For some teachers, Saudi Arabia offers the ideal destination for teaching English abroad as salaries and benefit packages are as good as you will find anywhere in the world. Demand for qualified and experienced teachers is strong in cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah, where universities, colleges, international schools, and private language academies offer a variety of teaching positions.
Is Saudi Arabia the right TEFL destination for you?
While Saudi Arabia is one of the most attractive teaching destinations in terms of income, it is important to be aware of the cultural situation before you decide to head there. The country's conservative laws and traditions mean it is not an ideal destination for some teachers. Alcohol is forbidden and interaction between unmarried couples is not permitted, including between foreigners. Female teachers can find it particularly challenging as they are further restricted by issues such as clothing customs and a ban on driving alone.
What are TEFL salaries in Saudi Arabia?
Potential earnings for English language teachers in Saudi Arabia are amongst the highest to be found anywhere in the world. Salaries start at around $2,500 US per month and can rise to $4,000 and beyond depending on qualifications and experience. In addition to a generous salary, most positions will also include an equally generous benefit package that includes paid airfares, paid accommodation, and a bonus on completion of the contract. If all that is not enough, it is also worth mentioning that salaries are typically tax free.
Who are the main employers of English language teachers in Saudi Arabia?
As English is rapidly growing in importance in Saudi Arabia, there are a large number of private and public run language academies throughout the country. Salaries typically range from 12,000 to 15,000 SAR (currently $3,200 to $4,000 US) per month. An average week would include 25 to 30 classroom hours, with extensive lesson planning on top. Although not essential, a good understanding of Arabic is a real advantage in this area. Privately run international schools are another potential employer for teachers who can meet the relatively stringent criteria. Most positions will require a teaching qualification from your home country, as well as a minimum of two years classroom experience. Salaries typically range from 10,000 to 15,000 SAR ($2,600 to $4,000 US), with working hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday to Wednesday. Contracts are generally for one or two years.
Who else employs English language teachers in Saudi Arabia?
As virtually all university students in Saudi Arabia are required to sit an English language exam, there are plenty of great opportunities within the country's extensive network of colleges and universities. Positions generally pay in excess of 15,000 SAR ($4,000) per month so competition for each job is usually very strong. Plenty of previous experience will almost certainly be required to secure a position in this area.
What is the cost of living for English teachers in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East and is therefore one of the more expensive to live in. However, as salaries are high and other expenses such as airfares and housing are generally paid for, most teachers are able to live very comfortably and are also able to save a considerable amount of their salary every month.