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How much can I earn teaching English abroad?
- In recent years teaching English abroad has become a popular and profitable job for many native English speakers around the world. This is largely due to the rapid increase in demand for the English language in many countries, leading to teaching salaries becoming more and more competitive.
- When looking for a teaching job it is always advisable to weigh up the salary on offer in comparison with the local cost of living as this can vary considerably from one country to the next. A monthly salary of US $1000 in Bolivia would allow you to live a very comfortable lifestyle, while the same salary in a city such as Barcelona would probably not be enough to provide all the comforts you had hoped for. Other benefits included in the contract are also worth noting as free housing, health insurance, paid vacations and reimbursement of airfares can all add up to an attractive overall package. Below we look at the most popular regions for English language teachers around the world.
- Asia has long been one of the most popular regions due to a combination of good salaries, a low cost of living and a wide variety of fascinating cultures to explore. Traditional hotspots such as South Korea and Taiwan continue to be popular as the average salary is generally very high at around US $2000 to US $2500 for new teachers and up to US $3000 for those with experience. China's huge demand for teachers means it's also very popular, particularly with new teachers who can expect to earn between US $1000 and US $2000 per month in their first year and up to US $3000 with experience. These countries all offer a great opportunity to save considerable sums of money during your stay.
- One star in Asia that has faded in recent years is Japan, a country that was once the most popular in the region. Although still worth checking out, Japan's increasing costs and stagnated salaries means it is no longer the best destination for saving while you work. Alternatively, Southeast Asia is a very popular region as it is seen to provide a more adventurous and exotic experience compared to the more developed countries to the north. Thailand and Vietnam have the most numerous opportunities with salaries of up to US $1500 and a relatively low cost of living.
- If making money is your top priority then this is the region to head for. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offer some of the highest salaries to be found anywhere in the world. Here you can expect to earn between US $3000 and US $5000 per month including benefits such as paid housing, health insurance and round-trip flights home. If that is not enough, also consider that these are tax-free countries so what you earn is what you keep.
- Having said all that, this may not be the right destination for everyone. Competition for jobs is very high so you will probably need a few years teaching experience before you can expect to be hired. The conservative nature of society in this region also deters many teachers from coming here. Female teachers in particular may find the strict social norms hard to deal with in the long term. Other countries in this region worth looking at include Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
- Europe is the automatic first choice for many people setting out to teach English abroad. However, from a financial standpoint it may not be the best option as the cost of living is generally quite high and salaries are often similar to those offered in far cheaper destinations such as South Korea or China. If you want to save while you teach, this probably isn't the right choice for you.
- However, if you are one of the thousands of people who dream of living and working in this fascinating region, there are plenty of places to choose from. Central and Eastern Europe is often a good choice as costs are considerably lower than in the West. The Czech Republic is one of the most sought after destinations thanks to a healthy job market and a long and fascinating history. Other popular countries due to lifestyle rather than financial gain include Spain, Italy and France.
- As with Europe, Latin American countries naturally attract many teachers due to the exotic culture and lifestyle they can provide. Unfortunately, it is one of the toughest regions in which to earn a good salary. However, if you are keen to travel this region and explore its varied attractions, there are plenty of countries where you can earn enough to get by. Chile is often regarded as one of the best options in the region, whilst other popular destinations include Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. If you find that your salary is not quite enough to live as you would like, private tutoring is often in high demand and provides a great opportunity for English teachers to earn an additional income.
The Middle East