What Can I Do with a CELTA Qualification?


You’re likely already aware that the CELTA qualification is arguably the most highly accredited English Language Teaching certificate in the world.

But does it have to lead to a career as an EFL teacher, or are there some other, slightly more outside-of-the-box paths that you could follow? Well, be sure to stay tuned, because I’ll address everything you need to know in this simple and helpful article.

So, what exactly can you do with a CELTA qualification? There’s a wide variety of things you can do, such as:

  • Private Tutoring
  • Volunteering
  • Opening a language school
  • Taking the DELTA course
  • Becoming a teacher trainer
  • Work in publishing (both freelance and full time)

I’ll list a few more later on, so keep reading!

So there’s plenty of options for you to consider once you’ve finished your CELTA qualification. If you’d like my advice, I recommend that you try finding a teaching job as soon as possible after completing the course, so you don’t forget everything that you’ve learnt.

That way, you can accumulate all of that valuable teaching experience you’ll need in order to move on to the more senior TEFL-related job you so desire. There are many different career paths that you can go down if you have a CELTA and a fair bit of experience, and I’ll touch on those shortly.

As you probably already know, CELTA stands for ‘Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults’, so the most obvious thing to do after completion of the course would be to find a paid job as an English language teacher. However, you might find it rather difficult to find a job after doing the CELTA, or you might even decide that teaching just isn’t for you.

  • So what other options are there?
  • What’s the best way to build up your CV/resume to help you find work as a teacher?
  • And how can you find the TEFL-related career that’s best suited to you?

Well if you want to find out, take a look down below!

Teach English

This is obviously the most common thing to do after completing the CELTA course. But what are the different ways in which you can teach English as a foreign language?

Work for a Language School

When doing an online job search, you’re most likely to come across TEFL jobs in language schools. This type of work will be very similar to the teaching practice in the CELTA course, and can involve teaching learners of a variety of backgrounds and ages, with class sizes ranging from 5 to 25 students per class (or even 50+ in China!).

Private Lessons

If working for a language school isn’t really your cup of tea, you may be interested in teaching private lessons. This type of work can be particularly rewarding, especially if you like to be your own boss, and can often bring in quite a lot of money. However, there are 2 things you should bear in mind: it can be pretty difficult finding enough private students to earn a living, and if you don’t have your own office or workspace, you have to be prepared to travel around a lot.

Teach Online

Teaching English online can be a great way to earn money from the comfort of your own home, or it could even make a fantastic part-time job for you to do outside of your normal working hours. If you have a university degree, it should be relatively easy for you to find a full-time contracted job as an online teacher. If you don’t, you can always sign up for a platform such as Palfish or Cambly, where you’ll have to work as a freelance teacher and create a profile that will attract learners to your service.

Build up Experience

Looking for work as a newly qualified English language teacher can prove to be quite difficult, and you may end up looking for a way to build up your experience in order to attract future employers.

Most TEFL job listings require anywhere from 6 months to 5 years of classroom experience, so how on earth can you get there from here? Well, one option that’s quite popular with new CELTA graduates is volunteering. Although a lot of volunteer positions require that you pay for your food and accommodation, it’s not impossible to find some that are absolutely free.

Tip: Check out the Workaway app (I like to use this for volunteering in exchange for food and accommodation!)

Open a Language School

After a long and fruitful career in teaching, many ESL teachers choose to open up their own language schools. Evidently, you don’t need a CELTA qualification to do this, but it sure helps!

This is something that most people tend to do after gaining many years of experience and expertise, however that’s not completely necessary either. All you’ll need is a good location, some bright and friendly staff, and a burning passion for language teaching.

Take Further Study

If after completing the CELTA course you decide that you’d like to learn more on the topic of English language teaching, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep yourself busy and quench your thirst for knowledge. 

DELTA

The DELTA certification, or the Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults, is a very rewarding thing to do if you’re serious about a career in teaching.

It’s quite a bit more advanced and intense than the CELTA , and you have to have at least a year of teaching experience to qualify for the course. It takes roughly 130 hours to complete, and you can choose whether you take the course full-time or part-time, face-to-face or online.

University Education

If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, training as an English teacher may well inspire you to seek higher education, and a CELTA will undeniably look great on your university application.

Some courses that will help you in your career as an ESL teacher are: English Language, TESOL/TEFL, Linguistics, and Modern Languages. However, most TEFL jobs that require a bachelor’s degree don’t actually mind which degree you have, just as long as you have one. 

Become a Teacher Trainer

To become a CELTA course trainer, there are quite a lot of prerequisites. You must have a certain amount of experience and knowledge as an English teacher, and hold either a DELTA (as mentioned above) or Trinity Diploma.

Teacher training can be a great thing to get into if you want a bit of a change from ESL teaching, but it’s certainly not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s loads more work that goes into it and it can be pretty stressful, so unless you’re looking for some extremely hard (but rewarding) work, it might be more relaxing to just stick to teaching English.

Work in Publishing

There’s a lot of publishing work available in the ELT (English Language Teaching) sector, for professionals who have experience working as English teachers and are looking to branch out into another career.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the type of work that you can typically go straight into after finishing your CELTA, and you may find that this is an opportunity that will only become available to you after you’ve got a few years of teaching experience under your belt.

Employers such as the Oxford University Press, Pearson and Macmillan are always looking for publishers who have fantastic writing skills and expertise as a teacher to create publications such as guides for teaching English and textbooks for ESL learners.

One specific job title that might be accessible to you as someone without experience in publishing is a ‘development editor’. These roles come up quite frequently and could be a good starting point if you think a career in publishing might be the way to go for you.

You can also find freelance positions in publishing by reaching out to the major publishing companies as many have these but do not advertise them externally, rather relying on a network of contacts.

(Editor’s note: I worked as a freelance, online proofreader for Pearson Education on some of their online English courses for a short period which was well paid and interesting! This came through a friend who worked there after teaching English with a CELTA qualification!)

Related Questions

Does CELTA guarantee a job? Unfortunately, no, it does not. Though there are some CELTA course providers that will give all successful trainees part-time or casual teaching work, most of the time you’ll have to just do some job hunting and hope for the best.
What’s the average starting salary for teaching English in Europe? This really varies from country to country, so I’ll provide you with a few examples of salaries from different European countries:

  • Spain – €1,018
  • France – €1,379
  • Italy – €1,172
  • Greece – €944
  • Germany – €1,680
  • United Kingdom – €1,800

Salaries also vary between cities, for example an English teacher in Barcelona will likely have a higher salary than an English teacher in Malaga, so take the points above as a rough guide.

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