Turkey enjoys a unique position where Europe and Asia meet, which has a great appeal for international travellers and TEFL qualified teachers alike. The demand for teachers is high in many areas, particularly big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. However, it is worth noting that in recent times local regulations have been tightened, which means that all teachers need to have a degree to legally work in Turkey.
How much can I expect to earn while teaching English in Turkey?
Turkey is a very large country that has a wide variety of economic levels in different areas. Because of this, the average salary for a TEFL qualified teacher can be anywhere from $800 to $1,800 per month. As well as the location, your expected salary will depend on your qualifications, level of experience, and the type of employer. If you are a first-time teacher you will probably find your earnings to be at the lower end of the scale, although it is common practice for teachers to earn some extra cash by taking on a few private students outside of normal working hours. The going rate for private teaching is around $15 to $20 per hour.
What type of employer will I work for while teaching English in Turkey?
Private language schools are the most likely employer for foreign teachers in Turkey and there are hundreds of them in big cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. Although the vast majority of these are genuine employers with a good track record, there are a few exceptions out there which means it is essential that you do a bit of research before signing a contract. A quick online search of potential employers should flag up any schools with a bad reputation, allowing you to only apply for jobs with trusted schools. Many teachers avoid the problems associated with applying for jobs remotely by heading to the country first and then applying for jobs on the ground. This allows you to meet any potential employers and to check out the facilities before committing to the job.
What other employment options are there for TEFL teachers in Turkey?
If you have previous experience working with young learners, you might be eligible to apply for teaching jobs in private middle and high schools. This type of school usually offers a better salary than language centers and the hours are typically more favourable. On the downside, you will need a degree, a TEFL certificate, and a minimum of two years previous teaching experience. One further option for some teachers are private universities, although these jobs will require high-end qualifications and plenty of experience.
Can I earn extra cash as a private English tutor in Turkey?
Although your main income may be a bit lower than you would like, you will have plenty of opportunities to earn extra cash by offering your services as a private tutor in your spare time. It is entirely up to you how much or little you work and it might even be possible to make it a full-time option. You will be free to set your own pay scale and most private tutors earn more than those who work exclusively for a language school.
How does the cost of living affect TEFL teachers in Turkey?
The cost of living in Turkey is relatively low in comparison to many western countries, although it has seen a steady increase in recent years. In Istanbul in particular, the cost of accommodation is quite high which means that many teachers choose to share an apartment to keep their expenses down. On the plus side, public transport is cheap and eating out at local restaurants is still very affordable. The best advice is to avoid imported western made goods as these are subject to high taxes. Due to the high cost of housing in many parts of Istanbul, other cities such as Ankara and Izmir are becoming ever more popular with teachers.