If the rolling green hills and seaside cliffs don’t win you over immediately, the relaxed environment and friendly locals will certainly make Dublin feel like home. As one of the most historic cities in Western Europe, Dublin has much to offer for those interested in living, teaching, and exploring Ireland. While competitive, it is possible to secure a teaching job in Dublin if you are open to teaching a variety of different subjects. Balancing your time, between time spent with students, time dedicated to getting to know the city, and time to sit back and relax with a pint while making new Irish friends, will never seem easier than in the nearly stress-free culture of Dublin, Ireland.
Teaching Jobs in Dublin
Education is a high priority in Ireland, and those who decide they’d like to teach in Dublin will have many job options at hand. While native English speakers may find it challenging to secure a teaching placement in Dublin, bringing other talents or specialities to the table will increase your chances of a contract (such as skills in art or music and knowledge of a unique science or foreign language).
Gaelscoileanna. Though the primary spoken language of Ireland is English, there is a growing movement in Dublin to educate the youth in the historical language of the nation, Gaelic (referred to as Irish by the locals) through language immersion. A gaelscoil is a school taught entirely in Irish; these schools require Irish language fluency of all teachers, hence it can be difficult for international teachers to find teaching jobs in gaelscoils.
National Schools. Native English speakers often find teaching jobs in Dublin at national schools, where courses are taught in English. A university degree is required to teach in Dublin at any national school, regardless of level. However, many schools also require an accredited teaching license or a master’s degree. Applicants that meet these requirements may find themselves teaching math and science courses, depending on their skill set. Individuals with fluency in additional languages outside of English are highly attractive applicants to national schools, where foreign language courses are frequently taught, especially Spanish and French.
Substitute Teaching. Without an advanced degree or several years of teaching experience, it is possible to obtain a substitute teaching job in Dublin. This type of position will help you build up your resume before you apply for a full time teaching job in Dublin.
Schedule. School semesters in Dublin span from August to December and January to May; holiday breaks include Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and summer holidays. A majority of Dublin schools are religiously affiliated, especially Catholic; students and staff from any religion are welcome, but be aware there is often a religious component to some school activities.
Life in Dublin
Though your teaching experience in Ireland will no doubt be enriching, the best part about teaching in Dublin is life outside of the classroom. Dubliners are famous for welcoming foreigners with long-winded stories and pints at local pubs. Though small in area, Dublin has all the amenities of a large city, including exciting nightlife, social activities, and cultural enrichment opportunities.
Fortunately for those who decide to teach in Dublin, a car is not required. The city has an excellent public transportation system of buses, trains, and trams. Many Dubliners exalt in opportunities to get away from the city, take a train to the countryside, and experience a calmer, more relaxed side of Ireland.
Making fast friends in Dublin won’t seem difficult; there is a huge pub culture and coworkers and acquaintances often socialize after work, listening to good stories for hours. If the social life doesn’t complete your experience, the delicious food will; from cheese toasties to fish and chips, no place does comfort food quite like Dublin.
Culturally, Dublin is an exciting town. With brilliantly designed libraries, museums, architectural landmarks, and sports parks, it will be easy to entertain yourself on your days off. Whether you choose to stroll along the riverside Temple Bar area, home to pubs, famous movie theaters, and creative street art, or to shop on Grafton Street and haggle with street vendors, Dublin is always abuzz.
Salary & Costs
Fortunately, though the hiring process for teaching jobs in Dublin is extremely competitive, those that are hired will enjoy a modestly high salary. Unfortunately, Dublin can be an expensive place to live, even on a decent teacher’s salary.
Even with recent government spending cutbacks, Irish teachers are consistently ranked as some of the highest paid teachers in the entire European Union. Annual salaries for teachers in Ireland are around $50,000 on average, or $4,000 monthly. Salaries also range depending on the school and type of placement. Most national schools in Dublin are connected to the Catholic Church, but a growing movement has created several non-denominational schools; non-denominational schools are run by nonprofit organizations and are therefore able to pay teachers less.
Inside the city, rent may cost up to $1,200 per month, plus $200 in utilities. The price of groceries and eating out in the city can also be quite high. Groceries can cost up to $200 a month; Ireland is an island so, naturally, the cost of importing groceries drives up consumer cost. A meal at a cheaper local restaurant will run you about $30, including the alcoholic beverage famed in Ireland, beer. As with any big city, it is possible to cut costs, if you’re looking to save money, by preparing your own food, limiting money spent in pubs and social clubs, or by splitting rent costs with roommates or fellow teachers.
Accommodations & Visas
Some schools offer housing as part of teaching contracts, in exchange for a considerably lower salary. However, most schools in Dublin do not offer accommodation to teachers. Never underestimate Irish hospitality, though; supervisors or school contacts will often help international teachers secure a reasonable apartment before arrival. Be sure to ask for housing recommendations from your school!
Also keep in mind that the public transportation system in Dublin is first-rate, but still affordable. It is entirely feasible to rent a cheaper place outside the city limits and commute to work every day. Some teachers find this gives them extra time to prepare for the day, or to grade papers at the end of it.
The work visa application in Ireland follows a pretty standard process. You must have sponsorship from an employer in order to get a work visa approved. Work visas are typically in effect for a two-year term; your contract with a particular school may be longer or shorter than that period. This basic requirement means you will have to obtain a teaching job in Dublin before you arrive. Therefore, expect preliminary interviews to be done online or over the phone.
Benefits & Challenges
Those who have gone through the extensive hiring process and choose to live and work in beautiful Dublin often reflect that the arduous process of planning, organizing, and interviewing is worth it once they have settled into their teaching job, made friends, and fallen in love with the city.
Emerald Education. Where better to expand your teaching portfolio, invest in your passion for education, and make professional contacts than on the beautiful Emerald Isle? The classroom environment in Dublin reflects the Irish culture, being both jovial and amiable.
High Standards. Dublin boasts a high quality of living along with high teacher salaries, so making this dynamic and historic city your home will feel effortless. Even with the considerable challenges you may face, your experience teaching in Dublin, both in and out of the classroom, will surely have you chanting Erin go Bragh!