Some people see Saudi Arabia as the ideal destination for teaching English abroad as potential salaries and other benefits are as good as anywhere in the world. Cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah have a strong and continuous demand for qualified teachers, with universities, colleges, international schools, and private language academies all looking to fill vacant positions.
Is Saudi Arabia the right TESOL destination for you?
Although salaries are very high across the country, Saudi Arabia has a unique cultural environment that you also need to be aware of before getting on the plane. The country has very conservative laws and traditions that might make it unsuitable for some teachers. Drinking alcohol is completely forbidden and close interaction between unmarried couples is not allowed. It can be particularly challenging for female teachers as they face other restrictions such as what they can wear outside their home.
What are TESOL salaries in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia offers some of the highest salaries for foreign teachers anywhere in the world. Monthly incomes range from around $2,500 per month up to $4,000 and more depending on your level of qualifications and previous classroom experience. On top of this salary, most jobs also include a very generous package that normally contains paid return airfares, free accommodation, and an end of contract bonus. And don?t forget that your salary is also tax free!
Who are the main employers of English language teachers in Saudi Arabia?
Due to the increasing importance of English in many parts of Saudi Arabian life, private and public run language schools continue to open across the country. Typically monthly salaries in these schools range from 12,000 to 15,000 SAR (currently $3,200 to $4,000). In this environment you will be expected to spend 25 to 30 hours in the classroom, with extra time spent on planning and admin duties. If you have a good understanding of Arabic you will have a strong advantage in the job market. International schools offer another popular option for teachers who meet the specific criteria. These positions generally require a teaching qualification from your home country and at least two years of relevant experience. Typical salaries in this category range from 10,000 to 15,000 SAR ($2,600 to $4,000), and working hours are around 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday to Wednesday. Contracts may be for one or two years.
Who else employs English language teachers in Saudi Arabia?
There are plenty of potential opportunities for foreign teachers in colleges and universities as most students in Saudi Arabia are required to sit an English language exam at some stage during their studies. This type of job generally pays at least 15,000 SAR ($4,000) per month, so you can expect strong competition for each available job. Extensive classroom experience is usually a priority for these positions.
What is the cost of living for English teachers in Saudi Arabia?
As it is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is also one of the most expensive to live in for foreign teachers. However, as your monthly income should be very high and typical expenses such as airfares and housing taken care of, you should have no trouble living a very comfortable lifestyle. Most teachers can also expect to save a considerable percentage of their income each month.