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Teaching English in Portugal

Teaching English In Portugal Feature
Some of the reasons teaching English in Portugal is popular is because of its Mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, and warm welcoming people.

Teaching English in Portugal


Bachelor’s Degree: Not required

Monthly Salary: $1,200 to 2,000 USD

Peak Hiring: January and September

Visa Information: EU citizenship and work visa

Housing: Not compensated

Airfare: Not reimbursed

Student Types: Business English

At a Glance

In recent years, Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination for English teachers looking to work abroad. This is largely due to the fact that Portuguese schools are pushing English instruction in the school system. Furthermore, the increasing importance of English in today’s global economy has led to a growing demand for fluent English speakers in the workplace.


Teaching English in Portugal is one of the most popular countries to work in Europe. It’s a beautiful country to live in with a Mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, and welcoming people. English is widely spoken, especially in Lisbon and in the Algarve. 

Even though the economy is struggling a bit, there are still plenty of teaching jobs available. The cost of living is low making it an attractive place to live comfortably. You can earn anywhere between $1,200 to 2,000 USD (€1,000 – 1,650 Euros).

Teaching English in Portugal requires a university degree, CELTA, or TEFL certificate.  You’ll require a green receipt for most work in Portugal. Once you get one, you can freelance and teach almost anywhere there.

English Language Schools in Portugal

Most teaching jobs are in Lisbon. Most likely, you will work in either a public school or a private academy.  You can expect higher wages in public schools, but the criteria for acceptance are more rigorous.  The best time to get hired is at the start of summer.

Employers like to only hire candidates with green receipts. They are a bit exploitative in a way that you are treated exactly like an employee in terms of job duties and expectations. But companies assume no responsibility for paying taxes compared to a permanent staff member.

Finding Work in Portugal

If you are an American who wants to teach English in Portugal, it is exceptionally difficult. This is because a school can very easily just hire someone with an EU passport and skip the headache of getting you a visa.  One option for teachers from the United States is the American School of Languages which can set you up with legal work.

In terms of finding work teaching English in Portugal, just send your CV to every school you can find online. Here are some of the bigger chain schools in Portugal. For example, here are schools below that are looking to hire ESL teachers in Portugal today.


You can earn anywhere between $1,200 to 2,000 USD (€1,000 – 1,800 Euros). Because the cost of living is lower than most of Europe, it makes it an attractive place for you to live comfortably

The job market in Portugal is struggling for the time being and in the foreseeable future. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t any English teaching opportunities. Most jobs can be found in Lisbon.  But you can really find English teaching jobs all over Portugal.

As mentioned, your work will likely be on a green receipt. Unfortunately, this means you have fewer rights as a full-time staff member because you’re a freelancer. Employers can fire you without much notice. You also don’t get any benefits such as paid holidays or sick time. Any administration type of work like attending meetings, writing report cards, and preparing lessons are not paid.

Monthly SalaryTotal
US Dollars (USD)1,200 to 2,000 USD
European Euros (EUR)1,000 to 1,800 EUR


With its charming cobblestone streets and historic architecture, Portugal’s historic capital city of Lisbon is often referred to as the “Jewel of the Atlantic.” In addition to its picturesque scenery, Lisbon offers a wide range of educational opportunities for English teachers looking to work abroad.

These opportunities include everything from private language schools to public universities and everything in between. Furthermore, the warm climate and affordable cost of living make Lisbon one of the most affordable cities in Europe for international teachers. Check out these TEFL certification courses to get started teaching English in Portugal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the English language level already in Portugal?

English is already widely used, especially in larger cities. Not only is most TV in English, but it also has subtitles so everyone listens to and reads English constantly.

Is it possible to teach English in Portugal without a degree or TEFL certification?

No. You need to have an undergraduate degree and a CELTA/TEFL certificate. This gives you the proper qualifications to teach in a classroom in Portugal.

What are some of the downsides of teaching English in Portugal?

Some of the downsides of living and teaching English in Portugal are its unattractive job market, paperwork/bureaucracy, an exploitative green receipt for freelance work, difficulty learning Portuguese, and noise levels within the city.

Do you have to know the Portuguese language to be an English teacher?

You don’t have to know Portuguese to become an English teacher. You should try focusing on learning the Portuguese language to get by such as ordering food at a restaurant, traveling around town, and buying a monthly bus or train pass.

How much can you make teaching English in Portugal?

You can expect to earn anywhere between $1,200 to 2,000 USD (€1,000 – 1,800 Euros).


  • The world’s oldest bookstore is in Lisbon.
  • Its long coastline makes Portugal a top destination for surfing.
  • Portugal is home to 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Japanese tempura originated from Portugal.
  • Portugal is Europe’s most westerly point.
  • Port wine is a famous export.
  • Football/soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is Portuguese.
  • Portugal is the oldest country in Europe.

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