On Recruitment Agencies in Japan

by Kevin R Burns
(Kanagawa, Japan)

On Recruitment Agencies in Japan

On the Recruitment Agencies that Recruit for Public Schools in this country

Some of the recruitment agencies, that recruit assistant language teachers to work as ALTs in elementary, junior and senior high schools, have been criticized for offering salaries below the norm.

However some offer salaries competitive or higher than many English schools. Some of the English schools should be ashamed of the salaries they dare to offer teachers.

Indeed ESL Teaching is a wonderful way to see the world! You can teach for a very large school or one of the recruitment agencies, and be placed virtually anywhere in Japan, then use your Yen (one of the world`s strongest currencies), and travel the South Pacific and Asia.

While this practice of local public schools asking recruitment agencies to do the hiring of teachers for them, has been much maligned, I note that the salaries offered by these agencies are competitive.

Interac is now, one of the leading providers of ALTs to elementary, junior and senior high schools throughout Japan. Berlitz I believe sends teachers to some universities.

If at all possible:

I highly recommend securing your job directly with the high school or university if you can however.
Your pay will be much higher, and you will be treated with much more respect by colleagues and other staff.

*Some existing university staff tend to shun employees that are sent to their institution by agencies. Keep that in mind if you want to go this route.

(Though keep in mind that starting as a new teacher at a jr/sr high school or a university is tough). It should take you a while to feel at home anywhere really.


Minimum-a university degree (Usually)

Preferably a year or more of teaching experience.

The recruitment agencies often help teachers get experience so they can go onto other more secure teaching positions in Japan.

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