Some time ago, I posted my very first entry on finding work at ALT dispatch companies in Japan and wrote that dispatch ALTs get paid by the day. So on days you don’t work (i.e. summer vacation, winter vacation etc.), you don’t get paid.
I also specifically mentioned about the summer vacation since it is over a month and a half long but I’ve learnt that, the daily-pay scheme is not true of all ALT dispatch companies. Some of these companies work under the monthly-pay scheme, and thus, you get paid too even on days you don’t work. Again, the best part of this deal would be the summer holidays in August. However, if you calculate the number of working days, it is possible that you get a higher annual salary under the daily-pay scheme too, depending on where you work. It is because, as much as the academic year (as its name truly suggests) is a year long, ALT contracts do not necessarily span the same duration. In some cities, contracts can be as short as 8-9 months.
Also, depending on the cities, the same company may offer an entirely different pay package due to the number of work days. For example, Nagoya city’s junior high school contract lasts approximately 8-9 months. Yes, that’s one of the shorter ones. Thus, while you may still get paid on a monthly scheme (again, depending on the company), your monthly salary would be lower than those in cities where they have more work days.
Ultimately, you really have to like where you live and where you work. Although I live in Nagoya city, I really enjoyed teaching in both the schools in the suburb, which some locals call rural. I love living where I live and teaching where I teach but I welcome new challenges and experiences. Stepping out of my comfort zone has gradually become something I relish in. I guess that’s how I got here in the first place.