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CELTA jobs - peak hiring times for CELTA qualified English Teachers

Updated: Apr 16

CELTA jobs - peak hiring times for CELTA qualified English Teachers
Plan when to enrol onto CELTA by looking at the peak hiring times during the year

There is no right or wrong time to qualify with a CELTA certificate. The qualification is life-long – it doesn’t expire and you won’t have to recertify after a few years. However, you might want to consider the timing and length of your CELTA course to align with peak hiring seasons within the EFL industry. If you’re dream teaching job in your chosen country or destination only comes round once a year, it’s really important that you have your CELTA certificate in time for that recruitment cycle.

Peak hiring seasons differ from country to country in the EFL industry and it can sometimes be a little confusing. The start of the academic year is different in Europe and in Asia for example, and there are busier and quieter months in schools across the world at different points in the year. To help you navigate your way around peak employment periods, here’s a short list of EFL hotspots and their busy recruitment times. Hopefully it’ll help you plan when to apply for and start your CELTA course with us at DC Teacher Training.

Teaching English in The UK

Peak hiring times: January, July, August & September

If you have a CELTA certificate and are looking for work in the months of July and August, you’ll have your hand bitten off by schools up and down the UK desperate for you to come and work for them. The COVID pandemic meant that the, usually bustling, EFL summer school industry in the UK was dead for 2 years. Many qualified teachers lost their jobs at that time and went off to pursue other careers. Now that the pandemic is over, school children from Europe are coming back to the UK in droves during the summer months to study English , however there remains a massive deficit in the number of CELTA qualified teachers available to teach them. Language schools in cities like London, Edinburgh, Canterbury and York double in population while seaside towns like Bournemouth, Brighton and Eastbourne see an increase in EFL students that sometimes feel like the entire population of the town has doubled.

Don’t worry if you’re not able to qualify in time for the peak of summer. The start of the academic year in September sees a big UK intake of EFL students, usually university aged who want to come and study degrees in the UK, while January sees a massive influx of people from Brazil and other parts of South America while on their summer holidays.

Teaching English in Europe

Peak hiring times: January, August & September

The school year in Europe follows the same system as in the UK. The main school terms begin in September and January, so these are very popular months for hiring qualified English teachers in Czechia, Austria Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Summer schools are also big business in Europe. Up to 50% of teachers who’ve taught for the academic year will leave their position and move onto another country or city. This means that hundreds of teaching positions up for grabs, making it quite easy to spend a summer teaching in Eastern Europe or the Mediterranean. Most year-round teaching jobs in Europe will be advertised by private language schools and in big cities like Madrid, Paris, Berlin and Prague there is likely to be a year-round recruitment cycle.

Teaching English in Asia

Peak hiring times: All year round

Such is the demand for CELTA qualified English teachers in Asia, you’re spoilt for choice in terms of countries, cities and the time of year you can look to apply for jobs. Some exceptions apply, Korea and Japan can have a particularly lengthy application processes, so applying early for jobs starting in September and January is a good idea. Japan’s JET programme hires up to 5000 native speaking teachers to teach on school around Japan requires applications to be received no later than 1st December for positions starting the following September. Qualifying with CELTA by September or October would give you ample time to apply for the ever-popular scheme. If China is on the top of your list for teaching and travelling there are literally thousands of options, but visa processes can take a while so be ready to have start dates change or get pushed back or apply early. To sum up, Asia arguably offers the most English contracts in the world, but be organised, qualify from your CELTA course in good time to get ahead of the application cycles and apply for jobs well before starting dates.

Teaching English in The Middle East

Peak hiring times: All year round

Like Asia, the Middle East hires CELTA qualified teachers throughout the year. The region has invested a lot of its riches in scaling up in terms of English language and the demand for English teachers has grown significantly in the last couple of decades. Wealthier countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE see a slight surge in teaching vacancies in the spring and summer months, so getting CELTA qualified before the end of the year is a good idea. If you’re looking to teach in Egypt, Morocco or Jordan, the best way to secure work is often on the ground in those countries themselves. Often these countries don’t have the means to be able to advertise as widely as their richer counterparts. Competition for teaching jobs in the Middle East is fierce. Although teachers are hired year-round in the region, the top schools start recruiting early, so it’s a good idea to have a CELTA qualification in time for the spring or summer hiring season.

Teaching English in South America

Peak hiring times: February, July & August

As with most places in the southern hemisphere, the academic school year begins in early in the year, after the summer holidays. While Peru hire English teachers year round, the rest of the continent sees the highest demand in February to April (during the first school semester) so it’s a good idea have your CELTA certificate in time for the new year, when you can then start applying for English teaching roles from January. There is often a second busy period in July and August, so don’t worry too much if you aren’t able to enrol onto a CELTA course before the new year. December and January are the summer months and a time when hiring teachers really quietens down. You might like to travel around South America over these months and explore the cities and countries that you could potentially start working in when the summer ends.

Teaching English in Central America

Peak hiring times: January, February, June & July

The countries in Central America very in terms of when their busiest hiring periods for English teachers are. Mexico has plenty of English language schools in its biggest cities that applying for and securing work is a year-round possibility. EFL hotspots like Panama and Costa Rica see a sharp rise in demand for teachers at the beginning of the year and most recruitment takes place in January or February, inline with the start of the academic year. Being a CELTA qualified teacher by December means that you’ll be able to start applying early for these positions. Don’t worry too much if you’re not able to enrol onto a CELTA course before the end of the year. Central America also has a busy hiring cycle in early summer too – getting CELTA qualified by April or May means you’ll be in time to apply for positions advertised in June and July.

While there are definite peak times for hiring English language teachers around the world, the demand for teachers since the pandemic is at an all time high. Qualifying with a CELTA at any time of year is absolutely fine. My advice would be that if you are set on a specific destination to teach in after your CELTA, make sure you do your research to give yourself the best possibility of getting work there. Be organised, leave a good amount of time to understand the application procedures and don’t leave things to the last minute. If you’d like to talk more about looking for work after your CELTA, you can book a jobs meeting with the DC Teacher Training team. We look forward to seeing you on a CELTA course with us soon!

Danny Wilkins graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2009 with a degree in English and Drama Studies and went on to get his CELTA qualification in Manchester in 2012.  Since then he has taught English in over 10 countries including Taiwan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Austria, before settling in the UK. Danny has previously managed one of the largest CELTA centres in the UK and is thrilled to bring CELTA courses to Birmingham, having lived and graduated in the city.

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