You want to do that TEFL course to travel and you’ve scoped out our Top TEFL destinations for 2021 recommendations, but you’re ambitious and you don’t want just the experience. You want to teach English as a foreign language and make money. That’s a great goal to have and we want to you to make as much money as possible.
You’ve heard your friends’ backpacking stories where they’ve had to skimp and save to support their adventures. Your family tell you there’s no money in teaching and you’ll be spending all of your savings just to support yourself. That might be true if you decide to volunteer teaching English, and if it’s the experience you’re after then you can read our blog post of the best ways to save money when working abroad.
There are countries though where you can teach English abroad and can make a lot of money without compromising on the lifestyle. It’s very possible to earn a decent salary teaching English overseas as some countries can pay over €4,000 a month.
There are several factors you should weigh up when considering chasing the financial rewards of being a TEFL teacher, including the local cost of living there, the benefit packages that come with your employment and how much you’ll be able to save living in that country.
Here’s our list of the best places for teachers to make money when teaching English abroad.
Teaching English in The United Arab Emirates (The UAE)
Average Salary: US$3,500 – 5,000 per month
The highest paid ESL jobs in the world are in the UAE. This should come as no surprise that these highly desired and sought after teaching jobs in the Middle East are so rewarding. Most of the jobs are available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi where there is an enjoyable city lifestyle to complement the high wages. To get one of these well-paying jobs teaching English in the UAE, you would typically need teaching experience and of course a TEFL certificate of a high standard.
Teaching English in Japan
Average Salary: US$2,200 – 5,000 per month
Japan is a dream destination for many English teachers to live. It a picturesque country with the scenery changing throughout the year with the seasons. The food is amazing and the culture is unique. It is an expensive country to live in but the jobs also pay extremely well with a lot of benefits included in the overall financial package for English teachers, including flight and accommodation. Also, while a TEFL certificate would help you command a higher salary and beat the strong competition for the best jobs, the qualification is not a requirement to teach English in Japan.
Teaching English in Saudi Arabia
Average Salary: US$3,000 – 4,000 per month
Teaching English in Saudi Arabia is not easy as teaching experience is essential to get a job. You will also need all of your certifications, so a lot of prep work is required first. However, perhaps you might feel the work is worth it as the salary is quite lucrative.
Teaching English in Kuwait
Average Salary: US$2,600 – 4,000 per month
There are plenty of teaching English job opportunities available in Kuwait due to the high volume of international schools in the country. The city is extremely contemporary and teachers living in Kuwait can expect to enjoy a nice lifestyle. To teach in Kuwait you need to have your TEFL certificate and experience teaching English as a foreign language.
Teaching English in Oman
Average Salary: US$2,000 – 3,500 per month
Not a destination that many think of when considering where to move to teach English abroad but Oman has made a lot of advancements in education over the past few years. The country is one of the most developed in the Middle East with a low cost of living so saving money is relatively easy to do. English teachers are highly desired and you would be one of the pioneers looking for a job teaching in Oman.
Teach English in Taiwan
Average Salary: US$2,000 – 2,400 per month
The cost of living in Taiwan is relatively low and the wages offered to English teachers is reasonably high. There’s plenty of English teaching job opportunities in Taiwan and you don’t need a TEFL certificate to teach there if you already have a university degree. However, the competition for university or private school jobs can be tough and having a high level TEFL certificate can make you stand out from the others applicants.
Teach English in South Korea
Average Salary: US$1,600 – 2,000 per month
South Korea is not as populated with tourists like several of the other countries on this list but it’s a favourite amongst ESL teachers looking to teach English in South East Asia. The country offers a good package to its English teachers with a good salary that is made even better with airfare and accommodation benefits included. A TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree is required to teach English in South Korea.
Teach English in China
Average Salary: US$1,500 – 2,000 per month
If you’re thinking about teaching English abroad then the prospect of moving to China has probably been on your mind. That’s not surprising as China is one of the largest employers of ESL teachers in the world. China, despite having a huge infrastructure with massive cities has a low cost of living. The teaching salaries range from US$1,500 to US$2,000 per month, making it one of the ideal locations for English teachers. There are so many teaching opportunities for English teachers in China that are not just consigned to a classroom. Private companies also look to high English teachers to help their employees engage in international business deals and these positions can be quite financially beneficial.
Teach English in Vietnam
Average Salary: US$1,000 – 2,000 per month
You don’t need to have any teaching experience to teach English in Vietnam. If you hold a bachelor’s degree and have your TEFL certificate you will be fine. There’s a high demand for people teaching English in the country. The living costs are extremely low. So it’s a very affordable country to live in, despite the teaching salary not being that high compared to other countries.
The average salaries in different countries fluctuate throughout the years so you’ll need to be aware of that and keep your expectations in check. The amount of experience and the level of qualifications you have will also factor in how much money you can make teaching abroad. Don’t be discouraged of teaching in your dream destination if the salary doesn’t match the dream as you can also always supplement your wages by teaching English online.
In general, you don’t need a degree to teach English abroad or online. Our certification stands alone and you can get employment without pairing it with a degree. However, some TEFL employers do prefer their teachers to have a degree. More importantly, for some countries, it’s a visa requirement. This means you can’t obtain a work permit without a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some of these countries include China, Japan, UAE and Vietnam.
Our advice is if you have your sights set on a certain country, look into the visa requirements first before putting time and effort into finding a job there. This will save you time and disappointment. If it’s a school preferability, and not a visa requirement, there’s sometimes some leeway.
You do not need any prior teaching degrees or experience to teach abroad. Once you have your TEFL certificate, you can secure work as a TEFL teacher. A BA in Education would enhance your CV, but it’s not a necessity. Completing a TEFL course that includes teaching practice, like our Hybrid TEFL Courses, will also help your CV.
If you want to experience different cultures and see the world, teaching English abroad is for you. Not only will you get to explore new places, you’ll also meet new people and get the chance to make a difference to the lives of language learners. A TEFL certification lasts a lifetime. So, you can dip in and out of teaching abroad whenever you feel like it.
It is not necessary to speak any other languages. You’ll be able to find a job and work comfortably without knowing the language spoken in your chosen country. Of course, it is always an advantage, even if it’s just the basics. We recommend learning a few phrases before you move abroad like hi, thank you, goodbye and sorry.
You’re never too old to gain new qualifications! Some TEFL employers do have age restrictions, but there are ample opportunities for more mature teachers. There are also the options to teach English from home as a private tutor or online tutor.
We recommend one of our Hybrid TEFL Courses if you would like to teach English in Europe. These hybrid courses give you the best of both worlds. You’ll get the training and certification you need, as well as teaching practice through the 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course.
The accredited courses are the quickest way to get TEFL certified, and are accepted by schools and institutes worldwide. Choose from a 120, 180 or 240 hour accredited TEFL course depending on the level of training you require.
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