When it comes to English teaching careers, most of our ESL teachers take the plunge for life-changing experiences, personal growth, embracing new cultures, and giving back to local communities. However, you can also get paid well to teach English abroad and many of our graduates go on to earn a decent living. Just keep in mind that a high salary isn't the only financial variable to consider when determining how much ESL teachers make. Other factors to consider include the local cost of living, extra benefits, and saving opportunities.
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The salary for teaching English abroad varies, but you can expect to make a good living. Your salary will be determined by your position, qualifications, and the country in which you teach. Teachers in high-paying countries can earn anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 USD per month. Even first-time English teachers in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries can save 30%-50% of their income after expenses ($500 - $2,000 USD).
Typically, teaching salaries in Asia allow you to save between 30% and 50% of your salary after expenses. This can range from $200 to $300 USD per month in Thailand to $1,000 USD or more per month in South Korea. That is why Asia is a lucrative region with good ESL salaries. Another region worth exploring in terms of high salaries is the Middle East.
English teacher salaries in the UAE and other Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain are among the highest in the world, with pay ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 per month and benefits such as free housing, paid vacation, health insurance, and flights to and from the teacher's home country often included.
Your ESL salary may also be affected by whether you work at a public or private language institute. Depending on where you live, some public schools may pay more because of government funding. Private language schools, on the other hand, frequently offer a higher salary because they can charge parents more to enroll their children and, as a result, may have a larger budget.
Your salary may also be affected by the level at which you teach. Teaching at a university will almost certainly pay you more than teaching English to young learners in a primary school. You could also earn more money teaching business English for a large corporation than you would teaching conversation classes at a local community center.
Countries with a particularly high demand for English language instruction often have established government-funded ESL teaching programs. Through these programs, qualified English teachers are placed in schools throughout their countries for a set period of time.
Many of these programs have been around for decades and receive a large amount of funding from their local governments. Teachers that work through these programs typically receive high salaries, along with other wonderful perks, including paid airfare, housing, orientation, and general support throughout the length of the program.
Some of the most popular programs include: the EPIK program in South Korea, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), the TAPIF Program in France, the Cultural Ambassadors Program in Spain and the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) in Hungary.
The majority of teaching platforms pay their instructors by the hour. The average hourly rate for online English teachers ranges between $15 and $30; however, if you work through a platform, an agency will typically take a cut of this as a fee.