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Which Countries Pay The Highest Salaries For Teaching English Abroad

In most countries, if you’ve got a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate such as TESOL/TEFL/CELTA, you’ll find an ESL teaching job. Countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan usually prefer or strictly hire only native English speakers. If you’re in it for the money, to save some or pay off your student loans while working and traveling abroad, read on!

Here’s the list of top 5 countries that pay the highest salaries for teaching English abroad:

#1 Teaching English Abroad in China

With its population of 1.3+ billion, China has a huge demand for ESL teachers. An average English teacher’s salary in China will range from $1,000 to $3,000. A good international school in a big city will pay ESL teachers $5,000 per month. You have options to teach at language centers, public schools, private institutions, universities, or private tutoring sessions in China.

However, it’d take a while to narrow down where you want to be located while teaching ESL in China. The country is roughly the same size as the United States. Be ready for lots of paperwork and some culture shock. You’ll be without the help of Google, YouTube, Facebook, and many other sites that are blocked in China. Lastly, the process to get a Chinese work visa is a bit complicated!

#2 ESL Teaching Jobs in Japan

Japan is among countries that pay the highest salaries for teaching English abroad (think: $2,000 to $5,000 per month). The types of ESL teaching jobs available in Japan include teaching at private language schools (Eikaiwa), elementary schools, universities, private classes, or being an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) working alongside a native Japanese teacher in public schools.

The Japanese students are friendly, cooperative and hard working. Meanwhile, the apartments may be a lot smaller than what you’re used to. I’m talking about 10 meters square!. Everything is cute and animal-shaped. The country is breathtakingly beautiful and unique in its architecture, landscape, and culture.

#3 Teach English Abroad in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most dynamic, and also most expensive, cities. The demand for English teachers is high year-round. The job market for English teachers in Hong Kong is super competitive. However, the salary would be totally worth it: $2,300 to $3,200 on average and up to $7,000 per month. The employers in Hong Kong usually cover your work visa expenses, healthcare, give you a housing stipend and even a bonus at the end of your contract.

#4 ESL Jobs in Saudi Arabia

It’s no surprise that one of the world’s richest countries will pay the highest salaries to ESL teachers. You’ll get paid around $3,000 to $4,500 per month teaching English abroad in Saudi Arabia, TAX-FREE! And the employers usually pay for your travels, relocation expenses, health insurance, and at least parts of your accommodation. Furthermore, you’ll get 8 weeks of vacation per year!

It takes some time to get used to this country’s conservative traditions such as public segregation by genders, the ban of alcohol, specific clothing requirements and limited rights for women, to name a few. However, the people here are welcoming and the culture’s super unique, making Saudi Arabia a dream travel destination for many ESL teachers.

#5 Teach English in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pay ESL teachers $4,000+ per month, tax-free as well. Yet, the hiring requirements are tough, favoring candidates with degrees in Education and solid teaching certificates, sometimes even prior teaching experiences and/or a Master’s degree. Teaching English abroad jobs in UAE concentrate in large cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain. Who wouldn’t want to teach English in the most exciting global center of trade, finance, world-class dining and stunning architectures?!

Are you looking for opportunities to teach English abroad? Check out this comprehensive country-by-country guide to teach ESL overseas or our Teach English Abroad Facebook group for daily job listings.