Teaching in Ireland can be a dream come true to linguists and bookworms of all creeds. The opportunity to walk in the trails forged by some of history’s greatest writers and poets in the likes of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde is one too good to pass up. Throw in the warmth and charisma of the Irish people — and the endless green island countryside sprawling across the north Atlantic — and what more could you ask to be inspired by as an uprising educator and creator looking for jobs in Ireland for Americans?
There’s just one catch to teaching abroad in Ireland, and it’s a big one: the Irish speak English. Teaching English as a second language is far and away the easiest ticket to working in a foreign country, but when you’re traveling to a country where the vast majority of the population are native speakers, that obviously complicates things a bit. Don’t fret. That’s why we’re here to make it easy on you. Here are a few pointers that will start you off in the right direction toward teaching in Ireland.
FAQs on teaching in Ireland
1. Is Teaching an Ireland Actually a Thing?
Yes, it is a thing. It’s just harder to find a position here than in a lot of other countries where English is not the dominant language. ESL teaching jobs in Ireland for Americans mostly exist in the form of private language schools, tutoring, and group instruction. Multinational companies also hire ESL teachers for language and accent coaching. Irish cities like Dublin are fastly gaining an international reputation, so this can be a lucrative market to look into.
If you are interested in teaching subjects other than English at a public or private school in Ireland, than the process can become understandably more complex. Primary schools will often require teachers to be fluent in Irish Gaelic because this is a part of the core curriculum for Irish students. High schools, though, normally will only require a teaching certificate recognized by Ireland’s Teaching Council in order to consider you for employment.
2. Who is Eligible for Teaching In Ireland?
Ireland is open to foreign teachers from all different countries and of all different ages and experience. That being said, because it is a country with a competitive global economy and elite education system, the most qualified and talented teachers will stand the best chance of getting hired. If you are from the European Union, this can also be a big up because you won’t have to jump through hoops to land a working visa.
As many from North America are specifically on the hunt for jobs in Ireland for Americans, teaching abroad in Ireland can be a nice low barrier option.
3. What Qualifications do I Need Before Teaching in Ireland?
As in many countries, teaching in Ireland requires a bachelor’s degree and at least a basic teaching credential. For ESL teaching positions, this means a standard TEFL certificate, which requires 120 hours of training. You are recommended to have a TEFL certificate to teach in Ireland. Prior teaching experience is also preferred, though typically not required. If you’re trying to land a job teaching a subject at a public or private school, then shooting for the math/sciences will be your best chance to land a position.
[Ready to make some green while teaching in Ireland? Our Online Advisors can help.]
4. Where are the BEST Places to Teach Abroad in Ireland?
Despite its big reputation, Ireland is actually a tiny island country, with a population of just over six million residents. Dublin, the city’s most iconic city, is the capital and its largest metropolis. Cork, the country’s second largest city nestled cozily in the south, can be a great environment to teach in if you’re not inclined toward the hustle and bustle of the big city. Limerick and Galway fall equally into this latter category; do you research into all these locations and more, and then go where feels right — or, most importantly, where you are accepted into a job.
5. How do I Find Programs for Teaching in Ireland?
Our directory of programs for teaching in Ireland is the best and most convenient place to start your search for jobs in Ireland for Americans. This will link you to several programs that can set you up with an ESL training and teaching position in locations all across the country. If you’re interested in applying to a job teaching at the primary, high school, or even university levels, then your best bet is to keep an eye on openings through education job boards and apply directly to these positions.
- Get TEFL/TESOL certified – check out certification programs here
- Take advantage of job placement services through your certification course
- Save and compare your favorite programs with MyGoAbroad
- Research Expert Advice on How to Teach English Abroad
- Browse the 8 Best Programs for Teaching English Abroad
- Know What You Need to Teach English Abroad?
6. How Much Money Will I Make While Teaching In Ireland?
You won’t make a killing, but you’ll make enough to get by. ESL teacher salaries in Ireland vary widely depending on the environment you are teaching in, but a fair estimate is to make $20 - $30 an hour for your work. Ireland is an expensive country to live abroad in, and you’ll be paying taxes while earning an income there, so you’ll want to be careful with your budget on an ESL teacher’s salary in Ireland.
Pro tip — it won’t hurt to pick up some freelance work tutoring on the side, either.
A few more lucky tips for teaching in Ireland
... For Teaching in a University
Ireland is a rich educational tradition at the college level, and boasts some of the oldest and most reputable universities in all of Europe. Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, National University of Ireland in Galway, and University College Cork are a few that stand out as elite. Enrolling in a graduate program at a university such as these and working your way up the ladder, or applying directly as an experienced college-level teacher, are a couple ways you might go about securing a faculty position.
- Recommended program: International TEFL Academy
... For Teaching at the High School Level
Teaching in Ireland at the high school level is a definite possibility, if you’re willing to wade into the right subjects for the job. English and other humanities are a point of national pride in Ireland, so landing a high school teaching position within these fields will prove difficult. However, as in many other countries, there is a high demand for teachers of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) at the high school level. This can be your ticket in the door, and that’s the most important step.
- Recommended programs: i-to-i TEFL
... For Teaching in a Primary School
Teaching at a primary school in Ireland is difficult as a foreign educator, because of the aforementioned requirement of speaking Irish Gaelic for many public school positions. Primary school teachers tend to branch into teaching all subjects, and this being a part of Ireland’s national curriculum makes it a difficult sell. You may have some luck, however, applying to specialized positions at private schools.
- Recommended program: International TEFL and TESOL Training
... For Short Term or Summer English Teaching Jobs in Ireland
If you’re looking to teach English in Ireland for a short stint, your best bet is to look in the bigger cities where there is a large international population. Teaching business English, tutoring, accent coaching, and teaching young learners are all possible routes you can take. If you complete your one-month TEFL training in Ireland prior to applying for positions, this is another chance to also make some contacts on the ground as well.
- Recommended program: PremierTEFL
Get on teaching in Ireland, mate!
Teaching in Ireland will be an inspiring journey into one of the world’s most fun and friendly countries, and into one of its best educational systems no less. Hopefully this guide helped with some few major pointers at the onset — now the rest is up to you to find the best opportunity for teaching in Ireland and make your dream come true!