Although not the only one, TEFL certification cost is an important factor when deciding on a TEFL course. This post helps you to understand the prices for TEFL courses and other expenses you may encounter to get your TEFL certification.

TEFL certification cost can vary widely due to factors like program length, location, and add-ons to the certification itself. The biggest price differentiator will be whether you choose to take your TEFL course in person or online.


In-person courses prepare you better to lead a real classroom, and they are typically offered in popular locales. They also give you the chance to move to your teaching destination early to begin acclimating and meeting people within your program.

On the other hand, online courses are much easier if you want to continue working full-time while getting TEFL certified, or if you’re looking for the most affordable option. Adding on course supplements like Business English or Teaching English to Young Learners may also increase the overall cost of your certification.

In-person courses – TEFL certification cost range

Two popular providers of in-person TEFL courses are the International TEFL Academy and International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT). Their courses are full-time, four weeks long, and scattered all around the globe.Typically, in-person courses range from $1,300 to $2,500.

The region you choose to get certified will affect the cost of the course itself as well as your expenses while living there. The United States, Europe, and the Middle East will be more expensive, while Central America, South America, and Asia will be cheaper. Africa has limited options for in-person TEFL courses, although they would likely be on the pricier end.

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The price does not include living expenses like housing, food, and activities. Most in-person courses do come with benefits like job search guidance, airport pickups, and assistance finding housing – although be sure to confirm everything included in the price before making your selection.

What does CELTA certification cost?

First and foremost, let’s distinguish CELTA from TEFL. TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language”, and can be used as a broad umbrella term for the act of teaching English to non-native speakers (TESOL and TESL essentially mean the same thing as well). CELTA, on the other hand, is a specific TEFL program sponsored by Cambridge University.

CELTA has strict standards, and cannot be administered by anyone besides Cambridge. With CELTA, the quality is guaranteed – while TEFL programs are varied and require more research to ensure that they’re valid and accredited.

Because it’s considered the “gold standard” of TEFL courses, the CELTA cost is significantly higher than your average certification – typically ranging between $1,500 and $4,000. One benefit to the price tag is that a CELTA certification has prestige and international recognition, so you may be able to get higher paying jobs and more teaching opportunities because of it.

Costs for online TEFL certification

Online TEFL certifications tend to be the cheapest option, and many people decide to go this route for its ease and affordability. Online courses that are internationally recognized, accredited, and at least 120 hours can cost as little as $250 or as much as $2,500.

The price varies widely due to a few factors: the organization providing the course, the level of support you’ll receive, and the perks included – like job search guidance and personalized trainers.

Cheap prices for TEFL courses must not necessarily indicate lack of quality. Do your research and read alumni reviews on the internet. But please stay away from those $99 Groupon deals! They probably won’t get you a legit job, and often, they come along with hidden costs, for example, if you want to have a paper copy of your TEFL certificate.

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Additional costs when taking a TEFL course

The biggest thing to keep in mind when budgeting for a TEFL certification cost, is the living expenses if you choose to do an in-person course. Classroom instruction, studying, practicum hours, and lesson planning will take up the vast majority of your days, so you won’t have much time to earn money on the side. Since in-person courses are typically four weeks long, you’ll need to figure out the cost of living in your destination and budget accordingly.

If you plan to stay and find a job after, you should save up an additional month or two of expenses to hold you over until you start getting paid. Apart from that, you may need to purchase a few books and classroom supplies – but they shouldn’t set you back more than $50-150.

Online courses give you more flexibility because you can continue working and earning money, so your only real cost is that of the course itself. Depending on if and where you choose to do your practicum teaching hours, you may have minor transportation expenses.

Online courses do not typically require you to purchase supplies of any kind, and the head teachers provide everything you might need during your practicum hours.

Read our guide: Which TEFL Online Course Should I Choose?


Regardless of your situation, you should be able to find a TEFL certification that suits your goals and your wallet. You can continue your normal lifestyle while taking an online course for as little as $250, or you can move to a new locale and immerse yourself in your TEFL course full-time.

When you decide on a course, TEFL certification cost should not be your sole criteria. Make sure, the TEFL course will prepare you for your teaching career and open doors to attractive jobs.

The demand for English teachers is only growing, so you should be working and earning money in no time. With so many course options and possible countries to teach in, the hardest part will be making a decision!

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The author
Brooke Matta is a girl in her mid-twenties who loves her home in the U.S. but still leaves as often as possible to explore the world beyond. She's lived in Costa Rica and Spain, and has been teaching with her TEFL certification. Read her Upbeatatlas Blog or follow her on Instagram.