With the recent economic downturn that is becoming a global phenomenon, especially in the US or Canada, more and more graduates are looking for work abroad. When considering where to work, the sky is the limit. Many seek greener pastures in Korea or China, while others prefer fully developed countries such as Japan. This article takes a look at what a recent graduate might expect in terms of salary and working conditions if he or she wants to take an entry-level English job in Japan.
What to expect
First, ignore the things you read on the Internet about teaching in Japan as an absolute cakewalk. Being objective, it’s not the hell you’re reading about, and it’s not a breeze either, at least for most people.
Those who work for large chain schools like Geos, Nova, or ECC can expect about 20-23 actual teaching hours with an additional 10 to 15 hours of preparation for lessons or things to promote the school – read leaflets, give trial lessons to new one’s students and attending staff meetings. So all in all, you work about 40 hours a week. Almost the same as if you were to stay in your own country. In terms of salary, you receive an average of 250,000 yen per month. That’s about 25,000 a year U.S.D. Most teachers take 2 days a week off, most national holidays are around 10 a year. You can also expect a week off in May and another week off in December.
These same conditions apply to those who have chosen their first job in Japan as ALT. ALTs, or assistant language teachers, teach in public high schools and assist the Japanese teacher in teaching English. Hours will be different, however. ALT’s work is more or less what one might call “normal” working hours or from 8 am to 4 pm. or so. While those who work for large chains work later, ranging from about 1 pm to 9 pm. Working for large chain schools is a night out.
Is there a difference?
Is there a difference in these two ways? As for the salary, they are pretty much the same. Working time is much the same. But ALTs are employed by a B.O.E or board of education, while those who work for chain schools are directly employed by the school you hire.
One difference is that if you teach in a large chain school, you are likely to teach both children and adults, while ALTs only teach high school students.
Regardless of the path you choose, teaching in Japan is a fairly easy way to start your career in teaching or teaching.