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How Much Does It Cost To Get A TEFL Certificate

Choosing the right TEFL certificate course, within your budget, can make the difference between succeeding or failing in the TEFL classroom. 

I often get asked: “How Much Does It Cost To Get A TEFL Certificate?”

The long and short answer to that question is: “it depends on what you’re looking for.”

Before I dive into the cost of things…and “yes”, I know that this is what you are here to find out…let’s understand what a TEFL certificate actually is.

A TEFL certificate gives a person the requisite qualification/license to Teach English As A Foreign Language in a non-English speaking country.

Hence, if you are an American and you are interested in traveling the world and want to work as you travel, then you might pursue a TEFL certificate so that you can teach English in the schools in the countries that you visit around the world.

“Important Achievements Require A Clear Focus, All-Out Effort, And A Bottomless Trunk Of Strategies, PLUS Allies In Learning” – Carol Dweck

Now…the operative word – in my opinion – in TEFL is “TEACH”.

Now, why is this important?

Well because, by obtaining a TEFL certificate you will be given the opportunity (in many non-English speaking countries) to work in public schools alongside fully qualified, career teachers with many years of experience.

So, in other words, a TEFL certificate can be a “fast-track” into the teaching profession.

The teaching profession is a career choice and, one of the oldest, most honorable trades on the planet.

So, by obtaining a TEFL certificate you would be “fast-tracking” into the teaching profession: a profession that comes with a high level of responsibility, requires diligence, patience, dedication, and hard work.

A profession where you are required to have sufficient knowledge, a wide range of skills, and be able to impart information on to students.

Like any serious profession, the teaching profession, for sure, is not one to be sniffed at or balked at.

Being a teacher, is hard work.

Okay, so with that being said, let’s come back to the question of: How much does it cost to get a TEFL certificate?

As with anything, you get what you pay for.

So, on internet marketplaces that sell courses, for example, you can find TEFL certificates costing from U$19.

These “teaching certificates” purport to be 120 hours of “teacher training” and the assessment to pass and receive the “teaching certificate” consists of multiple-choice questions.

Some of these “teaching certificates” have been purchased tens of thousands of times.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are on-site TEFL courses, that take place in various locations, that cost from U$1,000.

And then, of course, you have every price range in-between.

The cost of the more robust TEFL certificate courses tend to be determined by how much instructor-led guidance you are given in the course.

Some training courses do not include an instructor tutor.

So, for these TEFL training courses, you will need to be able to “go it alone”, do a lot of self-study as well as take self-check quizzes to evaluate your grade.

These courses are more economical given that no instructor is being paid.

Other TEFL training courses cost a bit more due to the amount of instructor involvement; and the fact that you can get feedback on assignments and any of your questions answered.

There are a number of interactive, instructor led TEFL training courses that are some of the most expensive on the internet, costing from $900.

These TEFL certificate courses may not be substantially more hours but are normally university-level TEFL courses geared towards the career-minded TEFL trainee, rather than the backpacking globe-trotting graduate.

As you might anticipate, TEFL courses offered by reputable and also accredited training facilities will certainly be much more pricey than programs offered by what are sometimes referred to as “TEFL cowboys” or questionable on the internet “stores” with no proven accreditation.

In spite of the convenience and also price of online TEFL training courses, there are still some scenarios in which taking an in-person TEFL program is a better selection.

Some individuals merely learn much better in the class, in a 100% hands-on setting.

Others feel strongly concerning finishing a teaching practicum as part of their TEFL course, and many onsite training courses include this component (note: you can also add teaching practicum to a good quality online TEFL certificate course).

There are certain countries, mainly those in the Middle East, where an onsite TEFL certificate course is preferred over an online TEFL certificate course.

In fact, countries in this region, which, on a side note, offer some of the highest international teacher salaries in the market, tend to require high level qualifications and a professional teaching license or, a robust, in-person TEFL teaching certificate.

With such a wide range of prices, how do you decide which is the best course to pursue?

Well, for me, that’s an easy question to answer.

Firstly, you should think about why you need a TEFL certificate and what sort of teaching experience you have.

If you are interested in doing a TEFL certificate course because you want an outline of some of the theories of teaching, then an internet marketplace “TEFL certificate” course may be okay for you.

If, on the other hand, you want to teach students – whether in-person or online – who are located in a non-English speaking country then I would strongly suggest purchasing a TEFL certificate that is robust nature and that will give you the requisite teacher tools to be able to fully function as the lead teacher in the physical or online classroom.

In my opinion, anything less would be completely foolhardy, since teaching is not easy.

It is a skill – in fact, many people say it’s a “calling” – and like any skill… you know, like learning how to drive, or learning how to ride a bike, or training to be a plumber…etc. (you get my drift?!) – you need someone to train you properly in that skill.

Otherwise, you will simply not be able to manage to do the job properly.

For instance, just imagine purchasing a multiple-choice plumbing course on an internet marketplace called, Goodies or wherever. You take a day or two (maximum) to go through the course, answer the multiple choice questions, and then blam… you are issued a plumbing certificate. Next, you go and set up a business as a plumber and start touting for customers to work on the plumbing in their homes.

I mean…who would do this? I mean…really?! Who in the crazy crevices of their mind would actually do this?!

Yet, it never ceases to amaze me that thousands and thousands of people purchase such online market place “TEFL teaching” courses, get an English teaching job abroad, and then fail dismally in the classroom and wonder why they failed.

Well… it’s simple… because you did not learn the skills of the teaching trade and you did not have the necessary teacher toolkit to go into the classroom in the first place.


I often wonder where this nonchalance, and perhaps even arrogance, comes from towards the teaching profession.

As a proud member of the teaching fraternity, I can say that I fully blame qualified teachers ourselves.

We – in my opinion – do not sing our own praises enough. 

We do not blow our own trumpets loudly.

We do not shout from the rooftops about everything that we do on a daily basis.

As teachers, we make it look like our job is easy to do.

Hence the reason why everyone… I mean literally “everyone…and the kitchen sick…haha!” thinks they can teach.

The reality is, this simply is not the case.

It’s not the case people.

Listen, the cost to get a TEFL certificate can vary widely.

In my opinion, there’s no need to pay an exorbitant amount of money for TEFL training.

On the other hand, be wary of bargain bucket “teacher training” courses, with little to no true substance and no oversight from an independent accreditation body.

If you are serious about TEFL teaching, and you want to be a success in the classroom, then invest in a proper mid-range TEFL teacher training course, that includes teaching practice so that you get to use the techniques and tools you are learning.

Yes, such a TEFL course may be a bit more expensive than you were hoping to pay when you initially embarked on your TEFL journey.

However, it will be a worthwhile investment, trust me on this one.

TEFL Tycoon offers two TEFL teacher training certificate options:

1. 140 hour TEFL Tycoon teaching certificate.

This TEFL certificate course consists of 100 hours of independent study, 20 hours of “live” teacher-led instruction, and 20 hours of teaching practice.

Our 140 hour TEFL course is a robust, rigorous, and comprehensive course of study.

By the end of the course, students will be equipped to enter the classroom with the skills and teacher toolkit that they need to succeed.

Moreover, our 140 hour TEFL certificate course is a good addition to any fully qualified teacher’s arsenal of teaching qualifications since it will equip them with the skills to teach their subject specialism (e.g. mathematics, chemistry, physics, history, economics, etc.) in English, in a non-English speaking country.

2. 40 hour TEFL Tycoon teaching certificate.

This TEFL certificate course consists of 40 hours of independent study, 3 hours of “live” teacher-led instruction, and 3 hours of online teaching practice.

Our 40 hour TEFL certificate is designed to prepare teachers to successfully work online with a wide range of students.

It is a great certificate for both the newbie TEFL teacher and the fully qualified subject teacher who wants to teach non-English speaking students, online from home or from anywhere.

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