How much can I earn teaching English in the United Arab Emirates?

As 90% of the population of the United Arab Emirates is made up of expatriates from all over the world, it provides a great environment for English language teaching. Demand for foreign teachers is very high in major centers such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, as salaries are famously high, competition for jobs can often be very strong. If you are new to teaching and have little or no classroom experience, you are unlikely to get employed in the UAE. For those who are successful, you can expect to live a very comfortable lifestyle during your stay.

What are TESOL salaries in the United Arab Emirates?

You will find a wide variety of employers across the country, all of which should pay a competitive salary of between 9,000 AED (currently $2,500 US) and 20,000 AED ($5,500 US) per month. The exact figure will depend on the employer, your qualifications, and your previous classroom experience. On top of a generous salary, many teachers can also expect to receive a benefit package that includes paid airfares, furnished accommodation, health insurance, and a contract completion bonus. Whatever job you end up with, you should be able to save a considerable amount of your income as salaries are tax-free.

Who are the main employers of English language teachers in the UAE?

TESOL qualified teachers will find plenty of job options in language schools and vocational colleges across the UAE. To be eligible for most of them you will need to have a bachelor's degree and some previous teaching experience. Language school salaries vary from one company to the next, but an average wage would be between 9,000 and 15,000 AED ($2,500 to $4,000) per month. Vocational colleges are another popular option and they typically pay between 11,000 and 15,000 AED ($3,000 and $4,000) per month. Your working hours will also vary depending on the employer. Private language schools often require evening and weekend work, while vocational colleges tend to follow a set routine from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday.

Who else employs English language teachers in the UAE?

If you are a fully qualified teacher with a teaching license from your home country, you might also be eligible for positions in international schools and government run public schools. There are several international schools in the UAE that follow a foreign curriculum such as British or Australian. Salaries range from 10,000 to 14,000 AED ($2,700 to $3,800) and working hours are usually 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday. Working hours in the public school system are similar, however, salaries are typically a little higher than international schools at between 12,000 to 20,000 AED ($3,500 to $5,500) per month.

What is the cost of living for English teachers in the UAE?

The cost of living in the UAE is relatively high as it is one of the richest countries in the Middle East region. The cost of housing can be particularly high in popular areas, with average rents ranging from $1,700 to $3,000 per month for a two bedroom apartment. However, the majority of teaching jobs should include free housing or a housing stipend, so this should not be a major issue for most teachers. Due to a combination of high incomes and extra benefits, ESL teachers can expect to live a very comfortable lifestyle and still have plenty of cash left over at the end of the month.