How To Get a Job Teaching English In Japan

Teacher in the classroom discussing with a pupil
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Are you curious about the requirements for teaching English in Japan? Or are you interested in how to get a job teaching English in Japan?

Japan is one of the most popular destinations for teaching English abroad. The country has a high demand for English teachers and offers unique salaries and a range of fantastic benefits to foreigners who teach English in the country. 

In this article, we will provide you with the insights you need to understand the qualifications you need to teach English in Japan, including visa, education, and the ways you can get a job teaching English in Japan.

What Are The Types Of English Teaching Jobs Available In Japan?

Undoubtedly, there are several English teaching jobs in Japan. However, here are some of the English teaching jobs in the country:

1. Assistant Language Teacher (Alt)

Commonly recruited through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme which is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations. ALT works for public schools ranging from kindergarten to senior high schools. They help assist Japanese teachers with the teaching of English.

Average Salary: 230,000 – 300,000 JPY per month

2. Private Language Schools

Known as Eikaiwa in Japan. These are privately owned conversation schools that employ native English speakers to teach English to Children and adults alike. This type of English teaching job is popular in Japan.

Average Salary: 250,000 – 280,000 JPY per month

3. University System

Many foreign English teachers choose to enter the Japanese university system, as it is a step up from both ALT and Eikaiwa. It is a popular option for English teachers seeking a secure career in Japan. English teachers at the university level often enjoy low teaching hours, a competitive salary, and flexibility.

Average Salary: 300,000 – 600,000 JPY per month

4. Private Lessons

You can enter the private lesson system and teach individuals or small groups. This is also a popular option in Japan for English teachers, offering flexibility but needing strong self-promotion. 

Average Salary: 3,000 JPY per hour

5. Business English Teacher

English teachers who specialize in Business English focus on business terminology and corporate culture. This teaching job is usually taught onsite to employees of large companies, but you can also teach private English classes or business English online.

Average Salary: 3,800 JPY per hour.

Do You Need To Speak Japanese To Teach English?

No, you do not need to speak Japanese to teach English in Japan. Although learning Japanese will help you understand the country’s people and culture, it is not a compulsory requirement. Because most Japanese schools want you to engage in English with your students all the time. So even if you are good at speaking Japanese, you will be asked not to use it in class. 

What Are The Best Location To Teach English In Japan?

Japan is a unique destination for teaching English. The country has a high demand for English language education. Here are a few places in Japan to consider when looking for teaching jobs 

1. Tokyo

Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, is the most popular and largest in the world. However, despite its vast popularity, Tokyo is considered one of the safest and wealthiest cities in the world. The city has a high demand for English language education, as few speak English. 

2. Kyoto

Kyoto once served as Japan’s capital. It is a city on the island of Honshu. Kyoto is known for its cultural and historical sites; it is a popular destination for tourists. The city has a high demand for English language education.

3. Osaka

This is Japan’s Largest Metropolitan area after Tokyo. Osaka is a popular destination for English teachers. The city is known for its modern architecture, vibrant expat community, and culture.

4. Yokohama

As one of Japan’s biggest port towns, Yokohama is a good destination for English teachers. The city has a population of 3.8 million. It lies on Tokyo Bay, South of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu.

Moreover, there are more places in Japan with a high demand for English language education and this is just a small list, but overall, Japan is a great place to teach English.

How To Get a Job Teaching English In Japan

Below is a guide on how to get a job teaching English in Japan:

Meet The Minimum Requirements

In terms of requirements for teaching English, Japan is not as demanding as some other Asian countries. However, do have its requirements.

These are the following requirements you will need to meet to teach English in Japan:

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in any subject from an accredited university.
  • Have a TEFL/TESOL Certificate 
  • Native-level English proficiency is required or a near native-level English proficiency.
  • You should be 20 years and above.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • You must pass the basic health test.

Meeting the requirements mentioned above will prepare you for a rewarding English teaching career in Japan.

1. Get TEFL Certified

Since Japan is a sought-after location for teaching English, competition for jobs can be fierce, and it is better to exceed the qualifications listed on job postings. 

To start with, prospective English teachers in Japan need to earn an accredited TEFL Certificate. This should be at least 120 hours and will go a long way in helping you secure a good position as it will be more marketable when you apply for a job in Japan. 

Also, the TEFL Certificate program can be done in-person or online, including coursework, practical teaching experience, and observation.

Relevant: Top 10 TEFL Certification Courses in Nigeria

2. Build a Teaching Resume And Cover Letter

The first step to applying for English teaching jobs in Japan is to create a teaching resume and cover letter. This demonstrates to prospective employers that you understand Japanese norms, and can adapt to a new environment. So when writing your resume and cover letter, make sure to include relevant information and experience.

Also, you should include the work experience you have in the Teaching field (if you have any) and also provide details about your professional experience. 

Always remember to put your TEFL certificate at the front and center and emphasize the related skills gained through other jobs; skills like leadership, management, and creativity can show prospective employers that you have what it takes to succeed as an English Teacher.

3. Begin Your Job Search 

You can search and apply for jobs in several ways. The most popular ways to find English teaching jobs in Japan are:

  • Websites: You can get a reputable English teaching job in Japan by using job websites like Indeed, which allows you to create a profile so employers can find you. Many websites will allow you to filter your search results by the position you are looking for. So try typing English Teaching jobs in Japan, to ensure you only get results containing the word. 
  • Recruitment Agency: Legit recruitment agencies can be a great help for foreigners who wish to teach English in Japan. This option is helpful and will provide you with full assurance, as it will help you find the type of English Teaching Job that matches your qualifications and goal. Therefore, Choose a reputable agency that already has experience working with foreigners who wish to work in Japan.
  • Work With your TEFL Provider: Reputable TEFL providers can be a great resource when looking for a job teaching English in Japan. Because your TEFL provider can provide you with job placements after you finish your certificate.

4. Prepare For Interviews

Irrespective of the way you conducted your job search, you will need to pass an interview to get the job. If you live outside of Japan, employers usually schedule interviews online. 

As you prepare for your interview, be aware of time differences. For example, if you live in South Africa, Japan is 7 hours ahead of South Africa, so find a time that works well for you and the employer.

During your interview, make sure you have a stable internet connection to avoid disruptions. And also, dress professionally for the interview.

Furthermore, read your resume and cover letter and make sure you can answer any questions related to that. And lastly, practice common interview questions, questions like, why do you wish to teach in Japan, why should we hire you, and what impact can you make in our school.

5. Apply For Your Visa

The best way to teach English legally in Japan is to apply for a work visa. There are two types of visas that TEFL teachers can receive, with each permitting you to work in a different educational setting. 

A Visa in a black bag
Passport for international travels

Types Of Visa

1. The Instructor Visa

The instructor visa is one of the most common visas in Japan and allows you to work as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in public institutions like high schools and elementary. 

To qualify for this, the applicant must have a university degree and should apply 3 to 5 months before their desired traveling date. The period of stay for an Instructor visa holder is either five years, three years, or one year.


  • A Valid Passport
  • The applicant has a license on the education to be instructed. 
  • A certified letter of graduation from your university
  • A Job Offer from a recognized public education institution 

Relevant: Requirements for International Passport in Nigeria

2. Specialist in Humanities Visa

The specialist in Humanities Visa is one of the most sought-after visas in Japan, which allows you to work for private schools and companies like Eikaiwas and business teaching programs. 

To qualify, the applicant must have a degree from an accredited university. The period of stat for a Specialist in Humanities visa holder is either five years, three years, or one year. 

The requirements to get this visa are essentially the same as that of the instructor visa. All you need is a valid passport, a job offer, a bachelor’s degree in any subject, a certificate that shows you are physically and mentally okay, and proof of savings.


Getting a job teaching English in Japan is not as difficult as it may seem. However, aspiring teachers must ensure to meet up with the requirements of becoming an English teacher in the country. This article has provided a guide on how to get a job teaching English in Japan, and we hope it serves as a guide to you.


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