The highest-paid teaching jobs abroad (plus requirements)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Teaching in a foreign country is a viable career opportunity for people who wish to combine travelling with working in education. Teaching abroad typically allows you to visit other parts of the world, immerse yourself in new cultures and meet people from different backgrounds whilst earning money. If this is a career you're considering, learning about the highest-paid teaching jobs abroad can help. In this article, we list some teaching jobs you may pursue, discuss places you may work and explain how much you might expect to earn as a teacher abroad.

What are some of the highest-paid teaching jobs abroad?

The highest-paid teaching jobs abroad vary depending on where you work. One of the most common jobs is teaching English to non-English speakers, usually referred to as English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL). While EFL and ESL teachers require certifications to specifically teach English to non-English-speaking students, prior teaching experience isn't usually essential.

If you're qualified as a teacher and have experience in a specific field, it's possible to teach abroad. If you aren't qualified or have no experience, one of the most popular routes is completing a certification course that enables you to teach in other countries.

Related: How to become an EFL teacher (duties and salary information)

The 6 highest-paid overseas teaching roles

This information can change based on a variety of factors including demand, travel restrictions, national economies and the current supply of teachers in each country. Use online research tools to find out the current demand and supply in the countries you're curious about, note the average salaries they're offering and consider the pros and cons. Jobs you may consider include:

1. TEFL teacher in South Korea

TEFL is one of the largest and most well-known organisations for certifying and preparing English teachers to work abroad. There are currently thousands of international English teachers working in South Korea, making it a suitable option if you've never worked abroad before, as there are plenty of people to seek guidance and support from. Upon completing the course and obtaining your certification, TEFL can assist you in finding a placement in South Korea.

Opportunities are available in both private and public schools. Most teachers in South Korea have free housing or receive a housing allowance from their employers, and schools usually pay for flights, too. Healthcare is affordable and there is a pension scheme available for foreign teachers. You can expect to earn around £1,200 per month if you teach in places like Seoul or Busan.

2. TeachAway teacher in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has consistently provided some of the highest salaries for foreign English teachers. TeachAway is an organisation that finds qualified ESL teachers at any level for organisations in Riyadh and Jeddah.

Many of these jobs often come with benefits including accommodation, health insurance and flights for both you and your family. Working as an English teacher in Saudi Arabia can attract a high salary, with the average being around £3,000 per month.

3. Travelbud teacher in South Korea

Travelbud is an organisation that helps certified English teachers find jobs abroad. You require a Bachelor's degree and a TEFL certification which the company can help you get if you don't already have it. Travelbud offers round-the-clock care for its teachers, making them a great company for those new to the industry.

Travelbud hires their teachers throughout the year, usually offering free accommodation, free flights and severance pay for the end of your contract. If you teach in South Korea, you can expect to earn around £1,400 per month.

4. Teaching Nomad teacher in China

China continues to attract English teachers from abroad. It's one of the most popular destinations as the country is so large and offers so many different experiences. Teaching Nomad offers positions in various subjects, not just those looking to teach English. They also offer positions for counsellors, principals and other education professionals.

Teaching Nomad is typically for more experienced teachers but they do offer support in finding accommodation and assisting you with any necessary paperwork. ESL or EFL teachers can expect to earn up to £2,100 per month, while subject teachers can expect to earn up to £3,600 per month.

5. GeoVisions teacher in Taiwan

Taiwan has quickly become another high paying location where people can teach abroad. GeoVisions is an organisation that welcomes any native English speaker who has a bachelor's degree. They help you find accommodation and provide health insurance, ongoing support while you teach and even paid holiday leave. As a teacher in Taiwan, you may find yourself working in Kaohsiung or Taipei and you could earn a salary between £1,100 and £1,900 per month.

6. Premier TEFL teacher in Chile

Another place people often overlook is Latin America which is a big part of the world with some of the most exciting and engaging cultures. People often miss out on opportunities in Latin America as many schools there often expect teachers to volunteer their services for free or accept a small salary, although working as a teacher for Premier TEFL can secure you a higher salary.

Chile has a low cost of living, and teaching there can offer opportunities to earn extra income by accepting additional work hours or working as a private tutor. On average, you can expect to earn around £800 per month. It may not sound much, but it's more than enough to live off in Chile and TEFL often provides support with accommodation.

Where you could teach

Some of the highest-paid teaching jobs abroad may surprise you. Most people only consider teaching in places like China or Japan but many countries provide you with great work experience and a good salary. Some of these countries include:

  • Latin America: English teaching jobs in this region don't usually offer a high salary, but they come with a low cost of living, which can help boost your savings significantly. It's a good choice to consider, especially if you like warmer climates.

  • Europe: People often overlook Europe but teaching jobs there can be more competitive than many realise. The Czech Republic, for example, offers high paying teaching jobs but a low cost of living.

  • Asia: Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China offer some of the most competitive teaching jobs in the world so it's not surprising they attract a lot of teachers from abroad. With a diverse community and culture, many people move to Asia to teach and find that they're able to earn a good salary while they work.

  • Middle East: Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia continue to offer some of the highest-paid teaching jobs abroad for English teachers, although they're also considered some of the most competitive. To teach in these countries, you often need a full teaching qualification and experience as a teacher, but if you're able to get one, you can expect to earn a high salary.

Related: How to work abroad: benefits and step-by-step guide

Is it beneficial to learn another language?

Many of these jobs don't require you to speak the native or most popular language of the country you would work in. As an English teacher in another country, you're often only ever expected to speak English to your students. This isn't true for every job though so it's important to carefully read about the role and make sure you meet the requirements. With that said, many teachers who work abroad find it beneficial to learn their new country's language as it helps in their private lives and outside of work.

Related: 14 working abroad tips to help you succeed in your new role

Qualifications to teach abroad

Depending on the role you're applying for, the necessary qualifications can vary. For those looking to become ESL or EFL teachers, those who teach English to non-English-speaking students, there's a very clear pathway. Several organisations, including the TEFL, offer courses to certify you as an ESL or EFL teacher. Often you're required to have at least a degree level qualification to complete the course, although it doesn't have to be English.

To teach as or work as any other teacher or educational professional, the requirements can vary greatly. Usually, a teaching certification, along with a degree in your specialism and some level of experience, may be required to teach. For highly experienced professionals in sports, academic administration or management positions, it's possible to obtain high paying careers abroad.

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Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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