The Average TEFL Salary: The Lowdown
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What is the average TEFL salary abroad, we hear you ask? Oh, if only we could give you a number.
There are not many things in life we can guarantee but when it comes to teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), there are a few:
- teaching English as a foreign language will change your life
- you need to research your TEFL course before spending your hard-earned money and time
- teaching English abroad is a job.
What that means is that there will be highs and lows, challenges and accomplishments but you will get paid. What your TEFL salary will be is another story altogether.
What is the average TEFL teacher salary?
First things first, there is not one fixed TEFL salary for teachers around the world. We all know that a meal at a nice restaurant can cost a month’s salary in Denmark but be as cheap as chips in Mexico, but it’s not as simple as that.
There are certain considerations we need to take into account when considering the average TEFL salary.
Your TEFL qualification
First of all, your qualification does matter. We’re not saying you need a degree but your TEFL qualification needs to be impressive. There are so many TEFL courses out there that you need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.
How can you do that? Make sure your TEFL course is accredited and internationally recognised. Any of the TEFL courses from The TEFL Academy are held in high regard all over the world so you can’t go wrong with us!
Read more: 5 Reasons to Avoid a Cheap TEFL Course
Having a Bachelor’s or higher degree is certainly a plus, but by no means a necessary requirement. We have loads of alumni who have found amazing TEFL jobs without having a degree.
Like our alumnus Jason. He started working as soon as he finished school. After a few years he decided to do a TEFL course and soon he was teaching in Phuket, Thailand. As he says: “It was honestly the best thing I’ve done in my life”.
Having said that, having a Bachelor’s degree may increase your pay rate or salary. If your degree is in English, Education, Linguistics or any related field then this is even more of a benefit. Plus, if your degree is higher than a Bachelor’s, you’ll be able to ask for more money.
A TEFL teacher working in a school in Dubai will earn, on average, £4,000 but if you are qualified enough to work in a university the average salary becomes £6,000 a month.
But it’s not only your education that matters when it comes to your teaching salary. If you have any teaching experience, this will count in your favour. While many new TEFL teachers don’t have any teaching experience, you could have experience related to working with children or in a teaching role. For example, if you’ve been a tutor, au pair or football coach, this can be listed under your experience.
Read more: Qualities of a Good TEFL Teacher
The TEFL job
Let’s be real: if you’re teaching two hours a day you can’t be expecting to make millions. If you are teaching in a school then you will earn a set salary but also with a set number of hours. If you are working for a language school you are usually paid on an hourly rate, so the more you teach the more you earn.
On top of that, you may be paid to do any extra administrative work as well – and with teaching there can be a lot of that! Lesson preparation, marking, attending school functions – these will either be included in your salary or added to your hours.
A TEFL teacher working 20 to 30 hours in a school in Beijing can earn from £1,200 to £3,000 a month.
If, however, you are teaching in a private capacity, there is no limit to how much you can earn – firstly because you can work as much as you want, and secondly because you can charge as much as you want. Plus you can even teach groups.
Again this will depend on your TEFL qualification and your experience, but don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. If you can make a name for yourself as a private tutor, you can call the shots!
A private teacher can charge from £10 to £30 an hour per student.
Read more: How Much Can I Charge for an EFL Lesson?
Then there is teaching English online. Teaching English online is a flexible option for TEFL teachers. It’s possible to structure your working hours to what suits you by choosing who you want to work for. If you want to be an independent online teacher, then it’s even easier. This is why many teachers use online teaching as a way to travel the world or as a way to earn extra money.
A teacher working for an online company earns on average between £10 and £20 an hour, while a private teacher can charge up to £30 an hour.
Read more: How Much Money Can I Really Make Teaching English Online
It’s a similar situation depending on where you are teaching. A salary is only as good as how it compares to the cost of living. It makes no difference earning loads if it costs even more just to survive! This is why it’s important not to compare the salary to your local salaries or costs of living. It doesn’t add up.
There are certain countries where the cost of living is really low and others where it’s really high. In Thailand, for example, you will probably earn around B40,000 a month which, when you convert to dollars or pounds (even rands) is not very much. But when you realise that your accommodation is about 10% of your salary, and groceries are even less, then you will realise that your salary is a lot of savings.
Handy hint: Numbeo is a great tool to use to determine the costs of living in different countries.
This is what our alumnus Tim has to say about living and teaching in Thailand:
“If you’re interested in teaching in Thailand, here’s what I can tell you about it. It’s crazy cheap to eat here (Thai and western). Food is everywhere and it’s fresh and delicious. There’s no need to cook, unless you want to. I have cooked only once in 18 months! The wages (£600 – £700 per month) go further than I expected.
Apartments are also more modern and stylish than I thought too. Even so, rent is so much cheaper and I still have more money left over than I would in the UK. My apartment has a king sized bed, separate bathroom, balcony, wardrobe, desk, TV and fridge. In London it would cost me a fortune. Over here it’s 4,200 baht a month (£80) plus about 2,000 baht (£40) a month for electricity (depending on how much air con is used). The total: £120 a month.
If you have no debts that still leaves over £500 disposable income. Travel is very easy out here; local buses are frequent and very cheap. I decided to buy a motorbike, which as long as you’re careful is a great way to get about most cities. I paid it off over a year and now own it (a new Honda Scoopy; Google it, it’s awesome!). If I want to travel to Bangkok or other towns, a typical coach journey is very cheap too (a four hour air-con coach ride is about £7).”
Schools in some countries offer salaries and nothing else. In other words, if you are teaching in England, chances are your salary just includes your job. But, if you teach in South Korea, for example, your salary package is likely to include housing as well – plus, airfare and health insurance. If you teach in Qatar, too, it is common to be offered accommodation and an entertainment allowance for the duration of your contract.
When you think about it, if your salary doesn’t include your accommodation, you would be happy accepting a lower salary.
Alana tells us about her package in Vietnam:
“I applied for a handful of jobs and got the vast majority. I chose a company in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. The offer provided me with a shared house where I’d be living with other teachers, a salary of $990 per month, health care, visa guidance, transport costs and airport pickup. It was pretty much smooth sailing.”
The working conditions
Now, we don’t mean whether or not you have an interactive white board! What we mean is what you are being paid for. Many language schools, for example, incorporate a holiday rate into their hourly rate so when you can go on leave you’re not technically paid for it but you have been paid for it beforehand.
If you teach in a school or a university, you are probably lucky enough to get all the public holidays and academic holidays, paid.
Priyanka is living her best life teaching in France:
“I am currently teaching in the French Riviera and the best thing about teaching in France is 5 weeks of paid holidays! I believe this is also the best thing about teaching jobs in general because many countries provide paid holidays. If you’re teaching in a school with a full-time contract, sometimes the summer holidays are also paid!”
As you can see, there are a number of variables involved in considering the average TEFL salary. Because there are so many different jobs you can do, and so many different environments and countries you can teach in, you need to consider each salary on its own merits.
One final tip: be sure to compare the salary and package to a similar job in the same country to make sure you’re comparing manzanas with manzanas.
The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.
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Where we use another organisation, we make sure that your personal information is protected and remains in our control.
- We also, in certain situations, share personal information with government bodies and law enforcement bodies. Where we do share personal information with these types of organisations we’ll make sure it’s protected, as far as it is reasonably possible.
We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an ELEARNING FUTURES LTD event).
This means we’ll:
- create a profile about you to better understand you as a customer and tailor the communications we send you (including our marketing messages);
- tell you about other products and services you might be interested in;
- try to identify products and services you’re interested in; and
We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
- Your contact details. This includes your name, gender, address, phone number, date of birth and email address.
- Information from cookies and tags placed on your connected devices.
- Information from other organisations such as aggregated demographic data and publicly available sources like the electoral roll and business directories.
- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.