Published 21st September 2019
Congratulations on considering India as your TEFL destination! It’s definitely an interesting choice. India is not the most popular country to teach English as a Foreign Language, which is a real shame. India has got so much to offer – from forts in the desert to crazy rickshaw rides in the city to mouthwatering food to languid cruises down the Keralan backwaters to the lights of Bollywood – it really has something for everything. The prevalence of English in India is probably what deters TEFL teachers from coming to India but the good news is that there are TEFL jobs available if you’re set on teaching here. So now that we know you’re serious about going there, here’s everything you need to know about the average salary for teaching abroad in India.
The average salary for teaching in India
As amazing as India is, unfortunately there is not much demand for English as a Foreign Language teachers. If you have a teaching degree or lots of teaching experience, you could find a job in one of several international schools, but there are very few positions in state schools because the level of English in India in general is very high and because these schools can’t afford foreign teachers. Plus there are many Indian teachers who are qualified for the job. It is possible to find jobs in private schools, though.
For something a bit different, there are numerous jobs to be found in the corporate arena, working with call centre staff or IT workers, for example. For jobs like these you will be employed either by the company and you will work in-house, or you can work for a language school and you’ll teach the company employees at your school.
The average salary for teaching abroad in India is $150 – $1 000 a month.
If you are not bothered by getting paid or are looking to get some experience under your belt, there are loads of volunteering positions just waiting for you. Volunteer teachers are held in high esteem in India and there are some interesting opportunities. You could find yourself teaching Tibetan refugees in an orphanage, Buddhist monks in a monastery, or doctors and nurses in a clinic.
The cost of living in India
Most paid jobs can be found in New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Bangalore, while the volunteer positions can be in the cities or out of the cities in rural areas.
Generally speaking, the cost of living is low in India so you can get by comfortably on your teacher’s salary but you won’t have much room for savings. As with any other country, the bigger cities are more expensive. Mumbai in particular is really expensive so you’ll need to look hard for any decent accommodation on a budget.
Generally speaking, accommodation will probably cost you about $100 – $150 dollars a month. In the big cities this will get you an apartment but further from the city this could be a 2- or 3-bedroomed house. It’s fairly common to share accommodation with other teachers so this will help out as well.
Food is very cheap whether you are buying from the market or supermarket or eating out at restaurants, which you will do often. Bear in mind the majority of India is vegetarian so this presumably saves a lot of money.
If you are on a volunteer program you won’t need to worry about the cost of living, as accommodation and meals are usually provided.
Contract benefits in India
Teaching English in India is a simple affair – there aren’t many contract benefits. Your employer should at least organize your working visa for you and some might provide accommodation but other than that, you’re on your own.
In a nutshell, India is an alternative option for a TEFL teacher. You won’t earn millions and you won’t live in the lap of luxury, but you’ll experience firsthand the direct contrast between the crazy chaos of Indian cities and the peaceful spiritual nature of this country, making it an interesting place to live.