Teaching English in Estonia

Teaching English in Estonia

Estonia Overview

The level of demand for native speakers in Estonia is reasonably high and growing all the time. Salaries are not high but, as is the case in most countries, the more experience you have the better salary you will be able to negotiate.

Tallinn itself is a fascinating city complete with medieval city walls and is where most of the opportunities are. Despite the harsh winters, Estonia is a great place to live and looks set for further growth as a popular tourist destination over the coming years.

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?EU National?Experience?

Non-EU nationals should try to arrange a job and a work permit several months before arriving.

Given the low salaries, you may need to supplement your income with extra, private one-to-one tuition.

You may want to take a look at the Estonian Association of Teachers of English (EATE) website too.

As with most countries in Europe, it is a lot easier for EU nationals to find work as the paperwork required is significantly less than when applying to employ non-EU nationals. Employers usually take care of work permit arrangements.

Living costs are low.

Employers generally pay your income tax for you and as usual, you should expect to be paid on a monthly basis.

Fun Fact About Estonia

One interesting fact about Estonia that would intrigue an English teacher is that Estonia is known as the world’s most digitally advanced society. With its e-governance system, Estonians can vote online, file taxes digitally, and even access their medical records online. This digital proficiency reflects Estonia’s commitment to technological innovation and could spark discussions on the potential impact of digitization on education and language learning.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in Estonia


  • Strong demand for English tuition
  • Fascinating architecture and history
  • Low living costs


  • Lots of red tape for non-EU nationals
  • Job offers are not usually made prior to your arrival in Estonia
  • Low salaries

Comparable Alternatives

1. Latvia

Latvia shares a similar geographic location and cultural heritage with Estonia. It has a rich history, Baltic Sea coastline, and a blend of influences from neighboring countries.

2. Lithuania

Lithuania is another Baltic nation that shares historical and cultural ties with Estonia. It has a similar climate, beautiful landscapes, and a rich folklore tradition.

3. Finland

Although not geographically adjacent to Estonia, Finland shares similarities in terms of culture, history, and language. Both countries have a strong emphasis on education, technology, and nature. Additionally, Finnish and Estonian languages are part of the same Finno-Ugric language family.