An English Teacher’s Salary – 10 Countries That Pay The Most

MONEY is an important part of all jobs. It’s a necessity and therefore one of the reasons why we work. For those who aspire to become an ESL teacher, knowing what is the average English teacher salary and what are the countries that pay the most is a must-know. If there is one thing for sure, this career comes with a reasonable salary, on top of the fact that you get to travel the world.

But, another thing to remember is that the salary isn’t, of course, the only thing to consider when choosing a country to teach English in. One has to think about the cost of living in a certain country. Some countries are meant to be more expensive to live in than others, but surely that shouldn’t be discouraging.

Having said that, here is a list of the top 10 countries with the highest English Teacher salary as of 2018.

    1. Kazakhstan (up to $5000 per month)

English Teacher salary
You probably haven’t heard of this country often as one of the countries with the highest pay for teaching English. If there’s one word to describe their wage offer? Very decent. Given the cost of living there, the monthly $5000 would go a really long way. Just note that experience and certificates are essential here.

If you have both, then you would be lucky to live life with a high salary in a country that has a comfortable standard of living.

2. Saudi Arabia (up to $4800 per month)

Being one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East, it’s no wonder why an English teacher’s salary here is very ideal. Aside from their tax-free policy, your salary usually comes with free airfare and accommodation.

Again, experience is essential here. Once you’re in, you’ll never regret it, especially if your goal is to save. The reason why it’s so is that the cost of living here is pretty fair. I guess the only thing you really should consider if you want to teach English in Saudi Arabia is its huge cultural differences. Something you might want to really think about before moving to this country.

3. United Arab Emirates (From $3100 to $5000 per month)

It’s situated in the Middle East but the western culture is also very present. There are a lot of international schools here, offering not just great English teacher’s salary, but also accommodation allowance, health insurance, ample time of holidays and vacation,  plus let’s not forget also that it’s a tax-free country, that means getting your salary 100%. Seems like a good deal. I guess the thing you should consider in this country is the accommodation costs. It’s quite high compared to other middle-eastern countries. But if you stand well with budget handling, accommodation is not an issue.

4. Qatar and Kuwait (Up to $3700 per month)

These two are put together in the Top 4 of the list because aside from the fact they’re both in the Middle East, the English teacher’s salary here are both in the same level, including airfare, housing accommodation, and insurances. The cost of living also, it’s not that far from each other with the not so high and not so low level. And no need to worry about cultural differences, they’re both quite liberal now, balancing between being strict and being free. If you’re flexible enough to adjust to slight cultural differences, these two countries are a must-include to your list.

5. Oman (Up to $3500 per month)

Oman is among the most developed countries in the Middle East. In fact, its education system has been growing rapidly these recent years. Right now, ESL teaching opportunities here are still kind of low, but once you get in, you’ll have all the advantages of being one of the pioneer batches of ESL teacher, and these are the same as in other middle-eastern countries: high English teacher salary,  accommodation allowances, free airfare, and health insurance.

The biggest adventure you can take is to live a life of your dreams. – Oprah Winfrey

6. Japan (Up to $3500 per month)


This tops the countries in Asia that offers high English teacher salary. It’s the most developed and one of the richest (if not the richest) country in Asia. Depending on your experience and qualifications, the English teacher salary here is ranging from $2500 to $3500 monthly. With delicious food, cherry blossoms and parks, welcoming people, fastest trains, peaceful environment: Japan seems perfect. The thing you should consider, though, before coming to live in this country as a teacher is the cost of living, but if well organized, everything is manageable.

6. South Korea (up to $3000 per month)

The salary offered by Korea for ESL teachers is not that competitive compared to other countries. What’s the catch? Free accommodation, round-trip airfare, and health insurance. The pay is actually dependent on your level of experience and qualification with variation between public and private schools. And just like China, the demand for ESL teachers here is high, giving starters opportunity, plus the cost of living here is also low. If you’re good at budgeting, the chance of thriving as an ESL teacher is achievable.

7. China (Up to $2500 per month)

The offered salary for ESL teachers in this country is also low compared to the previous ones. The good thing about this country is that the demand for ESL teachers is very high, giving others, especially starters, a big chance to finally enter the ESL community and start building their ESL career. Another thing is that, although the salary in China for ESL teachers is somewhat minimum, the cost of living there is low too, making it appealing and challenging for new ESL teachers.

8. Taiwan (Up to $2300 per month)

Taiwan is a small island situated in Eastern Asia. Although the English teacher salary here is relatively low, again, the cost of living and fine weather makes it a potential destination to pursue your ESL career. It may be a small country but it has a lot to offer.

Another thing is that the qualification for ESL teachers here isn’t that high, giving those who don’t have certificates a fair chance to still land their dream ESL job.

9. Vietnam (Up to $2000 per month)

The salary may be low but the perks? Accessibility of jobs, welcoming people, cheap to live in, with mountains and beaches: overall, Vietnam is an incredible country that will yield wonderful adventures.

These are the 10 countries that offer English teacher salary the highest. Feel free to comment below if there are some things we forgot or missed to mention. We will continue to update it should there be a need.

Final Remarks

It sounds intriguing what the ESL community has to offer… Stable income, travel, unforgettable experiences. Just like with any other job, salary varies depending on qualifications and experience. What helps in getting the highest salary possible are certifications like CELTA, DELTA, and TEFL-TESOL. Arm yourself with knowledge about the country you’d like to teach English in; think about what inspires and what you want to achieve as a Teacher. Then head over to our job board.

Tate Nanje is an Author and blogger who has been traveling the world since 2009. He teaches English, Business, and Crypto investing. My books on Amazon


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