Top 5 Countries Where ESL Teachers Are in Demand

As soon as you think of TEFL certification, a couple of questions pop in your head. Is there even any demand for ESL/TEFL/TESOL teachers? Is it worth it to do the TEFL course in the USA and later struggle to secure a teaching job?

Well, the answer is simple, a big mammoth size YES. Why am I so sure? Let me explain why.

There are over 3 billion speakers of English today and 2 billion more are expected to be learning. That means a quarter of the world’s population already speaks English and another quarter wants to learn a language you can teach in your sleep.

116 countries out of 195 have English as the language of study. This lingua franca is the language of the internet, the media, international communication, and business. English is the invisible thread that is knotting the global world together. It has gradually surfaced as the universal language of the world.

Demand for the language

The massive demand for the language amongst its learners and admirers naturally translates into an even bigger demand for its teachers. Once you complete your TEFL certification, the teaching opportunities start snowballing.

The best part about teaching English is that you get to travel to any part of the world (physically or virtually, the call is yours). That is why the TEFL course in the USA has become one of the most sought-after courses.

Need I go on more about the demand for ESL teachers in today’s world? I hope not.

Moving on to business, here’s a compiled list of the top 5 countries where ESL teachers are most in demand.

5 Countries with the highest demand for English teachers

We have done the legwork for you and catalogued the most in-demand countries for teaching jobs abroad or online teaching opportunities. In this list, we have also included several best teaching companies online that are currently hiring.

Before we jump into the list, most of these jobs expect you to have completed a TEFL course in the USA. Also, most of these countries would not grant a work VISA without a TEFL certification.

1. China

ESL Teachers

The world’s most populous country is also emerging as the second-largest economy of the world. With English being the international language of business, culture is developing in China for more English learners and speakers. China clearly is the largest job market for English teachers globally with over 300 million people, at present, learning the language in-person and online.

Wow, right?

If you want to immerse yourself in one of the world’s oldest cultures, then China is the place for you. China is the most lucrative English teaching job market. Not only are the teachers given the highest regard, but they are also very well paid.

Even if you are not teaching at a private school or college, the average salary for teachers with TEFL certification is exceedingly high ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 per month. In addition to this, teachers enjoy other benefits such as free housing, comparatively low cost of living, and flight reimbursement.

You can never go wrong with teaching English in China, no matter if you are a seasoned pro or a newbie. Companies are most keen to hire candidates who have completed their TEFL course in the USA.

Few of the online teaching companies in China are:

  • Gogokid
  • Whales English
  • iTutorGroup
  • BlaBla EdTech
  • DaDa
  • WeTalk English
  • QKids
  • HelloKid
  • QuQuABC
  • Hujiang

2. Japan

From Shogun castles to sushi bars, Japan is the epitome of ancient and exceptional cultural experience. The demand for English teachers in Japan is sky-high among young adults and adults. Students in Japan learn English to advance their career, boost their CV, as a hobby, and to get ready for travelling abroad.

Japan is one of the strongest teaching markets in Asia. ESL teachers easily earn salaries up to $2,000 to $2,500 per month and other benefits such as VISA aid, housing reimbursement, etc.

A TEFL certification along with a bachelor’s degree is typically needed for teaching in Japan. At least a 100-hours TEFL course in the USA is recommended to increase the chances of getting hired. Many companies also look for a positive TOEIC score in the candidate’s application.

Many Americans teach in Japan through the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program, the Interac Program, and other unaffiliated programs as well.

Other Japanese online English teaching companies are:

  • Hello English
  • Best Teacher
  • Cena Academy
  • English Everywhere
  • English Hunt

3. South Korea

Want to live in a high-tech country in the heart of Asia, hang your coat in an uber-modern city, and enjoy the finest barbeque on the globe? How about earning $2,000 to $3,000 plus a month’s bonus, round-trip free airfare, free apartment, and insurance?

Well, that is the deal for English teachers in South Korea.

The demand for English teachers is expanding as rapidly as is in China. Teaching options are not limited to EPIK or at a hagwon. Korean companies engaged in international business deals require candidates to have a TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) qualification.

Thus, many adults are learning the language as a means to prepare and clear this exam. In addition to this, parents in Korea are keen for their children to start learning English at an early age. Therefore, there is also a huge demand for teaching English to children in South Korea.  

One of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities is waiting for you, all you need is a TEFL certification.

Korean online English teaching companies are:

  • Engliphone
  • Boktutors
  • English Hunt
  • OnCub
  • Eineteacher
  • CarrotEnglish

4. Taiwan

TEFL powerhouses such as South Korea, China, and Japan come to mind when you think of teaching English abroad in Asia. However, Taiwan is gradually but certainly challenging them as the top teaching location abroad. High salaries of $1,500 to $2,000 per month and bonus at the end of teaching contracts are few of the many perks of teaching in Taiwan.

A subtropical island off the coast of mainland China, Taiwan is culturally rich and vibrant with advanced state-of-the-art technology. It is one of the most established and oldest teaching markets in Asia with a massive demand for English teachers.

Taiwanese citizens flock towards English due to Taiwan’s close link with the US and its Southbound policy. Parents want their children to be proficient in English from an early age as it opens doors for them to study abroad or work internationally going forward.  

Thus, teachers who have completed their TEFL course in USA are exceedingly well paid here. TEFL teachers find both children and adults as students in Taiwan.

Online English teaching companies in Taiwan:

  • TutorABC
  • HiTutor
  • DMA1on1
  • Oikid

5. The United States and Canada

There are soaring numbers of English language students in countries like the US and Canada where English is the official language. Oh yes, ESL teachers are in enormous demand even in native English-speaking countries.

Don’t believe us? Let us present some facts.

20% of the kid’s populace or one in every 5 children communicates in a language other than English at home in the US. This means English isn’t their first language and hence, they face trouble understanding school classes in these countries where English is the native language.

Moreover, the US is the world’s leading economy and Canada is right behind. This, naturally, brings a swarm of people looking for better employment and lifestyle opportunities to the developed world. Immigration brings folks of different language backgrounds and nationalities to North America. Most of whom are excited and eager to blend fully into life in Canada and the US by learning the language of the masses.

The National Centre for Education Statistics’ data points out that 10% of students in US public schools are English language learners. Therefore, it is no surprise that English teaching is a top-notch job in the US and Canada. This makes the TEFL course in the USA equally important to grab a high-paying job here.

Online English teaching companies for students based in North America are:

  • Magic Ears
  • Cambly
  • Duolingo
  • Skooli
  • eBerlitz


ESL teachers have thousands of job opportunities if not millions in not just these countries but over 50 countries globally. All you need is a TEFL certification and the right TEFL course in the USA to explore the destination of your dreams. You can travel the world, embrace new cultures and languages, and make awesome new friends. Or you can visit virtually even the remotest corners of the world. It is time to check ‘Teach English abroad’ off your bucket list.