Though there are no vaccines required for entry to the US, Canada, or Mexico besides general childhood vaccinations, some doctors do recommend getting typhoid and Hepatitis-A vaccines before visiting Mexico. Canada is the safest of the three countries; US metropolitan areas do have some crime and violence (as do most major cities in the world), and gun violence is a bigger issue in the United States than in most European countries. However, if you stay aware and exercise basic precautions, you should be fine.

Though some parts of Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez and the border towns, have experienced a huge surge in violence due to the drug trade, other parts of the country are much safer. However, a good amount of caution is still recommended in most major Mexican cities.

When & How to Apply for Jobs in North America

Once you are certified, your TEFL center can help you find a job in TEFL programs abroad with which they have collaborations. Most TEFL centers offer job placement assistance after you have completed the program, but it is a good idea to check before starting the course that the TEFL program you have picked helps place students in the country of your choice.

Besides formal placement assistance, TEFL courses offer plenty of opportunities for networking while taking the course with your instructor.

Most jobs are likely to be concentrated in urban areas and large population centers. Many TEFL teachers find jobs in language schools, academic institutions, public and private schools, international schools and bilingual schools in those same geographies. Some teachers can pursue specialized TEFL courses in order to teach English to businessmen or tourism workers.

Some TEFL teachers decide to become private tutors, which gives them more flexibility with classes, scheduling, and material; however, you have less of a guaranteed income with private tutoring. Private tutoring also may make it harder to obtain a visa, as you will have no institution formally hiring you and helping you stay in the country of your choice.

Average Salary for Post-TEFL Jobs in North America

If you decide to stay in the US or Canada, you will most likely be hired as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. You can expect a salary of between $40,000 and $70,000 per year; private schools and international schools tend to pay their teachers more than public schools.

The average salary in Mexico is much lower, with $350-$700 per month paid to most teachers. However, the cost of living is much lower as well, with teachers getting by fairly easily on $170 to $200 per month. This also, of course, depends on what part of Mexico you live in, as the central urban areas tend to be more expensive.

Some teaching jobs include subsidized housing and some schools will help you find somewhere to live - ask your prospective institution before accepting the job if housing is included or at least partially financed.

Showing 15 Programs

Panama

Give and Surf
This month-long class certifies participants as TEFL teachers, giving them the opportunity to teach English at schools and or...

Canada

TEFL Online from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Education
The University of Toronto's Faculty of Education offers an online TEFL course. The TEFL Online curriculum was designed by exp...

United States of America

UNI-Prep Institute
UNI-Prep's online TESOL Certificate program is 120-hours in length, is fully accredited, and internationally recognized. The...

United States of America

ITTT TEFL
ITTT’s New York training center provides excellent TEFL training right in the heart of the world’s most famous city. Located...

Mexico

TEFL Services International
Situated in the sunny South of Mexico, Chiapa de Corzo is a wonderful location to study for your TEFL certification! The wond...

Canada

MyTefl
Do you want to be a superstar EFL Teacher? To maintain Zen in an avalanche of convoluted grammar queries, tardy slips, wall t...

United States of America

Teaching House
Globally recognized and accredited by the University of Cambridge, the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adu...

Online

ITTT TEFL
ITTT offers a wide selection of online TEFL courses ranging in length from 60 to 250 hours. Our standard course options inclu...

Canada

Oxford Seminars
Our highly trained, dynamic instructors focus on providing you with the practical classroom skills you need to become an effe...

United States of America

ITTT TEFL
ITTT TEFL offers courses across United States -- from East to West coast, you're sure to find the perfect fit!

United States of America

International TEFL Academy
Get paid to teach English around the world! Are you: A native English speaker from USA or Canada seeking to get paid to teach...

United States of America

Greenheart Travel
Earn your 190-hour TEFL Certification while living in the exciting city of Chicago! Experience this 4-week TEFL course with s...

United States of America

Rennert New York TESOL Center
This is an intensive TESOL Certificate course specifically created with non-native speakers of English in mind. The course wa...

Canada

ITTT TEFL
ITTT’ s combined TEFL course in Canada takes place in Toronto the capital of Ontario. The city has plenty to do and see and o...

Panama

Via Lingua
Via Lingua Panama provides an intensive, interactive program to gain certification as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Langu...