Finding jobs in Japan for English speakers can be a challenge, especially if you’re not that confident yet in your Japanese skills. However, there are options available that can be both lucrative and fun, and some even require no Japanese. One such opportunity is English teaching, a job that’s always in demand across the country. But is this position right for you? Read on for benefits and what to expect in an English teaching position.
No Japanese? No Problem!
As an English speaker, you are likely already familiar with language struggles in Japan: confusing kanji, mispronunciations, or simply not understanding Japanese enough to use it confidently in the workplace.
Thankfully there are some fields that don’t always require workers to know Japanese. One of these fields is IT, but even jobs in technology are increasingly requiring a high level of Japanese in order to communicate with coworkers and clients.
However, English teaching almost never requires a high level of Japanese language ability, and in fact, using Japanese on the job is often discouraged (in order to better immerse students in an English-only environment). Because most English teachers are only required to know and use their native language, this position can be a great career choice for those looking to live and work in Japan while studying Japanese at their own pace. This way, you get to use the language you’re most comfortable with without struggling and stumbling over Japanese at work.
Photo credits: Yaruki Switch Group
Bringing English to Japan
It’s important to experience Japanese culture, lifestyle, and language while in Japan. Living in Japan without appreciating delicious local food, spectacular historical sights, and the Japanese way of life could be said to be mottainai (wasteful). You likely already know this and enjoy learning about Japanese culture and society. But what if you could do the same for others about your own culture?
As an English teacher, you have the opportunity to do exactly this. In all-English classrooms, you get to teach students, especially children, about English and your unique culture, allowing you to bridge the cultural gap. This is perhaps one of the most special and rewarding aspects of being an English teacher. When teaching, you have the chance to watch young learners grow confident speaking English, a language that is typically foreign and unfamiliar to them. Joining students on that journey, and exposing them to parts of the world they haven’t yet ventured to, is a significant and meaningful part of being a teacher in Japan.
Amazing Benefits of Being an English Teacher
Aside from the reward of bringing your language and culture to classrooms in Japan, there are several other notable benefits of being an English teacher.
If you speak English, English teaching is a great opportunity if you desire regularity and stability. In Japanese work culture, it’s common to be asked to work overtime or outside of your scheduled work hours. Some positions are also project-based and vary throughout the year. However, English teaching positions typically offer a predictable schedule with set hours. This is one key benefit if you crave work-life balance and want to make time for other activities and hobbies in your free time.
With this comes predictable pay. Not only that, but the salary for English teachers can be very comfortable for affording your life in Japan. Salaries are typically the same each month, even if there are holidays or seasonal school breaks in the schedule. In most companies, you can look forward to receiving a predictable salary, making budgeting and paying bills a breeze.
It’s also worth noting that the salary for new English teachers is above the average starting salary in Japan, regardless of the field. University graduates can expect to make just above ¥200,000 a month, while new teachers can expect ¥50,000 or more above this average for their monthly salary. Even without an educational or professional background in teaching, English teachers in Japan can earn a relatively lucrative salary, plus bonuses and paid transportation as well.
Finally, a unique benefit of being an English teacher is the ability to use your own personality and creativity on the job. Bringing your own flair to your lessons will not only keep you engaged, but your students too.
We recently interviewed an English teacher working in Japan, and he told us that tapping into your unique classroom persona is what makes teaching fun and exciting. Students love when their teacher is goofy or keeps them on their toes with a new game, and teachers have flexibility in balancing both work and play to keep lessons lively. In this job, it’s encouraged to share your own creative ideas, upbeat energy, and authenticity with students.
Requirements and Qualifications
If you’re an English speaker looking for a career change in Japan, you already have one of the most important requirements needed to be an English teacher: English language skills. For most English teaching positions, a native level of English will be required to teach and communicate with students.
A college degree is also often required to qualify as an English teacher in Japan, but it’s not always necessary for the degree to be specific to Education, English, or Linguistics. Other companies, such as Yaruki Switch Group, have no such academic prerequisites, and welcome all candidates as long as they are eligible for visa sponsorship – this means having at least a 2-Year Associate’s Degree or higher, or an already unrestricted working visa (Spousal, Permanent Resident, etc.)
Though speaking English and having a degree are important, don’t overlook the importance of having the right personality and mindset for the job. To be an English teacher in Japan, an upbeat personality, adaptability, and leadership skills are key. If you will be teaching children, you also must be comfortable interacting and working with young students who can demand a lot of energy and creative thinking.
Unlike many other fields, English teaching in Japan typically doesn’t require specific certification or even experience. If you’re a native English speaker with confidence leading a class, you likely already have what it takes to be a successful teacher!
Photo credits: Yaruki Switch Group
Work as an English Teacher at Yaruki Switch Group
If you’re ready to use your natural English ability in your next career move, Yaruki Switch Group may be a perfect fit for you! At Yaruki Switch Group’s Kids Duo schools, you can teach young learners through fun games, interactive activities, and creative lessons, where you get to bring your own ideas and personality to the classroom.
Kids Duo is perfect for teachers looking to work at one location with the same regular students, building meaningful bonds in an environment that truly immerses students in the English language.
If you’re ready to become a Yaruki Switch Group English teacher, apply to an opening in these locations:
Jobs in Japan for English Speakers: Why English Teaching is the Top Choice
For English speakers in Japan, English teaching is a popular career choice. As an English teacher, you often aren’t required to use any Japanese, and you have the opportunity to share your language and culture with curious students. With so many benefits, consider a career change into English teaching in Japan!
Read more about teaching at Yaruki Switch:
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Featured photo credits: Yaruki Switch Group