Teach English in Japan - Guide to Teaching Jobs 2024

If you’re interested in teaching English in Japan, here’s our guide to getting started and what you can expect!

 

Many English-speaking graduates come to Japan to gain professional experience in teaching, while enjoying Japan’s unique culture. Japan is one of the most popular countries to teach English, attracting anime fans, mountain lovers and foodies alike. 

 

To land an English teaching job in Japan, it’s important to meet the requirements of this complex and beautiful country:

 

  • You’ll need a Japanese Work Visa, alongside all the required documents
  • For the vast majority of teaching jobs, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree (in any subject)
  • It’s essential to have a clean criminal record to be able to teach in Japan

Teaching certifications aren’t required, but can help give you an edge for the most competitive job locations like Tokyo. These include TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), TESL (Teaching English as A Second Language) and TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

 

As well as enjoying Japan in your spare time, teachers can expect to earn between ¥200,000 to ¥600,000 per month.

 

Why teach English in Japan?

 

Whether you’re looking to develop your career or start a fresh chapter, teaching in Japan could be the answer.

 

Moving to Japan can be very rewarding, and there’s a high demand for English teachers. As well as the technology-filled cities, Japan is filled with peaceful rural areas with deep-rooted traditions. Here’s what our candidates say about their time in Japan:

 

Types of Teaching Jobs in Japan

 

There are many education jobs and teaching positions in Japan. These include jobs in Japanese international schools, private schools, government schools and other teaching opportunities. Here are some of the most popular ways to teach in Japan.

 

  • Interac ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) 
  • JET (Japanese Exchange & Teaching) Programme
  • Business English Teachers
  • Public & Private School English Teaching Jobs
  • Private Lessons

Depending on your skill level, qualifications, and interests, you’ll have many different options for teaching in Japan, including:

 

ALT (Assistant Language Teacher)

 

Interac is a leading provider of ALTs in Japan. In this role, you work as an assistant to a Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) in a Japanese public school. Find out more about what is an ALT, how to become one, and our salary for English teachers.

 

English Conversation Schools (Eikaiwas)

 

These schools help the public education system improve English grammar and conversation skills. Eikaiwas teach adults and children from schools, businesses, and people interested in learning English. They teach daytime and evening classes.

 

Teach English In Japan Short-Term

 

You can do this through an internship or at a summer camp. Surprisingly, a short-term job in Japan can sometimes be harder to find than a 12-month contract, but there are still many opportunities. Or you may be interested in a working holiday in Japan.

 

Teach English Online

 

There are many opportunities to teach Japanese online or teach English online to Japanese people. You can work part-time and from home too. Sounds nice, right? However, most of these online positions are part-time and do not offer visa sponsorship.

 

International School Jobs In Japan

 

There are many international schools in the more urban areas of Japan like Tokyo. Many of them deliver American, British, and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, which you might be familiar with if you have any international school experience.

 

English Teaching Jobs In Japanese Universities

 

The entry requirements for teaching at universities are high. But, if you can secure the job, you’ll likely benefit from great pay. You will likely need a PhD to be hired by a university to teach in Japan, but there are ALT dispatch-type companies available.

 

 

 ALT Job Requirements, Salary & More

 
An Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) is a native-level English speaker working in Japanese classrooms with students.
 
Interac’s ALTs teach throughout Japan, including elementary and junior high schools. They teach with the support of a Japanese teacher and often join in extracurricular activities, serving as cultural ambassadors to promote international understanding.

 

 

Why teach in Japan with Interac?

 
With our roots in publishing and as the nationwide industry leader in ALT placement, Interac will place you in a local board of education area and equip you with access to the latest teaching resources. Our materials are created in-house and complement the Ministry of Education’s Course of Study. Read on for our latest teaching English in Japan jobs.
 
Interac ALTs have the unique opportunity to be ingrained in the local community. You will not only make an impact by teaching exciting English lessons to Japanese kids, but also outside the classroom by participating in local events, festivals, and activities. 
 
As the door to the world for the entire community, you will get to impart valuable knowledge into people’s lives, and in turn, you also get to gain a lot of knowledge from them as well. That’s how you change lives – one person at a time. Find out more below.
 

Teach at a Japanese public school

Our teachers will usually find themselves placed in elementary and junior high schools, or on occasion high schools, often leading the lesson in the primary (or T1) teaching position. You’ll be able to get a lot of experience preparing materials and activities, actually presenting the material and working through it with students. You can expect to have as few as two or three classes in a day or as many as five. Many teachers also rotate between schools during the week which makes for a change in scenery.

A major benefit of working with Interac in a public school is the valuable international working experience you’ll take with you wherever you go. Working in a Japanese public school teaches you about the local culture, and living in Japan gives you a chance to meet other teachers from across the globe.

 

You’ll also notice one major difference to life as an ALT compared to the language school or eikaiwa route, and that is you’ll have your evenings and weekends to yourself for getting out and exploring the area or finding a new activity. Another is you’ll know your work schedule, including holidays, months in advance.

Japanese students in classroom posing for the camera

Interac ALTs also have the unique opportunity to be ingrained in the local community. You will not only make an impact by delivering exciting English lessons, but also outside of the classroom by participating in local events, festivals, and activities. As the door to the world for the entire community, you will get to impart valuable knowledge into people’s lives, and in turn, you also get to gain a lot of knowledge from them as well. That’s how you change lives – one person at a time.

 

Whether you already have experience in teaching or not, our industry-leading training program will prepare you to thrive as an ALT and help you continuously grow in your role.

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Online training before you arrive in Japan

Once accepted and assigned a confirmed placement, things really get moving! Approximately six weeks prior to your arrival in Japan, you will receive a message from our Training Unit introducing our pre-departure e-learning program. 

 

There you will find a range of useful online modules outlining required materials to bring to initial training, as well as offering an outline of the basic aspects of teaching and living in Japan. This is designed to help familiarize you with many of the topics you’ll encounter once you arrive and to make the most of your time during the initial orientation and training session. 

 

The e-learning program is a valuable asset that gets you up to speed with the terms and concepts you’ll need for the job.

Practice lessons before you teach students

Interac’s initial orientation and training equips ALTs with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to become great teachers. By the end of initial training you will be aware of what to expect when you reach your new community and able to begin your teaching career on the right foot.

 

You will learn about how to interact with your colleagues and students, methods for preparing, presenting and assessing your lessons. Through a combination of lecture style presentation and hands-on practice you’ll dive into applying the theory and techniques from the start. 

 

Training culminates in “the Demo Lesson”! This is your chance to showcase what you have learned throughout the week, where you’ll teach a condensed lesson with the full support of your fellow trainees who will play the part of your students. This final event always proves to be a great deal of fun and more importantly, a tremendous confidence builder.

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Ongoing support and teacher community

Ongoing training occurs throughout your assignment and provides opportunities to reconnect with other ALTs while improving your skills. 

 

Just as your Japanese counterparts and other teachers around the world continuously refine and develop their techniques, this periodic training builds on the knowledge and skills you gained at the initial orientation and training session and gives you new ways to apply them to your teaching environment. 

 

Ongoing training may be monthly for an hour or two or they may be half or full-day workshop style events once each term. These sessions also provide an opportunity to share activity and lesson ideas, and share life tips you have picked up while living in Japan.

Ready-made teaching materials and plans

Interac provides access to a wealth of fully prepared lesson plans for kindergarten through high school that address every grammar point in the Ministry of Education’s course of study. In addition, a plethora of activity and lesson ideas, flashcards and even performance assessment tools are also available. 

 

The strength of our lesson plans is their flexibility. Whether you’re completely new to teaching, or just need some ideas you’ll be able to use our materials in your classes.

Whether you’re looking to grow as a teacher or for international work experience, we will support your journey, all the way.

 

Apply and join Interac to enrich the lives of hundreds of school children as an ALT.


FAQs


What qualifications will I need to teach English?


In order to teach English in Japan, you will need at a minimum a bachelor’s degree in any subject. You will also need to be a native level English speaker. As well as this, it will help if you have one of the certifications mentioned above (TEFL, CELTA, TESL, TESOL.). The most popular of these being TEFL. Visit TEFL.org to find out more and get started with this qualification.


Do I need a degree for teaching jobs in Japan?


In most cases, you can’t teach in Japan without a degree. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for any ESL jobs in Japan. As long as you have a degree in any subject, you will qualify for education jobs in Japan.


Do I need to speak Japanese to teach English?


No, you don’t need to speak Japanese to be an English teacher in Japan. Although, it does help. We would recommend that you gain a good level of Japanese language skills to better your chances of getting a job.


Will I need a visa to become a teacher in Japan?


Depending on how and where you want to teach English in Japan, you will need to select the right visa. There are two categories of work visas for teaching English in Japan.


Instructor Visa – An instructor visa permits English teachers to work in Japanese public schools.

Specialist In Humanities Visa – A Specialist in Humanities visa permits English teachers to work in Japanese private language institutions.


Is an English teaching job in Japan right for you?


There are so many great opportunities to be an English teacher in Japan, and the personal benefits are amazing too!


If you want to work in Japan, the jobs aren’t limited to those described above. Our friendly team exists to help you find your perfect teaching career in Japan, so contact one of our consultants today! Or do our test below to see if being an ALT is right for you.