Which countries pay the most for English teachers?

Dreaming of teaching English abroad but worried you might not be able to earn a good salary? Don’t be! There are heaps of countries that pay their TEFL teachers amazing wages. In fact, lots of our graduates have found that they earn more money teaching English abroad than they could in a job back home.

Teaching English is one of the most rewarding careers, if not just for the amazing salary but for the opportunity to travel, grow your career and the satisfaction you get from sharing your knowledge with your students. While some countries can offer salaries of $6,000+ per month, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the local cost of living and any benefit packages your teaching contract might include, such as flights and accommodation, as this could be expensive in your chosen TEFL country. Generally speaking, the highest paid TEFL jobs can be found in these countries:

1. UAE

Average salaries: US$3,500 – 5,000 per month

It comes as no shock to anyone that the highest paid TEFL jobs in the world can be found in the UAE, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the country’s biggest cities. Salaries in the UAE can range from US$3,500 to US$5,000+ per month with many teaching contracts also including flights and accommodation – sign us up! Generally, you’ll need a degree and a TEFL qualification to land a teaching job in the UAE.

Check out our UAE job guide for more information.

2. Japan

Average salaries: US$2,200 – 5,000 per month

Not only does Japan offer super high TEFL salaries, it’s also one of the most beautiful places in the world where you can teach with an amazing culture. If you’re dreaming of teaching in Japan, you can expect to enjoy the beautiful scenery, cherry blossoms, a vast array of festivals and mouth-watering food. On top of that, you’ll can also get paid anywhere from US$2,200 to $5,000 per month often with the additional benefits of flights and accommodation – winner!

Check out our Japan job guide for more information.

Daigo-ji temple in autumn

3. Saudi Arabia

Average salaries: US$3,000 – 4,000 per month

Dreaming of camels, deserts, and a super warm climate? Saudi Arabia might be the destination for you! If you want to teach here, you can expect a competitive salary of around US$3,500 per month plus lots of benefits such as flights, accommodation, visas, and medical insurance. Although experience isn’t essential to land a job in Saudi Arabia, you will need a TEFL qualification and a degree.

Check out our Saudi Arabia job guide for more information.

4. Hong Kong

Average salaries: US$3,000 – 6,500 per month

Hong Kong boasts some of the highest paying TEFL jobs in the world, but with that comes a super high cost of living. In fact, Hong Kong has been named the most expensive city in the world! So, although it seems like you’re getting paid a lot, if you have a contract that doesn’t include accommodation, you could find that a significant portion of your salary will be going to rent and other bills. Don’t let that put you off though! Hong Kong is an amazing place to work and lots of teaching positions will include free accommodation and other benefits such as bonuses and paid holidays.

View of Hong Kong city centre from lookout point

5. Kuwait

Average salaries: US$2,600 – 4,000 per month

Kuwait might not be one of the first places you think of when it comes to teaching English, but due to a high number of international schools, TEFL job opportunities are plentiful here. Kuwait City may be surrounded by desert, but the city itself is full of life. It’s super modern, with towering skyscrapers, clubs, shopping malls and a vibrant expat community – sounds like a winner! If Kuwait sounds like the one for you, you’ll need to make sure you have a TEFL qualification and some teaching experience to land a job.

6. Oman

Average salaries: US$2,000 – 3,500 per month

Oman, famous for its dazzling souks and superb sea food. is one of the most developed countries in the Middle East. Teacher salaries in Oman can range from US$2,000 to $3,500 per month, and with a very low cost of living (around $700 per month) you’ll have plenty of opportunities to expand your savings or use your money to get your travel on and see some of the sights!

7. South Korea

Average salaries: US$2,000 – 3,000 per month

A land of K-pop culture, bustling cities, crazy nightlife and year-round festivals, South Korea is becoming more and more popular with TEFL teachers every year. And, with the promise of free accommodation and a high, tax-free TEFL salary, we’re really not surprised! Along with free accommodation, many teaching positions in South Korea also include additional benefits such as bonuses, flight reimbursement, medical insurance, and paid holidays.

Check out our South Korea job guide for more information.

Cherry Blossom Festival, South Korea

8. Taiwan

Average salaries: US$2,000 – 3,000 per month

Much like South Korea, salaries in Taiwan range from US$2,000 to $3,000 per month, but with an even lower cost of living, warmer winters, and scorching summers – yes please! If Taiwan is taking your fancy, you’ll easily be able to save lots of money each month. In fact, many teachers find it possible to save at least US$1,000 per month – wow! TEFL job positions here generally require teachers to hold a degree due to visa purposes.

9. China

Average salaries: US$1,500 – 3,000 per month

Although salaries in China aren’t always as high as others on this list, China has by far the most TEFL jobs in the world, so it’s easy to find work here! Plus, the cost of living is relatively low in comparison to the wages and lots of contracts include free accommodation and flights, plus other, more fun benefits such as paid social events, Chinese lessons, and paid trips.

Check out our China job guide for more information.

10. Vietnam

Average salaries: US$1,000 – 2,000 per month

Although Vietnam doesn’t boast very high TEFL salaries, the cost of living here is super low compared to everywhere else on this list. So, although you might feel like you’re not getting paid much, you also won’t be spending much making it more than possible to save whilst working here. Plus, many TEFL jobs will include accommodation and bonuses – yes please! Vietnam is a great place to start your TEFL journey as you generally don’t need any teaching experience to land a well-paid job here.

Check out our Vietnam job guide for more information.

Boats on Halong Bay, Vietnam

Already TEFL qualified? Head over to our sister company LoveTEFL to find heaps of English teaching jobs all over the world!

Remember – the requirements for teaching in different countries are always changing, but with a little bit of luck and research you’ll be able to land a high-paying job in your dream location!

Happy TEFLing!

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