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The ‘Who,’ ‘What,’ ‘Where’ and ‘How Much’ of Teaching Jobs in Japan

Know where to look—and what to look for—when searching teaching jobs in Japan.

By 4 min read

For many foreign residents in Japan, the first—and sometimes the easiest—job to land is a teaching job in the country’s education industry.

The stories you’ll read about teaching Jobs in Japan are as diverse as the prefectures teachers call home, and having an easy way to search for the teaching job that’ll suit you and your character is super simple with the GaijinPot teaching jobs button.

Here, you’ll find ALT (assistant language teacher) positions at junior high and high schools, 1-to-1 tutoring jobs, eikaiwa (English conversation school) positions at nurseries and preschools, corporate on-site positions, posts with dispatch companies, freelance opportunities, weekend and night jobs and more.

By searching in this manner, you can restrict your search to only teaching positions and further refine it by prefecture/ region, necessary language skills, contract and employer type, and career level. You can also fine-tune your query by using keywords that are important to you. Before you look, though, let’s cover a few common questions, just in case you’re wondering.

What Cities are Best for Teaching Jobs in Japan?

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What’s your ideal city in Japan?

Most opportunities to teach English in Japan exist around Japan’s larger city centers. The best jobs aren’t always in Tokyo, but most English teaching jobs in Japan do exist in this sprawling metropolis.

Cities like Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe attract many teachers, but willing learners exist everywhere. On GaijinPot Jobs, positions in Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Sapporo pop up with some regularity, while work in prefectures like Tohoku, Okinawa, and Shikoku show up, but in fewer numbers. With this in mind, job hunters should consider teaching roles outside Tokyo.

Traveling the less-worn path can be more fruitful, and segmenting your search to avoid Tokyo might surprise you. Teaching jobs outside the Kanto area can be less competitive, which often translates into more money—or, at the very least, an amount of money that will carry you further through the month.

How Much Can a Teacher Earn in Japan?

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Get those little monsters on their feet!

If you’re coming to Japan from overseas and pursuing a full-time position requiring visa sponsorship, you can expect to earn anywhere from just below ¥200,000 upwards of ¥300,000 per month to start. There are teaching jobs that pay a lot more than this number, and if you pick up side work teaching 1-to-1 with one of the larger firms that thrive in this space or drum up your own clients as a freelancer, you can add substantially to your income. Overall, teaching is not the most well-paid position one can secure here in Japan (nor is it anywhere), but it is a way to get your feet wet and see how the country works for you.

One thing to remember about posted salary ranges. In Japan, employers are aware of the transient nature of candidates, and the pay scale often reflects that. Bonuses, when offered, tend to be available only upon contract renewal, and opportunities for advancement and other opportunities you may take as a “given” back home come after spending some time here in Japan. So, there is a general reluctance to invest too much in candidates right out of the gate.

That said, if you let prospective employers know you want to build a life in Japan and know how to negotiate your teacher contract, there are opportunities for employers to warm to you in ways that will help boost your bottom line salary-wise.

Do I Need Special Skills to Teach English in Japan?

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Prepare Japan’s future!

Of course, you will need specific permissions to work in Japan, but as far as teaching skills go, in short, no, for most positions. This isn’t as much about a lack of desire for talented workers on the part of employers as it reflects the general language competency of the students you’ll be teaching (largely younger learners).

Additionally, from the tiniest eikaiwa to the largest language academy, many businesses and schools prefer to train new staff with their company-specific curricula.

Teaching certifications are increasingly requested in the marketplace but are optional at most schools and businesses. These certifications can help you land more coveted work with higher learning institutions and schools focused on the business sector.

So there you have it—some of the ins and outs of finding the best teaching job in Japan for you and your future. Good luck, go get ‘em, and don’t forget to use the GaijinPot teaching jobs search functionality!

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