Expect to earn around 250,000 yen per month for teaching English full-time in Japan. 250,000 yen was once a government-mandated minimum salary for English teachers and has largely continued.
Some schools get away with paying as little as 180,000 yen per month, but that is mostly for Japanese or non-native teaching assistants. Business English teachers or those with University positions might earn up to 350,000 but those positions are harder to come by and not likely for new English teachers in Japan.
What is a Typical Teaching Salary for Teaching English in Japan?
Many websites publish an “average salary” for teaching English in Japan in the range of 200,000 yen to 500,000 yen or more. Ignoring the fact that salary range like that is not an “average”, it’s also not very helpful in providing a realistic salary expectation for prospective teachers.
Real Salaries and Wages for English Teaching in Japan September 2019
Rather than start with some generic, averaged numbers here are some recent job postings that show exactly how much some of the larger English schools in Japan pay English teachers.
Full-Time English Teaching Salaries with Location per Month
- Berlitz Japan – Tokyo – 275,000 yen
- Owl International School – Tokyo – 275,000+ yen
- Blue Dolphins International Preschool – Osaka – 275,000+ yen
- Mabuchi Academic School – Osaka, Kyoto – 200,000 yen
- Kindergarten Teacher TIS Group – Fukuoka – 270,000 yen
- Benesse Preschool Teacher – Yokohama – 240,000 yen
- One World International School – Tokyo – 250,000 yen
- Kids Duo Kindergarten Teacher – Osaka – 250,000 yen
- Borderlink ALT – Shizuoka, Tokyo – 215,000 yen
Part-Time English Teaching Wages
- Gaba – Japan – 1500 yen per 40 minute lesson
- Sesame Street English – Tokyo – 3000 yen per hour
- Rosetta Stone Learning Center – 3400 yen per hour
- CTS – Aichi – 3300 yen per hour
- Shane Corporation – Nagoya, Aichi – 3000 yen per hour plus
- Nova ALT – Osaka – 12,000 yen per day
- Nova – Osaka – 2600 yen per hour
How Much Can You Expect To Earn Teaching English in Japan?
As you can see from the full-time English teaching positions listed above, 250,000 yen per month for a new English teacher is a realistic salary expectation for most new English teachers in Japan.
This salary is still a carryover from when there was a government-mandated minimum salary for English teachers of 250,000 yen per month. That rule is no longer in effect, but 250,000 yen per month is still a common average starting salary.
Eikaiwa English Schools – 250,000 yen Salary
An Eikaiwa or English conversation school will pay on average of about 250,000 yen to start. Some of bigger schools like Nova, Berlitz or ECC will pay up to 270,000 for new teachers. Eikaiwas are privately owned companies where students typically study in the evenings after school or work for about 1 hour per week.
Most schools do not provide housing or flight reimbursements. Many of the best jobs will require you to apply in Japan.
JET Programme – 280,000 yen Salary
The government-sponsored Japan Exchange and Teaching programme offers salaries of 280,000 yen per month. The advantage for these positions is that you’ll more likely be an English teaching assistant in a public school with a very lax teaching schedule and lots of school holidays. You’ll likely have a lot of free time during the school day to work on your own projects.
Another benefit or drawback, depending on your perspective, is that you’ll most likely be teaching in a rural location with more opportunities to learn Japanese and less opportunities to spend money. That means a more authentic Japanese experience and more savings.
I still think the JET Programme is one of the best ways to come to Japan. However, you have to be under 40 years of age and there are a limited number of JET teachers accepted each year.
ALT (Assistant Language Teachers) – 200,000 yen Salary
Assistant Language Teachers are hired directly by public schools instead of hiring more expensive JET teachers. These positions generally pay less and I know of several schools that don’t pay for holiday months when the ALT isn’t needed. Housing can often be provided, but you can expect a more demanding teaching schedule that typical JET teachers.
International Schools and Universities – 280,000 + yen Salary
International schools and private universities will tend to pay higher salaries, but they are also looking for more experience teachers, often with a masters degree in a teaching discipline. These jobs are more likely given to English teachers already in Japan.
Do English Teachers Make Good Money?
One of the benefits of teaching English in Japan is that income taxes and health care expenses are very low. You can expect to pay about 12,000 per month in income taxes on a 250,000 yen per month salary and about 10,000 yen per month for health care. Health care coverage in Japan includes dental so that is a fantastic deal. Here what you can expect for the cost of living in Japan.
If you are fortunate enough to have housing included in your contract, you can save a large chunk of your income and still experience the great lifestyle that Japan has to offer.
Can You Teach English in Japan Without a Degree?
The simple answer is no. You can have any degree, but you will need a degree to get a work visa to teach English in Japan. There are some under-the-table positions (illegal), however, that won’t solve your visa requirements to stay in the country. Japan also offers a work holiday program which allows you to work part-time without a degree so that may be an option if you are coming to Japan for a short-time and mostly want to travel.
How Do You Get a Job Teaching English in Japan?
I showed up in Japan without a job and work visa and found employment on my own, however, I don’t recommend that path. It is best to start your English teaching career in Japan with the JET Programme or a reputable English school.
Videos on Salaries for English teachers in Japan
Cost of Living in Japan – JET Programme Salary
How Much English Teachers Make in Japan
More Japan Teaching Information
A general overview of what to expect teaching English in Japan. Learn why Japan is still my favorite country for teaching English and watch videos of other English teachers in Japan.
For standard of living and the potential to save money, Japan is still one of the best countries in the world to teach English. Until recently (2006), there was a government set minimum salary for teachers in Japan of 250,000 yen per month($2500). This rule is no longer strictly followed and some schools try to pay less for novice teachers. … Read More
In order to receive a work visa, you will first have to get hired. Your employer will help you fill out all the necessary paperwork and you will have to apply at a Japanese embassy. A bachelors University degree is required in order to receive a work visa. It doesn’t matter what subject you majored in. There are stories of teachers using fake degrees certificates bought online or in countries like Thailand, however I have never met anyone who has admitted to doing this. … Read More