Should I get TEFL certified?

Should I get TEFL certified?

So, you’re wondering: “should I get TEFL certified?”

A Google search for “how to teach English abroad” will return just as many results about TEFL certification as ways to start your international teaching job search

You almost always see TEFL certification as a requirement for many teaching jobs abroad or online.

Here’s the deal: 

You’ll need a TEFL certificate to quality for most teaching positions abroad or online

So if you’re still wondering if it’s really worth your time (and money) to take a TEFL course. We’ll help you answer that and look at the cost and benefits of getting one.

Before we get down to it, let’s quickly review the basics:

TEFL certification 101

1. What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as  Foreign Language.

2. What is a TEFL certificate?

A TEFL certificate is an internationally recognized certification that qualifies first-time and experienced teachers to teach English abroad.

3. How much does a TEFL course cost?

Online and onsite TEFL certification courses range in price (and quality) from $150 to $2,000 USD.

Is TEFL worth it?

Yes! Along with your bachelor’s degree (any major), a TEFL certification is a requirement for most jobs teaching English abroad.

OK OK, for a few English teaching vacancies, you might still be able to squeeze by with just your bachelor’s degree. 

But, without that all-important TEFL certificate, it’s going to prove pretty tough to compete with other candidates who are TEFL certified or having teaching experience. 

Trust us – while the international ESL job market is undoubtedly booming, the competition for better paying English teaching jobs is pretty stiff.

If you want to be in the running for the top teaching jobs, in your destination of choice, hiring schools will want proof that you have the skills and qualifications to be a successful English teacher.

That proof is…drumroll please…your TEFL certification!

Sidenote: While a TEFL certificate is not a hard-and-fast requirement for certified teachers looking to teach abroad or online, plenty of certified teachers get TEFL certified to brush up on their skills for the foreign language classroom.

2 reasons why getting a TEFL is worth it! 

  1. You’ll gain classroom confidence.
  2. You’ll be able to land better, higher-paying teaching jobs.

Gain classroom confidence

Cast your mind back – can you remember a time you were responsible for a group of 25+ children who didn’t speak English as their first language? 

How about a time you needed to explain the meaning of a gerund, a phrasal verb or the progressive tense?

Me, neither – just the thought is giving me sweaty palms!

Let’s cut to the chase:

If you want to be a great English teacher and feel confident in the spotlight at the front of the classroom, you’ll need a few tools and tricks in your back pocket.

reputable TEFL course will teach you the basics of everything you need to know about teaching English. 

You’ll learn advanced language skills, English grammar, how to create  lesson plans, managing a classroom and so much more. Everything that comes in handy when you’re teaching English.

Investing in a TEFL certificate program before teaching English means less time spent planning your classes (and pulling your hair out trying to understand tricky grammar concepts). 

Land a better, higher-paying teaching job

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that the more qualified you are, the better jobs you can expect to qualify for.

The best hiring schools abroad or online are looking for qualified teachers and pay according to your level of education and experience. This means having a TEFL can put you in a higher pay grade. 

Being TEFL certified also equals additional perks, like round-trip airfare and accommodation costs covered.

Investing in a TEFL certification now is an investment in your bank account later. 

So, to quickly recap, is a TEFL certificate worth the cost? 

Well, do you want to qualify for teaching jobs abroad and online, be confident in your new classroom and get hired for, higher-paying teaching jobs abroad? 

Then the answer’s a resounding “yes”!

Why the huge range in the cost of TEFL courses?

If the steep price range of online TEFL courses is surprising to you, allow us to explain a little more.

While a TEFL certification is the ESL qualification of choice for hiring schools all around the world, there’s no single international accrediting body in place (yet, anyway!) to govern TEFL training course standards.

Welp. So what does all this mean?

It means that because there is no single organization regulating the quality of TEFL courses, anyone (yes, even you!) can actually create and sell a TEFL course. 

Just remember: 

Make sure your TEFL course includes 100 hours of training at a minimum if you want to quality to teach English online or abroad.

Takeaway: High-quality TEFL courses at 100-hours come in around the $1,000 USD mark.

Choosing to enroll in a TEFL course now will increase your chances of cashing in on your ideal teaching adventure. 

Overwhelmed with all the course options out there? Compare TEFL courses from OISE at the University of Toronto.


I am very excited about the idea of teaching English as a second language .

I have an immense willingness to help people who want to acquire new knowledge and achieve goals that contribute to the holistic growth of the human being. In addition to wanting to know and interact with people around the world. I’m open to study very hard to get the certification that is required to became a great English teacher. I really want to have this experience in class, mainly. I’m open to study online as well. Thank you.

Esperanza Ribeiro

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