Guide to Teaching English in Turkey

Teach English in Turkey

Turkey is unique in its location, some of the country is in Asia, some in Europe and some in the Middle East. When teaching in Turkey you can expect tasty food, diverse landscapres, beautiful coastlines, ancient ruins and interesting cities to explore.

Turkey is a very safe country to teach English, thousands of international tourists visit every year. Turkey is becoming one of the most popular destination to teach English in Europe for people seeking a different experience. Turkey is a true gem of a English teacher destination whether you are looking for a romantic interlude, an adventurous experience, or an exciting holiday with a difference like working as an English teacher. 


Top Reasons to Teach Abroad in Turkey

  • Turkish people are very friendly 
  • The food is delicious
  • Warm climate and beautiful relaxing beaches
  • Learn more about the ancient culture
  • Embrace a different country
  • There are lots of activites available to do in your spare time


Why the Need for English Teachers

The government of Turkey and local businesses are keen for more people to learn English and there are job openings throughout the country. Tourism is also a big employer in the country and knowing a foreign language like English really boosts peoples career opportunities. Turkey also hopes to become an EU member soon which will increase the demand for English teachers further.


Popular Places to Teach

Most teaching jobs can be found in the larger towns and cities like Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul. The bustling, culturally enticing city of Istanbul is simply like no other place on earth. This is the only city on the planet that is in both Europe and Asia, and the result is a wonderful, often chaotic and amazingly lively. Istanbul is full of traditional bazaars, amazing architecture and a wealth of museums and galleries that tell the story of this ancient country’s turbulent and exciting past. Ankara is another cultural delight with its amazing buildings and is home to some of the best places to see in the whole of Turkey. There are other smaller, quieter towns where you can sample wonderful local food and a spectacular locations but usually there are less teaching opportunities available.


Types of Teaching Jobs in Turkey

You can work as an English teacher at private and public schools which hire native English speaking staff all year round. Most people who seek English lessons are business professionals, school children and private students. Ways to land a teaching job include:


Public Schools

The goverment hire TEFL teachers to work in public schools throughout Turkey. This is one of the easiest places to get a job but you will usually need to be a native speaker with a degree and a TEFL certification.


Private Language Schools

There are lots of private language schools in Turkey which hire international teachers, some are more reputable than others. All have different requirements when it comes to experience and qualifications.



Universities employ internationals to teach English but you will need more qualifications and experience to get these positions. Usually universities will ask for a degree and a respected TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certification. Wages are usually very competative and the jobs are highly rated by previous workers.


Private Lessons

An option you have to make more money is to advertise your services as a private English teacher. This will supplement your income and can usually be done at nights and weekends. 


Average Teaching Week

You will usually teach for around 20-30 hours of classroom lessons per week. Add extra time for preparation.



It is very easy to teach English abroad in Turkey without TEFL qualifications, you can also teach English in Turkey without a degree which makes this destination attractive to a lot of internationals. Every school has different requirements, if you have a degree, previous experience and a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate you stand a better chance of getting a job and will get paid more. If you would like to get a certification you might like to view our Europe TEFL courses.


Salary for Teaching in Turkey

Usually around £400 - £1000 (US$700 - $1500)



  • Cost of Living: Turkey is a cheap country to live in, especially compared to other European destinations. You will usually need to cover your flights and accommodation.
  • Visa: If you would like to teach legally in Turkey you will need to apply for a work visa which can be applied for before departing or when in Turkey. To be eligible you will need a fixed job offer, this can be difficult to get before departing as most schools want face to face interviews. The visa application process can be long, sometimes months and will cost around £300 (US$500). You employer will be able to help with the application and documents but you will usually need to cover the fee. Some teachers also enter the country on a tourist visa and then work without a visa, this is a risk though.
  • What to Do in Your Spare Time: In your spare time you might want to join a tour of Turkey are explore ancient Islamic and Christian sites.


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