Qatar is an internationally focused kingdom in the heart of the Middle East. While Arabic is the official language, English is also widely spoken, yet also desired. The recent development of the “Education City” has created a hosting location for campuses from Weill Cornell Medical College to Georgetown School of Foreign Service and other Western universities. International teachers will find teaching jobs in Qatar to be a great opportunity, as wages are high, amenities are diverse, and the country values education. English teachers can expect to save money while teaching in Qatar and university faculty can especially expect to earn a very comfortable living.
Almost all teaching jobs in Qatar are in and near Doha, the capital city. A thriving and fast-growing metropolis in the Gulf region, Doha has much to offer teachers in terms of cultural sights, like the Museum of Islamic Arts, modern conveniences, and a variety of Middle Eastern cuisine options, such as Lebanese shawarma. Doha is also home to over 60 percent of Qatar’s overall population, bringing together a mixture of international backgrounds that make for an enriching teach abroad experience. If teaching in Doha, there are numerous options for program locations, whether it’s a university campus or private school, and many typically recruit new teachers year-round.
Teaching in Doha also provides a perfect opportunity to head outside the city and check out famous locations like the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and about 100 kilometers west of Doha. To learn more about Qatar’s history, the Qatar National Museum is located in the home of a former royal palace along the eastern end of the Corniche and boasts a sizable collection of Islamic artifacts and relics.
Teaching Jobs in Qatar
Placements: Placement organizations provide qualified teachers with vetted teacher placements in Doha and around the world. For those needing TEFL/TESOL certification first, other organizations combine the opportunity to land a TEFL job after becoming certified in paid English teaching jobs in Qatar. Private institutions will offer teaching positions directly to international teacher applicants. Australians, Kiwis, South Africans, Canadians, Americans, and Europeans are encouraged to apply for teaching jobs in Qatar in various disciplines. Whether it’s working as a primary school teacher or teaching English to teenagers, there are many options to choose from.
Qualifications: Teachers are required to have a license, which may include an undergraduate teaching degree and/or TEFL certificates for Teaching English as a Second Language. As Qatar is a coveted teach abroad destination within the Middle East, this results in teachers with graduate degrees and extensive experience being the preferred candidates. Along these lines, teaching English in Qatar is ideal for teachers with at least two to three years of experience at the appropriate level, as well the ability to adapt to a larger school community, which is the norm in the Qatar education system. Applicants should also keep in mind that a well groomed and modest appearance is preferable for individuals who teach in Qatar, so don’t forget to dress the part!
Typical Schedule: The school year in Qatar commences in September and concludes in June, allowing for a longer summer break (and a perfect opportunity for teachers to do some traveling). Teachers can expect a two to three week holiday break for Christmas and Easter holidays if they teach in Qatar at an international school. Schools will also be closed for the duration of any major public and Islamic holiday occasions. And what about Ramadan? The month of fasting is observed during the school year term, though some institutions may incorporate reduced hours.
Salary & Costs
Average Monthly Salary for teaching in Qatar is between $1,900 to $4,900. University professors can expect to make up to $8,200. Average monthly salary for paid teaching jobs in Qatar is actually slightly below the national average for all jobs. Also keep in mind that some leadership positions may offer a higher salary based on qualifications and experience. Salaries can be higher than in Dubai, and like most UAE salaries, are tax free. In addition, benefits like flights, utilities, and health insurance will be included. For those teachers who want to travel and teach abroad with their family, there are some teaching positions in Qatar that provide allowances for any dependants’ education.
Average Cost of Living: The cost of living in Qatar is reasonable and comparable to similar consumer goods in the United States. Accommodation costs can be a bit high, though teachers can expect most schools to provide accommodation as part of the benefits package. For everyday goods, like basic food items or personal expenses, having a budget in place will help to cut down on costs. About 90 percent of Qatar’s food is imported, and it’s not unusual for some everyday goods to be more expensive in Qatar than in countries like the United Kingdom or United States.
Accommodations & Visas
Accommodations: Depending on whether or not the teachers has a family or not, accommodation options offered will vary. Institutions and organizations will work with each teacher to determine the best fit and make necessary arrangements. It’s important for teachers who are looking to teach abroad in Qatar with their partner to understand that in order to live together in Qatar couples must be married.
Work Visa: A work visa is required to teach in Qatar and employers will help teachers to coordinate the visa process, which can take a minimum of one month and as long as several months. Following this, teachers will also be required to apply for a residence permit, which the sponsoring employer will also assist with. This second portion takes about two to six weeks to go through, and applicants are not allowed to leave the country during the visa-to-permit conversion period. If leaving does become necessary, the application process will have to be restarted.
Benefits & Challenges
Job Benefits: Private international schools often provide accommodations, utilities, health insurance, and flight reimbursements for teachers, and occasionally schools will provide the same benefits for family members.
Life: Being geographically surrounded by water makes for plenty of water sports facilities. Amenities include shopping, museums, and other historical sites to explore. School days begin early at some institutions to avoid the midday heat. Keep in mind that there are times the heat will be intense (with a low humidity). Temperatures commonly reach between 105 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Qatar.
When commuting to a teaching job in Qatar, rush hour is an important factor to be aware of. It takes place early in the morning as well as after dinner. While the road system is laid out well, it is important to be mindful of bumper to bumper traffic as well as a lack of road rules!
Other Interesting Facts: Qatar was selected to host the 2022 World Cup making it the first Arab country in the world to host the event. The selection process is currently being examined for possible wrongdoing and corruption within the selection committee, however.