teaching English in Japan salary


Are you an English teacher who wants to work abroad? Let us find out how much do English teachers in Japan make!

To answer the question, “How much do English teachers in Japan make?” In Japan, the average monthly salary for an English teacher is about 431,000 JPY. Salary could range from the lowest salary of 224,000 JPY to the highest amounting to 659,000 JPY. Hourly rates for tutoring hover around 3,000 Yen per hour.

The typical monthly wage includes housing, transportation, and other amenities. Depending on geography, gender, experience, and talents, English teacher compensation might vary greatly.

If you are a fluent or Native English speaker interested in teaching English in Japan, continue reading, so you’ll know everything you need to start a career as an English teacher in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Salary Distribution of English Teachers in Japan

Before deciding to enter a career path, knowing how much do English teachers make in Japan and the benefits you may receive is very important, as well as the state of its industry. So here is the salary distribution of English teachers in Japan based on the median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range according to Salary Explorer.

Salary Range

How much do English teachers make in Japan per month? English Teacher salaries in Japan range from 224,000 JPY per month (minimum salary) to 659,000 JPY per month (maximum salary).

Median Salary

How much do English teachers make in Japan in median salary? The median salary is 413,000 JPY per month, meaning that half of the people working as English Teachers earn less than 413,000 JPY while the other half earn more than 413,000 JPY. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be in a group earning more than the median salary.


25 percent of English teachers earn less than 287,000 JPY, while 75 percent earn more than 287,000 JPY. Also, 75 percent of English Teachers are earning less than 515,000 JPY, while 25 percent are earning more than 515,000 JPY.

Apart from the salary, the following bonuses and privileges are available to prospective English teachers in Japan:

  • Health benefits or insurance
  • Remuneration for flight expenses
  • Subsidized or free lodging
  • Flexible working hours for those teaching in Japanese private schools
  • Bonuses or incentives for completion from some private schools

Teaching in Japan Salary Comparison of English Teachers by Years of Experience

The level of experience has the biggest impact on compensation. Naturally, your salary will increase as you get more experience.

Those with less than two years of English teaching experience can make about 254,000 JPY monthly in Japan.

A person with over two to five years of experience may expect to make 341,000 JPY each month, which is 34 percent more than those with under two years of experience.

Moving forward, someone with five to ten years of experience earns 443,000 JPY per month, which is 34 percent more than someone with two to 5 years of experience in teaching.

Furthermore, English teachers with ten to fifteen years of experience earn 537,000 JPY per month, which is 21 percent more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

For English teachers with an experience level between fifteen to twenty years, the anticipated salary is 587,000 JPY per month which is 9 percent more than those with five to ten years of teaching experience.

Lastly, the salary for workers with more than twenty years of experience in their field is 617,000 JPY per month, which is 5 percent greater than that of English teachers with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Salary Comparison of English Teachers By Education Level in Japan

We are all aware that earning more money requires more education. To compare how much more money a degree can add to your income, here is the salary breakdown of how much do English teachers make in Japan by the level of education.

The average compensation for an English teacher with a bachelor’s degree is 328,000 JPY monthly.

Meanwhile, the pay for someone with a master’s degree amounts to 406,000 JPY per month, which is 24 percent greater than the salary of someone with a bachelor’s degree.

The average pay for a doctorate holder is 650,000 JPY per month, which is 60 percent more than a master’s degree holder.

The varying compensation based on the level of education demonstrates that the return on investment is unquestionably worthwhile if you can afford the higher education expenses, and you should be able to get back your spending roughly in a year.

The Cost of Living in Japan

If you are planning to move to Japan for an English teaching job opportunity, aside from learning how do much English teachers make in Japan, it is important to know the cost of living there. To know what your salary can afford you in Japan, here are some of the common costs while living in Japan:

Rent and utilities

Rent can range from inexpensive 10-square-meter studio apartments to pricey luxury residences in exclusive neighborhoods. Housing expenses are noticeably lower outside central Tokyo, particularly in Japan’s suburbs, neighboring prefectures, and other areas and cities.

Between 50,000 to 70,000 yen is the national average monthly rent, excluding amenities, for a one-room apartment (20 to 40 square meters). Similar-sized flats in central Tokyo and adjacent popular districts typically start renting for around 100,000 yen per month. For people who want to stay in the city but would rather not rent traditional apartments, guest homes are an affordable and generally convenient choice to think about.

Besides a few guest houses and monthly rentals, utilities are commonly not included in the fee. Typically, the gas would be the most costly, followed by water, then electricity.


For people with appropriate residency cards and a Japanese bank account, mobile phones are easily accessible. Standard subscription plans start at about 6000 yen per month, but cheaper alternatives are open from bargain providers at about 2000 yen per month.

Residents who want internet connection at home should think about either purchasing a pocket wifi gadget for 2500 yen per month or availing of broadband or fiber optic internet subscription for 4000 yen per month. Alternate choices for internet connection include paid public wifi and manga cafés.

Household Goods, Services, and Leisure

Large chain electronic stores, home centers, and second-hand stores sell home appliances, including refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances. While international stores like Ikea offer fairly priced foreign goods, Japanese chain hypermarkets and interior goods retailers provide reasonably cost furniture and household goods. For individuals looking to furnish their residences on the cheap, 100 Yen Shops provide a wide variety of items, including kitchenware and stationery, for just 100 yen apiece.

Regarding services, pricing starts at 4000 yen for a trim; Japanese hairdressers are known for providing excellent service, making haircuts in Japan an experience in and of themselves. For leisure, karaoke places provide hourly rates starting at 200 yen. Game centers are available in most cities, and cinemas tickets cost between 1000 and 2000 yen.

Groceries and Dining Out

Local grocers are reasonably priced if you stick to Japanese foods like seasonal vegetables, fish, and soy products. Before the store closes each evening, pre-cooked foods are available at reduced costs. Shopping at other adjacent supermarkets may be helpful to get a sense of average costs, quality, selection, and sale days.

If you decide to eat out, you can find inexpensive eateries that serve meals between 500 and 1000 yen, even those that serve noodles, donburi, curry rice, bibimbap, hamburgers, and a variety of other cuisines. You can search for them in and around busy commercial districts and huge train stations.

In most cities, anybody can find both artisan and chain cafes. The average cost of a cup of coffee at a coffee shop is about 300 yen. Meanwhile, the cost is a little bit higher at a specialty café.


Affordable basic clothing retailers and large chain supermarkets’ clothing sections carry inexpensive clothing. Although department stores and boutiques may have more fashionable items, their prices also tend to be higher. Be aware that Japanese sizes sometimes run smaller than those in American and European sizes and that larger sizes may be hard to locate.

Commuting and Transportation

Commuters can purchase unlimited train travel between their homes and work or education for one or more months. Many Japanese businesses cover all or a portion of their employees’ railway fares. While a wide range of discounts is accessible for train travel in Japan, many rail vouchers like the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used by Japanese citizens.

Cycling is a fairly economical form of transportation, particularly if you live in a city. Near train terminals in practically all cities, taxis are often the only means of transportation after trains and buses cease running about midnight. They might also be a cost-effective option for shorter trips in groups of three or four. Meanwhile, the cars are reasonably priced, with compact new cars starting at about 1.3 million yen. Expressway use is additionally subject to tolls.

Qualifications for English Teachers in Japan

In every job, there are basic qualifications and requirements that you need to meet for you to get the job. Similarly, Japan has some basic requirements for aspiring English Teachers, which include:

1. College Degree

Without a degree, teaching English in Japan is practically impossible. It can be difficult for a foreigner to find employment in Japan without a degree. That’s because you need a bachelor’s degree to obtain a normal working visa there. Therefore, earning your degree should be the first thing on your checklist. This is a must if you’re thinking about how to find a teaching position in Japan in the future.

2. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification

Additionally, many teaching positions demand TEFL or TESOL certification. Having concrete evidence that you are qualified to teach English is a major boost to your application, even if the position you want doesn’t strictly require you to finish an instructor certification program. You may easily fit this credential into your schedule by choosing an in-person TEFL course or enrolling in part- or full-time online courses.

3 . Visa

A bonus benefit is finding work as a teacher in Japan, which is an easy way to obtain a visa. Although relocating to Japan to teach English does require a visa, many programs and institutions will assist your major move.

Ensure you and your employer take all essential precautions before boarding the aircraft. Make sure your documentation is in order twice because securing a visa may be challenging after you’re in Japan may be difficult. Settling your paperwork will save you from getting into trouble as you prepare to begin teaching.

4. Background and Health checks

You may be required to complete a background check and health check for your job or your visa. You’ll need a clean criminal history to get hired as an English teacher. If anything drug-related comes up in your background check, that’s usually a deal-breaker.

5. Teaching Experience

While you don’t need a degree in teaching or any teaching experience to get a job teaching English, it would still be better for you to possess any teaching experience. After all, having an extensive experience in a job position will surely give you an advantage in landing the job.

English Teaching Opportunities in Japan with Expected Salaries

If you are determined to land an English teaching opportunity in Japan, here are several options to choose from:


An independent English school or private academy is known as an eikaiwa. Additionally known as a discussion school, cram school, or night school, this kind of institution pays its teachers about 250,000 yen per month.

Classes typically take place in the afternoon or evening at these schools, catering to children and adults. There are typically 10 to 15 pupils in each class, and each day there are five to eight hours of instruction.

Public Schools

You can work as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) at a Japanese public school in addition to doing so in private or Eikaiwas. Some public schools don’t employ the JET Program; instead, they hire teachers directly or through recruiters. Many public Japanese elementary and high schools provide these positions.

By being hired by the school or a recruiter, you can become an ALT and earn between 200,000 and 250,000 yen each month.

JET Program

The JET Program, also known as the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, is an international exchange program. It brings recent college graduates to teach in Japan. Since the program’s inception in 1987, teachers have been sent to Japan to work as ALTs in public schools.

Your pay rises on a predetermined scale as you gain experience in the JET program, allowing earnings to vary widely. Salaries typically range from 2.8 million to 3.96 million yen annually.

International Schools

Another alternative for English teachers who desire to work in Japan is to work in an international school. These institutions typically have the highest pay and perks, but they usually have more stringent admissions standards. The instructors must be adequately qualified and experienced in their native nations.

Working in an international school, you can earn between 250,000 and 600,000 yen each month. Tokyo is home to most foreign schools, and they typically require at least two years of prior teaching experience.


Universities are similarly demanding about their teachers’ credentials, as are international schools. They often demand a Master’s degree in English teaching and substantial classroom experience.

Working at a university will allow you to earn between 300,000 and 600,000 yen. It can significantly increase over any other possibility.

Private Tutor

You can also work as a private tutor while teaching English in Japan. You can select your timetable and pricing even if you might not receive any of the advantages offered by the other options. If you want to have more control over your schedule as a result, this is your best option.

Private, one-on-one tutoring can generate some extra income for determined individuals. You can anticipate making about 3,000 yen every hour.

Choosing the right place for you is important. You may also opt to teach English online since virtual classes have become more prevalent now.

Key Takeaways

Japan is an amazing country home to beautiful tourist attractions and wonderful experiences, making it attractive to tourists worldwide. Apart from this, it is also a go-to place for those who want to work abroad due to the country’s wide array of opportunities. Going abroad is especially true for those who want to be an English teacher in Japan due to a constant demand to teach English to Japanese students. However, before starting your journey to securing an English teaching opportunity abroad, it is important to be well-informed about the country and its working culture. Prepare yourself in the best way possible, both physically and emotionally.

Although the cost of living in Japan may be high, the compensation that comes with the opportunity it offers could outweigh all the troubles. But remember, you have to be determined. You can achieve your goals while working, saving, traveling, or simply enjoying life.