The Middle East continues to be one of the most popular regions for English language teachers as there are plenty of jobs on offer and the potential salaries are among the highest you will find anywhere in the world. Extra benefits such as paid airfares and free accommodation are also the norm in most cases. However, as the rewards are so good, the requirements and competition for each job is generally very high.
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There are a wide variety of employment options throughout the country, all of which offer very competitive salaries. Monthly rates start in the region of 9,000 AED (currently $2,500), and rise to over 20,000 AED ($5,500) for those with high levels of qualifications and classroom experience. In addition, most teaching jobs will also include a benefit package that typically contains paid airfares, furnished accommodation, health insurance, and a contract completion bonus. As salaries are usually tax-free, most teachers should be able to save a considerable percentage of their salary every month.
Qualified ESL teachers will find a variety of opportunities in language schools and vocational colleges across the country. Most positions will require a bachelor's degree, TEFL certification, and previous teaching experience. Salaries in private language schools vary, but usually range from 9,000 to 15,000 AED ($2,500 to $4,000) per month, while vocational colleges pay between 11,000 and 15,000 AED ($3,000 and $4,000). Working hours in private language schools will depend on the clients and can often include evenings and weekends. In contrast, vocational colleges follow a more rigid pattern from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday.
Teachers who possess a teaching license will also be eligible to apply for positions in international schools and government run public schools. International schools generally cater to children of expats and follow a specific curriculum such as British or Australian. Salaries range from 10,000 to 14,000 AED ($2,700 to $3,800), with teaching hours from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday. Those working within the public school system can expect to work similar hours, however, salaries are typically higher and range from 12,000 to 20,000 AED ($3,500 to $5,500) per month.
As the UAE is one of the wealthiest nations in the region, the cost of living is relatively high compared with many of its neighbors. Housing costs are particularly expensive in popular areas of the main cities, ranging from $1,700 to $3,000 per month for a two bedroom apartment. However, as most jobs include paid accommodation in the teacher's contract, this major expense is often avoided. Thanks to a high salary and extensive benefits, most teachers can live very comfortably and still save a considerable sum over the length of their contract.
Potential earnings for English language teachers in Saudi Arabia are amongst the highest to be found anywhere in the world. Salaries start at around $2,500 US per month and can rise to $4,000 and beyond depending on qualifications and experience. In addition to a generous salary, most positions will also include an equally generous benefits package that includes paid airfares, paid accommodation, and a bonus on completion of the contract. If all that is not enough, it is also worth mentioning that salaries are typically tax free.
As English is rapidly growing in importance in Saudi Arabia, there are a large number of private and public run language academies throughout the country. Salaries typically range from 12,000 to 15,000 SAR (currently $3,200 to $4,000) per month. An average week would include 25 to 30 classroom hours, with extensive lesson planning on top. Although not essential, a good understanding of Arabic is a real advantage in this area. Privately run international schools are another potential employer for teachers who can meet the relatively stringent criteria. Most positions will require a teaching qualification from your home country, as well as a minimum of two years classroom experience. Salaries typically range from 10,000 to 15,000 SAR ($2,600 to $4,000), with working hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday to Wednesday. Contracts are generally for one or two years.
As virtually all university students in Saudi Arabia are required to sit an English language exam, there are plenty of great opportunities within the country's extensive network of colleges and universities. Positions generally pay in excess of 15,000 SAR ($4,000) per month so competition for each job is usually very strong. Plenty of previous experience will almost certainly be required to secure a position in this area.
Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East and is therefore one of the more expensive to live in. However, as salaries are high and other expenses such as airfares and housing are generally paid for, most teachers are able to live very comfortably and are also able to save a considerable amount of their salary every month.
While Saudi Arabia is one of the most attractive teaching destinations in terms of income, it is important to be aware of the cultural situation before you decide to head there. The country's conservative laws and traditions mean it is not an ideal destination for some teachers. Alcohol is forbidden and interaction between unmarried couples is restricted. Female teachers can find it particularly challenging as they are further restricted by issues such as clothing customs.
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 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. Teacher?s 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 per month which still allows most teachers to save a minimum of $1,000 a month.
If you are a fully qualified teacher working in a local school you can expect to earn around $2,000 to $3,000 per month, tax-free. TEFL qualified teachers generally start on around $1,000 to $2,000 per month depending on the employer and your level of experience. Many jobs in Oman also include free housing which makes a huge difference to the amount you can save from your salary each month. As the cost of living is lower than many other countries in the region, teachers in Oman typically have a very good standard of living.
In the capital city, Muscat, there are several kindergartens that cater to western expat families in particular. These jobs are highly sought after as the pay is good and the working conditions are very favourable. Private international schools offering western curriculums are also very popular for much the same reasons. However, these jobs are small in number and the requirements are often very high for applicants.
Government run elementary and secondary schools offer a large number of positions, as do private language schools and privately run elementary and secondary schools. Other options include universities and tertiary training institutes. Most positions in Oman require a degree, although some schools at the lower end of the pay scale will accept a TEFL or TESOL certificate if you have some previous experience. Generally speaking, the more qualifications and experience you have, the wider the choice of jobs and the higher your earning potential.
Most employers advertise their vacancies online either directly or via recruitment agencies. A quick online search will provide plenty of options for you to consider. In most cases, the process will begin with a Skype or phone interview to assess your suitability and you might also be set some online quizzes or tests. As it can be a long process to get visas and other documentation sorted, it is best to start applying for jobs at least six months before your intended leaving date. The majority of jobs are located in and around the capital city, Muscat, although Bawshar and Salalah also have a smaller number of options. It is worth noting that most teaching jobs specify that only native English speakers are eligible.
The cost of living in Oman is significantly less than some of the more flashy countries in the region. As salaries are tax free and many jobs also include extra benefits such as free housing and healthcare, most teachers can live a very good quality of life. Without trying terribly hard, you should be able to save a good chunk of your earnings each month and still afford to explore the country and enjoy all that it has to offer.
As you might expect from an oil rich country, teaching jobs in Kuwait typically offer very competitive salaries. The average monthly salary for the majority of teachers is between $2,500 and $4,000 Most jobs also include a range of extra perks in the contract such as flights in and out of the country, paid accommodation, and health insurance. If that is not enough, just remember that salaries are tax free!
To take advantage of the excellent contracts on offer in Kuwait you will need a degree and a TEFL certification. Previous teaching experience is also required for most jobs. Two years is generally the minimum requirement, but the more experience you have the better your chances of earning the best salaries. As Kuwait City is home to the majority of the country?s population, most of the available jobs are located there, although the nearby cities of Al Ahmadi and Al Jahra also have a few options worth looking at.
As with many countries in the Middle East, the best paid teaching jobs are found in international schools that typically follow the UK or US curriculum. These schools cater to a wide range of students from all over the world, as well as local students. While international schools offer the largest number of teaching jobs in Kuwait, the requirements for getting them are usually quite tough. A teaching licence from your home country is normally required, along with a degree and a few years of classroom experience.
Other good options in Kuwait include bilingual preschools and universities. If you prefer teaching younger children then preschool is a great option for you. Previous experience is usually important for these roles as there is normally strong competition for each position. If you prefer to teach older students, perhaps university teaching is for you. These roles typically involve working with large classes of students who already have a good standard of English and are looking to take it to a higher level.
Most teaching positions in Kuwait are arranged before you leave your home country. Jobs are most often advertised in the spring and summer months in preparation for the new school year that starts in August. Some schools advertise through recruitment companies, while many also advertise direct through their own websites. If your application is successful you will then have an interview via phone or webcam. If you receive a job offer your employer will then apply for a work visa on your behalf. If you are already in the country during the recruitment window you will be in an even better situation. This allows you to shop around to find the best school to suit your plans.
The cost of living in Kuwait is around average for the Middle East region, being a little less expensive than the UAE and Qatar, and a little more expensive than Saudi Arabia and Oman. As most jobs include free housing or a housing supplement, most teachers can live cheaply and save a large portion of their salary every month. You can keep your bills low by shopping and socializing away from the busy tourist areas, which also allows you to get to know the real local food and culture. In general, teachers in Kuwait can live a very comfortable lifestyle and still have plenty of money left at the end of the month.
Although it is not yet competing with top destinations in the region such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia in terms of salaries, Jordan?s lower cost of living means that your pay will stretch much further. Monthly salaries in a standard tutoring job are typically between $800 and $1,500. Those with the relevant qualifications can also look at international schools that pay up to $3,000 per month. The highest paying jobs are mostly found in and around the capital, Amman, although other areas such as Az-Zarqa and Irbid are also worth a look.
The very best salaries are found in international schools that follow American, British, or Canadian curriculums. These schools all offer classes taught in English, which provides a wide array of opportunities for Native English speakers from these countries. Most international schools have both primary and secondary departments, but you will need a high level of qualifications and/or experience to land one of these positions.
Private tutoring is a particularly popular option in Jordan. An online search will reveal many different programs that will arrange one-on-one lessons or group lessons in a private environment. A TEFL certification is typically a necessity in these roles. Volunteer teaching is also a popular way to gain classroom teaching experience and Jordan has many organizations in need of help. In recent times, the country has taken in 1.5 million refugees from neighboring countries, which has led to a huge need for teachers to help young people who have already missed out on a large part of their education.
The main hiring season in Jordan is at the end of August and early September. The best approach is to get there early so you can shop around and find the right position to suit you. Most employers prefer to interview face-to-face, which also allows you to get a feel for the school and location before committing to a contract. It is standard practice to undergo a three month probationary period where either party can terminate the contract without penalty.
Once you have been hired you will need to apply for a work permit that is valid for one year. Many teachers arrive on a 30-day tourist visa and then the school will organize the work permit on your behalf. This process can take up to a month to complete. Competition for the top jobs is always strong so a minimum of two years experience is often needed, as well as a degree and a TEFL qualification.
The average salary in Jordan is considerably less than some of its neighbors such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, but so is the cost of living. By shopping locally and avoiding expensive imported goods, your weekly grocery bill should be small. Eating out is also cheap if you take advantage of local restaurants and avoid those aimed at foreign tourists. Housing is often the most expensive issue for most teachers, so if you can find a job that offers free housing or a housing stipend you will greatly decrease your outgoings. Typically, teachers in Jordan are able to live a comfortable lifestyle.