As a former English teacher in Bangkok, Thailand, I’ve been offered EFL teaching jobs at all different times of the year. That being said, there are still two main hiring seasons in Thailand when most job vacancies are filled and where many of the better jobs are up for grabs.
This is also true worldwide where, although hiring seasons in different countries differ as school semesters begin and end at different times, you will still have more choices of the better jobs if you look for yours then.
Whether you want to look for an EFL teaching job in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central or South America, here are the main hiring seasons for each continent, so you can plan your trip and job search accordingly.
Asia – While there are tens of thousands of teaching jobs available all over Asia all year round, making it just about the best continent to find one, there are still some specific months of the year that are better than others.
In Thailand, for instance, you’ll find April and October are the two best months as this is right before each new semester begins. In Korea, August is the best month of the year and, in Japan, you can expect to get the most job offers during their hiring season in October and November. As for China, there are so many jobs and so many schools hiring all-year round, it doesn’t really matter when you start looking as you will probably be inundated with job offers.
Europe – Although it is possible to get a teaching job in Spain, Italy, Poland, or Greece throughout the year, it can be slim pickings the further away you get from their main hiring season. That’s in September and October so, if your heart is set on an EFL teaching job in Europe, you should plan to arrive no later than the middle of August. That way, you have time to get settled and then get the resumes out.
The Middle East – Saudi Arabia and Dubai are two of the main EFL teaching markets in the Middle East and, again, while schools do hire year-round, the vast majority of jobs are filled in the summer months of June, July and August. Middle Eastern schools also mainly hire teachers who are not already in the country, so you can expect an invitation to an in-person interview in the US or Europe, or via Skype two to three months before you will be expected to start work.
Central America – For countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala, where most teaching jobs are in private language schools, the main hiring season is in January. If you can’t make it by January, there will still be some jobs available as teachers leave or are let go if problems occur. If you are hoping to get into a children’s school, however, June and July is the best time to look.
South America – With many EFL teaching jobs available in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Venezuela, you should be ready to arrive in country by the end of January if you want to participate in the main hiring season in February and March.
In Argentina and Brazil in particular, however, there are so many jobs in language schools and native English speakers in such high demand, it’s easy to be gainfully employed in a private institution. Or, if you prefer to establish yourself as a private tutor, you can do that too at any time of the year.