Teaching English in the USA

There are innumerable slices of the American pie and the country’s most visited destinations, like New York and Florida, only go some way towards characterizing this world superpower. Covering 6 times zones, 50 states and all the major climate zones from tropical to polar, America feels like several countries rolled into one. The thrill of seeing such iconic imagery as New York yellow taxis and the Hollywood sign up close is matched by discovering parts of the country and its people that are among its best kept secrets.

  • Lots of jobs IF you’re able to work here
  • Vast country with lots to see and do
  • Huge variety of students
  • Easy to get around
  • Less of a culture shock

Things you might not know about Teaching English in the United States

  • It is estimated that a quarter of all Americans have appeared on television!
  • Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous and were ‘put on trial’ in 1820’s New Jersey when a man had to eat a whole basket of tomatoes to prove they were safe!
  • The middle name of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president, is simply ‘S’! His parents couldn’t decide between Shippe and Solomon, so they plumped for the single letter!
  • The original London Bridge actually stands over Lake Havasu in Arizona.


There is huge demand for TEFL teachers here, but the market is competitive and it’s very difficult to get a visa


Main TEFL regions

All major cities – particularly New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Miami.


Types of teaching

ESL private language institutes: General English, Business English, TOEFL, ECCE

University language programs: General English, TOEFL, English for Specific Purposes

Migrant English programs: General English, TOEFL, English for Specific Purposes


You will usually have to organize your own apartment, which can be very expensive in the big cities. For example, a one-bedroom place in San Francisco will cost around $1000 per month!


Flight reimbursement

Not likely, as there are so many qualified American teachers to choose from.



$15-40 per hour. Newly qualified teachers shouldn’t accept less than US$18 per hour.



Novice teachers will pay about 13% of their wages as tax, at the higher end of the salary range, it’ll be more like 17%.


Cost of living

The cost of living is high, but cheaper than much of Western Europe. A beer in a bar will cost about $5, a cheap fast food meal is about $3, while a loaf of bread is about $1.50.


Potential to save money

You’re unlikely to save any money unless you’re well-qualified and thus well-paid, or you’re able to get free accommodation (e.g. living at your parents’ house if you’re hail from the US)/


How much TEFL training is recommended?

As there is so much competition, you should get as much training as possible. TEFL Zorritos 120 Hour Onsite Course will provide you with the training you need to find a great job in the USA.


Common teaching conditions

A full-time position will involve about 25 contact hours per week. If you’re working for private language institutes, you’ll probably only be able to get part time hours, so you’ll have to work for multiple schools

Be aware…

Despite what you hear on the news, the USA is a safe place to visit. Just take the usual precautions when out late at night or on your own. Visas

How do I find work?

There are plenty of jobs advertised on the main TEFL job sites, as well as general job websites such as monster.com and postmeup.com.


Can I find work while in-country?

Absolutely. Obviously you can search via the internet, or you could simply look in the local Yellow Pages. There are more than 150 language institutes in New York alone!


What is the usual hiring process?

Simply send off your CV and if the school likes you, they’ll arrange an interview.


Is a work visa required to find paid work in?

Yes, but it is extremely difficult for teachers who are not citizens of the USA to find teaching work here.


Work visa requirements:

  • Offer of job in a specialized area where there’s a lack of native workers (i.e. not English teaching!)


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 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost! And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

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