Is a 120-hour TEFL Certificate Enough? Learn more | TakeTEFL Blog (2023)


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When searching for a TEFL course, many students ask 'is a 120-hour TEFL certificate enough to teach in a classroom or online?'. It may not feel like enough time to become a qualified teacher, but we can assure you that it is. 120 hours is the bare minimum that most ESL employers will ask you to complete.

Of those 120 hours, many ESL companies will ask that you have some classroom experience. There are several TEFL courses that include a number of hours that are classroom-based and can be perfect for applications that require experience.

(Video) Is a 120 Hour TEFL Course Enough to Get a Good TEFL Job?

By completing a TEFL course that includes classroom hours, you gain highly sought-after teaching experience without ever having taught a class of English students.

Is a 120-hour TEFL Certificate Enough? Learn more | TakeTEFL Blog (1)

Where can I find a course?

You’re unlikely to find any TEFL/TESOL/ESL courses at your local educational facilities. Most of these courses are found online and are largely completed online, with a few hours in a nearby establishment for courses that include classroom-based study.

There are plenty of online TEFL courses that can be found through a large number of providers. The challenge is finding a provider to trust. When in doubt, check the reviews of the company – and not just the student testimonials that are plastered all over that company’s website. You should try to locate reviews from recent course attendees. Social media is a good place if you want unfiltered views from previous or current students taking the course.

By researching these providers you will see many offer courses of a similar length showing that a 120-hour TEFL certificate is enough to begin an English teaching career.

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Is a 120-hour TEFL Certificate Enough? Learn more | TakeTEFL Blog (2)

Do I need a TEFL/TESOL certificate?

In most cases: Yes. It’s highly unlikely that you are going to find a position with a reputable ESL company that do not require some kind of TEFL/TESOL or other ESL qualification.

Companies that don’t ask for their applicants to prove that they are qualified ESL teachers are usually tutoring or chat companies that aren’t looking for structured teaching from their employees. There’s nothing wrong with signing up to become an English tutor. However, the skills required to become an ESL teacher are slightly different and the jobs are more competitive.

Unsure whether or not you want to become a teacher of English as a second language? Then it might be a good idea for you to try tutoring in English first.

Alternatively, you could sign up with a company that offers their teachers a TEFL course through their partner. These employers are great because you won’t need to pay out for your course before you start teaching. Though, there is usually a deadline for completing the TEFL course that these companies send you off to do.

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Are there other courses available?

Certainly! The ESL course that you end up attending will be one that you feel is right for you. 120-hour TEFL/TESOL courses are the most popular because they’re so easy to come across. Best of all, they’re inexpensive when compared to more in-depth courses.

We’ve already mentioned combination courses – those being online courses that have a small classroom-based element – but there are also TEFL courses that are taught entirely in-person, as there are the ones that are taught entirely online.

The shortest courses that you’re going to find will be the classroom modules of larger TEFL courses. You can just pay for and complete these classroom modules, but the majority of ESL companies looking for teachers will want a minimum of 120 hours for your TEFL course.

There’s very little point going back and forth between courses. This is because a lot of TEFL course companies offer huge sales and discounts throughout the year. You could end up taking a 120-hour TEFL course for half price if you book at the right time.

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If it’s not a shorter course that you’re looking for, you might be happy to know that TEFL courses come in all shapes and sizes. There are many companies that also offer courses that are 200+ hours long. Though, these are fairly expensive and probably shouldn’t be your first choice if you’re new to ESL teaching.

Is a 120-hour TEFL certificate enough? To begin a career as an English teacher, the short answer is yes.

Want to learn more about studying TEFL? Talk to our Teacher Training team now and let us help you.


Is a 120-hour TEFL course enough? ›

Generally 120 hours minimum is the most common requirement, but some countries only require 100 hours or have no preference at all. Most employers prefer to hire English teachers with an internationally recognized TEFL certification from a 100-120-hour course.

What can you do with a 120-hour TEFL certificate? ›

A 120-hour TEFL certification course is widely regarded as the basic international standard for gaining employment as a paid English teacher abroad or teaching English online, even without prior experience or training in English language education.

How long does it take to complete 120-hour TEFL course? ›

Depending on how the course is structured, a 120-hour TEFL course can take anywhere from one month to six months. Shorter courses are more intensive and require full-time study. Longer courses are part-time and allow time for other activities.

Is a TEFL certificate enough? ›

Is TEFL Certification Worth It? Yes. If you want to get a good teaching job and be an effective teacher for your students, then it is definitely worth it. Remember, most schools worldwide require a TEFL certification; and once you're certified you can the ball rolling on applying and interviewing for jobs.

Which is the best TEFL qualification to have? ›

Best TEFL Certification Programs of 2023
  • Best Overall: International TEFL Academy.
  • Best Online Program: Premier TEFL.
  • Best Budget-Friendly Option: ITT.
  • Best for Student Support: TEFL Org.
  • Best Hybrid Program: ITTT.
  • Best for Specializations: Teach Away.
  • Best for Overseas Job Placement: TEFLPros.
  • Best for Online Teaching: i-to-i.
Oct 25, 2022

Can I finish TEFL in a week? ›

The amount of time it takes can range from 1 week (in the case of what we like to call TEFL extremists) to several months. Even with other commitments, we see a lot of students completing the course between a month and 6 weeks.

Can you teach English with just a TEFL certificate? ›

Yes, you can teach English in the United States with your TEFL certification. There are millions of non-native English speakers living, working and studying in the United States and the demand for English language instruction is huge.

Does a TEFL certificate look good on a resume? ›

In general, this is what your TEFL resume should include and highlight: If you have TEFL certification, it should be right at the top of the education section of your resume. You should also always indicate the number of certification hours.

Is it possible to fail a TEFL course? ›

It is possible to fail a TEFL course. If you have a degree already and are a native English speaker, you will absolutely be able to handle the course load.

How long should a TEFL course be? ›

Typically, a fully accredited TEFL certification course will last anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months. Shorter, 4-week long courses will generally run full-time (30-40 hours per week) and are very demanding.

How many modules are in a 120-hour TEFL course? ›

120-hour Premier TEFL course:

It consists of: 10 modules of study where you will learn the fundamentals of everything from planning classes to teaching grammar and vocabulary to your students.

Can you get a job with just a TEFL certificate? ›

In many countries, having a TEFL certificate and being a native-English speaker are enough to get a job teaching English abroad, no degree required. You do not need professional teaching experience, a teaching license, a degree in education or even a college degree to teach English abroad.

How many hours of TEFL do I need to teach in Korea? ›

To teach English in Korea with i-to-i TEFL, you will need a degree and their minimum TEFL certificate (120 hours). An average teaching English in Korea salary with this program provider (after completing TEFL certification) is $2500 per month.


1. The Best Online TEFL Courses: An In-Depth Review
(Grateful Gnomads)
2. TEFL salaries: what to expect
(The TEFL Org)
3. Is This A Good TEFL Course? | What to Look Out for in A Good TEFL Course | Teaching In Vietnam
(🇬🇭GhExpat Teacher )
4. Your 5 Step-Guide to a Successful TEFL Course Completion | ITTT | TEFL Blog
(ITTT International TEFL & TESOL Training)
5. What is TESOL 120-Hour? ITTA's TEFL/TESOL Certification Program Explained.
(International TESOL TEFL Academy)
6. Which English Teacher Certification Should I Get to Teach ESL Overseas?
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