How much do TEFL teachers get paid?

The salary for teaching English abroad or online is determined by a number of factors, including your qualifications, previous experience, and the country you desire to teach in. Let's take a look at how much TEFL teachers can earn when teaching English abroad and online.

How much does it pay to teach English abroad?

The salary for teaching English in a foreign country varies, but you should expect to make a respectable living. Teachers in high-paying countries might earn anything from $2,000 to over $5,000 USD per month. Your TEFL salary is determined by many things, such as the type of employer, your qualifications, your previous teaching experience, and the location of your school.

Does teaching English abroad pay well?

Teaching English abroad can be a lucrative career path, but salaries vary considerably from region to region. First-time English teachers in several Asian and Middle Eastern countries, for example, can save around 30 to 50 percent of their income after expenses ($500 to $2,000 USD a month). However, this level of saving will generally be a little more difficult to achieve in many parts of Europe and Latin America.

Teacher salaries in Europe and Latin America

The following are some examples of TEFL salaries in Europe and Latin America:

  • Latin America:
    • Mexico: $500 - $800 USD per month
    • Argentina: $600 - $1,100 USD per month
    • Chile: $750 - $1,000 USD per month
  • Europe:
    • Czech Republic: $700 - $1,100 USD per month
    • Germany: $1,100 - $2,200 USD per month
    • Spain: $1,250 - $1,850 USD per month
  • In these countries, English teaching incomes often allow expat teachers to live comfortably in an apartment, meet basic expenditures, eat out, travel by public transit, and have some extra money to travel and pursue other hobbies.

    Most first-time English teacher incomes will not allow you to save a lot of money in these regions. Private tutoring, on the other hand, is in high demand in both areas and it gives good opportunities for English teachers to supplement their main income.

    Teacher salaries in Asia

    The following are some examples of monthly English teaching salaries in Asia:

    • Japan: $1,500 - $2,000 USD per month
    • China: $1,250 - $2,850 USD per month
    • South Korea: $1,850 - $2,150 USD per month

    After expenses, English teaching salaries in Asia often allow you to save between 30% and 50% per month. In Thailand, this can range from $200 - $300 USD per month, while this figure can be up to $1,000 USD or more per month in South Korea.

    Keep in mind that the local cost of living, as well as the exchange rate between US Dollars or (whatever your native currency is) and the local currency in which you will be paid, will influence the range of your savings.

    Teacher salaries in the Middle East

    The following are some examples of monthly English teaching salaries in the Middle East:

    • Bahrain $1,500 - $3,000 USD per month
    • UAE: $1,800 - $5,000 USD per month
    • Qatar: $1,600 - $4,000 USD per month

    These teaching markets are smaller and more competitive than those in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. In addition to an accredited TEFL certification, many language schools in the UAE and other Gulf countries will only accept teachers with additional experience and qualifications (university degree, national or state teaching certification, and/or some professional background in education).

    English teacher salaries in less developed nations like Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey will normally allow a first-time teacher to live well, but they should not expect to save much, if at all. However, the cost of living is usually low in these countries, and advanced teaching certifications are not necessary. Some teachers in Turkey may even be paid a stipend for flights or housing.

    What benefits and extra perks are there when teaching English abroad?

    Many English teaching jobs also come with a set of pretty sweet benefits, ranging from paid airfare and free housing, to a range of attractive bonuses. However, most of these are found in the Middle East or Asia regions.

    When signing a teaching contract in these areas you might receive some or all of the following common benefits:

    • Housing (either all paid accommodation or a housing stipend provided)
    • Airfare in and out of the country (either paid in advance or reimbursed)
    • Medical coverage (either wholly or partially covered by the employer)
    • Reimbursement of visa fees
    • Paid vacation time
    • Contract completion bonus

    Other perks, such as free language instruction and in-country orientation, may be included as well.

    While having all of the above paid for and receiving a full wage on top is a fantastic boost to your lifestyle and saving power, one other huge unmentioned perk is having all of your admin taken care of. With many of the best jobs, all the tricky stuff is done for you, which means you can strike the ground running when you arrive and concentrate on having fun!