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Nearly two billion people study English as a second language. The lack of qualified English language instructors is one of the biggest challenges facing educators and people across the globe. The sheer number of ESL students means there are unlimited opportunities for you to teach and live abroad as an ESL professional!

Maximo Nivel offers lifetime job-finding support, which means our team is at your service before, during, and after the TEFL course to make sure you enjoy a successful teaching career. With our long history of training world-class ESL teachers, schools, institutes, and universities all over the world happily accept the Maximo Nivel TEFL certification. Our TEFL graduates regularly secure paid teaching positions in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Middle East, and Africa.


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TEFL Certification Video

Maximo Nivel’s TEFL Certification is a rigorous teacher training course that exceeds all global standards. We have trained more than 5,250 ESL teachers since 2004. Schedule a call with a program advisor today!


In week 2 of the TEFL certification course, your Trainer leads the TEFL class through a job-finding workshop. This is a critical component of the TEFL program, as it is one of the main reasons you and your TEFL colleagues are studying for your certifications. Your TEFL Trainer and the entire Maximo Nivel team is always here to support you.

– Job-finding workshop
– Professional résumé/CV preparation
– Lists of language schools in your preferred destination country(s)
– Internet sites and job boards specializing in ESL positions
– Introduction to ESL recruitment partners
– Job offer and contract advice (mostly applicable to jobs in Asia)
– Maximo Nivel reference letter
– TEFL Trainer acts as your professional reference for all future ESL opportunities



Experience shows that TEFL participants who put the effort into preparing a strong résumé/CV, and who are active in their job search, find teaching positions within 0-30 days of completing the TEFL course. Whereas we do not guarantee jobs for our TEFL graduates, if you are ambitious, you can have multiple job offers even before completing your TEFL certification!

It is important to note, Maximo Nivel makes 3-5 job offers to our TEFL graduates every month to work as teachers in our Native English Program at our language-training institutes in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.

Always keep a positive mindset. Stay cheerful and flexible—employers look for teachers who are low maintenance and collaborative.

First Job Teaching English Abroad
Understanding Teaching Abroad Job Offers


Teaching jobs and work environments clearly vary from one country to the next and from one employer to another. Depending on where you go, opportunities exist for part-time work and full-time work; short-term agreements and long-term work contracts; traditional K-12 education and alternative adult education; classes taught inside an institute versus classes taught offsite at client facilities; opportunities with public schools and jobs with private language institutes. Look at all of your opportunities carefully and decide which ones best match your personality and career objectives.

Benefits also vary. Schools in Asia and the Middle East offer the best salaries and the most benefits, such as free or subsidized housing, language lessons, on boarding services, airfare reimbursement, annual vacation, and bonuses. Jobs in Latin America tend to be less structured and take a more independent approach to teachers. Most areas of the world pay enough to live comfortably, but usually not enough to pay off debts. Health insurance is not common, but you may find this is available with employers offering long-term contracts.

Employment contracts may also be new to you, but outside of the United States it is how most of the world functions. You should be ready for work rules that are different and which may even seem strange—this is a function of cultural differences as well as specific labor laws in each country.

The points below summarize the minimum information you should have for any teaching position you are seriously considering. Be sure you and your employer are clear on the conditions of your position—try to avoid surprises for either side.

– Name of the Academic Director or Director of Studies (DoS)—this person is your boss
– Minimum number of guaranteed teaching hours
– Daily schedule; hours you must be available to teach
– Amount and frequency of salary paid
– Opportunity for salary increases
– Dress code
– Required meetings and required in-service training
– Teaching private clients outside of school (allowed or not)
– Travel to the country (provided or not)
– Verbal agreement vs. written contract
– Conditions for breaking your work agreement
– Work visas (provided or not)


There is a wide array of job titles within the ESL world. A TEFL certification is the main qualification for all of these positions. In some parts of the world you can work without a Bachelor’s degree, while in other parts of the world a Bachelor’s degree is required, and a Master’s degree may be preferred.

English Teacher: An English teacher usually works in a private language school. Most countries have a number of private language institutes that offer year-round English classes to local people and short-term programs to international students. At these schools, ESL instructors teach Basic to Advanced English, English conversation, and lead summer camps for children and teens. These jobs are the most numerous throughout the world and are usually the most sought after by recently qualified teachers. Learners may be children, teens, and/or adults. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate

Private Tutor: A private tutor can earn a good income by teaching privately and freelancing with different schools. You earn money by generating a portfolio of clients and teaching private lessons. Your hourly wage can be relatively high, though it takes considerable effort to build and maintain a list of active clients. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate

School Teacher: Many countries make English a required part of their academic curriculum in public schools. This creates a major need for certified English teachers. These positions don’t always pay the best salaries, but there are a lot of these positions available. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate + Bachelor’s Degree

Humanitarian Teacher: NGOs, churches, and community centers have a tremendous humanitarian need for ESL teachers. These ESL programs are often aimed at helping immigrants, refugees, street children, and women’s groups. Pay is sometimes lower, or you might receive a small stipend plus lodging and meals. Though less lucrative, the emotional rewards and experience you gain are immense. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate

Business English Teacher: A business English teacher teaches at clients’ offices or at a private language school. Learners are typically company employees who need English to help advance their careers. Business English positions are relatively common and pay well. Note that clients’ expectations are likely very high and teaching requires a mature attitude, professionalism, and basic understanding of business concepts. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate + Certificate in Teaching Business English + Bachelor’s Degree

Teacher of International Exam Preparation: An ESL teacher specializing in international English exams such as the TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, etc. can earn a premium salary. Teachers that know how to prepare learners for these exams are in high demand, yet the supply of teachers with the right skills and experience is very low. This is an excellent area of specialization for ESL teachers who want to differentiate themselves. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate + Certificate in Teaching International Exam Preparation + Bachelor’s Degree

ESP Teacher: An ESP (English for Specific Purposes) instructor teaches English for medicine, law, tourism [and Business]. Learners are normally employees in a specific industry (e.g. aviation, medical, petrochemical, mining). These positions often pay quite well. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate + Certificate in English for Specific Purposes + Bachelor’s Degree

TEFL Trainer: With 5+ years of teaching experience, some ESL teachers like to move into TEFL training. As the demand for certified ESL teachers continues to increase, the TEFL certification sector is also on the rise. Teacher trainers usually work at private language institutes, TEFL certification organizations, and universities. Salaries are quite high and additional income can also be earned by leading online TEFL programs. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate + Bachelor’s Degree + 5 years of experience + Master’s Degree (preferred)

Director of Studies/Academic Director: These senior positions involve less teaching and more management and supervision of teachers and school operations. Directors are often closely involved in the design and management of course curriculums. Salaries are quite good and these tend to be very competitive positions to apply for. Qualifications: TEFL Certificate + Bachelor’s Degree + 3 years of experience + Master’s Degree (preferred)

TEFL Careers Options

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