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Teach English in the United States

Teach English in the United States

OnTESOL provides teaching resources, job assistance, and TESOL / TEFL certification courses.

Teaching English in the United States presents a unique and rewarding opportunity, particularly in regions with a high influx of newcomers and renowned academic institutions. This career path not only allows educators to immerse themselves in a multicultural and diverse environment but also to play a pivotal role in the field of education.

As the demand for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers continues to grow, professionals in this field find themselves at the heart of cultural exchange, acting as ambassadors of American culture while engaging with students from various backgrounds.

The benefits of pursuing a career in teaching English in the U.S. are manifold. Educators have the chance to make a significant impact on the lives of their students, not just academically but also by enhancing their opportunities both within the United States and internationally.

Requirements and Qualifications

Degree and TESOL/TEFL Certification requirements:

The minimum requirement to teach English in the United States is bachelor’s degree in any area and a 120-hour TEFL/TESOL certification from an accredited institute such as OnTESOL.

Read more: What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?

Teaching License:

A state-issued teaching license is only required for K-12 teaching jobs in the United States. A state-issued teaching license is not required for adult ESL teaching positions at private language institutes, newcomer programs, business English courses, or IELTS/TOEFL exam preparation courses. For this reason, a career in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) is highly appealing for people looking for a career change because all they need to upgrade their university degree is an accredited TESOL/TEFL certification.

Experience and Skills:

Previous ESL teaching experience is not required, but the job market in the United States is highly competitive. Most job candidates have previous ESL teaching experience.

A great way to gain experience and learn if a career teaching English in the United States is right for you is to volunteer in a newcomer ESL program, spend a year teaching English abroad or get started as an online ESL teacher.

ESL teaching jobs in the United States are available only to U.S. citizens and established immigrants with the right to work.

How Much do ESL Teachers Earn in the United States?

The starting annual salary of an ESL teacher in the USA is $45,000/year, with 75% of experienced ESL teachers earning more than $69,000/year. In general, these are the salary ranges for teaching English in the Unites States:

  • ESL teachers at accredited U.S. language schools and newcomer ESL programs earn between $22 and $26/hour.
  • Online ESL teachers in the USA earn between $15 and $30/hour depending on the online ESL school.
  • Business English and IELTS/TOEFL exam preparation teachers earn up to $50/hour.

ESL Teaching Jobs and Career Opportunities

The United States offers a wide range of opportunities for entry-level and experienced ESL teachers. Job markets include teaching English to:

  • International students in ESL immersion programs
  • Newcomers
  • Online ESL students from around the world
  • Business English students
  • International university students in IELTS or TOEFL exam preparation courses

How To Become an English Teacher in USA

You completed your TEFL certification course and you are now looking for the right English teaching job. Where can you begin looking for your first teaching job?

Language Schools vs Community Centers

Many community centers in the United States offer ESL classes to immigrants at affordable tuition fees. These programs are perfect for newly certified teachers who wish to obtain some teaching experience, especially those who want to feel comfortable in the classroom before they go teach abroad. Some programs pay an hourly wage, while others offer assistance for completing a Practicum in exchange for volunteer hours.

Language schools offer classes to international students who pay hefty fees for immersion ESL programs. Most language schools are located in the largest US cities and many are operated by large international organizations such as Kaplan, GEOS, Inlingua, ELS, or other. One to two years of teaching experience is preferred and many candidates have taught English abroad. Language schools get busy in the summer months, so this is the best time to apply for part-time jobs if you do not have any teaching experience.

Finding Teaching Opportunities

  • Job Sources: ESL Directory has the largest database of language schools in the United States.
  • Job Support: OnTESOL offers free job assistance to their TESOL/TEFL graduates, including resources, help with writing the resume, and interviewing tips.
  • Insider Tips: During the job interview, U.S. employers generally ask candidates to do a grammar or vocabulary lesson plan. For a successful career in the United States, it is highly recommended to become a lesson planning expert who knows how to use the major communicative and task-based ESL lesson planning frameworks.

Resources and Support

  • ESL Teacher Training: OnTESOL is a TEFL certification course provider accredited in the United States.  
  • Accreditation: ACCET is the leading Post-Secondary Education accrediting body in the United States. They accredit a large number of ESL schools and TESOL/TEFL institutes.
  • Professional Organizations: TESOL.org is the leading industry organization for networking and conferences in the United States and internationally.

How to Get the Best English Teaching Job in the United States

  • Volunteer: Teachers who start as a volunteer show employers that they really care about teaching. Volunteering ads lots of merit to your resume and it is an opportunity to tell your story about how you started teaching English and why you love it so much!
  • Go abroad: Teachers with experience in another country have a higher chance of obtaining the job at a language school because they have to overcome different adversities in the classroom and they can stand in the boots of the immersion ESL student because understand about living in another country.
  • Learn to create professional lesson plans: Teaching English at a languages school in the United States requires more professionalism than the typical ESL program abroad. Teachers are required to plan their lessons using various approaches within the Communicative Language Teaching method.

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