Before deciding on your dream job in any country in the world make sure you have the following two things sorted out, your TEFL Qualification and if any Visa Requirements. While the price of your visa will vary depending on the country you visit this could be reimbursed depending on your school.
After the following two, you need to consider flights and living costs. It may take some time before your salary and if any reimbursement costs come in. Make sure you research the country you are moving to and living costs and try to have enough money set aside for the first month.
In this blog post we will be discussing the Salary Expectations as a TEFL Teacher. Deciding to become TEFL qualified and teach English abroad has many benefits. You get the opportunity to travel abroad and live in a new country and make new friends and memories. While these are major benefits, what are the financial benefits of teaching English abroad – salaries and cost of living?
Teaching English Abroad Salaries vs Cost of Living?
Before deciding on your dream job in any country in the world make sure you have the following two things sorted out, your TEFL Qualification and if any Visa Requirements. While the price of your visa will vary depending on the country you visit this could be reimbursed depending on your school. After the following two, you need to consider flights and living costs. It may take some time before your salary and if any reimbursement costs come in. Make sure you research the country you are moving to and living costs and try to have enough money set aside for the first month. Check out this site here to check out living costs in each country: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
Now let’s discuss salary expectations across the most popular destinations; Europe, Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East.
English Teaching in Europe and Cost of Living
Europe provides plenty of opportunities especially with travelling as you can visit different countries easily by train or bus. For EU Residents you don’t have to worry about a visa and can work and live in any country in Europe. For Non-Eu Residents you must apply for a visa, a cost that may or may not be reimbursed by your school. When working in Europe your salary can vary on where you live, some countries pay a higher salary than some. However, most salaries match the high cost of living making it possible to live and travel in Europe. Poland for example offers salaries between $750 to $1,000 but a meal at a restaurant would only cost $6! Spain and Italy would have a high cost of living but your salary would be higher. Expect to earn between $900 to $1500 in Italy a week and $800 to $1500 in Spain!
Unlike in Asia, there are not many offers of subsidized accommodation; however, it could be possible in some cases with some schools in Poland, Turkey, and Ukraine offering accommodation to teachers. As a TEFL teacher, you have plenty of options to earn additional income. You could pick up a few hours teaching English online on the weekend giving you the flexibility to travel on weekends. Private tutors are also in high demand across Europe, giving you the chance to save for that next trip.
One thing in mind is that if you are looking for a quieter place living in Europe why not check out some rural areas for a teaching job? This could lead to more economic living costs as you are outside the city and more chances to save! The most expensive country to live in Europe is Switzerland especially in Zurich with a one-bedroom apartment costing up to $1,600. However, there are plenty of inexpensive countries to live in Europe with a low cost of daily living. In Bulgaria, a one-bedroom city apartment could cost between $300 to $400. Poland and Hungary also offer pocket-friendly living costs.
Teaching English in Latin America and Cost of Living
Latin America consists of South America, Central America, Mexico, and some Islands of the Caribbean. If you are considering teaching Latin America, you have plenty of countries to choose from! A degree isn’t required as much as in Europe and Asia. Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil are just some countries where you could find a teaching job without needing a degree. The cost of living in Latin America can be low depending on the region/area you are in. Salaries can also be lower, but you can expect to break even or even live comfortably off your teaching salary. In Costa Rica, or Mexico for example, you could expect to earn only $700 to 900$ dollars a month but due to the low cost of living, you could live comfortably.
Teaching English in South-East Asia and Cost of Living
For any TEFL Teachers teaching in Asia is high on the bucket list. Full of adventures and plenty of teaching opportunities, teaching in Asia is worth looking at. There is a huge demand for TEFL Teachers across Asia, which leads to the school offering more incentives and benefits for teachers. Some schools offer benefits such as accommodation, work visa assistance, bonuses, and medical insurance! Another great benefit about deciding to live and teach in Asia is that most countries hire all year round. China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Vietnam are just some countries that hire all year round and have schools offering amazing benefits to TEFL Teachers.
There are also some opportunities to save, for example in China you can earn a salary between $1,200 to $2,800, with free housing you could save up a minimum of $500 a month! Hong Kong would be considered the most expensive country in Asia with a one-bedroom apartment costing up to $2,200. One of the cheapest countries to live in Asia would be Vietnam with a one-bedroom apartment costing only up to $400.
Teaching English in the Middle East and Cost of Living
The Middle East is becoming a popular TEFL destination with plenty of opportunities to teach English both publicly and privately. While Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates are the first places you think of for teaching there are plenty of other countries to teach in. Think Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar! Salaries in the Middle East can be quite lucrative with plenty of opportunities to save. Many schools in the Middle East offer benefits such as reimbursed flights and accommodation. In the UAE you could be looking at salaries between $1,500 to $5,000! In Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, you could be earning a salary between $1,500 to $3,000. While the salary may not be as high as in the UAE, with plenty of schools offering accommodation you could still be looking at savings of $800 or more!
While you could be earning a higher salary in the Middle East there is also a higher cost of living. Schools across the Middle East also have stricter requirements for TEFL Teachers. Most schools require a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree!
Where to start?
Before applying for any TEFL job, make sure you tick off all the requirements such as a TEFL Qualification, if a degree if needed, and the ability to obtain a visa if needed. If you tick off all the boxes for the job, check out the living costs in the country you are planning to move to. Does your salary cover it and could you live comfortably? We all have different lifestyles so would the salary provided suit yours?
While you may make a restricted salary in your teaching job, there are always opportunities to teach English in other areas. There is a high demand for TEFL Teachers online and this could help supplement your income. Why not check out our 30 Hour Teaching English Online Course before you leave to make sure you have a side income? Check out the course – Specialist Online Teacher Course.