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Home / Teach English in Portugal the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Portugal

Although Portugal isn’t frequently mentioned as a top TEFL destination in Europe, its recent economic progress has made many teachers more conscious of the unique advantages of relocating here. For seasoned TEFL teachers who wish to relax and take advantage of the nice weather, this country offers abundant employment prospects and a slower pace of life. Furthermore, teachers will find their function in Portuguese society easier to integrate into if they have a social culture and a favourable attitude toward language acquisition.

Portugal’s slower pace of life appeals to visitors from other countries. The locals are amiable and outgoing; they prefer to mingle, eat together, listen to good music, and hang out in bars and cafés. Portugal has mild weather from March to October, although summers may be oppressively hot if you aren’t acclimated to it. The weather is one of the country’s main attractions. Though it isn’t always warm, keep in mind that Portugal has chilly winters. If you live near the seaside, unwinding on the beaches is a fantastic way to spend your leisure time.

In this guide, you will find the types of jobs for those looking to teach English in Portugal and how to find the best one to suit your needs. It also investigates the cost of living and the lifestyle you can enjoy as an English teacher in Portugal. Hence, you have all the information to make the best choice about where in the world you go to teach English abroad and get the best experience and create some fantastic memories.

Types of jobs in Portugal

Private and Bilingual Schools

These schools operate under their own laws. Thus, the pay you will be offered as an English teacher in Portugal varies based on experience and negotiation skills, but they should always be more than those at public schools. You will find that some colleges will offer their English teachers in Portugal free or subsidised lodging as part of the contract, but it’s a bit of a gamble because you have little choice in the matter. It may be a beautifully remodelled home in the most incredible neighbourhood, or it could be an old house with sewage issues.

While younger children (those in fifth grade and below) get 45 minutes of each lesson, teenagers typically have 90-minute classes with no breaks.

Public Schools

Public schools can be a bit of a tough nut to crack for English teachers in Portugal. If you know enough Portuguese to pass the entrance examinations, you will have to contend with intense competition because you will be assigned to the schools in your preferred neighbourhood or country of origin regardless of your test results. Although public school teachers are covered by health insurance, you are still responsible for finding housing. You are expected to put in about 22 hours per week, including office time, although end-of-year meetings and/or field excursions may force you to work longer than that, often without getting paid extra.

Volunteer Teaching

You might also put money aside and volunteer to teach English in Portugal. You will be assigned to the less fortunate regions of the nation, such as Alentejo, which has a small population and inadequate educational opportunities.

People here differ significantly from those in large cities; they are true to themselves and tend to treat opportunities more seriously than others who have been within arm’s reach of them. Additionally, most people know what they want to do when they grow up as early as age 15. If you can use English to assist them in accomplishing their objectives, you will leave an unforgettable memory.

Private Tutoring

You could also look into becoming a private tutor when you are teaching English in Portugal. Many people use this as a way to top up their income. You can either teach in your home, or you can go to the homes of your clients. You may get adults or children wanting to learn English. You could also teach English in Portugal online, and your students can be located anywhere in the world. Of course, if you go down this route, your income from this portion of your earnings will be considered freelance or self-employed, and you are responsible for ensuring you understand any reporting for tax purposes.

Where and when to find jobs

You should begin considering it in the summer, so once June begins, keep an eye out and remember that the majority of contracts are signed in late August. Just after the start of the academic year in, December or January is another excellent period if you want to earn some extra money while already inside the nation; this is ideal.

Going online and contacting the universities or colleges directly through their websites would be the first step. Even if there isn’t a careers tab, send them an email outlining your position and ask if they can pass it to HR for you. The majority of employees ought to be at least somewhat fluent in English, but if you don’t hear back after a week, try having your email translated into Portuguese and resending it.

Public school contracts are typically completed online, and you are required to pass specific requirements and tests, which are usually administered in Portuguese. Searches for private institutions, including schools and language schools, are conducted online. Every year, English Teachers (or Professores de Inglês in Portuguese) are advertised on job boards throughout Portugal. However, keep in mind that few of these positions come with a contract. We cannot emphasise enough how crucial it is to be able to bargain for yourself and your terms to ensure you are treated fairly as an English teacher in Portugal.

They will at least try to meet you halfway if they really want you to teach English in Portugal in their establishment. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to work for a traditional language school, visit their website and see if any teaching positions are open in Portugal.



The low cost of living allows you an excellent standard of living as an English teacher in Portugal, even if you aren’t earning a fortune. Portugal beats out other popular TEFL locations like Spain, France, Italy, and Germany in terms of the cost of living in Western Europe. In addition, the cost of living will decrease when you venture outside larger cities like Lisbon, Cascais, Porto, Braga, and Aveiro. Prices are astoundingly inexpensive compared to other adjacent countries, even in the most populated cities.

Living in Portugal allows you to afford to adopt the Portuguese way of life. In Portugal, dining out is very different from cooking at home. Mediterranean-style eating is the norm at home, with lots of fresh produce, side salads, bread, soup, and hearty meals. You won’t find many veggies on restaurant menus because most entrees are meat or fish-heavy and come with a variety of appetisers like bread and olives. In Portugal, eating out might be challenging for vegetarians. Dinner is typically consumed in the late evening, between 19 and 23 hours.

In Portugal, coffee culture plays a significant role in daily life. Portugal’s café drinks are frequently brief (even shot-sized), and the cakes are typically bite-sized, in contrast to other Western countries where you would order a latte and a slice of cake and sit nursing it for an hour. As a result, locals may be seen rushing into the coffee shops, downing an espresso and a little croissant, and then leaving minutes later to continue with their day. Moreover, these indulgences are inexpensive, so you can afford to eat out frequently (small coffee and a variety of tiny cakes for two people, about €5).

In order to provide the most accurate cost of living figures, we use numbeo.com, the world’s largest cost of living database, updated regularly.

  • Accommodation: £429–£628/€520–€750
  • Utilities: £95/€111
  • Health insurance: If you live and work in Portugal and contribute to social security, you will typically be entitled to state healthcare (called the Servicio Nacional de Saude (SNS), similar to the NHS in the UK). Dental visits are not covered. GP Visit: £43/€50
  • Monthly transport pass: £32/€37
  • Basic dinner out for two: £23/€26
  • Cappuccino in ex-pat area: £2.02/€2.41
  • A beer in a pub: £2.06/€2.50
  • 1 litre of milk: £0.56/€0.65

Tefl Jobs In Portugal: KEY POINTS






Bachelors degree



120-hour TEFL qualification



Public & private schools


  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: The Algarve, Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra
  • The average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of €700 to €1,000 (£616–£880/$756–$1,080) per month. Top schools will offer in the region of €1,300–€1,600 (£1,145–£1,409/$1,40–$1,729) per month. Private lesson prices vary from €10–€18 (£8.80–£15.85/$10.80–$19.45) per hour.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL certificate is a minimum requirement.
  • Prerequisite university degree: Candidates must hold a degree for all but volunteering positions.
  • Term times: September–June (dates vary by region).
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Teaching programmes: Intensive summer school courses (which are a great way into securing a full-time job), public schools, private schools, international schools, language centres, freelance.
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: At least one year of experience will be required for many jobs, with the best jobs asking for two or more years of experience. Knowledge of basic Portuguese will also make you more employable.

Although the salaries for TEFL instructors in Portugal might not appear to be as high as those in neighbouring nations, keep in mind that the country has a cheap cost of living. Most English teachers in Portugal who work full-time will find that they have enough money to get by, but they can supplement their income by giving private lessons in the evenings or on weekends.

The majority of Portuguese schools are open Monday through Friday, with English teachers in Portugal working about 22 hours a week in class time in addition to preparation time. In addition, you could be required by some schools to participate in extracurricular activities like school plays. For younger pupils, classes will typically last 45 minutes; for older students, 90 minutes. It can occasionally be simpler to get hired in a private school than in a public one. This is because public schools are more likely to require Portuguese language proficiency and have drawn-out hiring procedures. Contracts for full-time work will last nine or twelve months. If your contract is for nine months, fill the gap with a summer school placement before the next term.

The schedule for TEFL teaching in a language school will be varied, with most courses taking place on the weekends and in the evenings. When you apply for a job at a school, you can end up working throughout the week for five or six different institutions. This is probably true in smaller towns where there aren’t enough students enrolled in one school to support a full-time English teacher. Some jobs offer housing, payment for travel expenses, school dinners, Portuguese lessons, and a yearly bonus.

Facts about Teach English in Portugal the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022






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Tefl Jobs In Portugal: FAQS


How much can I earn teaching English in Portugal?

The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of €700 to €1,000 (£616–£880/$756–$1,080) per month. Top schools will offer in the region of €1,300–€1,600 (£1,145–£1,409/$1,404–$1,729) per month. Private lesson prices vary from €10–€18 (£8.80–£15.85/$10.80–$19.45) per hour.

Portugal’s low cost of living allows you an excellent standard of living even if you aren’t earning a fortune. Portugal beats out other popular TEFL locations like Spain, France, Italy, and Germany in terms of the cost of living in Western Europe.

Yes, for nearly all jobs, it is a requirement that English teachers in Portugal have a bachelor’s degree. However, if you are looking to volunteer your time, then you will not need to have the same educational requirements.

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