Highest-Paying Countries Where You Can Teach Abroad
Teaching English abroad can be a great experience to get to know a new country or learn a new language. But it also can be very lucrative. We have looked at the 5 Highest-Paying countries where you can teach English abroad
Just like most 9-5 jobs, teaching English abroad won’t be making you a millionaire but in some countries, you can make a decent salary ranging between 1500-4000$.
As you may know, I have worked as a Teacher in China for quite a while and for different companies. When I was first starting I earned about 1500$ for an inexperienced teacher in a city where you can rent an apartment for as little as 150$ that wasn’t bad. But once you have more experience, maybe a degree or teaching certificate you can earn much more and not just in China.
While some regions pay you a really good salary, other countries particularly Thailand and Central America won’t be paying as much as you would hope. Keep in mind that before applying for a job you should always check the cost of living in the countries that I will mention in this post. The cost of living in Shanghai can be much higher than you would expect. While the cost of living in the countryside of Vietnam will be very low.
Let’s have a look on the highest paid ESL jobs around the world:
1. China – up to $4,000 USD per month
Teaching experience & TEFL
Highest-Paying Countries Where You Can Teach Abroad: China
Generally speaking, one of the highest paying ESL teaching jobs can be found in China. I’m not saying that they pay the highest salary of all countries but they are definitely on the top of the list. The salary can range between 1500-4000+ US$ per month depending on the city that you are teaching and the experience that you bring. In Shanghai or Beijing, the salary can easily be around 3000-4000 US$ for an ESL teacher while in smaller cities like Yinchuan the salary starts with 1500 US$. It also depends on how many hours you are willing to work per week and how long you can commit to staying with the company. In general, if you sign a contract for one to two years with a specific school you can expect to earn more than if you are just coming for a short time. Also, there is almost always a housing stipend and a bonus at the end of the contract-term included.
However, regulations to become a teacher in China have been tightened due to resident policy changes. It is much harder to become a teacher in China if you are not a native speaker. But China isn’t just looking for ESL teachers. They have needs for French, Spanish, German, Arabic and other language teachers all over China.
Popular destinations in China are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chengdu. But China is big and the opportunities are endless. I would even say it’s the best time to find a job in China ever.
2. The middle east – up to $4000 USD per month
Some might be wondering why I call it the “middle east” but with quite a few countries in the middle east paying the same or almost the same salary I thought it would be best to keep the list short. UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait combined as the “middle east” are some of the Highest-Paying Countries Where You Can Teach Abroad and very developed countries as well.
Current Salaries are ranging from $1000 to $4000 depending once again on the location and you experience. Wanna enjoy a city like Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Go for it because right now is the time. Some of these countries really need ESL teachers.
To work as an English teacher in the middle east you should have a Bachelor degree and teaching experience and or certification. Some, however, like Saudi Arabia do not always care for teaching certification. This might be your first step into an ESL career.
3. Japan – $3,000 USD per month plus housing
Typical requirements: TEFL certificate
Highest-Paying Countries Where You Can Teach Abroad: Japan
The food, snow-capped mountains, springtime cherry blossoms, steaming bowls of noodles, and polite, welcoming people have given teaching in Japan a wide appeal. And it doesn’t hurt either that the pay can be as high as $3,000 a month with added benefits like free housing and flight reimbursement.
Previous teaching experience is not necessary, though it can be tough to find a position without it since the job market in Japan is extremely competitive. Most less experienced teachers opt to participate in the JET Programme, but be sure to consider the alternatives.
4. South Korea – up to $2,500 USD per month plus housing
TEFL certificate and experience preferred but not required
Number 4 of the Highest-Paying Countries Where You Can Teach Abroad: South Korea
While the north has his own plans for the future.. South Korea continues to grow and with a strong economy comes wealth and wealth brings.. I guess you get my drift. South Korea can be a nice option for an English teacher as well. With salaries around 2000-3000$ /month including free housing, it can be very attractive to start teaching in Korea. If you are interested in teaching in Korea you should go for a smaller city instead of desperately focusing on getting that job in Seoul. Smaller cities can be exciting too and may even pay better or will at least have a lower cost of living.
A TEFL certificate and bachelor’s degree is usually required to teach English in Korea, especially for the so often mentioned programs such as EPIK, GEPIK, or SMOE.
(It might pay off not to go with the programs mentioned above but instead look for a teaching job in Korea by yourself.)
5. Vietnam – up to $2,000 USD per month
Degree and none degree holders have a chance in Vietnam!
For teachers who don’t have a bachelor’s degree or teaching experience or TEFL certificate, Vietnam could be a good option. Note that a bachelor’s degree is still almost always necessary.
Teaching in Vietnam doesn’t just give you the privilege of enjoying Vietnamese coffee but also lets you experience the beautiful beaches (Phuc Quoc) or heritage sites such as Ha Long Bay. If you decide Vietnam is the place to go, you will quickly realize that the need for ESL teachers in Vietnam is huge.
Salary might be not as attractive as other countries mentioned in this post but 1500-2500$ /month are still not bad. Especially when you consider that the cost of living is incredibly low in Vietnam, even in Hanoi or Saigon.
A tip at last. Don’t fall for scammers. Be careful when you search for jobs online (it’s called common sense), when an offer sounds too good to be true then don’t apply. Most importantly, negotiate your contract and sign it before you go abroad. One of the first schools that I joined as a teacher tried to scam me afterward but luckily I had a contract negotiated before I came.
I would love to hear your story as an ESL teacher abroad and if you would like to have a short interview about your experience you can text me. If you want to look for a job directly then follow this link.
Nothing more for me to say but “Good Luck” with your applications.