The Complete Guide to Teaching with AEON in Japan
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About Teaching with AEON in Japan
AEON is a chain of private language institutes, focused on helping both adults and children improve their conversational English ability. Founded in 1973, AEON has grown to be one of the largest and most respected eikaiwas (English conversation schools) in Japan. AEON teaches by full immersion method, meaning the classes are all completely in English.
AEON employs over 500 teachers and education specialists from overseas and within Japan to teach at one of their 250 plus schools, located within every prefecture in Japan. The majority of teachers at AEON teach both adults and children. Similar to ECC (another chain of eikaiwas), the students tend to study after school or work, as well as in their free time, so classes are usually taught during afternoons, evenings and weekends.
AEON recruits from several English-speaking countries around the world. All applicants must have a strong and masterful command of the English language as well as a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. With a competitive salary, including salary increases with extended contracts, and benefits like a travel stipend and paid overtime, AEON is another popular choice for those wanting to teach English in Japan.
AEON Teaching Requirements
In order to be considered to teach with AEON, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Have a strong and masterful command of the English language
- Meet the requirements for a Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa
- Ability to commit to a one-year contract
- Possess a genuine interest in the culture and people of Japan as well as in teaching and business
- Agree to work exclusively for AEON during the contract period
AEON fully sponsors Japanese work visas for those coming from overseas. However, applicants must be eligible for a Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa, which means having specific relevant experience.
This can be any ONE of the following:
- A Bachelor’s degree in any subject from an accredited institution in an English-speaking country and a minimum of 10 years education from schools where English was the primary language.
- A Bachelor’s degree in a subject related to English Education or English.
- A Bachelor’s degree in any subject and at least 3 years of ESL teaching experience.
FAQs About Teaching with AEON
Do you need a TEFL certificate or teaching experience?
A TEFL certification, or any teaching qualification, is helpful but isn’t an essential requirement to teach with AEON. The same applies to having previous teaching experience – it’s not part of the eligibility criteria and AEON offers paid training in Japan.
Do you need to speak Japanese?
No, AEON teachers speak English at the schools.
Do you need to have completed a bachelor’s degree before applying to AEON?
No, but applications shouldn’t be submitted more than six months before the expected date that the degree will be awarded.
AEON Salary and Benefits
AEON teachers receive a competitive monthly salary of approximately 275,000 yen (around $2,500 USD), which is similar to the starting salary for a JET teacher. The monthly salary is broken down into a base salary of 255,000 yen and a 20,000 yen fixed overtime allowance.
Additional overtime is paid if teaching time exceeds 25 hours a week or falls outside the regular scheduled work week. If teachers are offered an extension on their contract, a salary increase will be given.
The AEON salary is sufficient to cover basic living expenses, such as as rent and utility bills. Some AEON teachers are able to save money, providing the funds to travel within and around Japan during their time off.
AEON provides their teachers with a fully-furnished, private apartment which includes a bathroom and kitchenette. Monthly rent of up to 55,000 yen (approx $500 USD) is paid for by AEON teachers, and is automatically deducted from their monthly salary. Utilities, internet access and all other personal expenses are the responsibility of the teacher.
A one-time, 70,000 yen (approx $630 USD) flight allowance is provided for AEON teachers, but they must arrange and pay for their own airfare to and from Japan.
AEON fully reimburses their teachers for all commuting expenses to and from the workplace, along with any travel to training and professional development events.
On top of two days off a week and national holidays, AEON teachers receive 3 one-week vacation periods to take at specific times during the year. There are also an extra 5 paid personal days that can be taken each year.
A one-time bonus is provided to AEON teachers after completing their final contract. The bonus amounts are 80,000 yen (approx $720 USD) for 12 – 23 months of employment, and 160,000 yen (approx $1,450 USD) for 24 months or more of employment.
Social, Health and Pension Benefits
Health insurance coverage through the Japan Health Insurance Association is provided and contributions into the Japan Pension Service must be made. Covering both these benefits costs around 40,000 yen per month (approx $360 USD), and is deducted from the teacher’s monthly salary. Some of the pension contribution is refundable.
Comprehensive Training and Support
Upon arrival in Japan, AEON teachers receive a week or more of paid training. There are also ongoing paid training and professional development events throughout the year.
AEON Application Process, Timeline & Location
AEON teaching positions are offered every month of the year. Interview sessions are held regularly in Los Angeles and New York City, as well as throughout the year in other cities across the US, Canada, England and Australia. There is a recruiting office in Tokyo for those who currently live in Japan.
If you’re interested in teaching with AEON, you can apply online through their recruiting locations page. You can choose the most convenient interview location for you and submit your resume and essay to the designated office for this location. If you don’t live near any of the listed locations, there are guidelines on the recruiting locations page that you can follow. Successful applicants are offered an interview over Skype.
Next step is to complete a short (around 10-20 minute) professional interview over Skype, where you’ll have the opportunity to introduce yourself and discuss working as an AEON teacher. If successful here, you’re then invited to the next stage, which is a general meeting and group interview.
General Meeting and Group Interview
This is an in-person interview where you have the chance to learn more about AEON, as well as observe and teach short lesson demonstrations and complete a short written test. This part of the process is compulsory if you wish to be considered for a position with AEON.
If you don’t live in a country where AEON is recruiting, it may be possible to complete this part of the process through Skype.
If you pass the group interview, you’ll be offered a personal interview later the same day. During this interview, you’ll be required to give a 10-minute lesson. The interviewer will be the student. Usually, they’ll give you a few minutes to plan it.
There are forums out there with advice on how to succeed with both the interview process and general application.
Once you’ve successfully completed the personal interview, AEON then begins the position search. During the interview process, you’ll be asked about your preferences regarding location, number of children’s classes you’d like to teach, and when you’d like to begin your contract. Although these preferences are considered, AEON can’t guarantee that they will be met.
Once a position offer is made, you’ll be informed of your contract dates and location of your school. Further information, including types of lessons currently being taught at the school, is also given.
It generally takes two to six months from position offer to arrival in Japan. AEON will go through each step of the process with you. A general guideline of this process can be found on AEON’s position offer to arrival in Japan page. It includes further details on the visa application process and what happens pre-departure and upon arrival in Japan.
When to Apply
AEON recruits teachers from all over the world and offers teaching positions throughout the year. Check their recruiting locations page to find out their current dates and locations for upcoming in-person interview sessions and which offices to apply to.
AEON recruits teachers for the following regions in Japan:
What’s it like teaching for Aeon?
AEON contracts are one-year long, and can start all year round. These contracts may be extended for successful teachers.
As an AEON teacher, your role is to contribute to the development of your students’ conversational English ability. The majority of AEON teachers will teach both adults and children.
These lessons are designed to help improve students’ everyday conversational ability. More specialized courses designed for business English and standardized test preparation are also offered.
These lessons provide children with solid foundations in conversational English, and are designed in a fun way to keep children engaged.
An AEON Work Day
AEON students tend to study after their regular school or work days, as well as in their free time. This means that most classes are taught afternoons, evenings and weekends. As an AEON teacher, you’ll work a 40 hour week over 5 days. Typically, AEON teachers work Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 9pm. Teachers will teach an average of five to seven classes a day, teaching 25 hours a week. Read up about a typical day at AEON.
An AEON teacher’s responsibilities include the following:
- A standard number of 25 teaching hours
- Non-teaching hours will be used for office responsibilities, including counseling students, completing progress reports and meeting and greeting students in the lobby
- Exchanging and sharing cultural information with both students and other AEON teachers
- Ensuring lessons are creative and teaching style is enthusiastic
- Engaging in meetings, workshops and any AEON related events
When researching AEON, we came across a range of reviews. Experiences seem to depend a lot on the school and manager. The salary, the way lessons are taught and organised, and how much start up help you receive gets praised. Aspects such as long hours, it’s harder to pick up Japanese (you’re expected to speak English whenever you’re in school) and big commutes seem to be the most highlighted cons. Again, much of these come down to personal preferences, so always take reviews with a pinch of salt!
Advice about Interviewing for AEON Eikaiwa
“To AEON’s credit, they are up (mostly) front about the expected schedule, but when they mention “occasional” extra work, it means “almost always.”
Aeontruth gives a pretty detailed write up about the interviewing process for AEON. It also gives further information about what it’s like working for AEON, including schedules and work procedures.
Best of the Eikaiwas
“You actually get to teach real classes, not just read stuff from a book.”
A former employee has written a comprehensive review on Glassdoor about their experiences teaching with AEON, highlighting both the pros and cons.