Should I pay for a job placement teaching English abroad?

While researching teaching English abroad you will probably come across a variety of companies that offer to arrange a guaranteed job placement for a fee. This can seem like a good option to many people as it takes away all the hassle of applying and interviewing for jobs. However, you need to consider a few things before you decide to go down this route.

How strong is the demand for English language teachers across the globe?

Put simply, the worldwide demand for qualified ESL teachers is huge. It is estimated that over a billion people are currently learning the English language around the world, with around 300 million of those in China alone. With such a large number of potential students, the number of teaching positions available is in the hundreds of thousands. In some areas the number of job vacancies is far higher than the actual supply of teachers. With all this in mind, it is fair to say that most teachers should have little trouble finding a suitable job without having to pay a third party.

What are the down sides of a TESOL job placement?

One drawback of job placement services is that they limit the choices that are available to you. You will have only a limited say as to where you end up living and working, and you will have to accept the salary and working hours that are given. It is possible that you could end up with insufficient hours or too low a salary to live comfortably in the area you are in, or you might be overworked and paid less than other teachers at the same school. Whether your plan is to spend just a short time teaching overseas or you see it as a longer term career, if the working environment does not suit you it can be difficult to live with.

What kind of school do you want to teach English in?

You also need to ask yourself if you are happy to work in a school that takes on teachers without meeting them or even speaking to them before they arrive. To ensure you end up working in a professional environment that takes its responsibilities to its students seriously, you need to be in charge of which jobs you apply for. Applying for a number of different jobs in an area where you would be happy to live will give you the freedom to pick and choose the position that is the right fit for you. By paying for a job placement you lose all this freedom.

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