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30-09-2009, 13:24   #1
cavanmaniac
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Hourly rate TEFL?

Quick question...is €15 per hour a typical hourly rate for TEFL teaching in Ireland?

I've seen the occasional job advertisement at this rate recently, so it'd work out that for teaching maybe four x 1 hour-long classes a day for five days a week, you'd earn €300 a week? Before tax, if applicable?

Um...is that not totally pathetic? Is that the going rate out there? I know jobs are scarce but you'd get almost as much on social welfare for doing nothing!
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30-09-2009, 21:53   #2
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Depending on your experience and the type of course you teach (Cambridge exams, business, general English) you'd normally get between €15 and €25 per hour. €20/hour would probably be the most common rate....

that said, the demand for TEFL classes in Ireland has significantly decreased (global crisis, swine flu, Eastern European migrants going back home) so, obviously, we can also expect a drop in TEFL teachers' wages
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01-10-2009, 00:00   #3
cavanmaniac
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Yes I guess I realised it was never a big earner especially here in Ireland but those rates put it right down at the buttons level which I didn't expect. I'd have thought 20-25ph was more usual if primary and secondary teaching is at 40ish levels.

You would, literally, be as well off on the dole. But that's life I suppose.
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01-10-2009, 13:54   #4
lauralee28
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Yes I guess I realised it was never a big earner especially here in Ireland but those rates put it right down at the buttons level which I didn't expect. I'd have thought 20-25ph was more usual if primary and secondary teaching is at 40ish levels.

You would, literally, be as well off on the dole. But that's life I suppose.
With all due respect, you cant measure the rate of your pay against that of a primary/secondary teacher. There is a huge difference and it is not nearly the same thing! A person can qualify as a TEFL teacher in 6 weeks! I think the €300 you're talking about is more than adequate.
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01-10-2009, 14:05   #5
TweetyPie1
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"You would, literally, be as well off on the dole."

You're talking about earning €300 a week for working 20 hrs - hardly comparable to being on the dole...
Try working in a min wage crappy job n then cry you'd b better off on the dole... Some people just don't have a clue....
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01-10-2009, 14:12   #6
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"You would, literally, be as well off on the dole."

You're talking about earning €300 a week for working 20 hrs - hardly comparable to being on the dole...
Try working in a min wage crappy job n then cry you'd b better off on the dole... Some people just don't have a clue....
Well said!
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01-10-2009, 17:31   #7
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The 20 hours is contact time. What about lesson planning? How many hours do you add on for that? I would have thought that inexperienced/recently qualified teachers would need to put a lot of time into preparation before facing a class of students. So would you be talking about 40 hours work for 20 hours contact time? So what's the effective hourly rate?

Last edited by Ginkgo; 01-10-2009 at 17:34. Reason: replaced qualified with recently qualified
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01-10-2009, 17:57   #8
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So what's the effective hourly rate?
€7.50 per hour. Not even minimum wage (unless it's been reduced and I haven't heard). Probably no holiday pay either, so you reduce that further. Bus fares/petrol. Lunch money. After work drinks.

Yes definitely better off on the dole
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01-10-2009, 18:49   #9
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The 20 hours is contact time. What about lesson planning? How many hours do you add on for that?
as is the 22 hours for secondary teachers! The part-time rate includes holiday pay. Nobody every works that one out.

You can't compare the two.
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01-10-2009, 20:21   #10
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I wasn't implying the two should be paid at the same rate by any means but it's still instructive to note how the salary gulf outstrips the disparity between the two modes of teaching, in my opinion. And while the qualification process is clearly much simpler for TEFL, you do still need a degree in practically all cases which isn't awarded after six weeks I don't think. Also, students are students, and a classroom is a classroom. Smaller classes make a huge difference I will admit, but it's still teaching. There are fly-by-night operations out there of course, I'm talking about proper schools and proper teaching.

I'd have thought a basic rate of €25 per hour was fair for TEFL; at €300 per week for the 20 contact hours plus the preparation time etc., which brings it up into the range of full-time hours, you're only €95 per week better off than on the top rate of dole which you get for doing nothing. Some experts might reckon that reasoning amounts to not having a clue but it still looks a raw deal from where I'm sitting anyway. All just my opinion like.
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01-10-2009, 21:45   #11
lauralee28
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I wasn't implying the two should be paid at the same rate by any means but it's still instructive to note how the salary gulf outstrips the disparity between the two modes of teaching, in my opinion. And while the qualification process is clearly much simpler for TEFL, you do still need a degree in practically all cases which isn't awarded after six weeks I don't think. Also, students are students, and a classroom is a classroom. Smaller classes make a huge difference I will admit, but it's still teaching. There are fly-by-night operations out there of course, I'm talking about proper schools and proper teaching.

I'd have thought a basic rate of €25 per hour was fair for TEFL; at €300 per week for the 20 contact hours plus the preparation time etc., which brings it up into the range of full-time hours, you're only €95 per week better off than on the top rate of dole which you get for doing nothing. Some experts might reckon that reasoning amounts to not having a clue but it still looks a raw deal from where I'm sitting anyway. All just my opinion like.
Would you not prefer to be out working/gaining experience every week for the extra €95 you wouldn't get on the dole?
Of course there is a huge salary gulf in the two modes of teaching because there is a huge difference in preparing students for Leaving Cert exams and teaching english as a foreign language. It is by no means "nearly" the same thing.
As a teacher, I have 22 hours contact time with my classes, add another 22 on top of that for the extra cirricular, preparation, corrections etc........
Anyone I know who teaches TEFL does not have a degree in it as you say, I didn't even know you could obtain a degree in TEFL?! What I do know however, and if you look online, many educational institutions run courses which will qualify you to teach TEFL, these can range from 6 to 10 week courses.
The teachers in my school who teach TEFL, have obtained their qualification in TEFL in this way.
In the current economic climate, I dont think you're getting a raw deal at all.
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02-10-2009, 00:09   #12
cavanmaniac
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Would you not prefer to be out working/gaining experience every week for the extra €95 you wouldn't get on the dole?
Short answer, no. I'm speaking hypothetically but I would look on the time investment for the €300 as the equivalent of working a full-time, demanding job for peanuts. I could do something else with only slightly better earnings and work half the time involved, and use the rest productively. I'm all for people working but if people accept crap pay for full-time, dressed in part-time clothes, more fool them. The experience here would be mostly bitter I fear.

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Of course there is a huge salary gulf in the two modes of teaching because there is a huge difference in preparing students for Leaving Cert exams and teaching english as a foreign language. It is by no means "nearly" the same thing.
I agree but I think a difference of €20 ph would adequately reflect the difference you outline. And it's not just about recognising the difference, it's about earning a living wage and an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

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As a teacher, I have 22 hours contact time with my classes, add another 22 on top of that for the extra cirricular, preparation, corrections etc........
Anyone I know who teaches TEFL does not have a degree in it as you say, I didn't even know you could obtain a degree in TEFL?! What I do know however, and if you look online, many educational institutions run courses which will qualify you to teach TEFL, these can range from 6 to 10 week courses.
The teachers in my school who teach TEFL, have obtained their qualification in TEFL in this way.
In the current economic climate, I dont think you're getting a raw deal at all.
Just as there are different kinds of teachers (dedicated, hard-working, diligent versus lazy, uninspired and unprepared) there are different kinds of TEFL schools - the proper ones and those that take in anyone as long as they look Western and can speak English.
In a properly regulated and official language school, 25 contact hours per week is the norm though and you prepare, correct and partake in probably way more extra curricular activities (summer schools offer weekly trips, activities etc.) than in an Irish public school.
When I mentioned degree, I was referring to the fact that you are not admitted to take a 4/6 week TEFL course, without having a degree and providing proof of it. This doesn't have to be in TEFL itself but for the proper, recognised qualifications, everyone has a good standard of education. Plus, there are HDip and MA qualifications in TEFL offered at Irish universities and all over the world for those who want to forge a long-term career in the area. It's a huge industry and high standards are expected for the decent jobs.
And €15 ph is not a decent job, in any climate. Full-time work, part-time pay that for all intents and purposes is below minimum wage. You have to offset the admittedly bleak economic situation and need to work with being screwed by a greedy employer who almost certainly charges multiples of that rate to the student you'll teach. It'd be different if you were paid for both contact hours plus preparation etc, then you're looking at a wage that reflects your input and effort. Not a King's ransom by any means, but a truer reflection. You'd spend that extra €95 on travel/petrol or whatever every week anyway.
It's not my job, by the way, the original post was just to ascertain if this was typical in Ireland by way of curiousity more than anything else.

Last edited by cavanmaniac; 02-10-2009 at 00:12.
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02-10-2009, 06:58   #13
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TEFL in Ireland is a bit of a lame duck.
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02-10-2009, 12:30   #14
madziuda
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Anyone I know who teaches TEFL does not have a degree in it as you say, I didn't even know you could obtain a degree in TEFL?!
You'd be surprised how many people now have degrees in TESOL/TEFL. I have a Master's in TEFL and English Studies, been teaching English as a foreign language full time for the last 5 years and intend to make it a life-long career.

That said, anyone who is serious about working in TEFL long term and has done proper research in the job market will know that this is if not impossible then incredibly difficult to do in Ireland. It's an English speaking country, so the demand for TEFL classes is relatively low during the academic year. It spikes during the summer what with all sorts of summer camps and all, but that's just 3 months out of 12 when you can count on decent hours and wages.

3 years ago the situation was different - people from Central and Eastern Europe were coming in droves to Ireland, enrolling their children in Irish schools - this created the post of a Language Support teacher paid according to VEC or Teaching Council rates and formally on a par with 'regular' teachers. Now that the Irish economy is decilining and the Polish one is growing strong, non Irish national students are coming back home and LS teachers' hours are severly cut, so ESL teachers have to look to language schools for employment.

As for the idea that teaching ESL is a Mickey Mouse job - I truly resent that. I am not saying that it is more difficult or even as difficult as teaching History/Irish/Home Ec/whatever in a public school. It is just different. But equally as demanding. With many specilaised courses you have no curriculum with clear guidelines to follow - you have to think it all up from scratch, you actually have to WRITE the curriculum, adapt textbooks, prepare your own materials etc. A LOT of time goes into planning, try teaching a group of beginners with no knowledge of English whatsoever some 'abstract' vocabulary (friendship, knowledge etc) through the medium of English only. Trust me, you'll spend a good while figuring out how best to explain that.
There's a good deal of paperwork included as well, especially with students preparing for Cambridge exams and those with visas depending on their language course

And if you think it's not a responsible job, think again. You're teaching somebody who has emigrated to Ireland becasue they or their parents couldn't find a job in their own country - their further education, their livelihood, their ability to integrate into the society and to make social bonds all depend on their proficiency in the English language. In other words, on the subject you're teaching. It's not all about teaching spoiled rich kids whose parents' fancy was to send them on a language course to Ireland.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the wages, hell, I think 15-20 euro per hour is way better than the dole as long as I do have a job.
But I take exception to people thinking that just because I'm in TEFL I'm any less of a teacher.

Coming back to the prestige and qualifications for a second. I'm currently working in Poland - one of the biggest European recipients of Native Speaking ELT teachers. My school is the second biggest language school in the country, so by no means an obscure employer. So far all teachers with ACELS applying for a job with us have been rejected in favour of CELTA or MA qualified ones. All teachers have degrees, most of us a Master's, and those whose degrees are not in TEFL have a CELTA and considerable teaching experience behind the belt. The whole 'qualifications in 6 weeks, no specialised degree' thing is just an Irish/British thing. And perfectly understandable seeing as in English-speaking countries TEFL has always been meant as a predominatly part-time/temporary thing

Last edited by madziuda; 02-10-2009 at 12:39. Reason: spelling
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02-10-2009, 17:21   #15
cavanmaniac
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So far all teachers with ACELS applying for a job with us have been rejected in favour of CELTA or MA qualified ones. All teachers have degrees, most of us a Master's, and those whose degrees are not in TEFL have a CELTA and considerable teaching experience behind the belt.
Crikey, that's a bit worrying. You're obviously at a very good school though, hopefully the Acels will stand up elsewhere in Poland/other countries without too much of a trade-off in the standard of place you might be working. I am looking at European destinations myself and that's certainly an eye-opener!
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