How much is a TEFL Certification going to cost me?

How much is a TEFL Certification going to cost me?

The cost of getting your Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), is definitely something that plays a huge part in acquiring one and probably is playing on your mind. Because, as we know, money is one of the hottest of topics when it comes to travelling, because as much as we would like it to, money doesn’t grow on trees.

Living on a shoestring is hard, but what if you could save yourself some money in order to earn money? In a perfect world, just being able to speak and write in English would be enough to be able to teach it, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t go that way. In order to be able to teach English you need to become a qualified (TEFL) teacher- you’ve got to be able to evaluate student’s language levels, prepare lesson plans, manage classrooms and have a good understanding of grammar as well as improve your own understanding of the subtleties of the language.

However, you are in luck! This is exactly what a TEFL Certification includes and there is no need to threat, as getting all of these things under your belt without breaking the bank can be easily done.

The international standard TEFL course is completing 100-120 hours of instruction, as well as 10-20 hours of teaching practice live (and dangerous) in a classroom environment.  And of course, all of this has to be verified by an external organisation. You may know by now, there are many ways you can take your TEFL certificate, and the cost depends on the type of certificate you get.

When choosing what type of certificate you want, you should look into the future, and decide on what you are intending to do once you’ve got it.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

The prices always vary, as with anything in life, but you can expect to spend around $500 – $1000USD for an Online TEFL certificate. There are comparison sites out there for things like this, for example, you can look here.

Bear in mind that the more hours you do the more money you spend. As you can expect, an in-person on-site TEFL certificate comes at a higher cost. The price to do one at home, is usually around $1000USD, or to do an in-person certificate abroad the lowest we found is in Thailand $1200 but can go up to -$2500USD including travel and accommodation. Doing an in-person certificate abroad in places like Vietnam means you can live, eat, study and play for very little money; the cost of living is greatly different to that in the UK or US. (Especially if your diet will just consists of endless Banh Mi’s!, which I highly recommend and noodles!) So like all the other options, the price of doing this style of course varies as well…

When it comes to TEFL, what you pay for is what you essentially get!

The number of hours of certification plays a part in the price, as well as the amount of tutor involvement from the TEFL course provider. Please, please remember that it works in your favour to pick an accredited TEFL certification course, ask around and Join some groups.  Treat yourself to some quality training……you will thank yourself later!

Some TEFL providers do allow you to pay in instalments, so make sure you read all the tiny t’s & c’s before signing up to paying it upfront. However, paying upfront is usually the way it goes. A nice thing to remember is that if your budget only allows a course of minimal hours, some providers allow you to later upgrade your course, and add on more hours when you can afford to.

Onsite TEFL courses usually require you to pay an initial deposit, then the balance of your course closer to the starting date. Take it at your own pace – the last thing you need to be doing is stressing!

Soft copies of your certificate when you complete the course are more often than not, included in the price of your course. Upon completion, typically you can download your TEFL and submit electronically.

Even some of the fancier providers, provide their students with access to an online portal where potential schools can go to verify your certificate.

If you want to have one in hard copy, so your parents can frame it on the mantelpiece beside your embarrassing Year 7 school photo, this usually requires a fee. Can be anywhere between $50-$80. They print them all fancy, on the top quality paper, embossed, signed, sealed and delivered. Now most employers in many countries require this hard copy, which has to be authenticated by the accredited body, so if you see yourself working in an international school, pay the extra to get it.  Also some companies will provide you with the hard copy upon completion free of charge.


I know this all seems totally overwhelming, but it’s cool, you’ve got this. You’ve just got to keep reminding yourself that this is an opportunity and an adventure of a lifetime, and it’s totally worth it. Do your research, be patient with yourself, but most importantly, get excited!

This post was originally written in February 2020 by Eve Feeney.

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