You’ve probably heard it from your friends who’ve already taught ESL before – “It’s impossible to earn money teaching ESL!” Or “You don’t teach ESL for a high salary.” This is not entirely true. While you’re not going to make the worlds rich list teaching ESL, it is possible to earn a decent salary teaching ESL. In fact teaching English as a second language is becoming increasingly popular among young people, especially when they’re continuing to struggle finding any kind of work back home. Depending on where you are in world will obviously depend on how much money you take home. ESL teacher salaries vary greatly and a teacher of English can expect to earn anywhere from $500 to $4000 depending on experience and location. So, the question that you’re likely waiting to hear the answer to is: “Where should I head if I want to earn good money teaching English
The UAE or the United Arab Emirates is the place to head if you’re looking for great monetary incentives teaching ESL. An ESL teacher can earn anywhere between $2,500-4,000 per month. This of course all depends on both your experience and qualifications. The UAE tends to be pretty strict with their immigration policies and many institutes require teachers to hold a teacher’s qualification back home on top of a certain number of years teaching ESL.
The hottest destinations in the UAE are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the majority of jobs available are for teaching university students and older professionals.
It is really no surprise that Saudi Arabia makes the cut in terms of ESL earning power. If you’re not prone to culture shock and you need to earn money to pay back your student loan or whatever, Saudi Arabia is a good destination to head to. There are so many ESL jobs in Saudi Arabia it is unreal. In fact there are so many, most places don’t require you to be properly certified because there’s a huge gap to fill. Expect to earn approximately $3000 per month tax free.
Neighbouring Kuwait also pays well. There are a number of very good international schools in Kuwait, so therefore there are a number of jobs for ESL teachers. All salaries are tax free and the average ESL salary is approximately $2,600 per month.
It may be one of the most expensive countries to live in, but working as an ESL teacher in Japan does have a few benefits other than the lovely scenery. It’s possible to earn quite a high salary after tax working as an ESL teacher in Japan. Expect to earn about $3,000 a month excluding all the extra benefits you get such as free accommodation and even flight reimbursement.
South Korea has been a popular destination for ESL teachers for a long time. South Korean schools and ESL institutes usually offer a similar deal to Japan in terms of salary and fringe benefits. A starting ESL salary in South Korea is around the $2,000 mark, but depending on your qualifications and where you work, you could earn up to $3,500 a month.
Despite Vietnam being a pretty cheap country to visit and live in, ESL teachers, especially those who’re just starting out in their careers, can actually make a decent living. Teachers can earn between $1,000-2,000 per month; and while this may not seem very high, the cost of living is super cheap, so it turns out you’ll most likely save more.
Taiwan is similar to South Korea in terms of everything, however, the ESL salary in Taiwan is slightly lower compared with South Korea, however, the cost of living is cheaper so it’s all relative. It’s super easy for ESL teachers in Taiwan to save if they want to and most teachers earn around $2,000 per month. Find a job easily teaching English in Taiwan with just the basic TEFL certification.
When many people think of China they automatically think that there’s no money to be made teaching ESL there; however, believe it or not China has so many great opportunities teaching ESL and EFL. If you make the decision to head to China to teach English, you’ll earn between $1,000-2,000 each month. It may seem low compared to the other locations mentioned here, however, bear in mind that China is still relatively cheap in terms of cost of living.
We don’t hear much about Oman, but in fact it’s one of the richest and most developed nations in the Arab speaking parts of the world. There are so many opportunities for ESL teachers and depending where you work, you can earn between $1,500 and $3,500, which is great considering the average cost of living is only around $700 per month.
Teaching English to others abroad is a way that you can see the world, pay off your student debt, and in some cases even save money. Remember it’s all about where you go and despite all the rumours, it’s completely possible to earn some good money teaching English and like with anything, you need to research.
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