teaching english in osaka, esl jobs osaka

Teaching English in Osaka, Japan

Looking for a way to escape your current routine and experience a new adventure abroad? Look no further than Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city and a TEFL hotspot.

Teaching English in Osaka can be a gateway to exploring a unique and fascinating city while earning a good salary and receiving additional benefits like health insurance, a traveling allowance, and assistance finding accommodation.

So why not take the leap and explore this TEFL hotspot for yourself?

Key Takeaways

  1. Osaka as a TEFL Destination: Osaka offers TEFL teachers a unique blend of modern cityscape and traditional culture alongside competitive salaries and benefits, including health insurance, travel allowances, and housing assistance.
  2. Teaching Requirements and Rewards: Teachers possessing a bachelor’s degree, some teaching experience, and a 100+hr TEFL certificate are eligible for positions in Osaka, with salaries averaging between 125,000-250,000 JPY/month (~$1,500-3,100 US), along with other benefits.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Osaka provides ample opportunities for cultural immersion, with attractions like the 16th-century Osaka Castle, the impressive Osaka Aquarium, traditional museums, futuristic buildings, and vibrant nightlife areas.
  4. Living and Working in Osaka: The average cost of living for TEFL teachers is 80,000-120,000 JPY/month, and employers often assist with housing. Understanding and respecting Japanese cultural norms while navigating classrooms and societal interactions is essential.

City Overview

Osaka is Japan’s third-largest city and an excellent destination for TEFL teachers.

Despite suffering heavy bombing during WWII, Osaka has transformed into a futuristic cityscape, especially at night when the streets come alive with neon lights. It’s a sci-fi lover’s dream come true, and you’ll be amazed by the sheer amount of concrete and steel surrounding you.

But Osaka isn’t just about the flashy lights and skyscrapers. The city also boasts an earthy and wholesome cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. The locals take their food seriously, and you’ll find a wide range of local specialties, such as takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (Japanese-style pancakes).

Teaching Opportunities in Osaka

If you’re interested in teaching abroad, opportunities in Osaka range from public schools to private language centers. Each option has its unique teaching methods and cultural awareness requirements.

Here are three sub-lists to help you understand the teaching opportunities in Osaka:

  • The JET Program is a government-sponsored program that places English teachers in public schools throughout Japan, including Osaka. The program offers competitive salaries and benefits, including housing and airfare reimbursement.
  • International schools in Osaka offer a more Western-style education and typically cater to children of expats or wealthy Japanese families. These schools often require a teaching certification and previous experience. The salary and benefits are often the most competitive, but the competition for these positions is also high.
  • Private language centers like Gaba and Berlitz specialize in teaching various languages, including English, Japanese, Korean and French. These centers may require less experience and education (you might not need a degree) than public or international schools, but they offer fewer benefits and lower salaries.
  • Teaching positions at universities in Osaka typically require a higher level of education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree in English or a related field. University English teachers often have more autonomy in designing and delivering courses, focusing on academic English, literature, or specialized subjects. Salaries for university English teachers tend to be higher than other teaching positions, but competition is high.
  • Private tutoring or teaching online in Japan offers flexibility in scheduling and the ability to work one-on-one with students or in small groups. Private tutors in Osaka can find opportunities through various platforms or agencies that connect them with students seeking personalized English instruction.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for teaching in Osaka varies depending on the type of job. Private tutoring is the lowest paying job, while international schools offer the highest pay.

However, remember that the cost of living in Osaka is high and comparable to Tokyo and more expensive than somewhere like Okinawa.

Job TitleEmployerLocationSalary (USD)Type
ALT (Assistant Language Teacher)JET ProgrammeOsaka, Japan$2,800 – $3,500 per monthPublic school
English TeacherECC JapanOsaka, Japan$2,500 – $3,000 per monthEnglish center
English TeacherBerlitz JapanOsaka, Japan$2,000 – $2,500 per monthEnglish center
English TeacherGaba CorporationOsaka, Japan$1,800 – $2,200 per monthEnglish center
University English TeacherVarious universitiesOsaka, Japan$3,000 – $5,000 per monthUniversity
Private Tutoring English TeacherVarious platforms or agenciesOsaka, Japan$20 – $40 per hour

Private Tutoring

In addition to salary, benefits for teaching in Osaka include airfare reimbursement, housing options, medical coverage, and teacher training. Some schools may provide housing or a stipend, but this may not be true for all schools.

Medical coverage is also provided as part of the benefits package. It’s important to research and compare different schools’ salaries and benefits before deciding where to teach in Osaka.

See our article on salaries for teaching in Japan for more details.

Teaching Requirements and Opportunities

If you’ve got a bachelor’s degree and some teaching experience, arriving in Osaka on a tourist visa can still lead to teaching opportunities with good salaries and additional benefits.

While it’s advisable to have at least some TEFL experience before arriving, having a 100+hr TEFL certificate indicates to potential employers that you have the basic skills necessary.

Japan has standard criteria for those wishing to teach in the country, but Osaka job competition can be fierce, and the better jobs usually go to the more experienced teacher.

So, if you have TEFL experience and meet the visa requirements, teaching English in Osaka can be an excellent opportunity to explore Japan and earn a good income.

Attractions and Must-See Spots

To fully experience the city of Osaka, make sure to visit some of its historical and cultural must-see spots.

Osaka’s top attractions include the Osaka Castle, built in the 16th century and known for its impressive stone walls and moats.

The Osaka Aquarium is also a must-visit destination, as it features a vast array of marine life and is considered one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world.

For those interested in history, the Open Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses is a hidden gem in Osaka, showcasing traditional Japanese homes from the Edo period.

The Umeda Sky building is a popular modern attraction that offers a stunning view of the city from its rooftop observatory.

Lastly, the Dotonbori area is a bustling district known for its vibrant nightlife and delicious street food.

Cost of Living in Osaka for an ESL Teacher

In Osaka, Japan, a newly qualified ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) can expect to earn a monthly salary ranging from $2,800 to $3,500 USD, resulting in a net income of $2,366 USD after accounting for the 5.3% income tax rate in Osaka.

Here’s a breakdown of how much of that you might spend:

Sample Budget for an ESL Teacher in Osaka

The cost of living in Osaka is relatively high compared to other parts of Japan. For instance, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is $1,000 USD, which is significantly higher than in smaller cities or rural areas.

Additionally, utilities, internet, food, and transportation costs are relatively reasonable, with monthly expenses averaging $1,881.7 USD.


  • Salary: $2,800 – $3,500 USD per month (average for a newly qualified ALT Teacher in Osaka, Japan)
  • Tax: $134 USD per month (5.3% income tax rate for Osaka)

Net income: $2,366 USD per month


  • Rent: $1,000 USD per month (average for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center)
  • Utilities: $113 USD per month (average for one person)
  • Internet: $37.5 USD per month (average for 50 Mbps+ unlimited plan)
  • Food: $430 USD per month (average for one person)
  • Transport: $51.2 USD per month (average for a monthly ticket for local transport)
  • Entertainment: $100 USD per month (estimated for cinema tickets, gym membership, eating out, etc.)
  • Health insurance: $50 USD per month (estimated for a basic plan)
  • Miscellaneous: $100 USD per month (estimated for personal care, clothing, etc.)

Total expenses: $1,881.7 USD per month

Cost of living and prices in Osaka 🇯🇵 Updated May 2023 – TravelTables

Cost of Living in Osaka. Jun 2023. Prices in Osaka (numbeo.com)

Comparing this budget to the United States, Osaka’s cost of living is generally higher. Salaries for teachers may be lower than in the US, but the expenses in Osaka are more expensive. For example, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Osaka is significantly higher compared to major US cities.

Additionally, health insurance costs and other miscellaneous expenses are also comparatively higher. However, it’s important to note that salaries and expenses can vary depending on the specific location within the US and individual circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of living in Osaka for TEFL teachers?

As a TEFL teacher in Osaka, you can expect to pay an average of 80,000-120,000 JPY/month for rent, utilities, and groceries. Budgeting tips include cooking at home and utilizing public transportation.

How easy is it to find accommodation in Osaka as a TEFL teacher?

As a TEFL teacher in Osaka, finding accommodation is relatively easy. Accommodation options range from shared apartments to private studios. Rental prices vary depending on location, but employers often assist with finding suitable housing.

What is the visa process like for TEFL teachers in Osaka?

To teach English in Osaka, you need a work visa. The application process involves submitting documentation, including a criminal background check. You can renew or extend your visa if you meet specific requirements, such as maintaining full-time employment.

What cultural differences should TEFL teachers be aware of when teaching in Osaka?

When teaching in Osaka, being aware of cultural norms such as bowing and respecting elders is essential. Classroom challenges may include students hesitating to speak up or ask questions, but building relationships can help overcome this.

Are there any opportunities for professional development or career advancement for TEFL teachers in Osaka?

In Osaka, there are various professional development and career opportunities for TEFL teachers. Many schools offer training programs, and experienced teachers can move into management positions. The city’s diverse population also allows for cultural and language exchange programs.