TEACH ENGLISH IN SAUDI ARABIA

 
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About Teaching English in Saudi Arabia

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.

To teach English in Saudi Arabia, you will need a TEFL certificate and a 4-year college degree in any field (although a Master's degree is preferred). You must be a native English speaker as well. The average salary for an English teacher in Saudi Arabia is about $1,500 - $3,000 USD per month.

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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 a 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.

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Saudi Arabia. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers interview from their home country in advance for Saudi Arabi teaching jobs. Therefore, it is most common for students to take one of our TEFL course options listed below:

You may also wish to take one of the 4-Week In-Person TEFL Courses that we offer in 21 locations worldwide.

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

You typically need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Saudi Arabia, though there are limited exceptions. Citizens from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are considered to be native speakers.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

A bachelor's degree is required to secure a teaching job in Saudi Arabia with most employers giving preference to those with a Master's degree.

BACKGROUND CHECK

You will require a clean FBI background check in order to process your work visa.

TEFL Jobs in Saudi Arabia

JOB TYPES

The most common job types in Saudi Arabia consist of:

  • Teaching adults or children in private language schools, international schools, and universities.
  • Private tutoring both children and adults.
  • Teaching Business English to adults.
  • Teaching English Online.

HIRING & VISA

English teachers in Saudi Arabia can expect to find jobs year-round. It is most common to interview over the phone, Skype, or Zoom, and you may interview through a recruiting company. Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia who earn their TEFL certification may be able to get work locally in Saudi Arabia (especially private lessons).

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.

HOURS

English language schools in Saudi Arabia require approximately 20 to 30 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. There are many a variety of holidays and many schools offer paid vacation. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

STUDENTS

It is most common that your students will be children, high school students, university-age students, adults, and business professionals. 

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,500 USD (3,750 - 5,600 SAR). These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Saudi Arabia until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

SALARY

Even first-time English teachers can earn a good salary and receive benefits like airfare, housing, health insurance, and paid vacation. Teachers can expect to make $1,500 - $3,000 USD (5,600- 11,200 SAR) per month

Read More: What are Salaries for Teaching English in the Middle East?

COST OF LIVING & SAVINGS

The cost of living typically ranges between $500-$1,000 USD per month.

English teachers in Saudi Arabia can expect to save roughly $700 - $1,000 USD (2,600 - 3,750 SAR).  Even most first-time English teachers in Saudi Arabia can save $500-$1000 a month or even more after expenses.

What does teaching in Saudi Arabia look like?

Check out our blog to read stories from our alumni teaching English in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day in the life videos and interviews from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in the Middle East could look like!

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Teaching English in Saudi Arabia FAQs

Do I need a degree to teach English in Saudi Arabia?

To teach English in Saudi Arabia, make sure you understand what is required:

Required:

  • A 4-year Bachelor's degree is required, however, a Master's degree is usually preferred
  • A TEFL certification
  • Citizenship from a native English-speaking country (typically)
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available
  • Savings for start-up costs

What is the salary for teaching English in Saudi Arabia?

Even first-time English teachers can earn a good salary and receive benefits like airfare, housing, health insurance, and paid vacation. Teachers can expect to make $1,500 - $3,000 USD (5,600- 11,200 SAR) per month

English teachers in Saudi Arabia can expect to save roughly $700 - $1,000 USD (2,600 - 3,750 SAR).  Even most first-time English teachers in Saudi Arabia can save $500-$1000 a month or even more after expenses.

Read More: What are Salaries for Teaching English in the Middle East?

What are my job opportunities for teaching English in Saudi Arabia?

The most common job types in Saudi Arabia consist of:

  • Teaching adults or children in private language schools, international schools, vocational colleges, and universities (usually for more qualified and experienced teachers).
  • Private tutoring both children and adults.
  • Teaching Business English to adults.
  • Teaching English Online.

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Saudi Arabia?

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.

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I decided to go with International TEFL Academy because they were the most professional and forthcoming with information. I find that the business that is the quickest to respond to your inquiries is usually the best bet for your money. This was certainly true of International TEFL Academy.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the online course. I worked a full-time job, so the flexibility of the course allowed me to achieve my goal of getting TEFL certified while maintaining employment to financially prepare for my departure. The instructor was available when necessary, but gave you room to just do the work at your pace. The tasks were surprisingly challenging but do-able. I really liked that ITA required a practicum. Not only did it allow me to practice what I'd been learning in theory, but it also gave me an edge in the job market.

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Teaches English in Bahrain

Carmen Oswalt

Although I have a bachelor's degree in Education, I think that my TEFL certification has made me more marketable abroad. I chose International TEFL Academy because my best friend had been certified there. She told me all about the courses and helped me decide. I was most impressed by the country guides and the support for finding jobs after completing the certification that this organization provides.

Visit the Saudi Arabia section of our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in Saudi Arabia & the Middle East.