How much can I earn teaching English in Turkey?

With its unique position overlapping Europe and Asia, Turkey has been popular with international travelers for many years. The country is also rapidly becoming popular with ESL teachers as demand for the English language continues to grow at a fast rate in many areas. Big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir are home to the majority of teaching jobs, but smaller numbers can be found elsewhere. In theory, a degree is required for all teaching jobs in Turkey, however, a shortage of teachers means that a TESOL certificate is often enough to secure many jobs.

What are TESOL salaries in Turkey?

As Turkey is a big country with different levels of economy in different regions, the average monthly salary ranges from $800 to $1,800, depending on the individual employer, your qualifications, and level of experience. Most first-time teachers will probably be at the lower end of this pay scale, however, many teachers are able to boost their income by taking on private students outside of normal working hours. Although you are free to charge any price you want for your services, a typical rate would be $15 to $20 per hour.

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

Private language schools provide the majority of teaching jobs in Turkey. In big cities such as Istanbul and Ankara there are hundreds of language schools, most of which are happy to employ new teachers at any time of the year. However, as there are a few untrustworthy schools with bad reputations, it is a good idea to do some research before you sign a contract. By researching online via teaching forums and job sites you should be able to avoid the small number of employers who make big promises at the start but fail to follow through with them once you start teaching. Probably the most effective way to conduct your job search is actually from within the country rather than online. In this scenario you get to meet the employers before you have to commit to anything.

Who else employs English language teachers in Turkey?

If you would prefer to work with young learners and you have some previous experience in this field, you might want to look at jobs in private middle schools and high schools. Jobs in these schools generally offer a higher salary and more time off than the average language center, but you will probably need a degree, TESOL certification, and a minimum of two years teaching experience. Private universities are another option for teachers with high-end qualifications and experience. These positions are small in number and highly sought after as working conditions are typically very good.

Can I earn extra cash as a private English tutor in Turkey?

Most teachers in Turkey will not earn a high basic salary, but they will have plenty of opportunities for topping up their pay by offering private tutoring. It is not uncommon for some teachers to gather enough regular clients to allow them to go full-time in this field. Full-time private tutors are often able to earn considerably more than teachers who work full-time for a language school.

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

In comparison to many western countries, the cost of living is quite low in Turkey, although it has risen somewhat in recent years. As accommodation costs have become relatively high in Istanbul, many teachers choose to share an apartment to keep their overheads down to manageable levels. Public transport and eating out at local restaurants are still very cheap, although western made goods are still expensive due to high import taxes. In other areas, accommodation costs can be significantly lower than in Istanbul, which is one reason why cities such as Ankara and Izmir are now more popular with ESL teachers.

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