Published 8th October 2019

They say that teaching is a passion. While it might be true that not many people go into teaching for the money, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t money to be made! That’s right: teaching is one of the most rewarding occupations on an intellectual and spiritual level but it can be rewarding on a financial level too. Having said that, of course not all TEFL jobs are lucrative but it totally depends on where you work. If you’re looking into teaching English abroad or if you’ve already done a TEFL course and are now trying to find a job and finances are a big part of your decision, here are the top five countries that pay the most to teach English abroad.


Believe it or not! Not many people think about teaching English in Kazakhstan but it’s becoming a top destination for TEFL teachers who not only want to teach off the beaten track but who want to earn a few dollars. 

Salaries range from $4,000 to $ 5,000 but the clincher is that teaching packages usually include flights, insurance and accommodation.

United Arab Emirates

There are a few TEFL hotspots in the UAE. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the usual suspects but you can also look for jobs in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Job requirements are quite strict so teaching here suits teachers who have either a teaching qualification as well as a TEFL or teaching experience. 

Salaries are usually about $3 000 to $4 000 a month, but you will also receive flights and accommodation. Even though the cost of living may be quite high in these cities, the fact that your accommodation costs are covered will save you loads of money. Plus, your salary is tax-free!

Saudi Arabia

Another desert hotspot is Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia offers packages which are just as attractive as the UAE but doesn’t have such strict teaching requirements. You might be a bit hesitant to live and work in Saudi Arabia but if you’re willing to have a cultural adventure, Saudi Arabia should definitely be an option for you.

In Saudi Arabia you can earn $2 500 to $5 000 a month, with flights and accommodation included.

Top Five Countries That Pay the Most to Teach English Abroad

South Korea

South Korea has always been a favourite TEFL destination and the salary is just one of the reasons. Living and teaching in South Korea is a cultural adventure and many people come here for the experience alone. Happily, you are well compensated for your work and there are many opportunities for you to bump up your salary with extra work as well.

In South Korea you’re likely to earn between $2 000 and $3 000 a month, but your flights, health insurance and accommodation are included. 


Another Asian gem for TEFL teachers is Taiwan. Historically Taiwan has always been a solid option for TEFL teachers but it has never been as popular as its cousins South Korea, China or Thailand. This looks set to change as TEFL salaries on the small island nation become more attractive. 

Teaching in Taiwan you will earn $3 000 to $4 000 a month. Unlike the other countries on this list, this usually won’t include accommodation though it may include a reimbursement of flights. However, the cost of living in Taiwan is so low that your earning power is much more than is reflected in the salary. 

At the moment these are the top countries in terms of salaries for teaching English abroad. This doesn’t mean that you can’t earn good money or save money in other countries – it all depends on the cost of living in relation to the salary. If finances are a real concern for you (and your bank balance!), make sure you consider all the different aspects related to salaries and not just the number on the paycheck. 

If none of these countries tickle your fancy, other countries which deserve a mention for their attractive salaries are China, Japan and Kuwait. 

One Reply to “Top Five Countries That Pay the Most to Teach English Abroad”

  1. Thanks for adding a link to our guide on teaching English in Saudi Arabia. I hope it’s a valuable resource for your readers!


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