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How Much Do English Teachers Make in Bahrain?
Ever wondered what salary you can earn teaching English in Bahrain? Discover the potential earnings of teaching English in Bahrain and the essential expenses you must factor in, including initial investment and monthly living costs.
Written By: John Bentley | Updated: November 2, 2023
Written By: John Bentley
Updated: November 2, 2023
Nestled on a stunning archipelago off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain represents a small yet highly lucrative job market for English teachers in the Persian Gulf. While competition can be fierce, qualified educators can embark on a rewarding career, enjoying a tax-free monthly salary ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 or potentially even more. In addition to the financial perks, teachers can also indulge in extra benefits like airfare, health insurance, and furnished housing.
With a huge expatriate population, fast-growing international commerce, and an increasing number of Bahrainis pursuing higher education in the UK and the USA, the demand for English language education has soared in recent years. Schools and students are now willing to invest significantly in qualified English instructors, both for teaching in traditional schools and language institutes catering to business professionals. There is also a strong demand for specialized training to excel in English proficiency exams required for admission to English language universities.
Read More: Teaching English in Bahrain
English Teacher Salary in Bahrain
How Much Does an English Teacher Earn in Bahrain?
Typically, English teachers in Bahrain can expect to earn $1,500 - $3,000 USD (approx. 550 - 1100 BD*) per month tax-free, and probably more if you possess additional experience and credentials. It is common for employers to pay for teacher's housing and often to provide a reimbursement for flight costs.
The salary you can expect as a teacher will vary depending on the teaching position you decide to pursue. If you have previous teaching experience, this could potentially result in higher starting pay rates, and as you gain more experience, your salary is likely to increase accordingly.
* The abbreviation for the Bahraini dinar is BD or BHD.
Read more: How Much Can I Make Teaching English Abroad?
Bahrain Teaching Salary: The Details
TEFL-certified teachers have a multitude of teaching opportunities awaiting them in Bahrain. For those who choose to teach English in this vibrant country, there are various avenues to explore:
- Teaching adults, business professionals, or children in private language schools and occasionally in vocational colleges;
- Teaching children and teenagers in International schools;
- Private tutoring children and adults, often for standardized proficiency exams;
- Teaching English online;
- A combination of the above.
NOTE: If you have advanced teaching credentials, you may have the opportunity to secure a teaching position in an elite international school, a private bilingual grade school, or even a college or university. These positions often come with higher salaries and additional benefits compared to those available to first-time teachers.
|Salary & Expenses||English Teacher Salary in Bahrain Details|
|Language School / International School Salary||Between $1,800 and $5,000 USD per month|
|Private Tutoring Salary||$20-$50+ USD per hour|
|Teach English Online Salary||$5-$20 USD per hour|
|Average Cost of Living||$650 -$1,050 USD per month|
|Start-up Costs||Between $1,100 and $1,500 USD|
Let's explore each option and what you can expect to earn from them:
1. Bahrain Private Language & International School Salaries
Although Bahrain is a small country of under 2 million residents, there is still a great demand for English teachers in and around major cities like Manama. With some of the highest salaries in the world, the job market is quite competitive and hiring standards are high. Many teaching jobs require a degree specifically in education, with a strong preference for those who have previous teaching experience. This often makes Bahrain a harder market for TEFL-certified teachers to gain employment, especially beginner TEFL teachers with little to no teaching experience.
The school year in Bahrain starts near the end of August and ends in June. However, private language institutes that cater primarily to adults in the business community do not necessarily operate according to the academic calendar used by grade schools and universities. Most primary and high schools recruit in the spring for positions beginning in August. Private language institutes catering to business professionals do not necessarily operate according to the standard academic calendar and may hire year-round based on need.
Pay will fluctuate depending on where you are located, with teachers in larger cities like Bahrain City earning more than those teaching in smaller cities and towns. English teachers working at private language and International schools in Bahrain can expect to make anywhere between $1,500 - $3,000 USD per month or more if they possess advanced credentials and experience.
Visa Options for Teaching English in Bahrain
Work Visa for Teaching English in Bahrain
It is standard practice for English teachers in Bahrain to receive a sponsored work visa which will be processed in their home country before departure.
2. Bahrain Private English Tutoring Salaries
Private tutoring ESL students (especially adults) is common among English teachers in Bahrain and can be lucrative. Teachers who choose this route are often:
- Teaching English in Bahrain at a private language or International school and taking on some private tutoring students to help supplement their income;
- Teaching English online and seeking supplemental income by privately tutoring students in addition to their online teaching job;
Getting clients for private lessons is a marketing exercise, and all the avenues that seem appropriate to your circumstances have to be explored. Here are some ways you can market yourself:
- Post notices in schools and universities, coffee shops, supermarkets, embassies, or corner shops;
- Advertise in local periodicals, especially those that cater to university students, professionals, and ex-pats;
- Send notices to local public schools announcing your willingness to work with local students on their English.
- Compile a list of addresses of professionals (lawyers, architects, etc.), and professional associations who may need English for their work and have the resources to pay for it and then contact them.
- Call on export businesses, distribution companies, and even travel agencies and tourism companies.
- Get ESL business cards made with Arabic on one side and English on the other.
- Enroll in ITA's English Tutoring Specialty Course. This course will not only provide you with enhanced teaching skills in a private tutoring setting but also incorporates practical guidelines for how to set up your own tutoring business.
- Enroll in ITA's Teaching Test Prep Skills Specialty Course. Many Bahraini students seek to study in universities in English-speaking nations and will pay high fees to receive specialized training to prepare for standardized exams they need to pass to gain entry to universities in the US and UK. This course will provide you with the skills you need to help these students maximize their scores on such tests (and boost your resume for higher-paying jobs!).
How much money can I make from private tutoring ESL students in Bahrain?
If you're just starting out as a private ESL tutor in Bahrain, you can expect to charge around $20-$50 USD per hour for one-on-one lessons. However, if you're teaching small groups of 2-3 students, you have the opportunity to increase your rates as the cost can be split among them. Additionally, if you're able to market yourself to Bahraini elites and ex-pat professionals, especially those working at embassies or multinational corporations, you can potentially charge higher rates and earn upwards of $60-$80+ per hour.
3. Bahrain Teaching English Online Salaries
Like private ESL tutoring, teaching English online is an extremely popular way for teachers to make money. Some digital-nomad-style English teachers in Bahrain teach online as their sole job and income, while others do it to supplement the income they earn from teaching at a private language/ International school or from private tutoring. This could be a great option for you if you are already in Bahrain - say on your partner or spouse's work visa - and looking to make extra cash.
Teaching English online provides TEFL-certified teachers with the opportunity to make money from the comfort of their own homes, with most teachers being able to make anywhere from $5-$20 USD per hour. Hours are flexible, and it is up to you how much or how little you teach - you are in control of your schedule.
A key advantage of teaching online is that you can begin teaching and making money before you move to Bahrain. This is a great way to help cover the start-up costs of your move and will ensure that you have an income immediately upon your arrival in Bahrain.
Additional Reading: To learn more about how much you can earn from online ESL teaching, please read How Much Money Can I Make Teaching English Online? Need help to find an online teaching platform? Check out Non-Chinese ESL Companies to Teach English Online With.
Expenses for Teaching English in Bahrain
Two categories of expenses need to be taken into consideration for those looking to teach English in Bahrain:
- Start-up costs
- Cost of living
Let's explore each of the two in more detail.
1. Start-Up Costs for Teaching English in Bahrain
Start-up costs are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Bahrain until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like a security deposit and first month's rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc.
Start-up costs to cover your first month of living in Bahrain will usually range somewhere between $1,100 and $1,500 USD. This is the minimum amount of savings you should have on hand before leaving home and arriving in Bahrain. If you have more, great, but if you have less, you may find yourself stretched financially.
When planning ahead, it's important to remember that there are other start-up costs to consider before embarking on your teaching adventure in Bahrain. These will include the cost of your TEFL certification, airfare to Bahrain (although sometimes this may be covered by your employer), and any costs associated with obtaining necessary documents like your passport, visa, etc.
2. Cost of Living for Teaching English in Bahrain
Cost of living refers to everyday monthly expenses you will incur during your time in Bahrain. The cost of living in Bahrain is somewhat modest ($650 - $1050 a month) and salaries ($1,500 - $3,000 a month) for first-time ESL teachers are generous. English teachers typically live comfortably on what they earn, but financial planning is still imperative to prepare you for success. The most popular expenses that fall under this category include:
- Monthly rent expenses (although it is common that your employer will provide you with housing and cover your rent)
- Utilities (electricity, gas, water bills, etc)
- Food and grocery expenses
- Health insurance
- Internet bill
- Cell phone bill
- Transportation (transit card, ride-sharing services, etc)
- Travel/entertainment expenses
Your cost of living expenses can vary. On average, English teachers in Bahrain save up to $800+ USD per month after expenses.
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John Bentley is Co-Founder & Senior Writer for International TEFL Academy (ITA), the world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad. A graduate of Harvard University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, John is a recognized expert in the field of TEFL. His articles have appeared across the field's top websites, including GoAbroad.com, StudyAbroad.com, InterExchange, GoOverseas.com, Adventure Teaching, & many others. He has also spoken as an expert on Teaching English Abroad & TEFL certification at major conferences like MeetPlanGo and Lessons from Abroad (LFA) in Portland & San Diego.
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