What do TEFL teachers earn in the United Arab Emirates?

Incredibly, around 90% of the population of the United Arab Emirates are foreign workers from all over the world, which makes an ideal environment for English language teaching. The demand for TEFL qualified teachers is extremely high in major centers such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, although the competition for each job is also high due to the excellent salaries on offer. Because of this, newly qualified teachers often find it hard to get a job in the UAE. For those with the necessary experience, the potential rewards can be very appealing.

What can I expect to earn while teaching English in the United Arab Emirates?

Regardless of the employer, TEFL teachers in the UAE can expect to earn a very high salary ranging from 9,000 AED (currently $2,500) to 20,000 AED ($5,500) per month. The exact figure in your pay packet will depend on a few factors, such as your qualifications and your previous classroom experience. As well as a very generous salary, most teachers will also receive a benefit package that includes a wide range of extras, including paid airfares, furnished accommodation, health insurance, and a contract completion bonus. Another major bonus worth considering is that all teacher’s salaries in the UAE are tax-free, so you should have little trouble saving a considerable amount of money every month.

What kind of employer will I work for while teaching English in the UAE?

The majority of teaching positions are within language schools and vocational colleges, which can be found in many parts of the country.  However, to be in with a chance of securing one of these jobs you will typically need a bachelor's degree and some level of teaching experience. The salaries offered by language schools varies from one company to the next, but the average monthly wage is somewhere in the region of 9,000 to 15,000 AED ($2,500 to $4,000). The average salary in a vocational college is often a little higher, at around 11,000 to 15,000 AED ($3,000 and $4,000) per month. The normal working hours also vary between these two employers. Private language schools will normally require plenty of evening and weekend work, while vocational colleges follow a set routine from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday.

Are there any other employers of TEFL teachers in the UAE?

Fully qualified teachers who have an official teaching license issued in their home country might also find they are able to apply for positions in international schools and government-run public schools. International schools that follow a foreign curriculum such as British or Australian are common in the UAE. If you meet the requirements expected by these schools you can earn a very high salary and enjoy comfortable working hours. Public schools work to a similar weekly routine, with salaries ranging from 12,000 to 20,000 AED ($3,500 to $5,500) per month.

How does the cost of living affect TEFL teachers in the UAE?

The UAE is one of the richest countries in the Middle East region, if not the world, which ultimately means that the cost of living is relatively high. The cost of accommodation is particularly high in popular areas, with average rents ranging from $1,700 to $3,000 per month for a two bedroom apartment. However, as most teaching jobs include free housing or at least a stipend towards its cost, this should not be a problem for most teachers. As salaries are generally very high and extra benefits such as housing and flights are often included, teachers can expect to live very comfortably in the UAE and still have plenty left in the bank every month.

What do TEFL teachers earn in the United Arab Emirates?