Teaching English in Portugal

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

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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 and CELTA/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.


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 of 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.

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 who 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.

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You can earn anywhere between $1,200 to 2,000 USD (€1,000 – 1,650 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 work like attending meetings, writing report cards, and preparing lessons are not paid.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

Some of the downsides about 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.

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.

You can expect to earn anywhere between $1,200 to 2,000 USD (€1,000 – 1,650 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.