India is an exotic destination that has attracted curious travellers from all over the world for centuries. Today, the country has a booming economy in areas such as information technology and customer service outsourcing, both of which offer great potential for TEFL qualified teachers. Although English is an official language in India, the level of conversational English taught in everyday schools is generally poor. Hence, there is demand for English language teachers in many areas.
What are TEFL salaries in India?
In comparison to many other Asian countries, good salaries can be difficult to find in India. In fact, a large proportion of English teaching positions in India are on a volunteer basis rather than a paid salary. However, volunteer positions generally provide accommodation and meals, and can be a great way to gain valuable classroom experience while also helping people with the language skills they need to get better jobs etc.
Paid positions can be found, although you are unlikely to find anything that allows you to save much during your stay. Salaries start at around $150 USD per month and can be anything up to $1,000 if you have a lot to offer and can negotiate hard. If you can find a position nearer the top end of the scale you should be able to live comfortably and afford to travel throughout this amazing country in your free time. Most employers will expect you to have a bachelor’s degree and TEFL or CELTA certification.
Who are the main employers of English language teachers in India?
Fully licensed teachers from the UK, Australia and Canada have a good chance of finding work in one of the international schools that can be found in the big cities. Although these jobs pay well, they are few and far between and the competition is likely to be fierce. A more realistic option for most language teachers is within the private sector where there are many companies who are looking for native English speakers to teach largely conversational English to their employees. Call centers employ thousands of local people and there are often positions available for teachers to help employees with their accents when dealing with British or American customers.
As mentioned, the volunteer sector is very big in India, particularly in rural areas. Many positions involve a bit of teaching alongside other work in orphanages or with women’s groups etc. Every project offers different time scales and benefits, so you should do some research online to find out which might suit you best. It is worth remembering that while these positions pay very little, or nothing at all, they will provide an unforgettable experience that is giving something special to a community in need and it will look good on your CV/resume in the future.
What is the recruitment process for English teachers in India?
The majority of paying jobs are found in large, modern cities such as New Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Many of these positions will be advertised online which is a real help as you can get your visas and other paperwork in order before you leave home. You can try all the usual online teaching job boards, as well as major newspapers such as the Times of India and the Telegraph who both have extensive job sections on their online services. In most cases, a CV/resume is sent via email and then the interview is conducted by phone or webcam. Contracts are usually for six months or one year.
What is the cost of living for English teachers in India?
As salaries are typically quite low in India, you should not expect to save much of your earnings during your contract. However, how far your pay stretches will be largely dependent on where you are living and working. Mumbai, for example, has some of the most expensive property in the world, so finding comfortable accommodation at a reasonable cost can be a challenge. As a general rule, the closer you get to the center of the main cities, the higher the cost of living. On the plus side, some employers will help out with your housing, and groceries and health care are both very cheap by western standards. Overall, the cost of living is very low in India, so as long as you can negotiate a reasonable salary, you should be able to live comfortably.