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How Much Money Can I Earn Teaching English Abroad?

How Much Money Can I Earn Teaching English Abroad?
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What are salaries for English teachers overseas?

English teacher salaries abroad depend on the teacher’s position, qualifications and the country where they teach. Some examples of monthly salaries you can earn based on the region you teach English in include:

  • Asia: Japan $1,500 - $2,000 USD /mo; China $1,250 - $2,850 USD /mo; and South Korea $1,850 - $2,150 USD /mo.  
  • Latin America: Mexico $500 - $800 USD /mo; Argentina $600 - $1,100 USD /mo; and Chile $750 - $1,000 USD /mo.
  • Europe: Czech Republic $700 - $1,100 USD /mo; Germany $1,100 - $2,200 USD /mo; and Spain $1,250 - $1,850 USD /mo. 
  • Middle East: Bahrain $1,500 - $3,000 USD /mo; UAE $1,800 - $5,000 USD /mo; and Qatar $1,600 - $4,000 USD /mo.

Does teaching English abroad pay well?

Teaching English is not the most lucrative job, but a first-time English teacher can expect to at least break even and live comfortably. In many Asian and Middle East countries, even first-time English teachers can make enough to save 30%-50% of their income after expenses ($500 - $2K USD).

Foreign English teacher salaries are typically, though not always, paid in local currency and should be viewed through the prism of the local cost of living. This means that an English teacher earning $1,000 a month in Peru will enjoy the same standard of living as a teacher in Madrid earning 2000 Euro because while the teacher in Madrid earns more in absolute terms, the cost of living is higher in Spain.

how much money can you make teaching English abroad TEFL

Europe and Latin America

English teacher salaries abroad in these regions typically allow expatriate English teachers to live comfortably in an apartment, cover basic expenses, dine out, travel by public transportation and have some extra money to travel and pursue other interests. In most cases, first-time English teacher salaries will not enable you to save extensive sums, but in both regions, private lessons are in high demand and provide excellent opportunities for English teachers to earn additional income.


English teacher salaries will typically enable you to save between 30%-50% of your salary after expenses, which can range from $200-$300 a month in a country like Thailand to $1,000 or more a month in South Korea.  The range in savings will be determined in part by your salary compared to the local cost of living and by the exchange rate between US Dollars or (whatever your native currency is) and the local currency in which you will be paid.

Middle East

English teacher salaries abroad in the UAE, and other Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain are some of the highest in the world as pay can range from $1,500 - $4,000 a month, with benefits including free housing, paid vacation, health insurance and flights to and from the teacher’s home country.  It must be noted that these job markets are smaller and more competitive than those in Latin America, Asia and Europe. Many language schools in the UAE and other Gulf countries will only hire teachers with extra experience and qualifications (education degree, a national or state teaching certification and/or some professional background in education) in addition to an accredited TEFL certification.

In less developed countries like Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Turkey, English teacher salaries will typically enable a first-time teacher to earn enough to support themselves comfortably, but should not expect to save much, if at all. In such countries, the cost of living is usually low and advanced teaching credentials are not required. In Turkey, some teachers may even receive a stipend for airfare or housing.

Extra Benefits:
Schools in some countries provide national health insurance and paid vacation time.  In other cases, employers provide free accommodation and utilities to help teachers with living expenses. Another perk could include the reimbursement of airfare.  Such benefits will vary from region to region and job to job.

To learn more about where English teacher salaries are highest, check out Top 5 Countries to Make the Most Money Teaching English Overseas.

Posted In: Money & Finances

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