In just a few decades Qatar has grown from a largely unknown stretch of desert on the Persian Gulf, to the vibrant, international destination that it is today. The country is now a major travel hub that is developing rapidly, which goes some way to explaining why it has a huge expat population that makes up around 90% of its inhabitants. Although Qatar is a little less flashy than some others in the region, it is still a safe and comfortable place to live and work. Whatever job you choose you are likely to be teaching in a multicultural classroom that will be a great addition to your CV/resume.
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Like many countries in the Middle East, teachers are paid a very high salary in Qatar. Depending on the employer and your level of experience, a tax-free salary of between $2,000 and $4,000 USD would be typical. On top of this, many jobs also come with a lucrative benefit package that includes paid flights in and out of the country, free accommodation or a housing allowance, medical insurance, and even a transport allowance in some cases. As the majority of positions are filled in advance, you will have time to shop around to find the best deal to suit you before you have to get on the plane.
If you have a teaching degree, the best salaries are usually found at international schools that largely cater to the huge expat community in the country. However, most EFL teachers work in language schools that are aimed at local Qatari people who want to improve their English language skills, and non-English speaking expats who need English in their work environment or for social reasons. Some language schools also offer classes to children of all age groups. Language schools generally pay less than international schools, but they still offer a good salary, relatively short working hours, and a degree of flexibility. Other popular options include vocational colleges and private tutoring. The majority of jobs are found in and around the capital, Doha.
The majority of positions are advertised online and the recruitment process is usually completed from within your own country. Due to the length of time required for the visa application process to complete, you need to start applying for jobs at least six months before you plan to move to Qatar. The visa application can require a fair amount of paperwork that includes academic transcripts and a criminal background check, as well as a medical exam and an HIV test. As the job market is very competitive, it can be difficult, but not impossible, for first-time teachers to find work in Qatar. Typically, candidates will be expected to be native English speakers with a degree, TEFL certification, and one or two years experience in the classroom.
As countries in the Middle East typically pay among the best salaries in the world, most people have no problem living comfortably on their salary and Qatar is certainly included in this. Teacherâs salaries are tax-free so you get to keep every penny that is offered in your work contract. Also, most teaching positions come with free housing or a housing supplement which is usually the biggest outgoing for teachers worldwide. Other expenses such as utilities and groceries are quite expensive, but in the absence of rental costs this is not a big issue for most people. Depending on your lifestyle, you can expect to spend in the region of $800 to $2,000 USD per month which still allows most teachers to save a minimum of $1,000 a month.