How much do TESOL teachers get paid?

The typical salaries for teaching English abroad are determined by a number of factors, including your qualifications, previous experience, and the country you wish to teach in. Let's look at how much an average TESOL teacher can make in different regions around the world.

How much does it pay to teach English abroad?

The pay for teaching English in other countries varies, but you should usually be able to make a decent living. Teachers in high-paying countries may earn anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 USD per month. Many factors can influence your TESOL salary, including the type of employer, your qualifications, previous teaching experience, and the location of your school.

Does teaching English abroad pay well?

Teaching English abroad can be an attractive career path, but salaries vary greatly by region. For example, first-time English teachers in several Asian and Middle Eastern countries can save 30 to 50 percent of their income after expenses ($500 to $2,000 USD per month). This level of savings, however, will be more difficult to achieve in many parts of Europe and Latin America.

Teacher salaries in Europe and Latin America

The following are some examples of TESOL salaries in Europe and Latin America:

  • Latin America:
    • Mexico: $500 - $800 USD per month
    • Argentina: $600 - $1,100 USD per month
    • Chile: $750 - $1,000 USD per month
  • Europe:
    • Czech Republic: $700 - $1,100 USD per month
    • Germany: $1,100 - $2,200 USD per month
    • Spain: $1,250 - $1,850 USD per month

English teaching incomes in these countries generally allow expat teachers to live comfortably in an apartment, meet basic expenses, eat out, travel by public transportation, and have some extra money to travel and pursue other hobbies.

However, most first-year English teacher salaries will not allow you to save much money in these areas. Private tutoring, on the other hand, is in high demand in both areas, providing excellent opportunities for English teachers to supplement their main source of income.

Teacher salaries in Asia

Some examples of monthly English teaching salaries in Asia are as follows:

  • Japan: $1,500 - $2,000 USD per month
  • China: $1,250 - $2,850 USD per month
  • South Korea: $1,850 - $2,150 USD per month

After expenses, English teaching salaries in Asia generally allow you to save between 30% and 50% per month. This can range from $200 to $300 USD per month in Thailand, and up to $1,000 USD or more per month in South Korea.

Keep in mind that the local cost of living, as well as the exchange rate between US dollars or (whatever your native currency is) and the local currency in which you will be paid, will all have an impact on the size of your savings.

Teacher salaries in the Middle East

Some examples of monthly English teaching salaries in the Middle East are as follows:

  • Bahrain $1,500 - $3,000 USD per month
  • UAE: $1,800 - $5,000 USD per month
  • Qatar: $1,600 - $4,000 USD per month

These are smaller and more competitive teaching markets than those in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Many language schools in the UAE and other Gulf countries will only accept teachers with additional experience and qualifications (university degree, national or state teaching certification, and/or some professional background in education) in addition to an accredited TESOL certification.

English teacher salaries in less developed countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey should allow a first-time teacher to live comfortably, but you should not expect to save much, if at all. However, the cost of living in these countries is usually low, and advanced teaching certifications are not required. Some Turkish teachers may even be paid a stipend for flights or housing.

What extra benefits are there when teaching English abroad?

Many English teaching jobs also come with a slew of enticing perks, ranging from free airfare and housing to a variety of attractive bonuses. However, the majority of these are found in the Middle East or Asia.

When you sign a teaching contract in these areas, you may be eligible for some or all of the following common perks:

  • Accommodation (either all paid accommodation or a housing stipend provided)
  • Flights into and out of the country (either paid in advance or reimbursed)
  • Medical insurance (either wholly or partially covered by the employer)
  • Visa fee reimbursement
  • Vacation time that is paid
  • Bonus for contract completion

Other benefits, such as free language instruction and in-country orientation, may also be provided.

While having all of the above paid for and receiving a full wage on top is a fantastic boost to your lifestyle and saving power, one huge unmentioned benefit is having all of your admin handled. All of the difficult work is done for you in many of the best jobs, so you can hit the ground running when you arrive and focus on having fun!