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Job situation in London for MA TESOL grad?
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danahawkins



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject: Job situation in London for MA TESOL grad? Reply with quote

Hey all,

My partner might be transferred to his London office (we're from Australia) and I'm looking into teaching over there.

I have an MA TESOL and 7.5 years of teaching experience, both ESL and EFL contexts. I've been hearing horror stories about 10 pounds an hour, which terrifies me. The current rate for teaching ESL at an Australian University or College is no less than $70 per hour, and quite often higher (about 46 pounds). As you can imagine, I'm not too keen to take such a horrendous pay cut, and wondering if going over there is even worth it at all, or if I should convince my partner to stay in Australia.

Anyone out there currently working at a University or College? I have a few questions:

1. What is the pay actually like?
2. Is there much opportunity for employment, or is it a fairly closed-off industry (like it is here in Australia)

Thanks in advance for any information!!
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 734
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody with an MA in TESOL and with 7.5 years of teaching experience
would ever dream of working for 10 pounds an hour. These jobs are taken by people with no experience, or the desperate. You can earn more waiting at table or as bar staff.

Depending on when you intend arriving, check out the immediate university pre-sessional courses look at [/url]www.jobs.ac.uk[url] and [/url]www.baleap.com[url] which start from around April and offer between 650-700 pounds per week, sometimes including accommodation.

Often a pre-sessional course is the path into something more permanent.
You can also command a minimum of 35-40 pounds an hour for private lessons/IELTS preparation/GMAT/LNAT/BMAT exam work. You can advertise in and around the university campus.

I work at a top-ranking London university and my annual overall salary is never below 50,000 GB pounds a year.[/url]
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
Nobody with an MA in TESOL and with 7.5 years of teaching experience
would ever dream of working for 10 pounds an hour. These jobs are taken by people with no experience, or the desperate. You can earn more waiting at table or as bar staff.

Depending on when you intend arriving, check out the immediate university pre-sessional courses look at [/url]www.jobs.ac.uk[url] and [/url]www.baleap.com[url] which start from around April and offer between 650-700 pounds per week, sometimes including accommodation.

Often a pre-sessional course is the path into something more permanent.
You can also command a minimum of 35-40 pounds an hour for private lessons/IELTS preparation/GMAT/LNAT/BMAT exam work. You can advertise in and around the university campus.

I work at a top-ranking London university and my annual overall salary is never below 50,000 GB pounds a year.[/url]


I don't doubt what Dedicated says, but my advice would be to take it all with a pinch of salt. You might get lucky and find pre-sessional work as described, but bear in mind that such jobs are the creme de la creme and will be fiercely contested. It goes without saying that many such posts will go to incumbent teachers and returnees.

Re. Dedicated's salary, while it is (apparently) still possible to make that much in the UK uni TESOL sector, it would also place him/her in an elite and endangered group. Uni salaries ranging from 25 to 35K would be more the norm (in TESOL that is), and even these posts will be competitive. Uni work is more often piecemeal thesedays rather than a salary as such. Btw, there are plenty of other threads on this site discussing the state of uni pay in TESOL. Many unis have had their English language operation hijacked by McDonalds-style private language cartels - you can guess what the pay and conditions will be like.

Where I feel I can agree with Dedicated without reservation is regarding the 10 pounds an hour stuff - I'm sure you can do much better than that.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12228
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer session work at univeristies pays reasonably. Apart fropm that, not much going, unless you fancy a "Zero-hours Contract". They may be on offer AFTER you have done a summer school.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
Depending on when you intend arriving, check out the immediate university pre-sessional courses look at [/url]www.jobs.ac.uk[url] and [/url]www.baleap.com[url] which start from around April and offer between 650-700 pounds per week, sometimes including accommodation.


First of all, the summer presessionals are seasonal gigs and most do not pay a gross 700 quid a week.(Remember you'll lose around 25% of your gross salary to NI and tax deductions.) Also, these jobs often go to returnees or teachers who are already teaching insessional courses with the university, meaning that it is quite difficult to get a foot in the door.

Quote:
Often a pre-sessional course is the path into something more permanent.
You can also command a minimum of 35-40 pounds an hour for private lessons/IELTS preparation/GMAT/LNAT/BMAT exam work. You can advertise in and around the university campus.

I work at a top-ranking London university and my annual overall salary is never below 50,000 GB pounds a year.[/url]


While the figure of 50,000 is possible, it is highly unlikely that you'll earn that kind of income because as an outsider it'll be virtually impossible to break into the better jobs. Of course you could work for the fast food institutions like INTO and Study Group which pay around the 25,000 mark per annum for a 40+ hour week. As to teaching privates, you'd be lucky to find enough to keep your boat afloat and the hourly rates that Dedicated quotes are simply too high.

If you can earn 46 quid an hour working at an Australian university, why move to the UK? You'd only be shooting yourself in the foot.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 734
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote :
Quote:
...the hourly rates that Dedicated quotes are simply too high


Of course, a lot depends on your qualifications and experience and where you are based. With a BA and CELTA you are not going to command much (if you even get any private tutees) and not likely to get pre-sessional work. How can you accurately advise postgraduate students on how to write a thesis if you have never done one yourself?

The OP said she had an MA and 7.5 years of experience.

I'm based in London and have an MA, MSc and PhD and have built up an extremely full timetable of contacts and private lessons. If you do a good job, word-of-mouth is everything, and companies/organisations contact you. This obviously takes time and effort. Check out any of the high-ranking universities and see how much they charge for private lessons - they start at 48 pounds per hour. This is standard.

Frankly, I'm tired of folk based abroad, saying it's impossible to earn a good salary in the UK; that the UK is only for losers on 10 pounds an hour. If you have the qualifications and experience, there is masses of work in London - I regularly have to turn work away, or keep companies waiting until I have a spare "slot".
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
I'm based in London and have an MA, MSc and PhD and have built up an extremely full timetable of contacts and private lessons. If you do a good job, word-of-mouth is everything, and companies/organisations contact you. This obviously takes time and effort. Check out any of the high-ranking universities and see how much they charge for private lessons - they start at 48 pounds per hour. This is standard.


How do you get these lucrative 48 pound an hour jobs? If the university is offering you this work, they have a legal obligation to advertise the post first. I've seen no jobs posted by universities for private students at www.jobs.ac.uk that pay this princely sum.

Quote:
Frankly, I'm tired of folk based abroad, saying it's impossible to earn a good salary in the UK; that the UK is only for losers on 10 pounds an hour. If you have the qualifications and experience, there is masses of work in London - I regularly have to turn work away, or keep companies waiting until I have a spare "slot".


Folks based abroad say these things because they know the reality of trying to make a good living as a tefl teacher in the UK is virtually impossible.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 734
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle,

Clearly you have no idea of how the system works ! The potential teacher forwards his full CV stating his qualifications/experience and areas of expertise directly to universities and multinational companies and asks to be placed on their database.

Then you would be asked to attend an interview. If you pass muster, you are placed on the database. Then you just wait until you are contacted.

Potential language clients either contact the university, or the company HR department. Japanese businessmen/bankers/medical researchers are particularly good clients, often paying up to 100 pounds an hour.This is because you would probably spend at least one hour beforehand familiarising yourself with their area or reading whatever they have sent you. There is an increasing number of Russians, Chinese and Kazakhs expecting high level tuition at present.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 734
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slapntickle,

Clearly you have no idea of how the system works ! The potential teacher forwards his full CV stating his qualifications/experience and areas of expertise directly to universities and multinational companies and asks to be placed on their database.

Then you would be asked to attend an interview. If you pass muster, you are placed on the database. Then you just wait until you are contacted.

Potential language clients either contact the university, or the company HR department. Japanese businessmen/bankers/medical researchers are particularly good clients, often paying up to 100 pounds an hour.This is because you would probably spend at least one hour beforehand familiarising yourself with their area or reading whatever they have sent you. There is an increasing number of Russians, Chinese and Kazakhs expecting high level tuition at present.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
Clearly you have no idea of how the system works ! The potential teacher forwards his full CV stating his qualifications/experience and areas of expertise directly to universities and multinational companies and asks to be placed on their database.

Then you would be asked to attend an interview. If you pass muster, you are placed on the database. Then you just wait until you are contacted.


But the OP is looking for a full-time permanent gig right now which pays around the 46 pound mark. I'm sure those teachers that already have been working for a said university would have first pickings? And how long does a teacher hang around the phone waiting to be called when there is rent to pay and food to be put on the table? You live in cloud cuckoo land.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9441
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You live in cloud cuckoo land


Beg to differ.

You're both correct.

I've been based mostly in continental Europe for over a decade. The word is that pay is subsistence-level here - and I say it myself. But I also say that there are better jobs around. They're not rife, they require higher-level quals, you need local contacts and rep, and some measure of luck. I do far better than subsistence level, as do my colleagues. But we have all of the above.

So, the distinction is quals, experience, local contacts and rep, patience, and luck. Extremely unlikely that anyone new to the area is going to walk into the better gigs.
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LH123



Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the spirit of offering a 'middle-way' answer between Dedicated's wondrous 50k+ p.a. and everyone else's ghastly 10 an hour (which, according to my crude calculations, would come to c14,400 p.a.), I work in London doing EAP and various other bits-and-bobs and my 2011-2012 pre-tax income came to 32,090.

So, I'm not quite in the socio-economic realm of coke parties with high-class escorts, but nor am I about to sell a kidney to pay the water bill. 'Boringly middle-class' is probably how I'd phrase it...
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danahawkins



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply... seems there's varied responses but it actually seems to be on-par with Australian standards.

Similar to what some of you have said, teaching jobs at universities and colleges in Australia are few and far between. Once a teacher has a job, they tend to sink in their claws and not let go until retirement. Again, it sounds similar to our job progression... usually your resume makes its way to the company, mostly by a referee, and you begin getting casual teaching in modules as they come up. Generally one waits around for about 2 years, you never just fall into one of these positions.

Equally, in the larger cities we have a plethora of ten-pound-an-hour teaching jobs, though I'm much more likely to hunt down a university position and sit in the "sessional teaching" line for two years.

To be honest, while I'd love to live in London for a while, I'd only really be heading there if my partner was transferred. I get the feeling like someone in my position would be back down at the bottom of the list if I moved to the UK, while I remain at the top of the list here.

Thanks again to everyone for the information, it was extremely helpful!
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12228
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also the question of a work permit if you are not a citizen of UK or other EU State.
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danahawkins



Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
There is also the question of a work permit if you are not a citizen of UK or other EU State.


Not an issue.
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