What Are Salaries for English Teachers in the Middle East in 2020?

By Michael Kunik

Stretching from the western shores of North Africa across the Sahara to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula and into the heart of Central Asia, the Middle East is a vast and diverse region not only from the standpoint of its cultures and geography, but in terms of the opportunities it offers certified English teachers as well.

In the wealthy Arab nations of the Persian Gulf region, English teachers can command some of the highest salaries and finest benefit packages in the world and must compete in a competitive job market. Often schools in this region of the Middle East will require English teaches to have a Master’s Degree (sometimes in education) and previous teaching experience, on top of their TEFL certification. That's not to say it's impossible for first-time teachers to get a job in this region (especially in Saudi Arabia), but you will need to be persistent, patient and flexible in your job search. Those who qualify for such positions will enjoy some of the highest salaries in the field as pay can range from $2,500 - $6,000 a month, plus free housing and flights to and from the teacher’s home country.

My Transition to Adulthood Through An Istanbul TEFL Adventure

By Garrett Garcia

It was January 4, 2016. I had just arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, two days before. Fresh out of college, the owner of a TEFL certificate for about a month, and jet lagged beyond belief, I somehow had to survive my first day of teaching 3-year-old Turkish kids whose English knowledge barely exceeded numbers and shapes. 

This was also my first day in the so-called “real world.” 

Follow Me to Turkey

By: Ana Santos

I fell in love with Turkey!

As a researcher in the tourism field, and being that Turkey is the only European country with a view over Asia, a developed country full of opportunities in all kinds of business, amazing transport connections and truly friendly people, it was obviously the best choice. Turkey is at the top of the tourism chain, ranking worldwide and it should be evident why. Turkey is a country that knows a great deal about tourism and hospitality, and I am aware I have much to learn from them. Also as a non-native English speaker, I believe I could find good arguments as a potential teacher as English is not the first language used in the country. 

The director of the school in Istanbul gave me the great honor of accepting me as the only Non-native English teacher and so far, so good! Highly qualified teachers have helped give me the confidence to achieve the goals in order to become a non-native English teacher. Improving takes the guts to look for criticism as well as the courage to write, and the time and patience to voice in another language. Besides, going abroad is a great experience for any student and with such diversity and activities, as well as tourism, on offer from Turkey was certainly the best option. 

Teaching English in Turkey - An Unexpected Career

By: Matthew Barge


I was getting close to the end of my college career and did not really have an idea what I was going to do with my life after I had graduated. For the past four years I had been studying art as well as working towards a history minor. I had not even thought about the idea of getting paid to teach English in a foreign country. This period of my life came shortly after a four month experience studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, and I was really missing the experience of traveling and often wished I were living abroad again. I remember there were times I would be trying to work on an assignment and would often get distracted researching ways I could get out and explore more of the world.

How to Make Sure Teaching English Abroad is a Resume-Worthy Experience

By: Pouneh Eftekhari

When I was graduating from college, I had two study abroad experiences under my belt and a full-blown addiction to travel. All I wanted to do was buy a one-way ticket abroad and never come home. I only knew of two options to do so--teach English abroad and join the Peace Corps--but neither option seemed to get the approval of my parents. So I didn’t do either.

Instead, I appeased everyone and went to grad school...but I did it under my terms: in Europe! After two years of grad school and a short stint working full time abroad, I ended up back home...suppressing the travel bug by ‘getting a real job’ and ‘settling down’. Not long after I got married, my husband and I knew we needed an international adventure, but felt at a loss for how to make it happen. I threw out the idea of teaching English abroad, but neither of us took it very seriously.

Unfortunately, like many others, we held a prejudice that it wasn’t a ‘real job’ and that it was only for ‘recent college graduates who don’t want to get a real job’.

We tabled the idea until we couldn’t any longer.

Adjusting to Turkish Life: An American Woman in Ankara

By: Pouneh Eftekhari

Living and teaching English in Ankara, Turkey as a woman wasn't that different than living in Europe or the USA. I lived in a middle-upper class area, working with professionals (doctors, lawyers, university professors, government officials, engineers, etc.), many of whom had traveled internationally and, of course, were highly educated. On the surface, they seemed to be western in many regards. Having said that, they were, at the same time, fiercely patriotic and had so much pride in their culture and its traditions. It’s incredible to experience centuries-old traditions. But at the same time, parts of society and social norms tend to be..... a bit old-school. To be honest, sometimes those old-school mentalities were a bit hard to swallow for me, an independent woman from the west...

Teaching English in Turkey: A Guide for Women

By: Pouneh Eftekhari

For many, moving to a Muslim country brings about many questions and sometimes fears. Questions about women’s rights; personal safety & freedoms; food; and work conditions are just some of the concerns that come to mind. As a Midwestern American woman, born and raised in Wisconsin, I was excited at the thought of moving to a "secular" Middle Eastern country--Turkey--but I too also had some questions.