Types of Teaching Jobs in Japan
English Conversation School
English Conversation Schools or Eikaiwa (英会話) in Japanese are the most popular form of teaching English in Japan. These positions are usually paid by the hour with a mixed schedule involving a lot of evening and weekend work. The students usually range in age from about 2 years old in kids classes to 80 years old. Typical working hours will fall somewhere in between 10am to 9pm. Morning shifts might be from !0:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Evening shifts 1:00 pm to 9:00pm. Classes are usually around 45-50 minutes long, with class sizes typically varying from 1-10 students. Most English Conversation School positions on average will receive around 1-2 weeks holiday per year. Monthly wages on average are around ¥250,000 depending on the company. The most famous eikaiwa schools are ECC, Aeon, Nova, Gaba Corporation and Shane Corporation.
ALT Assistant Language Teacher
Most ALTs work through a dispatch company in the public school system in Japan. Typically they are placed in Elementary or Junior High with a few working in Senior High. Typical working hours will fall between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with an 8 hour work day. Class sizes will vary from usually 20-40 students, depending on the school and location. Most ALT positions on average will receive around 8 weeks holiday per year. Monthly wages usually range from ¥200,000 to ¥260,000 depending on experience and the company. One of the best ALT companies in Japan is ALTIA CENTRAL who are based in Nagoya with contracts in the Tokai area and beyond.
Preschool and Kindergarten
Working with the students at a Japanese Preschool or International Kindergarten can be a lot of fun, but generally require specific qualifications and experience teaching children. These types of teachers typically work 8 or 9 hours a day, 5 days a week with around 4 weeks holiday per year. Monthly wages usually range from ¥250,000 to ¥300,000 depending on experience and the company. It is hard work with a busy schedule, but very rewarding with the chance to bond with your students and their parents.
This type of teaching in Japan is aimed at corporations who look to teach their employees basic English for dealing with overseas clients and connections. They are generally paid by the hour and more lucrative than both eikaiwa and ALT work. Lessons can take place either during regular working hours, or in the evening after the employees have finished work.
The basic requirements for most teaching positions in Japan include the following:
- Native English Speaker
- BA / BS Degree (in any field)
Preferences by recruiters include:
- A BA / BS in Education/Linguistics/English/Japanese/East Asian Studies
- At least a basic level of Japanese ability
- ESL or TEFL certification
- Teaching or tutoring experience
You can submit your resume and apply for jobs any time as companies are always looking for potential applicants. The biggest recruiting periods for ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) in Japan is November/December for April starts (school year starts in April in Japan) and May/June for September starts. Most of the major companies now recruit overseas, so you can even set up an interview in your home country, which makes the whole process a lot easier.
The Best Resources for Looking for Work in Japan
The biggest & best resource for finding a job in Japan is GaijinPot who have a large listing of jobs through-out Japan. I also recommend sites like Jobs in Japan and My Shigoto