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Teaching English in Saudi Arabia 101

Qualified English teachers in Saudi Arabia can realistically expect to make $1,500 - $3,000 tax-free a month with benefits including airfare to and from the assignment, health insurance, and even furnished housing. Saudi Arabia offers the largest number of teaching positions in the region, with a large number of job opportunities available to highly qualified (and typically) native-speaking English teachers.

A 4-year college degree (BA/BS) is typically required to teach English in Saudi Arabia, and a TEFL certification is typically required as well. 

Because of the number of vacancies, and the challenges of attracting young westerners in their 20s and 30s to such a restrictive environment, schools are more likely to accept teachers with less substantial qualifications than in neighboring countries like the UAE and Qatar. Salaries and benefits can be excellent, but teachers must be prepared to live in society governed by traditional Islamic law and customs. This bans the use of alcohol and movie theaters, and dictates that most public institutions, including schools are segregated by gender.

Most teachers are hired in advance from their own country and have their visa processed prior to their departure for their teaching destination. To receive their visa, teachers should expect to pass a physical and an HIV test, and in many cases, academic transcripts and a criminal background check may also be necessary. Expect the interview and visa processes to take 1-3 months.

English teaching jobs are concentrated in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and other larger cities.

For more information about teaching English in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, check out our Middle East Resource Hub!

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