Through this post, we’ll review the most common methods to become a teacher in Japan, with their pros and cons.
The first thing you must have in mind is japanese school system. Their 1st semester begins in april, and the 2nd in september.
Accordingly, 80% of opportunities appear around march-april, and much of the 20% left are around september. These are the best periods to find a teaching job in Japan.
There are basically two ways of teaching in Japan
TEACHER IN A LANGUAGE SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY
Japanese universities sometimes offer teaching jobs. They (almost) always expect their teachers to hold a degree in language teaching.
You can also try to contact them directly even if they don’t seem to offer any job at the moment. Who knows! If you do so, february-march is the best period.
Big languages schools are regularly looking for new teachers. Among the most famous, we’ll name Geos, Aeon, Gaba and Berlitz. You can consult their offers on their respective websites, and why not try to offer your services directly.
Besides them, there are A LOT (really a lot!) of languages schools in Japan. The best way to find them (and their job ads) is to consult job ads listing.
We recommend you to have a look at these websites : Jobs in Japan and Gaijinpot . They gather most of teaching job offers. It’s also a good way to know about new language schools, which you can try to contact later if their current positions don’t suit you.
Patience is the key!
Pros and cons :
+ A real contract
+ Possibilty of visa sponsorship (full time contracts)
+ Some schools help you to find an apartment
- A sometimes low hourly fee (Usually in the 1200-2500 yen/hour fee)
- Working hours may be unconvenient
- Usually requires a degree
Our advice : The best solution to get in Japan and live “reasonably” there if you’re not eligible for a Working Holiday visa.
In case you don’t want to/can’t find a teaching job, or if you’re already a teacher but want to make extra money, you should consider private teaching.
The big advantage is that you’re absolutely free, you can set your fees, choose the most convenient times for you … moreover, you’ll usually do 1 to 1 teaching, and won’t have to hold a whole classroom. Certainly easier and funnier for you.
However, you will have to find your own students. There are two solutions, which can be used together :
- The most natural one : teach people you already know! Try to get to know many people in Japan and you’ll surely find a few people learning/interested in your native language, and who would like private lessons. There are many parties held in Japan in which gaijins are more than welcome. Have a look there! And try to get to know the friends of your friends.
- Use a student/teacher matching system : a lot of students look for teachers directly through the internet to save time and find the best teacher for them. Using a matching system will help you getting in touch with them. This way you can be directly contacted by students who find (and like!) your profile, and it leaves you spare time for other activities.
We do offer such a service through our regular website : Teach languages in Japan (english, french, italian, spanish, german …) and introduce new students to our teachers everyday.
With a balanced mix of the two solutions mentionned above, you may have a fairly good income by a few months.
Pros and cons :
+ Your hourly fees
+ A certain freedom
+ No degree required
- No visa sponsorship
- Usually takes a bit of time to get enough students
Our advice : Perfect for Working Holiday visa holders and those who want to increase their income. Keep in mind that it won’t provide you any kind of visa.
We hope you will find a good solution and enjoy teaching in Japan! Depending of your diplomas and visa opportunities, you should find something in these lines!