1. Home: Explore careers
  2. English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher

English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher

Alternative titles for this job include EFL teacher

EFL teachers help students learn or improve their English in the UK and abroad.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter


£32,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

30 to 37 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • applying directly
  • professional development training


Some employers may expect you to have a degree or postgraduate course that gives you qualified teacher status (QTS).

Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • linguistics
  • modern foreign languages
  • education studies

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More Information


You can take Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses at colleges and private training providers all over the world. They vary widely in cost and length.

You can do:

  • an intensive full-time course lasting 4 weeks
  • a part-time course lasting from 12 to 36 weeks, depending on the training provider
  • a distance learning course where you may need to arrange your own teaching practice

The most common TEFL qualifications are:

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • an excellent standard of English
  • A levels or equivalent qualifications

More Information

Direct Application

You could get experience as a paid language assistant in schools abroad. You do not necessarily need a TEFL qualification to work in schools, but if you want to teach in a private language academy, you will.

Each country has different eligibility criteria, for example, age limits and standard of English, so check carefully to make sure you meet all the requirements for the country you want to work in.

You may need foreign language skills for some jobs.

The British Council has information about working abroad as an English language assistant.

Other Routes

You can work as an EFL teacher in further education. You'll usually need a teaching qualification like the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, which you can do through professional development.

After the Diploma, you can get qualified teacher learning and skills status (QTLS).

You can find out more about careers in further education from Teach in Further Education and GOV.UK.

To work in schools in the UK, you'll usually need to be a qualified teacher.

More Information

Career tips

Teaching roles can be a few hours a week to full time, depending on where you work. There are likely to be more jobs available during holiday periods, as many course providers cater for overseas students visiting the UK at these times.

Rates and pay and hours vary widely when teaching abroad, so make sure to check job offers carefully.

Further information

You can get more details about working as an EFL teacher from Trinity College London and Cambridge English.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • excellent written communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you will:

  • plan engaging lessons and activities that meet students' needs
  • teach individuals or classes face to face or through online learning
  • set and mark tests and exercises and give constructive feedback
  • organise social and cultural activities, like events and trips
  • monitor progress and keep accurate learner records

Working environment

You could work at a language school, at a college or from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you may be able to:

  • progress to a management position in a commercial language school or a college in the UK or abroad
  • work freelance in private tuition, for example specialising in business English
  • train future EFL teachers
  • create EFL learning materials, online resources and apps
  • open your own language school

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Cambridge L5 CELTA

  • Start date: 30 December 2024
  • Location: London

CELTA Intensive (Jun-Jul)

  • Provider: BATH COLLEGE
  • Start date: 24 June 2024
  • Location: Bath

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.