Fatten Your Wallet by Working Short-term TEFL Summer Jobs

Are you tired of staring at an empty summer calendar?

There’s a way you can turn your summer into the adventure of a lifetime—and even get paid for it!

If you’re a native English speaker who enjoys interacting with interesting people, you can apply for a summer job as an English teacher!

How to Increase Your Earnings and Experience by Working TEFL Summer Jobs

What You’ll Get From Teaching over the Summer

Whether you’re a recent college graduate, a retiree or somewhere in between, teaching summer lessons offers flexibility while giving you the opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of many students.

If this sound exciting to you, read further to see what you’ll gain from teaching English this summer.

Exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experiences

Teaching ESL is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Every day is a chance to learn something new from students eager to teach you about their culture and background. You’ll be kept on your toes trying to find new ways to connect with your students, as well as exploring exciting new ways to keep the lessons interesting and relevant for them.

There’s never a dull moment.

The opportunity to travel to new places

Depending on the type of ESL job you take, you may get to travel to countries you’ve only dreamed of visiting.

In essence, you’re getting paid to live in another country. While coming up with exciting teaching material, you also get to experience firsthand life as a local, learning about customs, traditions, regional cuisines and so much more.

More flexibility than you’d find with other jobs

If you have a family or other commitments, online ESL teaching is a great way to keep a flexible schedule.

Many students live in different time zones, meaning you may have more classes early in the morning or late at night—sometimes even on weekends. But the good news is that you generally have more flexibility with your work hours than you would with a 9-5 job. And some online teaching companies even let you choose your own schedule!

Even if you’re working in the community or teaching ESL summer camps abroad, you’re likely to have flexible, part-time hours.

It’s a great way to earn extra cash

Whether you’re picking up a few hours online or at your nearest language-learning center, or you’re trying to boost your budget while traveling abroad, teaching English summer camps are an excellent way to earn some quick money.

Even better, summer programs with live-in facilities often provide you with room and board on top of your earnings!

You get to share your knowledge and culture with others

Along with learning the grammar and rules of English, many of your students willl also want to know more about your country and culture, especially if you’re from the United States or England! One of the best things about ESL teaching, in my opinion, is this exchange of knowledge.

Both students and teachers learn from the experience.

Great opportunity to explore a new career path

A summer TESL job is perfect for people who’ve just graduated and want to see whether they enjoy working as an educator. It’s also a great opportunity for anyone considering a career change.

Summer courses allow you to get some teaching experience under your belt in your spare time, which is great for helping you decide whether you want to make the jump to teaching English as a career.

Different Types of Teaching Positions and Their Requirements

Many ESL teaching jobs require teachers to be native-English speakers.

While there positions for second-language English speakers, you’ll find very few positions that don’t require teachers to have at least a bachelors degree. Some programs even prefer the degree to be in English, education or a related field.

Due to the growing popularity of TEFL, the job market has become more competitive—even for short-term programs like summer lessons. In fact, companies are now giving preference to candidates with teaching experience and might even ask you to prepare a sample lesson as part of the interviewing process.

What about certifications?

Many reputable ESL companies require their teachers to be certified even for summer lessons.

Generally speaking, in the TEFL field, certified doesn’t necessarily mean a teaching certificate unless you’re applying to a university position. Instead, it’s referring to an online or in-person certificate stating you’ve been trained to teach English as a foreign language.

In case you’re wondering, there are several short-term, affordable programs online that provide certification.

  • TEFL.org is another popular training academy based in the UK which offers online and in-classroom programs

There are also several certificate programs offered through various universities. For example, the University of San Diego and Florida State University both offer intensive TEFL certificate programs.

Best of all, many of these programs send you job leads after completing their courses.

Of course, some TEFL jobs don’t require certification so make sure to check the requirements before applying.

Different Types of Classroom Settings for Summer Courses

Now that we’ve covered the background on TEFL summer courses, lets look at the different classroom settings you’d be working in.

Teaching online lessons over the summer

Of all the TEFL jobs, online lessons are the most flexible. All you need to get started is a reliable computer, a sturdy headset with a microphone and a strong internet connection.

There are dozens of online companies looking for teachers over the summer months. Most offer private one-on-one lessons, as well as group sessions in a virtual classroom. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose your hours and when you want to teach.

Typically, online teaching pays anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour, depending on your level of experience. If you’re interested in teaching ESL online check out these companies:

Education First

Education First is a large company with education centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. They’re constantly looking for new instructors, both online and for their physical schools. The starting salary is $12 an hour.


Tutors working at Cambly are hired to help students practice their conversational skills. Students work with you on a one-to-one basis, where you’re expected to answer questions and discuss a number of topics. The pay at Cambly is $0.17 cents per minute, which amounts to $10.20 per hour.


If you’re interested in working solely with young children, consider teaching at VIPKID over the summer. Teachers here work with students from 6 to 12 years old. The company is located in China, but the curriculum is based on the Common Core Curriculum in the United States. Classes are only 30 minutes and pay starts between $7-9 per lesson.

For a more comprehensive list of online English companies to work for this summer, visit Good Air Language’s list of online language schools.

Teaching at a local center

If you crave the structure and reliability of a more regular paycheck, consider working for a local English language learning center or school. There are several English language programs and schools in Australia, the United States, Canada and the UK.

FLS International has centers in Southern California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Tennessee. There’s also Kings Education, an international company with offices London, Oxford and various cities in the United States.

You can also check out LanguageCourse to see if there are any centers near you that are hiring for the summer months.

Another way to work in the community is by starting a summer conversational group for ESL learners in your area.  Provided you have access to a classroom to conduct your lessons, simply advertise your tutoring services on classified ads like Craigslist or Gumtree and build your own summer program.

Teaching a summer abroad

If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, take your teaching overseas for the summer!

There are dozens of summer camps abroad that seek native-English speakers to work as camp counselors.

Foreign schools may also be looking for part time teachers during the summer months. For example, I lived abroad in Europe and learned that several local schools and universities ran English language programs and were in search of native English speakers. Some programs pay for travel expenses and offer room and board, while others may offer a small salary.

Summer camps can be a lot of fun. You help students master English while engaging in the usual summer camp activities, such as swimming and arts and crafts (not to mention you get to experience a new culture and country). If you’re interested in ESL Summer camps, start by deciding where in the world you might want to go.

Once you determine a country, simply search Google for English summer camps in the country of your choice. Here are some resources to get you started:

  • The English Camp CompanyThis company offers camps in Italy and Austria. Camp counselors,  aka tutors, oversee and work with children ages 6 – 14 years old. English is used everyday at the camp and counselors must have a degree in English or education.
  • The American Village: Another option is the American Village English language camp, which has several locations throughout France. All you need is a high school diploma to qualify for this position, but some TEFL experience is desirable.
  • International House: World Organisation: For more international summer camp and summer school opportunities, try International House: World Organisation. This company offers different programs in dozens of cities all over the world, such as Cape Town, Bristol, Vancouver, Qingdao and Queretaro.

Get the Most from Your Summer

Whether you decide to go abroad or teach from the comfort of your living room, you can help students from around the world master English, as well as make a little extra money on the side.

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