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How much can I earn teaching English in Turkey?
- As it is one of the few countries in the world that overlaps two different continents, Turkey has long been a popular destination for international travelers. Due to a steadily growing demand for the English language across much of the country, it is now also an increasingly popular destination for teaching English abroad. Job opportunities can be found in many parts of the country, but the big markets for ESL teachers are located in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Technically a degree in any subject is required for all teaching jobs; however, there are often not enough teachers to fill vacant positions so a TEFL certificate is sufficient for many employers.
- The monthly salary you can expect when teaching English as a foreign language in Turkey will vary from around $800 to $1,800 USD per month, depending on qualifications, experience, and the type of employer. Although the majority of first-time teachers will find themselves earning the lower end of this pay scale, it is common practice for teachers to top-up this amount by taking on private students in their spare time. When offering your services as a private tutor you are free to charge any amount you like, but a typical price would be around $15 to $20 per hour.
- A large percentage of jobs for foreign teachers in Turkey are in language schools that can be found in most parts of the country. In cities such as Istanbul and Ankara you will find hundreds of potential employers, but it is wise to do as much research as possible before accepting a job. Unfortunately, there are a few untrustworthy schools who will offer a great deal before you start work but then fail to deliver on their promises once you enter the classroom. Researching online blogs, job sites, and teaching forums should help you to avoid these pitfalls; however, conducting your job search on the ground in Turkey rather than from within your own country is probably the most effective way of avoiding any problems.
- If you are keen to work with children and have some experience in this field, then you can apply for jobs in private middle schools and high schools. These positions offer a higher salary and more holiday than language centers, but you will probably require a degree, a TEFL certification, and at least two years experience. Those with high-end teaching qualifications and relevant experience may also find potential positions in private universities. Although few in number, these positions are highly sought after as they generally offer good working conditions.
- Although many teaching jobs in Turkey only pay a relatively small salary, there are plenty of opportunities for most teachers to significantly increase their income by offering private tutoring. By advertising and word of mouth you might even build a large enough client base which allows you to go full-time in this field. By focusing solely on private tutoring many teachers find they are able to bring in a significantly higher income than those working for a language school.
- The cost of living in Turkey is still quite low in comparison to many western countries, but it has risen significantly in recent years. Istanbul in particular has seen a sharp rise in apartment rental costs so most teachers choose to share accommodation to keep their expenses down. Other outgoings such as local food and public transport are still relatively cheap; however, due to high import taxes western goods can be expensive. Away from Istanbul you will find a significant drop in the cost of accommodation, which is one reason why cities such as Ankara and Izmir are becoming increasingly popular with foreign teachers.