One of the earliest settlements of human civilization, Turkey is a beautiful country waiting for you to explore. It is located between Western Asia and Southeast Europe, making it a perfect destination to travel from. That’s also why many people consider teaching English in Turkey.
The Turkish are a welcoming people that will be happy to have you. Whether in the bustling city of Istanbul, or the less populated outskirts of the country, you will be able to find teaching English in Turkey jobs. It is a great opportunity to grow your teaching skills and get prepared to teach abroad again.
If you want to learn more about how to teach English in Turkey, keep reading!
Teaching English in Turkey
Turkey is becoming a leading economy and is a leading power in the region. The country is growing its citizen’s ability to read, write and speak English to more thoroughly participate in the global economy.
Istanbul is a perfect city for international travel. It is centrally located in Western Asia and Southeast Europe, meaning you can travel easily to both places. It is a great option should you wish to travel while on break from teaching. It’s a nice base to travel to places like Morocco, Israel, and other locations in the Middle East as well.
Although the country has encountered problems in the past regarding safety, you can expect a safe environment. Although it borders unstable countries, it has power in the region and wields influence.
Teaching ESL in Turkey is a great opportunity for English teachers. Keep reading to find out more!
Requirements for teaching ESL in Turkey
Turkey has a fairly high demand for English teachers. This is because the Government and citizens are warming up to using English as a way to communicate with the world. Requirements for teaching here are not extremely stringent. However, it’s important to understand them before you apply. The following requirements are the minimum for teaching ESL in Turkey:
- TEFL certificate
- Work Visa and work permit and residence permit
- BA – in any field
A residence permit is required if you are planning on spending more than 90 days in Turkey during a 180-day period.
There are a number of other qualifications that Turkish employers consider as assets. These are as follows:
- Native English speaker
- Prior teaching experience
- Masters degree
Make sure you pay attention to the requirements above and communicate regularly with your employer. You don’t want to miss any of them at risk of jeopardizing your employment.
Salary and Benefits for teaching English in Turkey
Salaries in Turkey aren’t as lucrative as in other parts of the world, such as Japan, so you’ll want to find the schools that offer better benefits. The following salaries are offered in Turkey:
- Language schools: $600-$1100USD per month
- International schools: $750-$1250USD per month
- Universities/colleges: $1500-$2000USD per month
University and College jobs are hard to come by in Turkey, so you should expect to earn somewhere between $600-$1250 per month. Be sure to find the schools that offer great benefits, like the following:
- Health insurance
- Housing/housing allowance
- Paid vacation
- Return airfare
To be clear, not all employers in Turkey will offer the above benefits. Reputable and well-known schools will most likely offer great benefits to attract great ESL teachers. There are, however, a fair amount of schools that are either starting up or aren’t well-regarded. Keep an eye out for reputable schools that offer decent salaries with great benefits.
The salary and benefits are very similar to teaching ESL In Egypt.
Teaching Opportunities in Turkey
There are some awesome teaching opportunities in Turkey. You need to do your research on every individual school to ensure they are reputable and will follow through on their commitments. You’ll also want to make sure you are being compensated fairly in both salary and benefits. The reputable schools are usually fair in their compensation, but you’ll need to do your research before accepting a job in a school that isn’t as well known.
Language schools are the most popular jobs in Turkey for ESL teachers. They’re a great opportunity for newer teachers to expand their experiences and build up their resumes before exploring higher-paid opportunities. These schools are usually for teaching adults who want to expand their language skills in order to get better jobs. Consider teaching at the more established schools as they are more likely to provide adequate salaries and benefits.
Teaching in international schools is one of the best options as they are usually the best paid with the best benefits. There is fairly intense competition for positions in international schools, so these would be a better option for those with higher qualifications and experience.
If a longer-term position is of interest to you, consider universities as an option in Turkey. Most jobs are given internally, but it can happen that a foreigner gets a position. You’ll need a master’s and lots of prior teaching experience for these positions. They’re usually salaried with great benefits. A university position is a good option if you are interested in staying in Turkey for a longer period of time.
Most ESL teachers earn a bit of extra cash on the side via private tutoring. The average rate is about $5-$20USD per hour, depending on experience. If your salary is on the lower side, you may need to consider this as an option.
Things to consider for teaching ESL in Turkey
Turkey is one of the countries where you need to seriously consider the pros and cons before you accept a position. There are many variables at play here. You should be content with your circumstances if you are accepting a position in Turkey.
- Turkey’s politics have been changing drastically over the past decade. It is generally a fairly stable nation. However, there have been moments of deep divides in society that have led to protests and violence.
- Protests and demonstrations are common and those participating are sometimes mistreated by the police. Be careful to avoid the protests and demonstrations and definitely do not participate. Be sure to check the Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisory page before planning travel.
- Most of the country is extremely conservative. Women are required to dress as such in most parts of Turkey. Be mindful of the local laws and norms.
- Homosexuality is legal in Turkey. This is similar to other countries like Saudi Arabia. However, it isn’t well received. Be careful if you are part of this community.
- Classroom teaching can be difficult, as it is teacher-centred and usually lacks a group-work component. A self-starter and individual worker are best suited to most classrooms here.
- You are likely to experience a great amount of culture shock, both in and out of the classroom.
FAQs for Teaching English in Turkey
Here is a quick guide to some commonly asked questions about teaching English in Turkey.
How much do English teachers earn in Turkey?
ESL teachers earn around $800-$1200USD per month (on average) in Turkey. It’s important to pay attention to the benefits too. Reputable schools will give you decent benefits and your pay cheque on time. You may not have the same experience in a less-known school that does not yet have a reputation (for better or worse).
What qualifications do I need to teach ESL in Turkey?
At the bare minimum, you will need a TEFL certificate and a BA. You need to have a work visa and a work permit and a residence permit. It’s a good idea to reach out to others on social media or elsewhere who have experience teaching in Turkey. They will be able to give you advice on the specifics of applying for the various permits.
It is definitely a different teaching environment in Turkey, but not necessarily hard. You may find yourself isolated from other teachers, and in a teacher-focused classroom. Be flexible and willing to alter your teaching style in order to fit the student’s needs.
Will I be able to save money while teaching in Turkey?
It will be difficult to save money while teaching in Turkey. Salaries are on the lower end of countries, and the cost of living in the big cities is more expensive. If you are teaching in the less densely populated cities, particularly in the western area of Turkey, you will be more laid back and able to save.
Is it safe to teach ESL in Turkey?
Despite what is often reported in the media, it is generally safe to teach in Turkey. The country borders some unstable nations. However, Turkey is usually the power in the region that acts as an arbiter. Turkey is rarely targeted. Be sure to avoid protests and demonstrations, as these often end in arrests and clashes with police.
Teach English in Turkey: Join the Conversation
What do you think about teaching English in this beautiful country? Is it the right place for you, or are you looking for a better-paying country? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.