As English expands across the world, quality English teachers are increasingly needed. However, reports that even well-trained TESOL professionals have a hard time obtaining stable employment are prevalent. This study sought to provide some solid evidence about employment trends in TESOL. It is based on a survey administered to alumni who graduated between the years of 1973 and 2008 from Brigham Young University's TESOL program. The results indicate that graduates spend about half of their career time in TESOL-related employment. Most are involved in teaching, but jobs in administration, materials development,or testing are more likely to be full-time and offer benefits. Graduates spend little time in EFL positions, but these jobs are the most likely to be full-time and offer benefits. A surprising amount of time was spent unemployed by choice, and the majority of graduates report salary satisfaction, indicating that perhaps the field attracts those who are not looking for stable, full-time employment. These findings are useful for those anticipating a career in TESOL and for teacher educators. They likewise add a valuable contribution to the small body of literature focused on TESOL employment.



College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language



Date Submitted


Document Type

Selected Project




TESOL, employment, graduates, survey, career path, alumni, career

Included in

Linguistics Commons