Teaching English in Canada

From fairy tale landscapes to cosmopolitan cities, there’s much more to Canada than maple leafs and Mounties. It’s long been overshadowed by its North American neighbor but it stands proud as a diverse country that’s packed full of experiences to tell your grandchildren about – whether it be getting drenched at Niagara Falls or spotting black bears in the Rockies.

The clinch is that there’s also a lot of leg room. It’s the world’s second largest country, but with a fraction of the population at around half that of the United Kingdom. It even has national parks bigger than some European countries.

  • Well-paid jobs for the well-qualified
  • Easy to get a working holiday visa if your country is part of the scheme
  • Newfoundland & Labrador – rarely visited, but beautiful. And it’s the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights
  • Montréal – brilliantly cosmopolitan city with a fantastic variety of food.
  • Dawson City – beautiful town set amongst some of Canada’s most stunning scenery

 Things you might not know about Teaching English in Canada

  • The jail in Creemore, Ontario is considered to be one of the smallest in the world, measuring only 4.5m x 6m!
  • According to the UN, Canada has one of the best qualities of life in the world.
  • Newfoundland in Canada has some very bizarre place names, such as Blow-me-down, Nancy Oh, Run-by-guess and, er… Dildo!
  • Canada is just a huge as it seems – it’s the second largest country in the world with an area of almost 10 million square kilometres!


There are lots of teaching jobs in Canada, but there are also lots of TEFL schools, so you’ll have to compete with the thousands of locals who graduate as teachers each year.



Main TEFL regions

Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg

Types of teaching

Private language schools: General English, Business English, TOEFL

In-company: General English, Business English

Government-sponsored immigrant programs: General English, English for Academic Purpose


You’ll usually be left to your own devices when it comes to finding accommodation. A small apartment in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver will cost about Cn$600 per month. Look in local newspapers or on craiglist if you’re trying to find a place.


Flight reimbursement

Not common



Cn$25-50 per hour in Public Sector Schools, but you will have to be very well qualified to work here.

Cn$12-40 per hour in Private Language Schools. Most newly-qualified TEFL teachers will earn around Cn$20 per hour.



Most teachers will pay about 15% of their salary as tax.


Cost of living

Costs are slightly lower than in the USA’s big cities, and much lower than most of Western Europe. A cheap restaurant meal starts at Cn$10, going to see a movie will be about Cn$8.50, while a beer in a bar will set you back about Cn$5


Potential to save money

Unless you’re very well-qualified and thus well paid, you’re unlikely to be able to save any money.


How much TEFL training is recommended?

You will need a degree and a TEFL certificate at the very least. The job market in Canada is very competitive, so you should take comprehensive training – such as that provided in the 160-hour TEFL Zorritos onsite course, that includes 5 advanced TEFL certifications.  If you want to work in the public sector, you’ll either need a TESL Canada approved course or you’ll have to pay TESL Canada to confirm that your MA course is sufficient (approx Cn$300).

Common teaching conditions

A full-time position will see you working for 25 hours per week. However, it can be difficult to find these positions, so many teachers end up working for more than one school. This will involve a fair bit of travelling between classes.


How do I find work?

If you want to find a job before you arrive, have a look at the main TEFL job sites. Employers will usually only take on well-qualified teachers before they leave their home country.


Can I find work while in-country?

If you qualify for a working holiday visa, this is the best option. Simply look for language schools in the Yellow Pages or ask around once you’ve arrived.


What is the usual hiring process?

It’s the usual process of applying for jobs and going for interviews.


Is a work visa required to find paid work?

Yes. If you’re from one of the scheme’s participating countries, your best option is a 12-month Working Holiday Visa.  If you’re not from one of these countries, it will be very difficult to obtain a visa.  Working holiday visa requirements:

  • From Austria, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa, Ukraine or the United States
  • Aged 30 or under
  • Have no children
  • Proof of funds (approx Cn$4,000)
  • Adequate travel insurance


TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 5 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a guaranteed job waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

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