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5 Best-Paying TESOL Locations Around the World


As most educators know, teaching is an incredibly rewarding experience. The process of shaping young minds has many benefits that affect both the teacher and his or her students. However, this job is not without its drawbacks.

teacher1For many teachers, especially those in the United States, low pay and crowded classrooms can make the experience a challenging one. When these issues are compounded with increased pressure on teachers to perform to government mandated standards, it can create frustration across the board.

For many educators who want to use their skills in more effective ways, the idea of teaching overseas is an attractive one. Teachers who want to work abroad have a number of options, and the rewards often include attractive salaries, housing packages, well-equipped classrooms and other benefits.

While many countries require nothing more than a university degree, some require advanced training in TESOL, or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, or an advanced degree in education. For most teachers, their classroom experience makes them uniquely qualified to take this leap. We’ll look at five areas around the world where teachers are in high demand, and the pay rates are high as well.

The Middle East

Several years ago teachers might not have considered the Middle East as a location actively recruiting English teachers, but all of that has changed. As this part of the world grows as a world economic leader, their need for educators grows as well.

Perhaps the best country in this region for teachers is the United Arab Emirates. The cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer world class schools that educate local children as well as children of expats who call this region home. Salaries here can range from $2,500 to $5,000 per month and often include housing and transportation benefits as well as attractive vacation time.

Saudi Arabia also hires a number of teachers, and the sole requirement for some of the jobs is that the teacher be a native English speaker. Salaries here average about $3,000 per month. Living in Saudi is not for everyone, however. You must become well-versed in the country’s laws and regulations and follow them strictly.


Perhaps one of the easiest and most popular countries to obtain a teaching position is China. With the world’s largest population, China is eager to move up the ranks as a world power, which means it’s imperative for the people to learn English.

Positions are available in both public and private schools, from kindergarten to university. Salaries are good, and can average about $2,500 per month. Housing and other benefits are often included, and most major cities boast large expat communities, which can make the experience more enjoyable.


teacher2Japan has been wooing foreign teachers for years and there’s no sign the practice is slowing. Additionally, schools in Japan are able to offer prospective teachers attractive bonuses, which include visa services, health insurance and housing benefits.

Salaries in Japan can be as high as $3,000 per month and these positions are highly sought. A teacher’s best bet is to work with a recruiter to ensure your application isn’t lost in the shuffle.

South Korea

In the past South Korea was overshadowed by Japan, and teachers didn’t usually consider this country as a viable option for a teaching position. This has changed in recent years and foreign teachers are actively seeking jobs here.

The salaries in South Korea are similar to those in Japan, about $2,000 per month, but the lower cost of living in Korea means your salary goes further. Teachers are usually offered overtime pay and attractive bonuses as well, which makes Korea one of the most popular areas for English teachers in the world.


This island nation in the South China Sea offers tropical beaches, great nightlife and world class cities as well as fantastic opportunities for teachers. The cost of living here is extremely reasonable, which offers teachers the chance to save money, pay off student loans or travel in their free time.

As with most other Asian countries, jobs here are plentiful but very competitive. Those applicants with prior teaching experience are preferred but salaries are good and average about $3,000 per month. Those teachers with exceptional experience and education can command the best jobs, which range from private elementary schools to prestigious university positions.

For those teachers who want to see the world and make a good living doing so, a position as an English teacher is a fantastic idea to consider. Good pay, health benefits, housing, and enthusiastic students are just some of the perks that come with these jobs. If you’re a teacher who is looking for something different, why not consider this job of a lifetime? You might be glad you did.


AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.

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