How do I get a TEFL job in Turkey?

With a unique position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Turkey is a fascinating country that is rapidly growing as a destination for teaching English abroad. As tourism and international business become more and more important throughout the country, the number of jobs in major cities and resort areas continues to grow.

What do I need to teach English in Turkey?

Until recently it was possible to find a teaching job in Turkey without any qualifications, however, a degree in any subject is now an official requirement for all teachers. Most employers will also expect you to have completed a TEFL certification course to prove you have some training in the workings of an English language classroom. Some higher-end job adverts state that previous teaching experience is required, although a good interview can often be enough to bypass this requirement.

What type of TEFL employer will I work for in Turkey?

The majority of teaching jobs in Turkey are in private language schools that can be found in most parts of the country. These come in many shapes and sizes, from a single classroom right up to huge international chain academies. The most popular type of class is for adults looking to improve their language skills for work or travel reasons, while a smaller number of schools also provide classes for young learners. Most teachers in this type of school are paid an hourly rate rather than a monthly salary.

Teachers with plenty of previous experience and a high level of qualifications might also be eligible for jobs in universities and private schools. These jobs are highly sought after as the working conditions and salaries are typically better than in the private sector.

What about visas for teaching English in Turkey?

In order to work legally as a teacher in Turkey you will need a work visa and a resident visa. As obtaining these can be quite complicated it is best to find an employer who is happy to take care of the paperwork on your behalf. Some schools will even pay the required fees as well, so you should confirm exactly what level of assistance an employer offers during the recruitment process. If they are not willing to put up the visa fees it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker if you like the sound of the job as the fees are not too high at around $200 for a year.

How do I apply for TEFL jobs in Turkey?

The main hiring season for universities and public schools is during the summer months in order to have the staff in place for the start of the school year. In contrast, private language schools do not run to any specific schedule, which means jobs can become available at any time. A small number of teachers are able to arrange a job from within their own country, but most positions are filled following an in-person interview on site.

Where should I look for TEFL Jobs in Turkey?

The thriving, cosmopolitan city of Istanbul is the center of the TEFL market in Turkey. As it is a modern city with excellent transport links and all the facilities you could wish for, Istanbul is a great destination for anyone who is new to overseas travel. The capital city, Ankara, is also a good option as potential jobs are numerous throughout the city. Other less known cities such as Izmir and Adana are also worth checking out to see what they have to offer. Many teachers like the idea of living in a coastal resort, but you will probably find that the competition is strong for every job vacancy. In these areas you might well need some previous experience to get to the front of the queue.