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How Much Salary Do English Teachers Make in Hungary?
Explore how much money you can make teaching English in Hungary and the expenses you will need to consider both in terms of start-up costs and your monthly cost of living.
Written By: John Bentley | Updated: June 29, 2023
Written By: John Bentley
Updated: June 29, 2023
An ancient crossroads in the heart of Europe, Hungary is one of the continent's up-and-coming job markets for teaching English. The draws of living and teaching in Hungary range from grand palaces and castles to historic cities, charming villages, and classic continental cuisine.
Enticing, right? But how much money can you make teaching English in Hungary? Let's find out!
English Teacher in Hungary Salary
How Much Does an English Teacher Earn in Hungary?
On average, English teachers in Hungary can expect to make anywhere between $650-$950 USD (approx. 225,000 - 330,000 HUF*) per month with the option to earn additional income through private tutoring ($5-20 USD per hour) and teaching English online ($5-$20 USD per hour).
Those teaching English in public schools through the CTEP Program receive a salary of approximately $500, but also receive accommodations, access to health insurance, paid vacation and other benefits included with the program fee (see below for more information).
Your salary will fluctuate depending on which teaching position you choose to pursue and how many hours you teach per week. Any previous teaching experience can possibly translate into higher starting pay rates and as you gain experience (and good performance and customer reviews), you will likely see your salary rise accordingly.
* The abbreviation for the Hungarian Forint is HUF (even though Hungary is an EU nation, it does not use the Euro).
Read more: How Much Can I Make Teaching English Abroad?
Hungary Teaching Salary: The Details
There are several different teaching opportunities available for TEFL-certified teachers in Hungary. When researching salaries for teaching positions in Hungary, remember that the cost of living is considerably lower in Hungary than in the U.S., the U.K., and many other Western European nations.
ESL (English as a second language) teachers who ultimately spend time teaching English in Hungary do so via one of the following avenues:
- Teaching business professionals in English language schools
- CTEP Public School Teaching Program (Most Popular)
- Private tutoring for both children and adults
- Teach English online
- A combination of the above.
NOTE: If you possess more advanced teaching credentials, you may be able to gain employment teaching English in an international school or a private bilingual grade school or high school. These schools often offer higher salaries and more benefits than the positions that typical first-time teachers will take.
|Salary & Expenses||English Teacher Salary in Hungary Details|
|Language School Salary||Between $650 and $950 USD per month|
|CTEP Public School Program||Approximately $500 USD per month + Housing, health insurance & paid vacation|
|Private Tutoring Salary||$5-$20 USD per hour|
|Teach English Online Salary||$5-$20 USD per hour|
|Average Cost of Living||$500-1,000 USD per month|
|Start-up Costs||Between $1,000 and $1,500 USD|
Let's explore each option and what you can expect to earn from them:
1. Hungary Language School Salaries
Teaching in private language institutes is not as common in Hungary is not as common for first-time English teachers because it is more difficult for Americans and non-EU citizens to get legal work visas to teach in some schools (most Americans teach through CTEP - see below). Most of these opportunities are available to citizens of EU countries or those who already have residency or a legal right to work in Hungary.
Most ESL teachers will find their first employment in a language institute once they are on the ground in Hungary. However, some schools will interview in advance over a video call.
Pay will fluctuate depending on where you are located, with teachers in larger cities earning more than those teaching in smaller cities and towns. English teachers working at language schools in Hungary can expect to make anywhere between $500 - $1,000 USD per month.
Visa Options for Teaching English in Hungary
Work Visa for Teaching English in Hungary
Hungary represents a more challenging job market for any teacher who does not already have citizenship from a qualified European Union (EU) nation or working rights in Hungary.
Hungarian work permits are available for people who are already EU citizens. EU citizens can expect to find jobs during the peak hiring months of September and January, with an expected downtime in August and from Christmas through the second week of January.
US, CANADIAN, & UK CITIZENS
Teachers holding citizenship from the US, Canada, and the UK can apply for the Central European Teaching Program (CETP- see below for more information) to teach English to children in public schools throughout Hungary. Teachers working with CETP will receive a work visa after they arrive in Hungary, and CETP will provide all of the necessary documentation. The visa is usually processed about two weeks after the application.
2. Pay for CTEP Teaching Jobs in Public Schools
The Central European Teaching Program (CETP) is the most common way for non-EU citizens - including Americans and most ITA graduates - to teach English in Hungary. This is in part due to the fact that CTEP will sponsor legal work visas for teaching English in Hungary, which are otherwise difficult to obtain.
To participate in the program, participants pay a placement fee for positions of 6-10 months teaching English in a public school - positions are available in cities and towns throughout Hungary. Participants receive a monthly salary of approximately $500, in addition to benefits like accommodations, health insurance, legal work visa, orientation, in-country support, and paid vacation. Teachers pay a placement fee of approximately $2,500 ($1,800 for one semester) to participate in this program,
3. Hungary Private English Tutoring Salaries
Private tutoring ESL students (especially adults) is extremely common among English teachers in Hungary. Teachers that choose this route are often:
- Teaching English in Hungary at a public or private 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;
- Run an advertisement 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 Hungaria 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.
How much money can I make from private tutoring ESL students in Hungary?
As a first-time private ESL tutor in Hungary, you should expect to charge and make around $5-20 USD per hour for one-on-one lessons (depending on where in Hungary you are based). If you are providing private tutoring lessons for small groups (2-3 students at a time), it's possible to increase your rates as your small group of students will be splitting the hourly cost amongst themselves. Also, if you are able to market yourself to economic elites and ex-pats - especially those who work at embassies or multinational corporations, you can very likely charge higher rates and make the equivalent of $20+ an hour. These types of clients are typically easier to cultivate once you have a little experience under your belt and some reviews as well.
Something to keep in mind - a student may only be after a single private tutoring lesson, or a handful, and can withdraw from their lessons with you at any time. As a result, you should be cautious when trying to budget your private tutoring income too far into the future.
4. Hungary Teaching English Online Salaries
Like private ESL tutoring, teaching English online is an extremely popular way for teachers to make money. Some English teachers in Hungary teach online as their sole job and income, while others do it to supplement the income they earn from teaching at a language school or from private tutoring.
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 total control of your schedule. Also, remember that the cost of living is lower in Hungary, so every $5-$20 that you earn will have a lot more purchasing power and go will go further than it does in the U.S. or Western Europe.
A key advantage of teaching online is that you can begin teaching and making money before you move to Hungary. 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 Hungary.
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 finding an online teaching platform? Check out Non-Chinese ESL Companies to Teach English Online With.
Expenses for Teaching English in Hungary
There are two categories of expenses that need to be taken into consideration for those looking to teach English in Hungary:
- Start-up costs
- Cost of living
Let's explore each of the two in more detail.
1. Start-Up Costs for Teaching English in Hungary
Start-up costs will range from $1,050 - $1,450 USD (265,450 – 366,600 HUF). These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Hungary until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. It does not include airfare or TEFL certification costs, which you should also figure into your planning.
This is the minimum amount of savings you should have on hand before leaving home and arriving in Hungary. If you have more, great, but if you have less, you may be setting yourself up for failure from the get-go which can cause unnecessary added stress during an already stressful period of adaption and change.
For those teaching at private language schools, there are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent.
For those teaching as part of the CETP Program, your initial costs will include a program fee of $2500 for a full academic year placement ($1800 for a one-semester placement). This includes accommodations in your own private apartment, usually within a convenient walk or commute to the school. In addition, the fee includes:
- Paid full-time teaching placement, September to June
- Full health insurance
- Airport pick-up in Hungary
- Detailed information to help you prepare to live and teach in your country of choice
- In-country orientation session
- Furnished housing for the duration of placement
- Utilities (except phone and Internet service)
- Social events and teacher training classes
- Monthly newsletter
- Ongoing in-country support
2. Cost of Living for Teaching English in Hungary
Cost of living refers to everyday expenses you will incur during your time in Hungary. The cost of living in Hungary is relatively low ($600 - $900 a month), and salaries ($500 - $9500 a month) for first-time ESL teachers are modest. English teachers typically live comfortably on what they earn, but financial planning is still imperative to prepare you for success. If you teach through the CTEP program, your expenses will be even less because accommodations are provided through the program. The most popular expenses that fall under this category include:
- Monthly rent expenses
- 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 drastically based on where in Hungary you are based. For example, those living in larger cities like Budapest can expect to have a higher cost of living compared to those located in smaller cities or towns. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget $500 - $1,000 USD per month to cover your cost of living.
Hungary is very much a break-even country, meaning you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you shouldn't expect to save money at the end of each month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save and come out on top at the end of each month.
Go further: Requirements for teaching English in Hungary
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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