TEFL Salaries: What to expect

TEFL Salaries: What to expect

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and is synonymous with TESOL which is the acronym for Teaching English to the Speakers of Other Languages. A TEFL certificate allows the educators to apply for teaching positions in schools and other educational institutions around the world and fulfil their dream of teaching abroad.

If one of the main reasons why educators choose to be TEFL teachers is to satiate their passion for travelling and of course, the most important reason is the teaching English abroad salary that they receive to fund their travelling. However, not all TEFL aspirants are travellers, some opt for a TEFL training course to find opportunities as a teacher in a specific country that they want to settle in. As a TEFL teacher, though it is unlikely that you will become rich, but you can always find employment opportunities with decent TEFL salaries in the most unlikely of places. With approximately 2 billion English learners around the globe, the demand for TEFL certified teachers is going up higher at a rate of 15%. It has been reported that more than 20,000 TEFL jobs are listed in the TEFL world each month.

Candidates prefer pursuing TEFL courses nowadays in the online learning mode due to the various advantages they provide and a discussion best kept for another day. The e-learning market is expected to grow by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024. After completing their courses, they can apply for positions in any place around the world. However, now comes the real deal. There are certain questions that you need to have a clear answer before accepting any TEFL job offer:

Will your TEFL teacher salary be enough to support you while you live abroad? Will you have enough to live comfortably, or will money be tight? Will you be able to save while teaching English abroad?

Your TEFL salaries depend on a few factors like:

Where you teach English
The country where you choose to teach will determine to a great extent, your pay package. You can considerably demand a higher salary in Middle Eastern countries as well as in Asian countries. Also, the salaries in a bigger city will be higher as compared to small towns.

How much experience you have
TEFL educators applying for jobs can expect higher salary, more so if the teacher has worked as a TEFL educator in his/her previous jobs.

Your other qualifications
If you are a degree holder, then automatically your opportunities increase and you get to choose a job that suits you, both financially and as per your other convenience.

Your TEFL qualification
Getting TEFL certified from an accredited and well-known provider will help you fetch a job easily. An accredited TEFL course is equivalent to CELTA, it is your job experience that makes all the difference.

Salaries Vs the Cost of Living (accommodation, flights & other benefits)

While applying for jobs, keep in mind the country where you are applying. If the cost of living is high, then the salary will be automatically high. You can find the salaries higher in Middle East countries compared to South Asian countries like Vietnam or Taiwan, but do not forget that the amount required to live in these countries is quite higher than that required in Taiwan or a South American country like Chile.

Also look into your accommodation facilities, flight re-imbursement, and health insurance. These small savings go a long way and help enough with your savings. For example: the average salary in China is £1,200 – £1,600 ($1,500 – $2,000) and in Japan it’s £1,600 – £2,200 ($2,000 – $2,700). You might get tempted to opt for Japan as your next TEFL destination. But on a closer look, you will be surprised to see that while salaries are higher in Japan, getting accommodation from the institute is not common. On the other hand, in China it’s common that accommodation is provided to teachers, hence you are likely to save more while teaching in China.

Native Vs Non-native

It is quite natural to think that natives always get preference over non-native TEFL educators while applying for teaching jobs. However, this is not completely true. Yes, to a certain extent it is true that European nations prefer to hire natives for their students but there are ample opportunities for non-natives in countries located in Asia, South America, or the Middle East where recruiters get impressed by your clear teaching concepts and good classroom management approaches, without any sort of discrimination or bias. Hence non-natives can look for opportunities in the following nations:

Asian countries and their salary structure

Country Avg. monthly salary
Cambodia £650 - £950 ($800 - $1,200)
China £1,200 - £1,600 ($1,500 - $2,000)
Hong Kong £1,600 - £2,800 ($2,000 - $3,500)
Indonesia £700 - £1,100 ($850 - $1,350)
Japan £1,600 - £2,200 ($2,000 - $2,700)
Malaysia £900 - £1,850 ($1,100 - $2,300)
Myanmar £1,000 - £1,800 ($1,250 - $2,200)
South Korea £1,300 - £2,000 ($1,600 - $2,500)
Thailand £800 - £1,050 ($1,000 - $1,300)
Vietnam £950 - £1,300 ($1,200 - $1,500)

Central & South American countries and their salary structure

Country Avg. monthly salary
Argentina £500 - £950 ($600 - $1,200)
Bolivia £400 - £550 ($500 - $700)
Brazil £650 - £900 ($800 - $1,100)
Chile £550 - £800 ($700 - $1,000)
Colombia £400 - £800 ($500 - $1,000)
Ecuador £400 - £650 ($500 - $800)
Myanmar £1,000 - £1,800 ($1,250 - $2,200)
Guatemala £400 - £550 ($500 - $700)
Mexico £400 - £800 ($500 - $1,000)
Peru £325 - £650 ($400 - $800)
Uruguay £325 - £800 ($400 - $1000)

Middle East & African nations and their salary structure

Country Avg. monthly salary
Algeria £550 - £900 ($700 - $1,100)
Bahrain £1,200 - £2,500 ($1,500 - $3,000)
Egypt £400 - £700 ($500 - $900)
Jordan £500 - £950 ($600 - $1,100)
Kuwait £1,200 - £2,000 ($1,500 - $2,500)
Lebanon £650 - £1,200 ($800 - $1,500)
Morocco £400 - £800 ($500 - $1,000)
Qatar £1,200 - £2,800 ($1,500 - $3,500)
Saudi Arabia £1,600 - £3,200 ($2,000 - $4,000)
UAE £1,600 - £4,000 ($2,000 - $5,000)

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