Teaching English in the United Kingdom

Teaching English in United Kingdom

United Kingdom Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Summer Schools across England and in Edinburgh$1200 – $2000

There is a surprising amount of TEFL work available in the United Kingdom although much of it is seasonal. The longer-term contracts generally involve teaching English to foreign workers and students.

Unfortunately, the pay is abysmal when you consider the cost of living, particularly in London and other cities. Summer Schools are very popular with British TEFL teachers who want a short break from teaching abroad. For those with considerable experience, some language centers offer great opportunities for professional development and some will even encourage you to study for the DELTA qualification.

Of course, one question remains to lurk at the back of one’s mind when considering teaching English in the United Kingdom. Why would a person choose a less well-paid career in the UK when there are more interesting and financially fruitful opportunities across the rest of the world?

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?EU National?Experience?
YesYesYes1-2 Years

The best location for teaching in the United Kingdom depends on you. Do you like the hustle and bustle of city life or would you prefer the idyllic natural beauty and peace and quiet of the countryside? Bear in mind that jobs in more rural locations are generally only available during the summer months (June-August).

Accommodation is expensive. The benefits of Summer School jobs is that many of them offer (shared) accommodation as part of the contract. Make sure you ask about this during your interview and do your sums to work out how much it may benefit you financially not to have to find a place of your own.

Most of the work is from May to September (or around then). Bear this in mind and apply it to relevant language schools well in advance.

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 but this can take several weeks.

Accommodation in London is particularly expensive, by any standards. Transport costs are also very high.

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

Pros and Cons of Teaching in the United Kingdom


  • Excellent infrastructure – daily tasks can be accomplished easily
  • Summer Schools in the UK are an excellent way to spend a couple of months between longer contracts
  • The TEFL industry in the UK places a huge emphasis on quality and there are opportunities for professional development


  • Lots of red tape for non-EU nationals
  • Low pay when compared with living costs
  • Why stay in the UK to teach when there is a whole world of fascinating experiences elsewhere?