How Much Do English Teachers Make Abroad?

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“How much do English teachers make abroad?” you ask. The answers vary depending on region, but teaching abroad is a great way to fund your life and travels abroad. Not only are you gaining skills in a brand new work environment, but you are experiencing a new culture and way of life. You also likely have the ability to travel for as long as you want because you don’t have to worry about running out of money in your travel fund. 

Man teaching abroad and getting paid well

Make a killing as a teacher abroad when you follow this advice on where to teach English abroad & earn a good salary

Regardless of where you’re living and teaching abroad, salary has gotta be on your mind. Money doesn’t grow on trees and that’s why Goabroad is here to help you figure out how much do teachers make teaching English abroad. 

What comprises a teaching abroad salary?

You’ll probably know your actual take home pay when you sign your contract—it’ll be in the form of a “monthly salary.” You do need to take into account expenses, bills, and taxes, but you will have an idea of your income before you are locked in. Before you love or hate your teaching abroad salary figures, you need to take into account the cost of living in the city where you will be teaching. 

Some other things you need to think about when looking at how much do English teachers abroad make: 

  • Do you get flight reimbursements? Some countries offer free flights for your job abroad. If this is the case, cha ching! Off to a great start. 
  • Does your contract offer a housing stipend? Can you live on the school campus? Do you get free rent? Does your school have any sort of recommendations on affordable housing?
  • Do you get free meals? Many schools will offer their teachers free lunch. You’re there anyway, right? Food costs always add up and having free lunch at school will save you a bit of money.  
  • Does your school provide anything else for free? Do you get medical care? Free language classes? Cultural field trips? See what your teaching package has to offer. The salary is just a little percentage of your included benefits. 

If you said yes to any of the above, you are already looking at some pretty nice perks. Every dollar, euro, baht, peso, yen, or whatever adds up!

Girl working on a project in an ESL classroom

Teaching abroad isn’t just about the salary, right? It’s about making a meaningful difference in others’ lives.

How much do English teachers abroad make on average?

Here are some ballpark estimates of average ESL teacher salaries abroad. 

While some jobs may give you plenty to save, others may not be the best choice if you are paying back student loans. Below you can find different regions in order of lowest paying teaching overseas salary to highest teaching English abroad salary.  

Remember when teaching English abroad, a good salary has to be taken into account with the cost of living ratio. The more you make doesn’t mean the more you save. It all depends on the teaching abroad salary to cost of living ratio. 

8. Central America

You may see that you won’t be making a hefty teaching overseas salary if you live in Central America. However, with the cost of living, you should be able to break even. Costa Rica has the highest number of available positions for ESL teachers. Many paid positions offer short term contracts, so if a lower teaching abroad salary is an issue, you can commit to a just a short period of time to get your foot in the door and gain experience. Why not work on your teaching skills while gaining fluency in Español? 

[Browse All Teaching Jobs in Central America]

7. South America

English teaching jobs are continuing to become more abundant in South America as more international businesses conduct work in Brazil and neighboring countries. Because of this, there’s always a need for more English teachers. Although it’s not easy to save much of your teaching English abroad salary, it is possible to throw $100-$200 per month into savings if you live frugally. 

  • Popular places for ESL jobs: Brazil, Colombia, Argentina
  • Typical monthly salary: $500 - $1,300
  • Cost of living: Varies

[Browse All South America Teaching Jobs Abroad]

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Here’s. Your. Sign.

6. Africa

A teach English abroad salary in South Africa is more common than other countries nearby. Even though English is abundant in many areas around Africa, there are always people seeking out formal education to perfect their skills. Although your salary won’t be much, you can still make enough to live on. On the other hand, if you just want the experience, there are loads of volunteer opportunities which then have other perks such as accommodation and meals. 

  • Hot markets for English teaching jobs in Africa: Ghana, South Africa, Morocco
  • Typical monthly salary: $500 - $1,300
  • Cost of living: $

[See All English Teaching Jobs in Africa]

5. Eastern Europe

Although the teaching overseas salary is less in Eastern Europe than Western Europe, it is actually easier to get a visa and work permit if you head east. The EU can get a bit tricky for those who don’t hold a passport from within. It’s also cheaper to live in Eastern Europe and easy to travel around the area on your weekends off of work. Many recruiters set up everything for you beforehand and make the transition easy so that you are all set when you arrive. 

  • Find plentiful English teaching jobs abroad in: Czech Republic, Greece, Poland
  • Typical monthly salary: $700 - $1,200
  • Cost of living: $$$

[Browse Jobs Hiring Now in Eastern Europe & Russia]

4. Southeast Asia

Looking to head somewhere tropical, laid back, and offers loads of mangos and beaches? If you can swing it, head to SE Asia to teach English abroad. Of course there’s a wide range of costs as it will be more expensive to live in Bangkok. But there’s cheaper places like Hanoi. So do your research on your dream city and check the cost to teaching English abroad salary ratios. It is completely reasonable to live on under $1,000 a month if you need to. Bonus, it’s easy and affordable to explore all of the countries nearby. Although you won’t be able to save as much, it’s still possible to pocket a couple hundred a month if you truly live locally and frugally. 

  • Popular countries for teaching English in Southeast Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Typical monthly salary: $600 - $1,700 
  • Cost of living: $$

[Search for ESL Jobs in Southeast Asia]

Man hiking during teaching abroad in latin america

Make plenty of money to cover some Patagonia adventures when teaching English in South America

3. Western Europe

Although a bit more loops to jump through in Western Europe, it’s still possible to teach abroad here. Because of this, it’s important to have a degree, some teaching experience, and even some experience in your country of choice’s native language. Western Europe may be one of the most difficult regions to secure a job, so unless you are a part of the EU or have a lot of experience, try to get prior experience elsewhere. Although it pays more, the cost is also a lot higher, so you may end up spending more of your teaching overseas salary than you make. 

  • Popular countries: Spain, Italy, France
  • Typical monthly salary: $900 - $2,000
  • Cost of living: $$$$

[See All Open Jobs for ESL Teachers in Western Europe]

2. East Asia

Your friend taught in Asia, right? Or your friend’s friend. Everyone knows someone who has taught abroad in East Asia. Want to know why? Because it’s easy and pays well! If you are a newby teacher looking to get some experience teaching abroad, head to Asia where both jobs and rice are abundantly awaiting your arrival. Best of all, hiring season happens year round. Depending on where you rock up, you will find that the cost of living is overall less than western countries, but with all of modern perks. It is easy to save a chunk of your teaching abroad salary in these countries. 

  • Popular countries: Japan, South Korea, China
  • Typical monthly salary: $1,300 - $2,200 with Korea and China offering free housing. 
  • Cost of living: Varies

[Get Hired to Teach English in East Asia]

1. Middle East & North Africa

Turkey from sunset

You can make boatloads of money teaching English abroad in the Middle East

Feeling a bit blue about the student debt you just racked up? Teaching in the Middle East will be your chance to really save. However, don’t think that you can just rock up with a resume that has zero experience. Most schools require some experience. If you have a teaching degree and work at an international school, it’s possible to make up to $5,000 per month. What!? Before you sign up because the teaching overseas salary is calling your name, make sure to read up on the cultural norms of the country you teach in as they may have extreme gender segregation or little tolerance for alcohol. But because of big international corporate companies, the Middle East is in need of more English teachers and isn’t slowing down. 

[See Teaching Jobs Hiring Now in the Middle East & North Africa]

KEEP IN MIND… 

Regardless of your region of choice, don’t teach abroad just for the salary. Some countries throw loads of money at you while other areas will have a wage that will force you to penny pinch. Keep in mind, there is a very good chance that you are actually making a higher salary than your local native co-teacher. Whether you are making $500 a month or raking in the gold, be the best teacher you can be and get ready to fully immerse yourself into your teach abroad experience. 

Additional resources to figure out your teach English abroad salary

GoAbroad is all too familiar with the pros and cons of teaching English abroad. Salary is a key factor in how you will be able to actually pay to live in a country overseas. For additional information on how much do teachers make teaching English abroad check the following: 

How much do English teachers make abroad? A LOT! And it’s often more than just money … 

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Take a leap of faith & make your next career move abroad

Overall, some teaching salaries allow for lavish lifestyles while being able to still send money home. Others allow you to practice living frugally and really appreciating the money that you do have. Of course, we all need salaries, but it’s not always about the amount of income as long as you can afford your basic necessities. Regardless of where you go, you will gain experience that will last a lifetime, have opportunities to learn new languages, and adapt to a culture outside of your norm. 

Now, when you start your job applications you have a reasonable idea on how much do English teachers make abroad and can make sure that the cost of living ratio fits your requirements. 

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