How old do you need to be to TEFL?

Simply answered – you can TEFL at any age!

Although there aren’t any strict age limits, there are some things to consider if you’re an especially young or more mature aspiring TEFL teacher. Regardless of age though, you’ll need a TEFL qualification before you even start thinking about teaching abroad.

Am I too old to TEFL?

You’re never too old to TEFL! Some people think that TEFLing is only for “young” people. While our courses are popular with people in their 20s and 30s, we’ve trained teachers of all ages that have spread their TEFL wings across the globe. Take Alan for example, he got his TEFL certification at 54 and jetted off to Thailand to teach. In fact, having previous work experience will be an advantage and you’ll more than likely be desirable by lots of companies. The only thing you need to consider is visa restrictions, for many countries in Asia it can be difficult to get a visa if you’re over 60. This is because some countries have strict retirement rules so employers aren’t allowed to sponsor work visas for teachers above the retirement age.

Pro tips

  • Research visa requirements before applying for jobs – you’ll save yourself time if you apply for roles you can actually get
  • Be flexible and open about your destination
  • Although it’s not impossible it can be harder to find teaching jobs in Asia, try looking in Europe instead

Mature TEFL teacher with Thai students

Am I too young to TEFL?

Anyone over the age of 16* can enrol on our TEFL courses. It’s a great idea to get qualified and start gaining experience from a young age, but if you’re under 18 you’ll be unable to find a paid TEFL job. Don’t let this dishearten you though, you may still be able to build your CV by volunteering – your school could even help you!

Aged 18-20? Although you’ll definitely be able to find some jobs that accept younger teachers, lots of companies have a minimum hiring age of 21. Not only is your age a factor, but your lack of experience can also hinder your job search. Why not instead look into doing an Internship which will include your TEFL qualification, a fixed position with a school and accommodation – a great way to gain experience without the stress of having to find our own job!

Aged over 21? You’re the perfect age to start teaching English abroad and if you’ve done some volunteer work or an Internship already, you’ll be in an even better position to start applying for the best jobs out there!

Pro tips

  • Get your TEFL qualification as soon as possible so you can start building your CV – the more experience you have the more likely you are to land a well-paid job
  • Build your experience through voluntary work or Internships
  • If you’re 18 to 21 and don’t have a degree, South America is a great place to find paid work
  • Consider summer camp positions

Young TEFL teacher outside with students

*with parental consent up to the age of 18!

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