Published 7th December 2019
Not many people realise that the United Kingdom is one of the biggest markets for teaching English as a Foreign Language. Considered by some to be the home of English it should come as no surprise that people flock here from all over the world to learn English. While you cannot teach at government or private schools unless you have a BEd or PGCE which is recognized in the UK, TEFL teachers can work in language schools, privately, or on summer camps. Here is the average teaching salary in the UK.
The average salary for teaching in the UK
If you work in a language school you are usually paid an hourly rate rather than a salary. This rate is between £18 and £25, depending on your qualifications and experience. If you work 25 hours a week you this means should be able earn between £1 800 and £2 500 a month. Some schools will pay you extra for marking and staff meetings, but this is not guaranteed.
If you are teaching in a summer camp you will be paid a weekly amount for the duration of your contract. It is based on the hours you work but is not an hourly rate. Salaries range from £400 to £550 a week, depending on your qualifications and experience, and camps are between four and six weeks long.
If you are employed as a residential teacher you will be given free food and accommodation, so that is a huge saving. Plus considering that you won’t have much time to spend your money, you will be able to save the majority, if not all, of your earnings.
The other option is to teach privately. Teaching privately is big business in the UK. If you work for a language school you cannot teach the students of your school privately but there are enough language learners for you to find students in your area. Teachers who teach privately usually charge £15 – £25 an hour, but you will need to pay for your own teaching materials.
The cost of living in the UK
Admittedly, living in the UK is not cheap but some cities, such as London, are more expensive than others. If you are living in the centre of London you can expect to pay around £1 500 a month for a 1-bed apartment, but it is very common to share apartments or houses, which would bring the price down to anything from £350.
Because of the cost, most people don’t live in the city centre anyway but then you will have transport costs to and from work even if you have cheaper accommodation. However, you can get a monthly travel card for about £130.
A meal for two people at a restaurant will cost about £40 – £50, but if you are happy to buy groceries from supermarkets and cook for yourself you could spend about £100 a month. There are also many markets where you can buy amazing produce and smaller restaurants which won’t charge you the earth for a burger. If you keep your eyes open there are also usually very good deals to be found.
Contract benefits in the UK
Because teachers are generally paid on an hourly basis, there aren’t many contract benefits. Unless you are teaching on a summer camp, accommodation won’t be provided nor will you be given a housing allowance. You are, however, given a certain amount of paid holiday.
Schools in the UK are very good in terms of teacher development, so there is a chance you could be sponsored to study further or to attend workshops or conferences.
Teaching English in the UK is a very popular career choice. While it might seem like you can’t save much because of the high cost of living, it really is a good deal when you consider the amount of hours you work and the amount of time you have off to explore your surroundings. Plus, there’s no reason you can’t live on a budget while still living your best life.