The services of TEFL qualified teachers are in high demand in many parts of the world and average salaries are rising accordingly. However, the actual figure you can expect to have in your pocket at the end of each month will depend on several factors, such as your level of qualifications, previous teaching experience, type of employer, and the country you are working in.
Things to consider when evaluating potential TEFL salaries.
When you come across a potential job offer, you need to balance the salary offered alongside the cost of living in the specific area where it is located. For example: If you were offered $800 a month to teach in a rural part of Peru, you could expect to live very comfortably on your income. In contrast, the same monthly figure would not go very far if you were teaching in a major city such as Paris or Rome. You should also weigh up any extra benefits that are included in the contract as these can make a big difference. Extras such as free accommodation, paid airfares, health insurance, and paid vacations can all add up to a very healthy package.
How much do TEFL teachers earn in Asia?
Asia attracts more TEFL qualified teachers than any other region as potential salaries are generally competitive, the average cost of living is relatively low, and the cultural highlights are diverse and exciting. China is the number one destination in the region, indeed the world, as it has an insatiable demand for foreign teachers. Newly qualified teachers with no experience can expect to earn between $1000 and $2000 per month in their first year. Once you have gained some classroom time you could potentially earn as much as $3000 a month in China. Two other popular destinations in the Asian region are South Korea and Taiwan where the average salary for new teachers averages around $2000 to $2500 per month. Those with previous experience can also expect to earn as much as $3000. By choosing any of these destinations you should have plenty of potential to live comfortably and to save a considerable portion of your income each month.
Japan is another country in this region that has a long history of attracting foreign English teachers. However, while its popular culture and unique way of life still brings in a large number of TEFL qualified teachers, it is no longer the lucrative destination that it once was due to increased living costs and stagnating salaries. One region that is booming right now is Southeast Asia as it offers a wide choice of adventurous locations, most of which are seeing a significant growth in average salaries. The most popular destinations in this region are currently Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, where salaries of up to $1500 a month are typical and the cost of living is relatively low in comparison to many other parts of the continent.
How much do TEFL teachers earn in the Middle East?
If you are solely focused on earning as much money as possible, the Middle East region might well be the ideal destination for you. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are famous for offering the most generous TEFL contracts of any countries in the world. Average monthly salaries here can be anywhere between $3000 and $5000, plus most contracts will also come with added extras including free accommodation, health insurance, and flights in and out of the country. One more added bonus is that salaries in these countries are also tax free, so every penny you earn stays in your pocket.
Despite the obvious financial benefits of teaching in the Middle East, it is worth remembering that this region might not be the right destination for everyone. As the rewards are so high, the competition for jobs is usually very strong. Most positions will require previous teaching experience and many will also require a high level of qualifications. One other point to consider is the conservative nature of society in many Middle East countries, something that can be particularly relevant for female teachers. However, if you are keen to make this region your new home, there are also many other countries to consider, including Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
How much do TEFL teachers earn in Europe?
Europe is often the number one choice for many newly qualified TEFL teachers who are looking for their first job teaching English abroad. However, while there are many great countries in the region to choose from, the cost of living is often very high and the average salaries are typically much the same as you can earn in cheaper destinations across parts of Asia. Essentially, Europe is not the best destination if you want to save money during your teaching adventure.
Despite the financial drawbacks, many thousands of people still decide that Europe is the right place for them as the culture and lifestyle is more important than the ability to save money. If you want to teach English in Europe, but would still like to live a comfortable lifestyle, you will find that Central and Eastern Europe is where the lowest cost of living can be found. The most popular country in this part of Europe is the Czech Republic, where jobs are widespread, the average salary is good, and the cost of living relatively low. The most popular destinations in Europe are still the ever-popular trio of Spain, Italy and France, although these are all relatively expensive places to live.
How much do TEFL teachers earn in Latin America?
Similar to Europe, Latin America tends to attract a large number of foreign teachers due to the culture and lifestyle rather than the potential to earn high salaries. Teachers who choose this region are unlikely to get rich during their stay, but they will find almost unlimited options for adventure. Due to its relatively stable economy and well developed infrastructure, Chile is generally one of the most popular destinations in Latin America. Other countries that offer similar levels of popularity include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. As the average salary can be quite low in many areas, it is common for teachers to top up their main income by taking on a few private students outside of normal working hours.