Teaching English in Ireland

By | February 18, 2014

Ireland is an island located to the east of England, Wales and Scotland. It’s split into 2 parts, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. This blog post will concentrate on the sovereign state of the Republic of Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland is known for its hospitality, stunning views and warm welcomes and it is a popular tourist destination as well as a popular destination for students wanting to learn English abroad.

The Republic of Ireland is one of the most developed countries in the world and has great transport systems with cheap air fares to most of Europe and easy access to the rest of the UK. Within the country itself, it’s also very easy to travel around. On top of this, the Republic of Ireland boasts a fantastic healthcare system, as well as the freedom of press, economics and politics.

Read more about Ireland from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Ireland

Dublin Four Courts

Dublin Four Courts – Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

The Republic of Ireland is home to some delicious cuisine and, of course, the world famous drink called Guinness. Moreover, it is also home to some natural beauties including Giant’s Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher. On top of this beauty, man-made historical sites like Blarney Castle and Kilmainham Gaol are also very popular destinations for tourists and visitors.

Although Irish is the official national language, English is the most widely spoken language in the country. As a result of immigration, other European languages are spoken by a number of people in the country. Therefore, you might think that there isn’t much call for an English teacher in an English speaking country, but the Republic of Ireland has a very large immigrant population and it is also a very popular destination for people that want to learn English is a foreign country.

One of the reasons that Ireland is such a popular destination for people wanting to study English abroad is because of the many low cost airlines that fly to Ireland. Moreover, it has a reputation for being a very friendly and hospitable country and has a very high standard of English language schools.

Where to Teach English in Ireland

Although most of the TEFL job opportunities will be around Dublin, you will find a few a jobs around the smaller cities of Cork and Galway.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Ireland

Private Language Schools

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

You’ll find that there are quite a few private language schools across the country and they all employ qualified native English speaking TEFL teachers. Although you will typically be teaching general English, you might also find that language institutes have various different English courses available including business English and more.

In most cases, you will be required to work about 25 hours per week and there are classes all year round. In the summer months, your classes are likely to consist mostly of children and teenagers when they are not in school.

Private Lessons

You might also find it possible to find a few students and take some private lessons. Usually, private lessons are used by teachers to supplement their income rather than provide their main source of income. The reason for this is that unless you have a large number of students, you won’t be able to make enough money to support yourself.

Students can often be unreliable and cancel or reschedule classes at the last minute. This means that you will need to be very flexible and you won’t get paid when you expect to get paid! However, it is possible to gradually increase the number of private students that you take and make this into a full-time job.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

Blarney Castle Grounds

Blarney Castle Grounds

In fact, the English language industry is controlled by the Department of Education and Skills and teachers must have a recognised English teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA to work in the country.

As the country is a member of the EU, teachers that come from the EU and have appropriate qualifications (a degree and a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate) won’t have any problems working in the country. There are many opportunities available, but at the same time there is also high competition for jobs.

Although it doesn’t really matter what country you come from, EU citizens will always be preferred by schools because they don’t need a visa. Moreover, students are likely to prefer Irish and British teachers rather than those with North American accents because they are in Ireland to learn English.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1657″]English teachers in Ireland can expect to earn between €15 and €25 per hour and are usually contracted to teach between 20 and 25 hours per week. This means that you could potentially earn between €1500 and €2500 per month.

However, this might seem like a large salary, but teachers do need to pay income tax on their earnings and it can be as much as 41% in some cases.

Usually teachers will need to pay for all their own travel and accommodation costs and due to the very high cost of living, especially in cities like Dublin, teachers shouldn’t expect to save a lot of money.

Get more detailed information about the cost of living from Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

At Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

For those that don’t come from the EU a work visa is required and it can take a number of weeks to process and teachers would also be expected to cover the cost of the visa by themselves. Moreover, you will also need an employment permit to work legally in Ireland and after you have this, you are free to apply for any job that you want. The cost of both a visa and an employment visa can be very expensive.

EU citizens do not need a visa or an employment permit to work in Ireland.

For more information about obtaining the appropriate documentation to work legally in Ireland, visit the Irish Citizens Information Board’s website.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Ireland

nightshoot dublin-13

Dublin at Night

You’ll find that private language schools in Ireland often advertise online when they are recruiting TEFL teachers and you’ll find many job opportunities on the internet. Moreover, schools also advertise for vacant positions on their own websites, so be sure to check.

If you are already in Ireland, you can also try contacting the schools directly and enquire about vacant positions.

TEFL jobs are available all year round and you won’t usually have any problems finding out about vacant teaching positions. All you need to do is be proactive. Jobs don’t come to you, you have to go out and find them and generally they are not too difficult to find.

Teach English in Ireland

You might not have thought that there would be many teaching jobs available in a native English speaking country, but as outlined above, Ireland is a popular destination for students who want to study English. As a result, you will usually be teaching students from many different countries in one class.

The salary can be quite high, but you need to remember that you will need to pay tax and it can be quite a high amount. The cost of living is also very high in Ireland, and most teachers won’t earn enough to have any substantial monthly savings.


Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Ireland, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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