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Want to travel the world while gaining work experience? Teaching English abroad is for you. You’ll be visiting new countries, tasting new cuisines, making new friends and giving back to the community. However, you’re not doing it for free, are you? English teachers have a skill which is high in demand –  the ability to speak English proficiently. Therefore, the work of an English teacher is one which is highly sought after. So that begs the question, which countries provide the highest teaching abroad salary? 

Where You Will Find the Highest Salary Teaching English Abroad

First of all, you need to know where to look if you want to teach abroad. I’m not just talking about the country. I’m referring to what sort of schools will grant you the highest salary for your respective skills and capabilities. 

qualified TEFL teacher

Typically, English teachers abroad will find that jobs offered by international schools or private language schools will offer the highest salary. This is because they are not only private but reputable (not all of them, of course). This means that the parents of its students must pay tuition, and when you pay for your tuition, you expect the level of education to be higher. At an international or a private language school, English teachers will receive a handsome salary for their contributions. 

However, don’t count public schools out. Public schools can also offer a great teaching abroad salary. This is especially the case if the teacher signs a contract of a year or longer. Teachers who are committed to their schools are more likely to receive a higher salary and better benefits because their commitment will bring better results. 

An English teacher who spends a longer time at a school has better rapport with the students and understands its values. They will also have a better working relationship with their co-workers. Additionally, it saves the school from many logistical obstacles. They won’t have to find another teacher or apply and pay for their work permit either. 

What You Need to Maximize Your Teaching Abroad Salary

You will also need to show to your employers that you are worth the high salary. While every school has its own hiring criteria, here are some of the things that can maximize your salary potential;

  • A TEFL Certificate
  • A Bachelor’s Degree
  • Teaching Experience
  • Teaching Qualifications 
  • Personability and Social Skills

There are many more things which can help boost an English teacher’s. However, you do not need every single item on the list. There have been many teachers who secured a position at their school without a TEFL certificate or Bachelor’s Degree, for example. Similarly, once a teacher has established a good relationship with their employer and school, they won’t need everything to prove themselves. 

However, some of the countries on this list may have a strict requirement regarding a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree or Teaching Qualifications, for example. A notable example are countries from the Middle East. On the other hand, you’ll have countries such as Vietnam that require the Bachelor’s Degree and the TEFL. Thailand, on the other hand, may not even require that you have a degree or are a native speaker. 

If you want to increase your teaching abroad salary potential, there are many measures you can take. You can upgrade from the TEFL course that you have already, whether it is to an Ofqual Level 5 Regulated TEFL course or a  CELTA. Additionally, teachers can gain more experience by volunteering or teaching English online before teaching abroad. 

Countries That Provide the Highest Salaries for Teaching Abroad

It is important to remember that just because a country offers a high salary, it doesn’t necessarily make it the best place to save up money. You will need to take into account other variables such as cost of living, benefits, and more.

If a country offers you a great teaching abroad salary, yet the rent is extortionate, are you really that much better off in that country? You may earn more in one country, but does the salary match how much you’ll be spending? Do you have to cover your own airfare and visa costs? It’s important that teachers take into account the cost of living as well as salary and benefits in order to find whats best for them. 

Now that you know what measures you can take to maximize your salary, you can start exploring your options for the countries which provide the highest salaries. 

Teach English in the Middle Eastern Countries (UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman) 

Can you really talk about the Middle East without mentioning money? Teaching English in the Middle East not only offers a great experience but a fantastic salary. Whether you’re staring at the Persian Gulf or you’re in the heart of Dubai city, English teachers receive a range of benefits worth salivating over. Some of the highest paying countries for English teachers in the Middle East are the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman.

The demand for English teachers in the Middle East is relatively high. This is largely due to the influx of businesses, startups, travelers, and so on. Therefore, the need for a competent hospitality sector is huge. One of the ways that they can have this is by having workers that have a strong command of English. Dubai botanical gardens

Teaching English abroad in the Middle East can net teachers a salary of around $3,400 – $5,600 (ÂŁ2,800 – ÂŁ4,655) per month! But wait for it, you’ve missed the best part. In most Middle Eastern countries (including the ones listed), this salary is UNTAXED!

Not only is the salary untaxed, teachers are likely to receive many benefits from their employers. These benefits include things such as airfare reimbursement, free accommodation, health insurance, and more. 

However, a great prize comes with strings attached. Teaching abroad in the Middle East typically requires a lot from their teachers. This is especially the case in places such as Dubai in the UAE. Teachers are absolutely required to have Bachelor Degrees and TEFL certification. Some schools may even require Master Degrees, Teaching Qualifications or a CELTA. While they aren’t always essential, they will certainly boost a teacher’s chances of being employed. 

Teach English in East Asian Countries (China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan)

East Asia is home to one of the largest TEFL markets. Countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are hugely popular countries for teaching abroad, and that isn’t without justification. 

woman in hanbok in south korea

China is rooted in tradition and yet it is also a globalized goliath. Japan boasts of modern cities, football pitches upon skyscrapers, delicious sushi, pristine beaches, and flawless transportation. South Korea is known as the land of the morning calm due to its geographic beauty and tranquility, yet is home to a thriving K-Pop scene and multifaceted cities. 

Additionally, they offer English teachers a high salary for their work (otherwise, they wouldn’t be on the list). In East Asian countries, the demand for English is incredibly high and unwavering, meaning that opportunities for teachers are in abundance. 

  • Teaching in China can earn you a salary of around $1,400-$2,200 (ÂŁ1,150-ÂŁ1750) per month. 
  • English teachers working in South Korea can expect to earn a similar salary of around $1,600–$2,700 (ÂŁ1,300-ÂŁ2,240) per month. 
  • In Japan, teachers can expect to earn around $2,500-$5,000 per month. 
  • Taiwan offers salaries of around $2000-$2,400 per month in a country where the cost of living is around $800 per month.

Earning More Than the ‘Average’ Teaching Abroad Salary

However, teachers can expect to earn more money if they secure a position at an international school or a reputable private language school. For example, in China, teachers working in reputable private schools, international schools, or universities can expect to earn even more at around $2,400-$4,500 (£1,900-£3,500) per month. The case is similar in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Teaching abroad offers a range of options and salaries depending on the qualifications and skills you offer. 

Working with East Asian schools and companies usually offers many benefits for teachers. Many of these benefits include accommodation/allowance, airfare reimbursement, health insurance, and much more. What more do you need to spend money on when you have your accommodation paid for? East Asia is a fantastic destination for English teachers to save up money while traveling. 

It is important to ask your employer or school what benefits are included in your contract. Programs such as JET in Japan, for example, may offer accommodation, airfare reimbursement, and even funding for TEFL courses. However, not all companies are as accommodating as this, so be sure to ask before you sign anything. 

Bonus Country: Vietnam

But isn’t Vietnam in South-East Asia? Where the teaching abroad salary is low? Does it really offer the highest salary for teaching abroad? 

Yes, and no. However, teaching English in Vietnam is a fantastic way to save up money while embracing a wonderful culture. This is because while you are receiving a great salary, albeit not as great as its East Asian counterparts, the cost of living is incredibly low. This makes it one of the best options for those wanting to earn as much money teaching abroad. 

Teachers can earn from around $20-$30 per hour in Vietnam, depending on their qualifications and experience. This equates to a teaching abroad salary of around $1,200-$2,400 per month, depending on your pay as well as how many hours you work. Additionally, many teachers choose to tutor outside of their school window. Here, teachers can earn around $20 per hour to supplement their income.

Boat on the water while on internship

Of course, it depends on your skills, experience and qualifications on how much money you’re earning. Additionally, pay varies from company to company or school to school. However, even if you’re a first time teacher in Vietnam, you can earn a handsome salary if you go with the right company.

While most schools won’t offer the same benefits as ones in East Asia, the low cost of living makes a great companion to the handsome salary. Vietnam offers meals for as cheap as $1, even in the cultural capital Hanoi or financial hub Ho Chi Minh City. The fantastically invigorating Vietnamese ca phe is also as cheap as $1, and you can find beers in the local bia hoi for as little as $0.50. Rent is also cheap, especially if you live outside a tourist or expat centric area. Teaching English in Vietnam is an opportunity to live luxuriously all while saving up plenty of cash. 

Teach English Abroad and Get Paid 

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a fantastic experience, but it can also be a demanding job. Going from lesson to lesson, not only teaching but managing a classroom of students. Thankfully, you’re getting paid to do it! 

You should remember that there are many things that will influence your salary as an English teacher. By having a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, a TEFL certification, and previous experience, your teaching abroad salary potential will be far higher than someone who lacks these areas. If you are new to the TEFL scene, don’t worry! You have all of the time in the world to obtain your TEFL and gain valuable experience teaching abroad. 

There’s no reason that you shouldn’t search for the higher paying positions in order to maximize your salary and ultimately your experience. While it is a great opportunity to travel the world and embrace new cultures, you’re also putting in the time and energy. You shouldn’t settle for less than your worth while working and teaching abroad. 

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